|Broadcast area||Chicago metropolitan area|
|Frequency||106.3 FM (MHz) (HD Radio)|
|First air date||August 28, 1961|
|HAAT||121 meters (397 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||W Soul R&B|
|Former callsigns||WLNR (1961-1991)|
|Affiliations||Premiere; ABC Long Forms|
|Owner||Crawford Broadcasting Co. |
WSRB (106.3 MHz) is an urban Adult Contemporary radio station serving the Chicago metropolitan area and Northwest Indiana. It is licensed to the Southland suburb of Lansing, Illinois, and transmits within that city from a tower along the north side of the Kingery Expressway. The station is owned by Crawford Broadcasting and its studios are in Hammond, Indiana.
The station began broadcasting on August 28, 1961 as WLNR, which stood for "West Lansing Near Railroad". It aired a full service format playing Middle of the road (MOR) music, including pop standards and easy listening. In the 1970s, talk programming would begin to occupy more of the station's schedule, with religious programming airing in overnights. From 1973 to 1985, the station was home to the Warren Freiberg - Libby Collins Show, which would later be heard on WCGO in Chicago Heights, Illinois and WTAS in Crete, Illinois. The Station was purchased by Johnson Publishing Company in 1985. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the station aired a Soft urban contemporary format branded "Soft Touch", which was simulcast on its sister station AM 950 WJPC.
On March 11, 1991, WLNR relaunched as "J106". On April 15, 1991, the station's callsign would be changed to WJPC-FM, which stood for Johnson Publishing Company, the station's owner at the time. This would give the station the same callsign as its sister station, AM 950 WJPC. The stations continued to simulcast and aired an Urban AC format, and competed against WVAZ (though WJPC-AM would break off from the simulcast and flip to a rap-heavy urban contemporary format in July 1992).
In June 1994, Broadcast Partners, which owned WVAZ, acquired WJPC AM/FM from Johnson Publishing. The new owners changed the callsign to WEJM-FM, and flipped formats to a Rap-heavy Urban contemporary format as "106 Jamz" on June 19, as well as effectively returning the stations to a full-time simulcast. This placed the stations in competition with the market's Urban contemporary leader WGCI. Their AM simulcast partner would also change call letters to WEJM. Broadcast Partners would later merge with Evergreen Media in July 1995. In March 1997, due to several mergers which put Evergreen over federally-mandated ownership limits, WEJM-FM was sold to Crawford Broadcasting, who would change the station's format to Urban Gospel in April, though its simulcast partner WEJM 950 (which was sold to Personal Achievement Radio) would continue to air the Urban/Rap format for several months after until it flipped to sports talk as a station of the One-on-One Sports Network on August 28th.
During this time, WYBA aired Urban Gospel music and brokered religious programming as "Your Born Again Gospel Station". On December 1, 1999, the station's branding was changed to "Power 106", and the brokered religious programming that aired on the station were moved to sister stations WYCA and WYAA, giving 106.3 a full-time Urban Gospel format. The call letters were changed from to WYCA in 2001 after WYCA (then at 92.3 FM) dropped its longtime Gospel/brokered Christian format in favor of Urban Contemporary. The call letters WYBA were moved to 102.3.
WSRB was the home to the syndicated Love, Lust and Lies with Michael Baisden. It was also the home to the Steve Harvey morning show until August 1, 2007. On March 25, 2009, rival WVAZ dropped The Tom Joyner Morning Show in favor of Harvey's. But on April 22, 2009, WSRB brought Joyner back.
Until June 2010, "Soul 106.3 FM" had a synchronous sister station, WYRB, airing on the same frequency and serving Rockford and DeKalb, Illinois. WYRB dropped out of the simulcast in June 2010 and adopted a standalone "Rhythmic" format under the name "Power 106.3". Soul 106.3 continues to air on 106.3 HD2.
On November 1, 2010, WSRB dropped its Urban AC format for Talk under the banner "Real Radio." Joyner and Baisden were retained under the new format due to their shows being less music and more talk, and they were joined by Dave Ramsey and Warren Ballentine throughout the day. The station continued to play Adult R&B music, but during the late evenings and weekends.
In August 2011, WSRB dropped the name "Real Radio" and switched back to calling itself "Soul 106-3," but the programming was initially unchanged.
In 2014, the station dropped the D.L. Hughley syndicated afternoon show after only a year. (Hughley replaced Michael Baisden in many markets in 2013.)
In late 2016, WSRB dropped the "Soul 106-3" branding, and is simply referred to as "106-3" or sometimes "106-3 Chicago." Under the name brand change, it skewed its urban adult contemporary format to include classic hip hop in addition to R&B and soul music. In June 2017, the station dropped the Tom Joyner Morning Show in favor of a local morning drive hosted by Mike Love.
- 1971 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1971. p. B-65. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2015-12-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Stations By Format", Billboard. October 16, 1965. p. 62. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
- "Stations, everywhere: a listeners' guide to the AM and FM bands", Chicago Tribune Magazine. March 4, 1979. p. 37. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
- The Morning Mom and Pop Talk Show Osinchak, Sue. Radio Chicago. (p. 20-21) Winter 1990. Accessed January 11, 2014
- Zorn, Eric. "Radio Host Fired For TV Antics", Chicago Tribune. May 23, 1985. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- WLNR FM 106.3 Radio Chicago. Fall 1989. (p. 43) Accessed January 4, 2014.
- WLNR FM 106.3 Radio Chicago. (p. 54) Spring 1991. Accessed January 4, 2014
- Chicagoland Radio Waves, MediaTies. Summer 1988 & Spring/Summer 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- "Quiet Storm Sweeps Black Radio", Billboard. October 4, 1986. p. 90. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- Call Sign History fcc.gov. Accessed January 4, 2014
- "Changing Hands", Broadcasting & Cable. June 20, 1994. p. 31. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
- Heise, Kenan. "Isadore Pink, WEJM Rap Deejay Pinkhouse", Chicago Tribune. November 08, 1996. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- Mowatt, Raoul V."Hip-hop jump-starts urban radio battle", Chicago Tribune. April 18, 2002. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
- WEJM sale signals move of rap format Feder, Robert. Chicago Sun-Times. March 12, 1997. Accessed January 12, 2014
- Hirsley, Michael. "Sports Radio Network Muscles Into Mix", Chicago Tribune. August 29, 1997. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- "The Shepherd's Guide" Eighth Edition. 1998. (p. 118-119)
- Radio station spreads gospel round the clock Feder, Robert. Chicago Sun-Times. December 2, 1999. Accessed January 12, 2014
- Call Sign History fcc.gov. Accessed January 12, 2014
- Tuesday, 09.30.03 DJHeadlines.com. September 30, 2003. Accessed January 8, 2014
- WSRB-FM Changes Back To 'Soul 106.3' Chicagoland Radio and Media. August 16. 2011. Accessed January 4, 2014
- Official website
- Owner Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WSRB
- Radio-Locator information on WSRB
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WSRB