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Broadcast areaPeoria, Illinois
Frequency1290 kHz C-QUAM AM stereo
BrandingFreedom 95.9
FormatConservative talk
WSWT (traditional); WMBD (AM), WPBG, WKZF, WXCL
First air date
August 18, 1948 (1948-08-18)[1]
Former call signs
  • WIRL (1948–2000)
  • WWFS (2000–2005)
Technical information
Facility ID13040
Power5,000 watts
Transmitter coordinates
40°37′24.00″N 89°35′27.00″W / 40.6233333°N 89.5908333°W / 40.6233333; -89.5908333
Translator(s)95.9 W240DM (Peoria, via WPBG-HD3)
Repeater(s)93.3 WPBG-HD3 (Peoria)
WebcastListen Live

WIRL (1290 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a conservative talk format. Licensed to Peoria, Illinois, United States, the station serves the Peoria area and broadcasts in AM stereo. The station is currently owned by Midwest Communications, Inc.

WIRL can also be heard in HD on sister station WPBG-HD3. WIRL itself is not licensed to broadcast in HD.[2]


WIRL began broadcasting February 18, 1948, on 1290 kHz with 5,000 Watts of power (full-time). It was licensed to Illinois Valley Broadcasting Company with studios in the Jefferson Building in Peoria.[3]

WIRL was most famous as a successful Top 40 radio station from 1960 until approximately 1984. During its tenure, its only competition was daytime-only WPEO 1020 AM. Popular disc jockeys were Robyn Weaver, Lee Ranson, Jerry Barr, Jim French, Timmy "Old Weird" West, Bill McCluggage, Lee Malcolm, Wayne R. Miller, Howard Taylor, Pete Stewart, VLJ, Charlie O'Day, John Sebastian Bachman, Ann Holub, Dave Phillips, Steve Young, Scott Robbins, Ron Thorn, with Mark Wainwright and many more. For many years WIRL broadcast Bradley Braves basketball games not aired on WMBD (AM).

In the late 1970s, FM station WKZW 93.3 a.k.a. KZ93 (now WPBG) began programming a Top 40 format and siphoned away many listeners from WIRL until 1984, when they began to evolve into a full service personality and adult contemporary station. Personalities included Lee Malcolm, Gene Konrad, Kurt Schaeffer, Denise Henley, Steve Larson, Marc Truelove, Steve Young and Darryl Parks. The adult contemporary format lasted until the early 1990s; the station also programmed oldies, standards, and sports talk.

In November 2000, the station changed to all-sports "Fox Sports 1290" with the callsign WWFS. The station returned to the WIRL call sign when it adopted a classic country format in March 2005.

On March 15, 2013, WIRL changed their format to oldies, branded as "Good Time Oldies" and began simulcasting on FM translator W274BM 102.7 FM.[4][5]

On February 4, 2019, Alpha Media announced that it would sell its Peoria cluster to Midwest Communications for $21.6 million.[6] The sale closed on April 30, 2019.

On February 28, 2022, WIRL switched to a conservative talk radio format, branded as "Freedom 95.9" (simulcasting 95.9 W240DM Peoria and WPBG-HD3). The oldies format is still available on 102.7 W274BM and WPBG-HD2.[7]


  1. ^ "1290 WIRL Airchecks, Jingles and Photos". 2008-01-14. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  2. ^ WIRL licensing page
  3. ^ "Jones Heads WIRL's Executive Personnel" (PDF). Broadcasting. March 8, 1948. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Format Changes". Your Midwest Media. Archived from the original on 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  5. ^ "WIRL Peoria Adds Translator; Flips to Oldies".
  6. ^ "Midwest Communications Acquires Alpha Media's Peoria Stations". RadioInsight. 6 February 2019.
  7. ^ WIRL Moves From Superhits To Freedom Radioinsight - February 28, 2022