Capitol Radio Group

For nearly 40 years, Capitol Radio Group and Saga Communications Inc. of Illinois have been a staple in the Springfield radio landscape. Former CEO Ed Christian acquired WDBR, WYMG and WTAX radio stations in the mid-1980s, and over the years the group has added 101.9 The Wolf, Pure Oldies 107.5 and 101.1 The Outlaw. In 2023, WTAX celebrated 100 years on the air, and WDBR celebrated its 50th anniversary.

“We added a full-power FM signal for WTAX in 2021,” said Chris Bullock, vice president and general manager. “Our radio stations have won numerous Silver Dome Awards from the Illinois Broadcasters Association, Crystal Mic Awards from the Illinois News Broadcast Association and a Crystal Radio Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.” Also, numerous Capitol Radio shows have been recognized as the Best of Springfield by readers of Illinois Times and selected as a Reader’s Choice for The State Journal-Register.
click to enlarge Capitol Radio Group
Front row (left to right): Sheila Wetherell, JJ Gerard, Tara Frisch, Tina Goodwin, Betsy Park, Amber Weller, Karen Trueblood, Dave Dahl, Ed Steele, Dina Michaels, Kelly Greeley; Back row: Mark Birtch, Dave Daniels, Sean Lynch, Blake Stadel, Chris Bullock, Jane Cochran, Geri Binkin, Greg Manfroi, Mike Connolly

“Our mission is to serve the city of Springfield and central Illinois with live programming and local personalities. We have a full news team and a staff that is dedicated to serving our business community and our listeners,” Bullock said. “In 2019, we invested in our office space with a full remodel, making it a beautiful place to invite listeners and clients to visit, and a wonderful space to work in each day.”

Bullock believes they have established a desirable culture at Capitol Radio Group. “We have a building full of talented people that have different interets and backgrounds,” he said. “We work together very well, and we have fun doing it.” Bullock encourages creativity in his staff both inside the building and out, as everyone has different areas of expertise. They have a passion for helping businesses grow, and they love entertaining the listeners and being involved in the community.

Bullock’s favorite part of working for Capitol Radio Group is the support from corporate leadership to manage staff in a way that works best for the listeners, which is also highly gratifying to the team. “Our company believes strongly in live, local radio personalities and news broadcasters. It’s not that way at all radio station groups,” he said. “I firmly believe that the bond a listener forms with our personalities is unbreakable. What we do and say in between songs is the most important part of what we do.”

Over the past year, Capitol Radio Group has taken steps to increase its marketing options and resources in order to help local businesses be more successful. “We are in the midst of taking another step in that direction,” Bullock said. “WTAX is the area’s news source, and we will be adding even more to that very soon. We have installed a new transmitter for WDBR, and we have upgraded several of our studios.”

Future goals for Capitol Radio Group revolve around making the stations available to be heard anywhere someone wants to listen. “Over the air, on your phone, on your computer or with your Amazon Alexa or Google Home device, we continue to strive to be the very best at customer service and localism in central Illinois,” Bullock said. “We will continue to help businesses grow, and we want to do everything we can to support our local schools and colleges, industries, our parks and golf courses, tourism, our local leaders and business community. We love Springfield, and we will always try to do more.”