Big Radio is consolidating operations for its five-station group in Rock County, Wisconsin following the closing of its $5.75 million purchase of country WJVL (99.9) and news/talk WCLO (1230) in Janesville, WI from Bliss Communications.
Prior to picking up the two stations and the Janesville, WI-licensed translator W224DE at 92.7 FM which simulcasts WCLO, Big Radio had three radio properties in the area – rock “105.9 The Hog” WWHG Evansville, WI; “Iron Country” WGEZ (1490) and adult hits “The Beat” WBEL (1380) in Beloit, WI.
The five stations are currently spread out over three locations within the county. Construction begins Nov.1 on new studio space on the fifth floor of the former Parker Pen headquarters at One Parker Place in Janesville, IL. The new location will include seven new broadcast studios, along with news and productions facilities.
“I’m very much looking forward to having everyone in Janesville/Beloit under one roof,” owner Benjamin Thompson said in a web posting on WCLO.com.
WCLO and WJVL will relocate from the Janesville Gazette building to the new location. Big Radio’s purchase of the stations also included two daily newspapers, The Janesville Gazette and The Eagle Herald in Marinette, WI, as well as three weekly community newspapers – The Janesville Messenger, The Wisconsin/Illinois Stateline News and Walworth County Shopper Advertiser.
WWHG and WBEL are already located within the building, with studios and office space on the fourth floor. They will head upstairs once construction is complete, with a target date to move-in of early 2020.
WGEZ will maintain its office and studio facilities in Beloit and originate some broadcasts from a satellite studio in the new Janesville facility.
Big Radio also owns oldies “The Big FM 93.7” WBGR and “Classic Big Country AM 1260” WEKZ in Monroe, WI; “Kickin' Country K-92” WFPS and “Genuine Country 1570” WFRL in Freeport, IL; and classic rock “Q-102” WQLF in Lena, IL.