|City||Union Grove, Wisconsin|
|Broadcast area||Southeast Wisconsin - Northern Illinois|
|Branding||95 WIIL Rock|
|Slogan||"The Rock Station"|
|First air date||December 22, 1962 (as WLIP-FM)|
|HAAT||117 meters (384 ft)|
|Call sign meaning||WIsconsin and ILlinois|
|Former call signs||WLIP-FM (1961–1978)|
|Owner||Alpha Media |
(Alpha Media Licensee LLC)
|Sister stations||WLIP, WRXQ|
WIIL (95.1 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Union Grove, Wisconsin. The station serves Kenosha (its original city of license), Racine, the southern suburbs of Milwaukee and the northern suburbs of Chicago. WIIL is owned and operated by Alpha Media and airs an active rock radio format.
The call letters stand for Wisconsin and Illinois for its dual-state coverage area. The station is branded as "95 WIIL Rock," with "WIIL" pronounced on air the same as 'will.' The station has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 50,000 watts, the maximum output for the region in which it operates. The studios, offices and transmitter are off Green Bay Road (Wisconsin Highway 31) at 85th Street in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
Beautiful Music WLIP-FM
On December 22, 1962, the station signed on as WLIP-FM, licensed to Kenosha. It was owned by William Lipman, with the first letters of his last name used in the station's call sign. WLIP-FM was powered at only 4,000 watts, a fraction of its current output. The station simulcast co-owned AM 1050 WLIP. After a few years, the simulcast ended and WLIP-FM began running its own music programming from 6 a.m. to midnight, offering a beautiful music format.
In the mid-1970s, WLIP-FM began playing Progressive Rock in the evenings, and was known as "Rock 95 LIP-FM". By 1978, the station had converted to a fulltime album oriented rock (AOR) format and changed its call letters to WJZQ.
Top 40 WJZQ
The station returned to mainstream top 40 by late 1991/early 1992. The transition to "Power 95" was marked by day-long stunting. The station played a continuous loop of "The Power" by Snap!, for 24 hours without interruption or explanation.
In September 1992, the call letters changed to WIIL, using the moniker "95 WIIL ROCK" with a classic rock format. For a short period in the summer of 2003, WIIL was renamed "95.1 The Rock Station", but returned to "95 WIIL Rock" not long after.
In 2000, the NextMedia Group acquired 95.1 WIIL and 1050 WLIP. In 2004, WIIL shifted in an Active Rock direction, while continuing to report to radio trade publications as a Mainstream Rock station. In November 2009, the station officially changed to active rock status.
Switch to Union Grove
In April 2010, the station received Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval to change its city of license from Kenosha to Union Grove. That technically put the station in Racine County, and outside Kenosha County. This was to allow then-owner NextMedia Group to stay within ownership caps with its Chicago cluster. Kenosha County is classified as being within the Chicago radio market by Arbitron/Nielsen Audio while Racine County is within the Milwaukee radio market. Moving the city of license to Union Grove placed WIIL within the Milwaukee Nielsen ratings service market.
The actual location of the transmitter and studios were not changed. They remain in Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County.
Changes in Ownership
In 2013, Florida-based Digity Media acquired the NextMedia Group, including WIIL and sister station 1050 WLIP.
In 2015, Alpha Media spent $264 million to acquire the 116 radio stations of Digity Media, including the NextMedia Group. That put WIIL and WLIP, its AM sister station, under Alpha Media ownership.
AugustFest was a music festival created and produced by Lakeside Productions, Inc, and sponsored by WIIL. It was held in August 2007 and 2008 at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake, Illinois. The all-day festival featured two stages and multiple bands.
The 2008 AugustFest took place on August 9. This iteration featured performances from Shinedown, P.O.D., Filter, Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry as headliners, with 12 Stones performing on a second stage.
The WIIL Rock Fest is an annual music festival produced and sponsored by FM Entertainment, 95 WIIL Rock and Route 20 Outhouse in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. The 2012 WIIL Rock Fest was held on August 11 and featured performances by All That Remains, Saving Abel, 10 Years, Fear Factory, Static-X, Black Stone Cherry, and Shadows Fall and others.
The 2013 WIIL Rock Fest was held on August 24 and featured a partial lineup of Volbeat, HIM, Airbourne, Nonpoint, Trapt, Hurt, SOiL, Red Line Chemistry, and Smile Empty Soul. There was no 2014 Rock Fest.
The 2015 WIIL Rock Fest was held at Franksville Memorial Park in Racine County, Wisconsin. Performing bands included Hollywood Undead, Pop Evil, Royal Bliss, We Are Harlot, Saint Asonia, Red Sun Rising, Starset, Devour the Day, Texas Hippie Coalition, Aranda, Butcher Babies, Failure Anthem and Psychostick.
- WIIL Website
- Lake County Journal
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WIIL
- Radio-Locator information on WIIL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WIIL