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City of license Bloomington, Illinois
Broadcast area Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
Slogan "The Voice of McLean County"
Frequency 1230 kHz
First air date 1925
Format News/Talk
Power 1000 watts
Class C
Callsign meaning "Where Jazz Becomes Classic" (old format)
Affiliations CBS News
Owner Regent Broadcasting
Sister stations WBNQ, WBWN, WJEZ, WTRX-FM
Webcast Listen Live

WJBC (1230 AM) is a radio station based in the twin cities of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.

The station began broadcasting from La Salle, Illinois in 1925. Its call letters were apparently assigned arbitrarily during the AM radio expansion era of the 1920s. The station was initially music-oriented, and for a while it adopted the backronym slogan "Where Jazz Becomes Classic."

In 1934 the station moved about 60 miles straight south, to the Twin Cities area. At first it was only on the air a few hours a day at first, with eight daily newscasts, weather twice a day, and the Western Union time announced at the top of each hour.[1]

On the morning of August 25, 1971, the station broadcast the last radio program of the Reverend R.J. Zehr, who died later that morning. Zehr's first broadcast on the station was on a Sunday in October 1934; shortly thereafter, he was given a daily slot, which he continued - without missing a day - until the mid-1960s. Almost all of Zehr’s broadcasts were live, not prerecorded. In 1949, he began doing the program from his house, via telephone. His program’s time slot varied over the years, but normally aired between 5:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., and lasted 15 to 30 minutes.[2]

In 2005, the station won the Marconi Award from the National Association of Broadcasters for Best Small Market Radio Station in the United States.[3]

In 2006, Janae Jontry, the station manager, said a focus on localism differentiated WJBC from most of the competition. Part of a five-station cluster owned by Regent Communications, WJBC was the only AM station of the group. It had five full-time news people and an agribusiness director.[1]

The station currently calls itself "The Voice of McLean County".





  • Dara Brockmeyer
  • Steve Fast
  • Greg Halbleib
  • Scott Laughlin
  • R.C. McBride
  • Carrie Muehling
  • Colleen Reynolds
  • Ron Ross
  • Eric Stock
  • Beth Whisman
  • Dick Luedke
  • Mike Matthews
  • Zach Parcell
  • Jim Fitzpatrick
  • Stephanie Pawlowski


  • Denny Adkins
  • Bob Arya
  • Bones Bach
  • Ken Behrens
  • Nancy Blair
  • Mike Bradd
  • Jim Browne
  • Adam "Cha-Cha" Chandler
  • Elizabeth Estes Cooper
  • Sarah Curtis
  • Mark Dennis
  • Paul Dunn
  • Jim Durham
  • Karen Erks
  • Lee Hall
  • Cameron D. James
  • Mark Johnson
  • Willis Kern
  • Art Kimball
  • Gene Lyle
  • Don Munson
  • Lori Nelson
  • Don Newberg
  • Royal Norman
  • Don Norton
  • Howard Packowitz
  • L.P. Phillips
  • Scott Robbins
  • Daune Robinson
  • Stew Salowitz
  • Art Sechrest
  • Alan Sender
  • Harvey J. Steele
  • Dan Swaney
  • Dick Templeton
  • Steve Vogel
  • Bill Walberg
  • Larry Whittaker
  • John Fitzgerald
  • L.A. Decker


  1. ^ a b Ken R., "Bloomington's WJBC: Life Begins at 80", Radio World Magazine online, May 24, 2006
  2. ^ Bill Kemp, "Pastor's voice was heard loudly on WJBC", The Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL), July 21, 2007
  3. ^ "2005 Marconi Radio Award Winners", National Association of Broadcasters, retrieved April 14, 2008

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