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Broadcast areaPeoria metropolitan area
Frequency1470 kHz
Branding1470 WMBD 100.3
First air date
1927; 97 years ago (1927)
Technical information
Facility ID42119
Power5,000 watts
Translator(s)100.3 W262BY (Peoria)
Repeater(s)93.3 WPBG-HD4 (Peoria)
WebcastListen Live

WMBD (1470 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station. It is the oldest station in the Peoria, Illinois, area. It broadcasts a news/talk format and is owned by Duke Wright with the license held by Midwest Communications, Inc. The radio studios and offices are on Fulton Street in Peoria.[1] The WMBD transmitter site is located on County Road 2100 East in Groveland Township, Illinois.[2] The station is powered at 5,000 watts, with a directional signal. By day, a two-tower array is used, switching to a four-tower array at night to avoid causing interference with other stations.

Programming is also heard on a 250 watt FM translator, W262BY at 100.3 MHz.[3] WMBD is not licensed to broadcast in HD,[4] however it is carried on an FM station's HD sub-carrier, WPBG-HD4.


WMBD has local shows in morning and afternoon drive time. Weekdays begin with Greg & Dan, with Craig Collins hosting afternoons. The rest of the weekday schedule is made up of nationally syndicated talk shows: Glenn Beck, Dave Ramsey, "Markley, Van Camp & Collins" (based at WMBD), Dana Loesch, "Coast to Coast AM with George Noory" and "This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal."

Weekends include shows on home improvement, rural life, religion, technology and the law. Weekend hosts include Kim Komando, Joe Pags, Bill Handel, Bill Cunningham, "The Jesus Christ Show with Neil Saavedra" and "Somewhere in Time with Art Bell." Most hours begin with a news update from Fox News Radio. The station carries Bradley Braves basketball games from Bradley University in Peoria.


Early years

WMBD began operations during a chaotic period when most government regulation had been suspended, with new stations free to be set up with few restrictions, including choosing their own transmitting frequencies. The station was first licensed on January 3, 1927 to the Peoria Heights Radio Laboratory at 107 East Glen Avenue, operating on a self-assigned "split" frequency of 1075 kHz.[5] The call letters were randomly assigned from a sequential list of available call signs, and were later associated with a local legend that President Theodore Roosevelt once described Grandview Drive, the location of the station's original studios, as "the World's Most Beautiful Drive".[6]

Following the establishment of the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), stations were initially issued a series of temporary authorizations starting on May 3, 1927,[7] which reassigned WMBD to 1080 kHz. In addition, stations were informed that if they wanted to continue operating, they needed to file a formal license application by January 15, 1928, as the first step in determining whether they met the new "public interest, convenience, or necessity" standard.[8] On May 25, 1928, the FRC issued General Order 32, which notified 164 stations, including WMBD, that "From an examination of your application for future license it does not find that public interest, convenience, or necessity would be served by granting it."[9] However, the station successfully convinced the commission that it should remain licensed.

On November 11, 1928, the FRC implemented a major reallocation of station transmitting frequencies, as part of a reorganization resulting from its implementation of General Order 40. WMBD was assigned to 1440 kHz, sharing time with WTAD.[10] On March 29, 1941, WMBD, along with most of the stations on 1440 kHz, moved 1470 kHz, its location ever since, as part of the implementation of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement.

WMBD was a long-time CBS Radio network affiliate until 2001. Through the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, WMBD aired the CBS line up of dramas, comedies, news, sports, soap operas, game shows and big band broadcasts during the "Golden Age of Radio."[11]

Full service radio

WMBD has for many decades broadcast a full service format, offering news, talk, weather, agricultural reports, sports and music. Past announcers included Bob Carlton, Farmer Bill, Milton Budd, and John Williams, who is now at WGN. The station always had strong agribusiness coverage to serve rural portions of its coverage area, and for many years had a noon farm show, which has now moved to sister station WIRL. Colleen Callahan was the long-time agriculture news director.

WMBD is the flagship station for Compass Media Networks' Markley, Van Camp and Robbins, which rolled out in syndication in 2019. Prior to the death of Rush Limbaugh, the trio had recorded their show while Limbaugh was broadcast live on WMBD. Markley, Van Camp and Robbins originally aired on WMBD on a three-hour delay.[12]

WMBD has broadcast Bradley Braves basketball games for over 60 years. Current Bradley announcer is Dave Snell who has been doing Bradley play-by-play for over 25 years. WMBD carried St. Louis Cardinals baseball games for many years until 2014, when those games moved to sister station WIRL.


WMBD is no longer co-owned with WMBD-TV channel 31; Midwest Television, which owned WMBD, WPBG, and WMBD-TV for decades, divested itself of all its stations outside of San Diego in the 1990s, selling WMBD-TV to Nexstar Broadcasting and the radio stations to JMP Radio Group, a local division of Triad Broadcasting. Triad has since bought WIRL, WSWT, WXCL, and WDQX (now WKZF). Effective May 1, 2013, Triad sold WMBD and 29 other stations to L&L Broadcasting for $21 million. L&L was later merged into parent company Alpha Media in February 2014.

On February 4, 2019, Alpha Media announced that it would sell its Peoria cluster to Midwest Communications for $21.6 million.[13] The sale closed on April 30, 2019.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ WMBD licensing page
  5. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, January 31. 1927, page 4.
  6. ^ Szoke, Anita. A Great View on Grandview Drive. Peoria Journal-Star, 2008-06-05.
  7. ^ "List of broadcasting stations issued temporary permits", Radio Service Bulletin, April 30, 1927, pages 6-14.
  8. ^ "Extension of Broadcasting Station Licenses", Radio Service Bulletin, December 31, 1927, page 7.
  9. ^ "Appendix F (2): Letter to and list of stations included in General Order No. 32, issued May 25, 1928", Second Annual Report of the Federal Radio Commission for the Year Ended June 30, 1928, Together With Supplemental Report for the Period From July 1, 1928 to September 30, 1928, pages 146-149.
  10. ^ "Broadcasting Stations", Second Annual Report of the Federal Radio Commission (June 30, 1928), page 176.
  11. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1950 page 135, Broadcasting & Cable
  12. ^ "'Markley, van Camp and Robbins' taking Rush Limbaugh's old spot on Peoria's WMBD radio".
  13. ^ "Midwest Communications Acquires Alpha Media's Peoria Stations". RadioInsight. 6 February 2019.

40°34′22″N 89°32′00″W / 40.57278°N 89.53333°W / 40.57278; -89.53333