Chicago Public Media Buys Kankakee Public Radio Station


WBEZ, Chicago Public Media has bought the public radio station in Kankakee. The company will take over operation of WKCC at midnight on Saturday.

WBEZ will pay Kankakee Community College $250,000, and offer the college underwriting considerations for 5 years. The two parties finalized the agreement Wednesday afternoon.

Wendy Turner is Vice President of Operations for Chicago Public Media. She says they’re excited to be able to keep public radio broadcasting for Kankakee and Iroquois Counties. "We are all high-fiving each other around here today," she said, "Excited about this opportunity and excited to be partnering with the community down there. It makes everyone here feel really good."

For the time being, Turner says the signal will simulcast WBEZ’s programming. Turner says they will probably apply for a new set of call letters for the 91.1 signal.

Left to Right: Vic Johnson; Bert Jacobson; Willie Dixon, Jr.; Matt Callan; Ted Petersen; Dale Bowman; D'Arcy "Shuffle Shoes" Ballinger; Carl Maronich; James "Dr. Skyy Dobro" Walker; Heather Claborn; Jonathan Coke; Pamela Powell; and James D. Jones.

Courtesy WKCC

John Avandano, President of Kankakee Community College said it was his goal to keep the signal broadcasting public radio programming. "Really from a win-win-win situation. Our community was really asking for public radio to stay in the area. So once they heard it was going to remain that, quite honestly, all the feedback I received was very positive from the community," he said.

Chicago Public Media and Kankakee Community College expect the FCC to give final approval to the license transfer in early April.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio