WJOL 1340WJOL logo.png
Broadcast areaSouthwest Suburban Chicago
Frequency1340 AM (kHz)
Branding1340 WJOL
Will County's News, Talk, Sports
FormatNews Talk/Sports
First air date
May 1925[1]
Former call signs
WJBI (1925)[1]
WCLS (1925-1945)[2]
Former frequencies
1400 kHz (1924-1927)[2]
1390 kHz (1927-1928)[2]
1310 kHz (1928-1941)[2]
Call sign meaning
W JOLiet
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID62235
Power1,000 watts
Public license information
WebcastListen live

WJOL (1340 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a news talk/sports format. Licensed to Joliet, Illinois, United States, the station is currently owned by Alpha Media, through licensee Alpha Media Licensee LLC. WJOL carries a variety of local programming, as well as nationally syndicated shows.[3] WJOL's studios are located in Crest Hill, and its transmitter is in Joliet.


The station began broadcasting in May 1925, and originally held the call sign WJBI.[1][4][5] The station was originally owned by Harold M. Couch.[1][4][5] Later that year, the station was sold to the parent company of the Boston Store (a Joliet-based store unrelated to the Wisconsin Boston Stores), and its call sign was changed to WCLS, which stood for "Will County's Largest Store".[1][6][7] The station originally broadcast at 1400 kHz, running 150 watts.[2] In 1927, the station's frequency was changed to 1390 kHz.[2] In 1928 its frequency was changed to 1310 kHz, and its power was reduced to 100 watts.[2] The station operated a limited number of hours, and shared time on its frequency with other stations.[2]

In 1940, the station began operating 24 hours a day.[2] In 1941, the station's frequency was changed to 1340 kHz, and its power was increased to 250 watts.[2] In 1945, the station's call sign was changed to WJOL.[2] In 1962, the station's daytime power was increased to 1,000 watts.[2] In the early 1960s, the station published a local top 50 record chart.[8] In early 1985, the station's nighttime power was increased to 1,000 watts.[9] At the time, the station aired an adult contemporary format. During the 1990's, it aired formats of news/talk, oldies, and classic hits. It became a full-time news/talk station by 2001.

WJOL alumni

Notable radio personalities that have worked at WJOL include Frank O'Leary, Don Ladas, Bill Drilling, Art Hellyer, Bob Zak, Don Beno, Tony Ray, Ralph Sherman, Sr., Jerry Halasz, Max Carey, Ron Gleason, John Dempsey, Bob Wheeler and Ruth Stevens, who did a radio show from her record shop and was the first black woman on the station.[citation needed] While working at the station during its WCLS era, sportscaster Harry Caray adopted his on-air professional name which he would use for the rest of his career.

From 1947-1950, novelist William Johnston worked as a news reporter for WJOL.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ghrist, John R. (1996). Valley Voices: A Radio History. Crossroads Communications. p. 157-163.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l History Cards for WJOL, fcc.gov. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  3. ^ Show Schedule, WJOL. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Radio Progress. August 15, 1925. p. 40. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Radio Age. August 1925. p. 100. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Citizen's Radio Callbook: A Complete Radio Cyclopedia. Vol. 6. No. 2. Fall 1925. p. 16. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  7. ^ Duston, Merle (1927). Duston's Radio Log and Call Book With Program Directory, Whitman Publishing Company. p. 11. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Joliet's Fantabulous Fifty", WJOL. March 30, 1963. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  9. ^ Zorn, Eric. "Rumors Persist: WMET Will Change Its Format", Chicago Tribune, January 07, 1985. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  10. ^ "William Johnston". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale. 2002. Retrieved 25 August 2015.

Coordinates: 41°32′06″N 88°03′15″W / 41.53500°N 88.05417°W / 41.53500; -88.05417