KANE COUNTY HISTORY: Waxing Nostalgic on WGSB, WFXW
- Editor’s Note: This article is part of a weekly series written by representatives of Kane County historical societies and history museums. Today’s article was submitted by Terry Emma, executive director of the Geneva History Museum.
WGSB was a radio station for the Tri-Cities from 1961 to 2001 at 1480 on the AM dial. The call letters stood for Geneva, St. Charles and Batavia, but their jingle advertised it as “Where Good Sounds Begin.”
The station began broadcasting from St. Charles and featured various music genres, news and listener participation. WGSB also specialized in broadcasting remotely from local events, including high school games.
In its early years, the station sold 30-second advertising spots for $1.75.
Two famous Chicago personalities owned the station. The Cubs announcer, Jack Brickhouse, acquired the station in 1972, and in 1980 it was purchased by Howard Miller, an outspoken radio talk show host. Miller changed the call letters to WFXW after an unsuccessful attempt to obtain the call letters WFOX in reference to the Fox River Valley.
In the 1980s, the broadcast center moved to 7 Richards Street in Geneva, at the corner of State and Richards Streets. The station had a contemporary music format along with several hours of news and public service. Unfortunately, this radio station declined due to lack of local listeners, competition of FM stations and the introduction of other digital sources. WFXW aired its last show on March 20, 2001.
Learn more about this radio station at the Geneva History Museum, 113 South Third Street, at noon on Tuesday, March 13 when a panel of former radio employees share their stories and by visiting our new feature exhibition “In Other Words … A History of Communication in Geneva” now open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Visit www.GenevaHistoryMuseum.org for more information.
About The Geneva History Museum
The Geneva History Museum is a non-profit organization started in 1943 by volunteers in the community that saw a need to preserve the town’s history. Today the museum offers multiple award-winning exhibits, educational programs, cutting-edge research, and dedicated volunteers, continue to make the Geneva History Museum a source of great community pride.
Read The Kane County History Series!
- Kane County History: 1850-1925 — When Penmanship Was Mightier Than The Sword
- Kane County History: St. Charles Museum Site — From Serving Gas To Preserving History
- Kane County History: Elgin Puts 3,500 Priceless Photos Online
- Kane County History: Batavia-Inspired Miniatures Thrilled a Nation
- Kane County History: Aurora’s Maud Powell, World Famous Violinist