Midwest Communications consists of Midwest Communications, Inc. and WRIG, Inc., which collectively own eighty-one (81) radio stations. The Company got its start in Wausau, Wisconsin, with WRIG, Inc. and the acquisition by the D.E. Wright family of a 1400 KHz, 250 watt AM facility from the Wisconsin Valley Television Corporation. The call letters WRIG (for Wright) were assigned and on August 1, 1958, top forty-formatted WRIG signed on the air. Power was increased to 1,000 watts in 1961 and WRIG-FM (now WDEZ) signed on in 1964. Midwest built WROE in Appleton/Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1971. In 1975 Midwest purchased WBAY-AM and FM, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Due to FCC rules at that time, WROE was sold. The Green Bay call letters were changed to WGEE-AM (now WTAQ-AM) and WIXX-FM. The 1980s saw the acquisition by Midwest of KIOA/KMGK, Des Moines, Iowa, WKKQ/WTBX, Hibbing, Minnesota and KLMS/KFMQ, Lincoln, Nebraska. In addition WRIG moved to 1390 KHZ and increased power to 5000 watts day and night.
The 1990s brought radical changes in FCC ownership rules, and Midwest took advantage of the changes by consolidating in the Green Bay-Appleton/Oshkosh and Wausau-Stevens Point markets. The consolidation brought about the sale of the Des Moines, Lincoln and Hibbing stations and the acquisitions of WROE, WOZZ, WLTM (now WZBY), WNCY and WNFL in Green Bay-Appleton/Oshkosh and WSAU, WIFC, WOFM and WIZD in Wausau-Stevens Point. In addition four stations WTVB, WNWN AM/FM and WFAT were acquired in the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Michigan market.
With the beginning of the new millennium, Midwest continued its expansion program with the acquisition of WHBL, WWJR (now WHBZ) and WBFM IN Sheboygan, Wisconsin and WHTC and WYVN in Holland, Michigan as well as the Duluth Minnesota/Superior Wisconsin market stations KDAL AM/FM, KRBR, WDSM, KTCO and KXTP (now WGEE).
On June 30, 2004, Midwest Communications, Inc. acquired an additional six (6) stations in the Hibbing Minnesota market, WNMT, WMFG AM/FM, KMFG, WTBX and WUSZ which will operate in concert with the six (6) stations already owned in the Duluth Minnesota market.
On June 14, 2005 Midwest Communications, Inc. acquired WMGI and WWSY in Terre Haute, Indiana and on December 16, 2005 added WACF and WPRS licensed to Paris, IL to the Terre Haute Indiana market.
On January 6, 2006 Midwest Communications, Inc. expanded in the Sheboygan Wisconsin market with the addition of WXER.
On May 1, 2006 Midwest Communications, Inc. acquired three (3) additional properties in the Kalamazoo, Michigan market, WKZO, WQLR (now WVFM) and WQSN (no longer active).
The company continued to grow when Midwest Communications added stations in the Lansing market. 94.1 FM WVIC, 106.1 FM WJXQ and 92.9 FM WLMI joined the Midwest Communications family in July 2010.
On November 1, 2012, Midwest Communications acquired six additional radio stations in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Those stations included 103.7 FM KRRO, 95.7 FM KQSF, 92.5 FM KTWB, 101.9 FM KELO-FM, 1320 AM KELO-AM and 1230 AM KWSN.
May 1, 2013 saw the acquisition of six more radio properties in Fargo, North Dakota. 101.9 FM KRWK, 104.7 FM KMJO, 93.7 FM WDAY, 740 AM KVOX, 99.9 FM KVOX and 790 AM KFGO “The Mighty 790”.
On September 1, 2014 Midwest Communications expanded to three new markets with the acquisition of stations in the Nashville, Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee and Evansville, Indiana markets. In this acquisition Midwest added nine more radio properties. In Nashville, Tennessee, Midwest acquired 96.3 FM WCJK and 92.9 FM WJXA. In Knoxville, Tennessee, 103.5 FM WIMZ, 97.5 FM WJXB and 95.7 FM WVRX. The Evansville, Indiana stations include 93.5 FM WLFW, 107.5 FM WABX, 96.1 FM WSTO and 104.1 FM WIKY.
On January 1, 2017 Midwest Communications, Inc. added classic rock station 95 KQDS in Duluth, MN. In addition, it added Adult Contemporary 97.9 FM WEVE and Classic Country 96.1 KGPZ (now WDKE) in Hibbing MN. As part of this acquisition, the Company was required to sell Hibbing, MN based KMFG-FM.
On January 30th, 2017, Midwest added Country 99.9 FM, WTHI to its Terre Haute, IN lineup.
WQLR is no longer active as of December 2020.
Midwest Communications, Inc. and its affiliate WRIG, Inc. continue to be owned by the D.E. Wright family and today employ over 700 people throughout the eighty-one (81) station group.
- Duke Wright President CEO 1420 Bellevue StreetGreen Bay, WI 54311 920-435-3771
- Michael Wright Chief Operating Officer 557 Scott StreetWausau, WI 54403 715-842-1672
- Mary Kay Wright Chief Marketing Officer 504 Rosedale AvenueNashville, TN 37211 615-259-4567
- Jeff Wright Chief Sales Officer 1420 Bellevue StreetGreen Bay, WI 54311 920-435-3771
- Paul Rahmlow Chief Financial Officer, Secretary/Treasurer 904 Grand AvenueWausau, WI 54403 715-842-1437
- Peter Tanz Senior Vice President 1420 Bellevue StreetGreen Bay, WI 54311 920-435-3771
- Jeff McCarthy Vice President Programming 1420 Bellevue StreetGreen Bay, WI 54311 920-435-3771
- Maria Haun Vice President Digital Operations 1100 Sharps Ridge Memorial Park DriveKnoxville, TN 37917 865-312-0712
- Esther Gillis Vice President Human Resources 1420 Bellevue StreetGreen Bay, WI 54311 920-435-3771
- Tyson Hinsdill Director of Information Technology 557 Scott StreetWausau, WI 54403 715-842-1672
- Tim Laes Corporate Engineer 1420 Bellevue StreetGreen Bay, WI 54311 920-435-3771