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West Suburban WBIG-AM & WRMN-AM Being Sold To New Owner

Radio Shopping Show, Inc. (RSSI), the Elgin, IL-based parent corporation of radio companies which own three radio stations -- two in suburban Chicago and one in Las Vegas -- has agreed to sell its stations and all of its intellectual property to a new buyer for $2 million. The closing is now pending FCC approval.

K. Richard (Rick) Jakle is the owner of RSSI. That corporation owns Big Broadcasting Company, Inc., which in turn owns WBIG-AM/The BIG One AM 1280 in west suburban Aurora, IL. RSSI's Big Broadcasting Company purchased WBIG-AM in 1993. The station has been broadcasting in the Fox Valley area since 1938.

WBIG-AM primarily broadcasts "The Big Radio Shopping Show," a home shopping-style program which Jackle and RSSI developed in 1981. WBIG-AM also broadcasts sports, including the Kane County Cougars baseball games, the Chicago Bears Radio Network, the Chicago Bulls Radio Network, the Chicago White Sox Radio Network, and syndicated programming from FOX Sports Radio. Brokered religious programming is heard on weekend mornings.

RSSI also owns Fox Valley Broadcasting Company, Inc., which in turn owns WRMN-AM/AM 1410 in west suburban Elgin, IL. RSSI's Fox Valley Broadcasting Company purchased WRMN-AM in 2008 (but Jackle was part of the ownership team prior to that and had worked there since he was young). The station has been broadcasting in the Fox Valley area since 1949.

Like sister-station WBIG-AM, WRMN-AM airs mostly "The Radio Shopping Show," along with some sports (including the Schaumburg Boomers baseball) and weekend religious talk.

Along with the two suburban Chicago stations, RSSI owns Las Vegas Radio Co., Inc., the parent company of KSHP-AM in North Las Vegas. That station has been broadcasting since 1954. Like the two Illinois stations, KSHP-AM primarily broadcasts "The Radio Shopping Show," plus local and national sports shows.

Jackle's RSSI has agreed to sell all three stations, as well as the intellectual property of "The Radio Shopping Show" to William H. Pollack's corporations Pollack Broadcasting of Illinois LLC and Pollack Broadcasting of Nevada LLC. Pollack Broadcasting has since formed the corporations Auril Broadcasting LLC (which will own WBIG-AM), Elgin Community Broadcasting LLC (which will own WRMN-AM), and Las Vegas Broadcasting LLC (which will own KSHP-AM). Pollack has also formed Radio Shopping LLC as the parent company of "The Radio Shopping Show" programming and concept.

The agreement, originally signed on August 30th, was updated and amended on October 26th, and submitted in whole to the FCC this week.

Pollack, who is based in Memphis, TN, has placed $100,000 in escrow and will pay the $1,900,000 balance in cash at closing. The closing date will be within ten days of the final FCC approval of the transaction.

Pollack does have ownership in ten other radio or television stations in four states, but none currently in Illinois or Nevada.

With the conclusion of this transaction, Jakle will retire from radio after over 50 years of working in it. Said Jakle in a statement: "The greatest privilege in my professional life was coming to WRMN as a young 24-year old broadcaster in 1966. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to build and operate great local radio facilities and I am proud to have created and developed the Radio Shopping Show concept 34 years ago. None of what we have accomplished would have been possible without my team of dedicated broadcasters. If there's any secret to our success -- simply stated, it's our remarkable people."

Pollack stated: "The acquisition of Mr. Jakle's three heritage radio stations is exciting enough. However, the opportunity to acquire stations long operated by Rick Jakle's passionate and talented professional staff is truly this broadcaster's dream come true. 50 years is quite an impressive legacy. Our goal is to build upon Mr. Jakle and his team's years of success achieved through an honest determination to proudly serve their markets; an honorable broadcaster's legacy we will always uphold."

AirTime Media's Tim Disa, Sr. served as the sole broker in the transaction between Jackle and Pollack's companies, representing the seller. (Disa is a former Chicago radio talk show host, who now serves as a radio consultant and broker, as well as the operator of a syndicated radio network, RadioMD.)

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