In 1947, Bill Lipman put that station on the air from downtown Kenosha. The reason? So Kenosha could have itís own radio station. Was a full service station. It was Top 40 with full service elements in the 60s and 70s. AC and Talk in the 80s and Talk and Oldies in the 90s. Was a Brewers affiliate. Had a 2-3 news people. One being Dave Cole (Now GM at WGTD) and Janet Hoff (Who just retired from WRJN last year) Was there when Kenoshaís biggest employer (American Motors, Chrysler) closed up their plant in the late 80s.
Dex Card (WLS) ran it for awhile in the 70s. Steve Dahlís first time on the radio was there.
In 1996, Pride Communications (Jim Hooker! bought it and flipped it to satellite Adult Standards (WAIT and WJOL as well) But it continued to super serve Kenosha in the morning hours with a local morning show, a local talk show (Lenny Palmer) and a few others including Around Town with Irene Buri-Nelson (Who was on that station from the time it signed on in 1947 until she died in a crash on the way to work) They were live and local wall to wall for the 2000 election.
The format flipped to Soft AC in 2004, Oldies in 2005 and eventually mostly talk with some Oldies mixed in back in 2007.
Itís the station the city government tells people to tune to for information.
Studio and tower was in downtown Kenosha until 1983 when it moved to itís current location.
Itís Kenoshaís only local commercial radio station. Thereís no way theyíll keep it Kenosha-centered from Gurnee Mills. How do you serve a community from 17 miles away? Itís been slowly focusing more on Lake County since WKRS flipped to ESPN Deportes. I expect more of this with the move.
As for 95.1, that signal was turned on from downtown Kenosha in 1962 with Easy Listening. WLIP-FM. Bill Lipmanís wife ran it. Eventually they added some Freeform Rock, Calls changed to WJZQ under Dex Card in the 70s and had various AOR formats before going CHR in the 80s. Moved to itís current location along with WLIP in 1983. Allowed for a power increase.
The CHR format was Drake reels with the AM staff recording information, news, weather, voice tracks, etc for Kenosha until they took it live in the Early 90s.
September 1992 it went to WIIL Rock and after that it became less and less about Kenosha and more about Lake County where the money is. It should be right at home in Gurnee Mills, as it will be right in the middle of the target area.
Kenosha had one other station. 96.9 WAXO which signed on around the same time as 95.1. It was sold to the owners of 1500 WZBN in Zion and eventually the studios and city of license was moved there. It was sold to the owners of WNIB around 1983, and has been simply simulcasting 97.1 nonstop ever since, minus 2001-2003 when it simulcast WTMX.
Kenosha is the 4th largest city in Wisconsin, but it is almost completely ignored as far as radio. WLIP was the biggest exception.
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