WTAX History

WTAXHistoryWTAX began in Streator, Illinois in 1923 as a project of Williams Hardware Company. The Department of Commerce distributed the call letters and some say WTAX refers to the tacks the hardware store sold.

WTAX started out with 50 watts. Today it is 1,000 watts. Jay Johnson brought WTAX to Springfield in 1930. WTAX took air in a new home on October 31st, 1930. The station was housed in the Abraham Lincoln Hotel and at the time, shared the 1210 position on the dial with WCBS.

The station later moved into the Reisch Building. On March 29, 1941, the Federal Communications Commission realigned much of the broadcast dial and WTAX moved from 1210AM to 1240AM.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editor Oliver Keller bought WTAX in 1943. WTAX moved into new studios at 710 Dirksen Parkway in 1948. Later, Shelby Harbison purchased WTAX and now it’s owned by Saga Communications. WTAX moved to its current studios on Sangamon Avenue in early 1997.

WTAX became a CBS affiliate in 1943. It was one of the first stations to participate in a national network reporting returns of the 1952 Presidential Election using the Univac computer. A year later, WTAX carried the first live broadcast of the Illinois General Assembly.

WTAX was one of the early radio stations to carry live action sports with the University of Illinois football games and coverage of the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals baseball games.


Recent Headlines

12 hours ago in Local

Public Not Allowed at Obama Speech — But Will Be Broadcast Live on WTAX

President Barack Obama signs the Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009 bill into law in the Oval Office of the White House. With President Obama are from left: Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL); Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY); Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA); Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO); Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).
Washington

Where: DC, United States
When: 12 May 2009
Credit: WENN

A spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says the public will not be able to attend when President Barack Obama delivers a speech in the Illinois House chamber on Wednesday.

12 hours ago in Local

State Museum Prepared to Re-Open — If Lawmakers Allow It

2-8-16 Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum can open once again. But State Department of Natural Resources head Wayne Rosenthal says not yet.

12 hours ago in Local

Davis Proposes FAA, Air Traffic Control Operations Changes

2-8-16 Davis

Davis and and a Democratic Congressman are proposing that that Air Traffic Control operations be run by a not-for-profit entity.

12 hours ago in Local

Report: Police Program Helped Man Who Prostituted Teen

police_lights

A newspaper report says a man who's serving 15 years in prison for running an underage prostitution operation did so out of an apartment obtained with the help of the Peoria Police Department.

14 hours ago in Local

Democrats Vying for US Senate Talk Up Experience, Background

I Voted Stickers

The Democrats running for U.S. Senate are working to distinguish themselves from their rivals as they meet for the first time this election season.