On 2/1 NextMedia’s News-Talk WKRS-AM Waukegan, IL will shift to ESPN Radio’s all-Spanish format. The 1000-watt station, serving Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, will have ESPN Deportes Radio’s weekday lineup that currently offers a Spanish-language “Sports Center,” the “Jorge Ramos y su Banda” talk show and a look ahead to the next World Cup, “Destino Brasil 2014.” ESPN Deportes Radio has 45 affiliates in the US.
WKRS most recently has been a mix of local programming and syndicated shows with hosts such as Jim Bohannon, Dave Ramsey and Laura Ingraham. WKRS aired all Lake County, IL Fielders independent baseball games in 2011 and 2010.
Local programming leaving the station includes the morning shows “Wake Up with Jerry & Nick” and ‘The Lenny Palmer Show” and afternoon host Paul Lepek, as well as some weekend shows such as “Weekend Sports Report with Les Grobstein” and a talk show with local broadcasting great Jack Taylor. Some programs, such as Lenny Palmer’s local show and Jim Bohannon’s syndicated show, already air on Kenosha sister-station WLIP-AM 1050, which also covers much of Lake County. Jerry & Nick also have a weekend show on WLIP-AM and could see additional air time on that station, as could other talk shows from WKRS-AM.
Said Karl Wertzler, GM for NextMedia’s four stations in Waukegan and Kenosha in a statement: “The ESPN brand reaches the heart of the Hispanic male demographic of 21-49. With compelling 24-hour sports talk in Spanish language, ESPN Deportes 1220 fills a need in Lake County that has been growing over the last decade. According to the 2010 Census, the Hispanic/Latino population of Waukegan was 53.4%. We are thrilled about the partnership and the new opportunities it brings to the table.”