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Agriculture

FCC approves transfer of licenses for three radio stations

WLPO, WAJK and WLWF acquired by Starved Rock Media

LaSalle County Broadcasting received authorization Dec. 31 from the Federal Communications Commission to transfer broadcast licenses for radio stations WLPO, WAJK and WLWF to Starved Rock Media Inc.

“We closed on the sale of radio operations to Starved Rock Media at about noon today,” said Joyce McCullough, president of LaSalle County Broadcasting Corp.

McCullough closed out her career as the radio stations’ general manager on New Year’s Eve, and longtime local radio personality John Spencer became general manager on New Year’s Day.

Spencer will be general manager and is president of Starved Rock Media Inc.

As of midnight Jan. 1, Starved Rock Media Inc. owned and began operating WLPO, WAJK and WLWF (96.5 The Wolf).

Spencer, president and owner of Starved Rock Media Inc., is starting his 28th year at the radio stations located east of Illinois Valley Community College. Spencer joined the staff as morning show host on WAJK and as production coordinator for LaSalle County Broadcasting.

“This wouldn’t have happened without Cathy Miller and Joyce McCullough’s commitment to keeping these stations local,” Spencer said of the sale.

“And the stations are a legacy to longtime chief engineer Steve Vogler, who passed away Oct. 1.”

Miller sold the NewsTribune and Agri-News newspapers to Shaw Media around Labor Day 2019.

LaSalle County Broadcasting celebrated the 70th anniversary of WLPO-AM two years ago. The local radio stations have evolved through the years, but listeners should not expect many major changes.

“I’ve been involved in the day-to-day operations for a number of years, and obviously changes will happen; they’re inevitable. But we have no desire or intent to make any significant changes immediate at three successful radio stations,” Spencer said.

“There have been subtle tweaks to WAJK since I’ve been here, but WAJK has pretty much stayed in its lane, providing top-40 music for adults,” Spencer said.

WLPO has gone from a full-service AM with everything from farm markets, recipes and the clearinghouse, which was a radio-driven garage sale or trading post, to conservative syndicated talk and live local talk in the early 2000s. Today, it features a combination of news, talk and classic rock including a popular morning program.

Since Spencer became program director, LCB added 96.5 FM WLWF (The Wolf), which had been an oldies station.

“It’s a very popular station for younger country fans now,” Spencer said.

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