WPBG logo.png
Broadcast areaPeoria
Frequency93.3 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding93.3 The Drive
FormatClassic hits
SubchannelsHD1: WPBG analog
HD2: 102.7 SuperHits (Oldies)
HD3: Freedom 95.9 (Conservative talk, WIRL simulcast)
WMBD (AM) (traditional and current)
WMBD-TV (former traditional)
First air date
April 1947 (1947-04) (as WMBD-FM at 92.5)[1]
Former call signs
WMBD-FM (1947–1977)
WKZW (1977–1994)
WMXP (1994–1997)
Former frequencies
92.5 MHz (1947–1960s)
Call sign meaning
Peoria's BiG Oldies[2]
Technical information
Facility ID42114
ERP41,000 watts
HAAT168 meters (551 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
40°38′7.00″N 89°32′19.00″W / 40.6352778°N 89.5386111°W / 40.6352778; -89.5386111
Translator(s)HD2: 102.7 W274BM (Peoria)
HD3: 95.9 W240DM (Peoria)
WebcastListen Live
Listen Live (HD2)
Listen Live (HD3)
1027superhits.com (HD2)
freedom959.net (HD3)

WPBG (93.3 MHz) is an FM broadcasting station with a classic hits format, and is licensed for Peoria, Illinois. The station was formerly known as 93.3 WMBD-FM, as well as KZ-93 (WKZW) through 1994, "Mix 93.3" prior to its conversion to oldies/classic hits. The station is owned by Midwest Communications, Inc.[3][4]

HD Radio

WPBG broadcasts in the HD Radio digital (hybrid) format:


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

WMBD-FM was established in April 1947 with 17,000 watts on 92.5 MHz as a sister station to 1470 WMBD (AM), the only other station in Peoria;[1] the nearest other FM station was 101.5 WJBC-FM (now WBNQ) in Bloomington, established the same month as a sister station of 1230 WJBC (AM).[1][8] By 1950, WMBD-FM was licensed for 20,000 watts.[9] WMBD-FM duplicated WMBD (AM) during its early years.[10] It was sold (with AM and TV) to Fetzer Stations on February 1, 1953.[10]

The station signed on as with a beautiful music format and utilized the slogan "Music Only For a Woman".[citation needed] The station was originally on 92.5 MHz but moved to 93.3 MHz in the early 1960s.

For several years, WMBD-FM went by the slogan of Rock 93. Then, in late 1977, the station adopted a Rock-leaning Top 40/CHR format as WKZW, calling itself "KZ93".[11] The station was successful immediately and rapidly overtook Top 40 AM WIRL in the ratings. In late 1983, WKZW started a transition from being a rock-based CHR format to a mainstream CHR format. The KZ93 KZJs included Tommy Wood, Mark Maloney, Gary Olson, Jeffrey Moore, Cristy Ryan, Keith Edwards, Scott Wheeler, Gene Stern, Derek Johnson, Lee Malcolm, Kenneth "Ken Cook" Hackney, Troy Hamilton, Jefffrey Kingsley, Glen Thomas, Kenny Blum, with Andy Masur, Ray Price, Charlie Quinn, Steve Rodeo and Danny Baker. KZ93 was at or near the top of the ratings in the Peoria radio market throughout its reign as the premiere Top 40/CHR outlet in all of Central Illinois, but by the early 1990s, the ratings began to falter.[12][13] Then, on April 7, 1994, WKZW flipped to a hot adult contemporary format as WMXP and the slogan "Mix 93.3".[14][15] The station ran most of its music off of analog broadcast carts during this era (when many stations were converting to CD and/or computer audio playback). During the "Mix" years, the morning show was hosted by Dave Kallaway and Beck Ryan. Other jocks included Gene Stern, Scott Wheeler (now[when?] afternoons on WCIC Pekin as Rob Brown), Mary Lynn, Chris McIntyre (now program director and mornings on WKAY-FM in Galesburg, Illinois), Keith Kelly and Joe Crain (now meteorologist at WICS-TV in Springfield). Also, for a portion of its time as "Mix 93.3", the morning radio show was simulcast with the television show on sister station WMBD-TV. This simulcast show was known as "The Morning Mix". The simulcast ended in late 1996. On March 10, 1997, the station flipped to an oldies format as "Big Oldies 93.3" and adopted the current call sign.[16] At that time, "The Morning Mix" continued on WMBD-TV for quite some time. The station used the "Big Oldies 93.3" slogan before the current format of classic hits was adopted in August 2006.[17]

The station was recently owned by Triad Broadcasting. Sister stations include WIRL, WMBD (AM), WDQX (now WKZF), WXCL and WSWT. Effective May 1, 2013, Triad sold WPBG and 29 other stations to L&L Broadcasting for $21 million.[18] L&L would merge with Alpha Media in April 2014.[19]

On February 4, 2019, Alpha Media announced that it would sell its Peoria cluster to Midwest Communications for $21.6 million.[20] The sale closed on April 30, 2019.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Broadcasting Yearbook Number. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications. 1948. Retrieved 2010-08-30. Illinois AM stations on pages 94 & 98; Illinois FM stations on page 294. Page 326 shows 4 additional FM construction permits already in progress for Peoria.
  2. ^ "Call Letter Origins". Radio History on the Web.
  3. ^ "WPBG Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  4. ^ "WPBG Station Information Profile". Arbitron.
  5. ^ "Peoria radio group makes move to HD".
  6. ^ a b "WIRL Moves From Superhits To Freedom". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  7. ^ https://freedom959.net
  8. ^ "U. S. FM Stations as of 1948". History of American Broadcasting. Jeff Miller. Using information from Radio Craft. June 1948. ((cite news)): Missing or empty |title= (help) ISSN variously reported as 0033-7862, 1067-9278, or 1067-9286.
  9. ^ "U. S. FM Stations as of 1950". History of American Broadcasting. Jeff Miller. Using information from 1950 Broadcasting Yearbook.
  10. ^ a b See, for example, 1959 Broadcasting Yearbook, page B-145
  11. ^ https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC-YB/1979/C-All%20%20Radio%20Broadcasting%20Yearbook%201979-12.pdf[dead link]
  12. ^ "KZ-93 Attempting To Win Back Twentysomething Radio Crowd; Rock Radio Station Begins Pulling Away From A Dying Format," The Peoria Journal-Star, April 2, 1993.
  13. ^ "KZ-93 Goal Remains Unclear," The Peoria Journal-Star, April 11, 1993.
  14. ^ "KZ-93 (And Voices) Are No More," The Peoria Journal-Star, April 8, 1994.
  15. ^ "Now 93.3 Will Offer a Music Mix," The Peoria Journal-Star, April 10, 1994.
  16. ^ "WMXP's New Mix Will Focus on Rock from Mid 60's; Switch Leaves Peoria With Only One 'Classic Rock' Radio Station," The Peoria Journal-Star, March 9, 1997.
  17. ^ "On the air - Station mix-up befuddles listeners," The Peoria Journal-Star, September 3, 2006.
  18. ^ Larry Wilson Acquires Triad Broadcasting
  19. ^ Alpha and L&L To Merge; Acquire Main Line Broadcasting
  20. ^ "Midwest Communications Acquires Alpha Media's Peoria Stations". RadioInsight. 6 February 2019.