City Zion, Illinois
Broadcast area Lake County, IL Kenosha County, WI
Frequency 1500 kHz
First air date September 19, 1967
Format Spanish
Power 250 watts day
2 watts night
Class D
Facility ID 49293
Transmitter coordinates 42°27′19″N 87°54′3″W / 42.45528°N 87.90083°W / 42.45528; -87.90083Coordinates: 42°27′19″N 87°54′3″W / 42.45528°N 87.90083°W / 42.45528; -87.90083
Former callsigns WDDZ (1998-2001)
WTAU (1996-1998)
WKGA (1987-1996)
WRJR (1984-1987)
WNIZ (1983-1984)
WKZN (197?-1983)
WZBN (1967-197?)
Owner Polnet Communications, Ltd.
Sister stations WKTA, WEEF, WNVR

WPJX 1500 is an AM radio station, licensed to Zion, Illinois, that has aired a Spanish format since February 2011. The station is owned by Polnet Communications, who also owns WKTA Evanston, WNVR Vernon Hills, and WEEF Highland Park-Deerfield. The station transmits with a directional 250 watts of power from 3 towers located on the corner of Delany Road and 21st Street near Wadsworth, Illinois. The station's daytime signal serves northern Lake County, Illinois and Kenosha County, Wisconsin. WPJX was licensed to operate during daytime hours only until May 2009 when it began broadcasting 24 hours a day with a power of 250 watts daytime and 2 watts nighttime.


The station first began broadcasting on September 19, 1967, and originally held the callsign WZBN.[1] The station was originally owned by the Zion-Benton Broadcasting Company.[1]

The station has had several formats over the years, which have included Latin Jazz, sports talk (ESPN Radio), Classical, Classic Country, Gospel, and Adult Contemporary. The station was once co-owned with WKZN 96.9 (later WNIZ and now WWDV) and had studios in downtown Zion when they were co-owned.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s the station aired an MOR-Adult Contemporary format and held the callsign WKZN, simulcasting the programming of WKZN-FM 96.9.[2][3]

In 1983, the station's callsign was changed to WNIZ, and the station began airing a Classical music format, simulcasting the programming of its sister stations WNIZ 96.9 and WNIB 97.1.[4][5] In 1984, Lake County Broadcasting Co. purchased the station from Northern Illinois Broadcasting Co. for $200,000.[6] On December 1, 1984, the station's callsign was changed to WRJR.[7]

On December 1, 1987, the station's callsign was changed to WKGA.[7] As WKGA, the station aired a Spanish music format and was branded "Radio Borinquen".[8]

On June 24, 1996, the station's callsign was changed to WTAU.[7] As WTAU, the station aired a Regional Mexican format as "La Mexicana", simulcasting with 1300 WTAQ. WTAU and WTAQ were both owned by Lotus Communications Corporation at this time.[9]

In July 1998, the station became an affiliate of Radio Disney along with its sister station WTAQ.[10] On December 3, 1998, the station's callsign was changed to WDDZ.[7] The station continued to simulcast Radio Disney with its sister station WRDZ until it was taken off the air in January 2000.

Between 2000 and 2002 the station spent much of its time off the air while its previous owner ABC Radio was working on selling it off. On May 16, 2001, the station's callsign was changed to WPJX.[7] A short-lived LMA to the owners of WBJX Racine, WI (now WJTI) brought the station back on the air for a short period in the spring and summer of 2001 simulcasting WBJX and airing its own Regional Mexican music from the Shiloh Mall in downtown Zion. The station then signed off the air until spring 2002 with occasional "tests" to keep the license going with easy listening music in the fall of 2001. It returned to the air permanently in spring 2002 first with its previous format, a simulcast of Radio Disney station WRDZ La Grange.

In 2002, Multicultural Broadcasting of Chicago, Inc. purchased the station from ABC, Inc. for $70,000.[11][12] Under Multicultural's ownership it aired a mixture of oldies and classic country.

In 2006, Polnet bought the station from Multicultural Broadcasting for $230,000.[13][14] When Polnet bought the station, the format was changed to a feed of Radio Fórmula. On February 11, 2009, Radio Fórmula was replaced by the Hard rock/Heavy metal format "Rebel Radio". "Rebel Radio" was replaced by a syndicated Spanish format in mid-February 2011.[15]


  1. 1 2 John R. Ghrist, "Valley Voices: A Radio History", Crossroads Communications, May 1, 1996
  2. "Illinois Media", Midwest Newsclip, Inc., (1982). p. 169
  3. "Stations, everywhere: a listeners' guide to the AM and FM bands", Chicago Tribune Magazine. March 4, 1979. p. 37. Accessed August 8, 2015
  4. Call Letters - Grants, Broadcasting, August 8, 1983. p. 80. Accessed August 8, 2015
  5. "Illinois Media '84/'85", Midwest Newsclip, (1984). p. 143
  6. For the Record - Ownership Changes, Broadcasting, August 13, 1984. pp. 74-75 Accessed August 8, 2015
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Call Sign History, fcc.gov. Accessed August 7, 2015
  8. "Chicagoland Radio Waves: Your Complete Guide to Local Radio", Media Ties, Summer 1988. Accessed August 7, 2015
  9. "Group Ownership", Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook, (1997) A-121. Accessed August 10, 2015
  10. "Getting Kids To Listen", Chicago Tribune, August 21, 1998. Accessed August 7, 2015
  11. Consent to Assignment, fcc.gov, July 24, 2002. Accessed August 7, 2015
  12. Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement, fcc.gov, May 9, 2002. Accessed August 7, 2015
  13. Consent to Assignment, fcc.gov, March 21, 2006. Accessed August 7, 2015
  14. Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement, fcc.gov, November 10, 2005. Accessed August 7, 2015
  15. "Rebel Radio Rides Again", Chicagoland Radio and Media, February 27, 2011. Accessed August 8, 2015
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