Univision Sells Chicago FM

Latino Mix 103.1 WVIV-FM Chicago Polish National AllianceUnivision has sold half of its Spanish CHR “Latino Mix” simulcast in Chicago to the Polish National Alliance’s Alliance Radio LLC for $5.5 million.

The deal will make 103.1 WVIV-FM Highland Park a sister to Brokered 1490 WPNA Oak Park. One of the conditions of closing is that Univision must complete the move of 93.5 WVIX Joliet to Lemont and the tower site of EMF’s 94.3 WJKL Glendale Heights where it will operate with 3.5kW/133m. The move will create overlap with much of WVIV-FM’s coverage making the need to simulcast moot. That may require a new application and CP as its previous CP was set to expire earlier this week.

2 Comments
  1. Chris Tarr says


    Couple of thoughts…
    First, they did file the license to cover on the 23rd. Showed up with a file number on the 24th. Should be good there.

    Second, what a long road for 93.5. It started out as a very early FM in Joliet, IL (it’s age was the reason it was able to be moved around, it fell under grandfathered spacing rules). Anyway, it was owned by Al Pohlers, and was in mono up until the early 90’s! I managed to see the original (abandoned) studios in Joliet, and they were pretty much a 1950’s time capsule. However, like many suburban stations, it began it’s march in earnest once values went up. First, the station was sold and the antenna moved NE (towards Chicago) to Lockport. Then a few years later the City of License was changed to Lemont (“We’re not changing the transmitter location though!”) and sure enough, now it moves completely away.

    It’s a little sad. Under the Pohlers, it was a quirky little station, then for the rest of it’s life until the move to Lockport it was a locally run and programmed AC station that did very well (I was the PD for a good chunk of time). Anyway, there you go. 🙂

  2. pbchristensen says


    Chris, I’m over a year late in replying but perhaps it’s better late than never. I was employed by WAJP-FM between 1975 and 1980. I was a junior or senior in high school when I was hired by Bob Baudek, station manager.

    I started as an announcer then became its Chief Engineer in 1978. The station switched from monophonic to stereo during November, 1978. I made the transition which consisted of: (1) addition of an Orban Optimod 8000A stereo generator/limiter. This replaced a CBS Volumax 4110; (2) upgraded the RCA BC-7 console to stereo by changing all the mono Daven potentiometers to stereo type. The board was otherwise designed “stereo ready,” so with the addition of a program amp and monitor amp, the console change was relatively easy; (3) added a Belar modulation monitor (RCA labeled FMS-1); (4) changed the control room turntables from Gates CB-77 to Technics SP-10 MKII; (5) replaced the Atlas and Fairchild tone-arms to Audio Technica AT-12P. The existing RCA mono turntable preamps were kept. A second set were purchased from RCA, then a rapidly declining broadcast equipment company. In effect, the preamps were “dual mono” that functioned as stereo. There were some other additions in 1978 but those were the significant changes. The RCA BTE-15 exciter remained the same. Audio performance was extraordinary owing to the simple audio path between source and FM exciter.

    In 1978, Ed Jacker, PE was the station’s consulting engineer. He was a brilliant AM engineer but he was responsible for WAJP’s late arrival into stereo transmission. I recall several telephone conversations where he attempted to derail our effort. I do know he had mistakenly applied AM concepts to FM. For example, he was concerned that the Optimod’s increase in average modulation would stress the FM transmitter. That’s an AM issue — not FM.

    Ed also warned us about an increase in maintenance, mostly relating to stereo tape head tracking which we know was perfectly manageable back in the 1970s. By 1978, ITC’s cart machines could hold tracking reasonably well and even better around 1980 with the ITC 99 ELSA machines. Sadly, not one tape deck in the facility was stereo. Ed won that argument. The Ampex 300, 600 and Presto decks were all mono and were bridged into stereo. That meant all production and cart content were also mono. Only music was broadcast in stereo.

    Much of WAJP-s record album content was mono, dating back to the 1950s. I installed an Orban 222E stereo synthesizer. The input was high-impedance, and bridged the output of one turntable preamp. The 222E’s output was routed to a console input that was shared on the pot with the stereo preamp. Switching between mono and stereo was as easy as flipping the input select key switch.

    I have to salute the PE who reached the conclusion that FM channel separation limits were grandfathered since the station signed-on in 1960, allowing the station to move into a geographic area that makes those of us who once worked there salivate at the thought of a move into the urban suburbs of Chicago. Mind you, nothing would have changed under the Pohlers ownership even if we had undertaken the due-diligence to reach the same conclusion.

    Since working at WAJP, I remained in broadcasting for another decade and worked at WFYR-FM (103.5 FM) in Chicago. That was a long time ago. Today, I am an attorney with a practice in U.S. labor and immigration law. When I hit the career reset button, the button was hit damn hard!

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