fixture on the Sheboygan County radio landscape for the past 64 years, 1420 AM The Breeze in Plymouth has found a new lease on life under the local ownership of Galaxie Broadcasting.
The wheels of the ownership transfer were set into motion shortly after station owner Jubilation Ministries merged with The Family Radio Network of Appleton in early 2017.
After The Family Radio Network made WJUB-The Breeze available for sale, Galaxie Broadcasting owners David Hendrickson and Stuart Muck agreed to purchase the station, along with the current building and property that houses the studio and offices in Plymouth on May 30, 2017.
The purchase agreement was submitted to the FCC for approval in early fall and the deal became official on December 28, 2017.
The station originally signed on as WPLY in 1954 and has operated in a variety of formats over the years, including Country and Western in the 1960s and Rock ‘n Roll oldies in the 1980s. After purchasing the station in 1991, Jubilation Ministries introduced a Christian programming format, along with WJUB call letters, and later 91.3FM WSTM to its station offerings.
Hendrickson, who has been a fixture at a station since January 2003, when he was hired to launch The Breeze’s Adult Standards music format, is thrilled for the opportunity to keep the tradition-rich station alive under the Sheboygan County-based Galaxie Broadcasting ownership banner.
“To have the chance at keeping a very important, heritage radio station on the air and under local ownership was very motivating,” Hendrickson said. “The radio landscape has changed dramatically in recent years and we felt pursuing this was the right thing for us to do. Although it was never discussed, the possibility was real that a station that has been part of the community for more than 60 years could just go away with no prospect to come back. We did not want that to happen.”
Muck, who also has been involved at WJUB-The Breeze since 2003 in an engineering capacity, feels strongly about the endearing viability of local AM radio.
“Growing up on a dairy farm just west of Shawano, I clearly remember the first thing we did when we got out to the barn in the morning was turn on the local AM radio station,” Muck said. “That was an automatic because we heard everything we needed to know from that station. I am excited about playing a part in keeping that tradition alive in Sheboygan County.”
Loyal Breeze listeners can look forward to more of what they enjoy about the station, along with a few new wrinkles in the coming months.
“The Breeze has a loyal following and has carved out a niche in the Sheboygan radio market and we expect many things about the radio station to remain exactly as they are,” Hendrickson said. “However, we have a number of things planned to help expand both our listenership and the coverage area of the station. Some of those plans will be announced in the next few months. It’s also our hope to grow the station internally, expanding our staff and our presence in Sheboygan County. While we are licensed to Plymouth, the station really serves all of the local area, including Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls, Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Elkhart Lake and Kohler.”
Along with local news, weather, sports and community-based programming, including agricultural news from the Wisconsin Farm Report, 1420AM The Breeze features an adult standards music format showcasing classic songs from the “Great American Songbook” and the timeless vocal talents of such icons as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald, as well as 21st Century performers including Michael Buble and Diana Krall.
The Breeze broadcasts all Plymouth High School home and away football games and has joined the Marquette University Golden Eagles Radio Network as a game broadcast partner for the 2017-18 NCAA men’s college basketball season.
“We really have two overriding goals when it comes to the radio station,” Hendrickson said. “We want to be appealing to an adult audience that has an appreciation for great music and we want to serve our local community when it comes to news coverage and when it comes to things that happen day to day here in Sheboygan County.
“Despite an overwhelming number of entertainment options, radio remains very, very strong,” he said. “We believe there will always be a place for local, hometown radio stations like 1420 AM The Breeze. Stuart and I would like to invite anyone who hasn’t heard the radio station before to put their radio on 1420 AM or to go to the station website and listen online. Give it a listen. We hope you like what you hear.”