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WCSJ staying on local airwaves

AM station could someday change frequency, add power

Grundy County Broadcasters is working on a partnership that could someday result in a change in WCSJ-AM 1550's frequency, but would not eliminate either WCSJ AM nor FM 103.1 from the local airwaves.

Larry Nelson, Grundy County Broadcasters president, and Sovereign City Radio Services, have applied to the Federal Communications Commission to assign Grundy's WCSJ-AM 1550 station and Sovereign's WZRK 1550 to a new joint company – GS Radio of Illinois, LLC.

Sovereign City Radio Services WZRK 1550 is out of Lake Geneva, Wis., and currently is a silent station. Once the companies combine, the ultimate goal is to take WZRK out of Wisconsin and into the Chicago market, specifically in McHenry, Cook or Lake county.

Since both stations cannot be on 1550 AM in the Chicagoland area, WCSJ's 1550 frequency will have to be moved or canceled. The plan is to move WCSJ's frequency to 1560 AM, but all of this could be years in the making.

"With the FCC, it could take one to five years," Nelson said Friday. "WCSJ 1550 would be moved up one frequency and increase our power, but 103.1 is not involved in the equation at all."

Once the Wisconsin station receives the Chicago market frequency, GS Radio of Illinois plans to sell the station, according to the agreement, and both parties would "share the gains."

Nelson said its a win-win all around because the "Voice of Grundy County" will not be going anywhere and the programming will reach even more listeners with its AM frequency at 1560. WCSJ AM 1550 and FM 103.1 stations are currently simulcast.

If the FCC does not approve the application to form GS Radio of Illinois, nothing will change with Grundy County's local stations, Nelson said.

WCSJ applied to the FCC to become part of GS Radio of Illinois on July 15. The agreement between the Grundy County company and Sovereign City Radio Services was signed March 23.

Under the agreement, both Grundy County Broadcasters and Sovereign City Radio Services will contribute $10,000 to GS Radio of Illinois.

Just as WCSJ FM 103.1 will remain untouched, so will the remainder of Nelson's stations, including 95.7 WJDK, which is also popular in Morris.

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