By ALLISON HORNE – firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t touch that dial, folks, because there’s a new show in town.
It may have been around since 1974, but the station formerly known as WJJG now is getting a facelift, starting with some famous call letters: WCKG. When General Manager Matt Dubiel took over the Elmhurst station in October 2011, he set out to develop a fresh direction. With more than 2.8 million people within the WCKG AM 1530 signal, and 30,000 online listeners per month, Dubiel realized the station had a niche it needed to focus on — the suburbs….
With WCKG one of the few stations based inside DuPage County, Dubiel sees its advantages: location, listeners and a need for something local and relevant. Dubiel is still fine-tuning the big changes. From a possible new location to brand new shows, he says WCKG aims to cater to area businesses and suburban listeners.
What’s new for WCKG?
Changing the call letters shined up the station, but there are a couple of things that are key for us. We got all new equipment that improves the quality of the station, and we put it at full power. We weren’t operating at full power before. Our website is in tip-top shape too, so our online presence is there. Mancow Muller is a Chicago radio show in the morning that’s syndicated, but it’s local. He’s someone people know. He lets us get our feet off the ground. We’re trying to add more local shows, like ‘The Geoff Pinkus Show.’ He’s live and local from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (weekdays). The next phase of programming lineup changes is to add another show.
What are you trying to do and what’s next?
We’re working on finding a home for the studios in a main street, high traffic, suburban area so people can see, hear and experience the magic of radio in a community way. It would be right in the heart of the action. We’re looking at a handful of suburbs including downtown Elmhurst, Naperville and Rosemont. I’ve considered that we need to be in a place that fits for the people and the businesses around us. Towns that have a nice downtown area like Downers Grove, Hinsdale and Elmhurst would be great. I imagine regular folks walking by, sitting in on radio shows, and creating a great opportunity for the community.