THE BEST OF COLLEGE RADIO With over 13 miles of listening, WLRA has always been on the cutting edge of the newest technologies. We hope to provide for our listeners enjoyable, entertaining, commercial-free programming.

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ABOUT US!
HISTORY
WLRA
PROGRAMING
WFJL-FM – (W - FJL - Frank J. Lewis) (93.1 FM Chicago) went on the air on May 22, 1949 until 1959. WFJL operated as a non-commercial station by Lewis College of Science and Technology (previous name of Lewis College, now Lewis University). Lewis College sold WFJL-FM in 1958. The new owner of WFJL-FM, Louis Lee, renamed the call letters to WSBC-FM from 1959 to 1963. In 1964 Lee changed the call letters to WXRT-FM. Dan Lee, Louis Lee's son sold WXRT in 1995; it is now owned by CBS Radio. WFJL-FM, under the leadership of Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. Bernard J. Sheil, D.D., of the Archdiocese of Chicago and General Manager Jerry Keefe, radio format consisted of religious, educational, news, talk, and CYO Boxing. WFJL's facilities were located at the Lincoln Tower Building, 75 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, 600 feet (180 m) above the ground and had an effective radiated power of 29,000 watts. WLCL-AM – (W - LCL - Lewis College Lockport) AM carrier current radio station on Lewis College, Lockport, Illinois campus. Located in Sheil Hall dormitory basement from its inception until 1969. The station broadcast on 600 kHz to Sheil, Fitzpatrick and Founders Halls. Robert Feustal and Norb Bora are credited with the inception of WLCL-AM and introducing college radio at Lewis. WERA-AM – picked up where WLCL left off in the Fall of 1969. It was at this time that the merger with the College of St. Francis in Joliet was announced and the campus radio station at Lewis would now serve the two dorms at the "South Campus" as well. A direct feed to the PA system in the Lewis cafeteria was also installed. The Sheil Hall basement facility was upgraded with new QRK professional turntables replacing the old Garrard consumer models AND a pair of Spotmaster tape cartridge machines to handle promos, jingles etc. A used Gates Sta-Level compressor was installed, giving the station a much more professional technical sound. WLRA-FM –went on the air in the Fall of 1972 on 88.1 in mono, 250 watts of effective radiated power at 90 feet (27 m) HAAT. WLRA is licensed as a non-commercial- educational radio station. In 1976 WLRA added stereo. Lewis University was annexed from Lockport to Romeoville, Illinois and WLRA's license reflected the change. Although Steve Partman was the first General Manager of WLRA Rado, Mike Berlak is credited with all the work getting WLRA licensed and moving its facilities to Fitzpatrick Hall – he graduated before the first broadcast on 88.1-FM in fall 1972 but came back to do the first show on the new FM station.
 WLRA 88.1fm The Start is a college radio station broadcasting a Variety format. Licensed to Lockport, Illinois, USA, the station serves the Chicago/greater Joliet region. The station is licensed to and owned by Lewis University. Lewis University is a private Roman Catholic and Lasallian university with an enrollment around 6,800 students. The station is a member of the National Association of Broadcasters, Illinois Broadcasters Association, and Broadcast Education Association.
As with most colleges, WLRA included, the music industry and musical tastes of the station's staff and the listening audience change with the times. Colleges and Universities have a diverse student population and audience. The college's radio station has the obligation to meet these challenges. As Cardinal John Henry Newman wrote: "to live is to change... and to be perfect is to have changed often". College radio stations pride themselves by promoting underplayed and under-represented forms of music, the obscure and unique - versus the mainstream. The college radio stations achieve this with the independent music labels and the College Media Journal. WLRA Radio's diverse programming reflects a traditional college radio format known as variety presented in block style (2-4 hour show). WLRA Radio, through its creative staff and leadership, has hosted many innovative radio programs over the years. These include an eclectic and Freeform, experimental college radio programming, weekly live radio talk shows, Lewis University Flyer sporting events from around the country, remote broadcasts, and community service events. WLRA's current programming includes news and sports talk radio, coverage of Lewis University Flyer Sports, local high school football and basketball; music genre formats including: adult album alternative, alternative rock, hip hop, rap, rock and roll, blues, jazz, reggae, religious, country, seasonal Christmas music, and Latina-American cultural immersion. The station also introduced a Trop Rock format called "The Island" which features calypso, reggae, and Caribbean rock music. WLRA has broadcast many radio remotes from as far away as Florida to cover Lewis University Flyer Baseball, Las Vegas to broadcast "The Practice Squad" sports talk show; and also the National Association of Broadcasters Convention at the Comrex booth. The radio station has also done broadcast from The House of Blues in Chicago, LaLaPalooza, Jimmy Buffet pre-concert, Ditka's Restaurant in Chicago, and ESPN Zone in Chicago.

 

WLRA Radio One University Parkway Romeoville, IL, 60446 (815)-836-5000