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Radio station moves to Wheaton, promises DuPage County coverage

Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 3:30 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:46 a.m. CDT

When listening to radio news in the suburbs, the lead stories often revolve around the city of Chicago.

However, a station that just moved to Wheaton is hoping to change the conversation to DuPage County.

AM 1530 WCKG recently opened a studio near downtown Wheaton as part of its effort to cover local communities.

"I've lived and worked out here my whole life," said station general manager Matt Dubiel. "And on the news at 10, it's all about what Rahm Emanuel did, even though Rahm Emanuel doesn't have anything to do with us."

Known for its syndicated "Mancow's Morning Madness" and "Dan Patrick" shows, Dubiel said he plans to gradually fill the airwaves with county-specific news.

The effort will start in January with the station's "Best of the 'Burbs" program, in which WCKG's regular shows will be interspersed with vignettes about local businesses, community-specific news and interviews with area personalities.

"We just want to talk to people in the community. Every person that runs a business or a church or a club can come talk about it and don't have to pay," he said. "That's the point of a radio station."

From there, Dubiel said, the station hopes to expand to offer shows featuring county and community news, starting on the weekends and during the lunch hour.

WCKG's move to Wheaton, the county seat, reflects the station's desire to entrench itself in the area, he said.

Financial planner Terry Heafey, of Palos Heights, co-hosts one of the station's two existing local shows, "Wealth Essentials Radio." He and fellow host Randy Barcella, a real estate appraiser, answer financial questions from DuPage County residents. Heafey said a rapport with local listeners is key, especially in the world of personal finance.

"On the radio, we can pull back the curtain a little bit," he said. "It's an avenue where we are allowed to cut through the noise and provide clarity on an individualized basis."

Dubiel said the station would slowly but surely embrace community radio.

"If there's a local baker who has really good cookies in Wheaton, she can come on and talk about that," he said. "There's Omega Restaurant in Downers Grove that's been there since I was 3 and is a heritage restaurant in Downers Grove. Every town has something like that, but we only hear news from the city."

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To learn more

To contact WCKG, visit www.dupageradio.com.

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