News-Gazette Media's radio operations return to their roots

News-Gazette Media's radio operations return to their roots


WDWS, named for its founder, David William Stevick, began life on Jan. 24, 1937. In the beginning, WDWS was a 100-watt, daytime-only station that broadcast from studios located on the second floor of The News-Gazette Building at 48 Main St., C.

The transmitting tower was located just off the corner of Neil Street and Kirby Avenue in Champaign.

In 1948, the station and tower were moved to the corner of Neil and Windsor. In 1961, the power was increased to its current 1,000 watts.

Sister station, WDWS-FM, was licensed in 1964 and took to the airwaves in December 1948 as 27,000-watt station. In 1971, the power was increased to its current 50,000 watts. The call letters were changed on Nov. 1, 1988, to WHMS in honor of Helen Marie Stevick, spouse of WDWS founder and mother of the station's then owner, Marajen Stevick Chinigo. WHMS is located on the FM Dial at 97.5. WHMS is popularly known as Lite Rock 97.5.

For over 22 years, WKIO was an iconic radio station and a leader in the Champaign-Urbana entertainment arena, then went away. However, in 2013, WKIO saw its rebirth, with a different corporation.

In 2017, our radio operations relocated from their former building at 2301 S. Neil St. to our downtown offices at 15 Main St. with new studios with the latest technology. With this move, all business that fall under the News-Gazette Media umbrella are all under one roof.

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