Employees buy Black River Falls radio stations

In the News Stations

A family-owned pair of radio stations in Black River Falls is being sold to some employees.

WWIS Radio was owned by the Bob Smith family for more than 55 years. Bob’s son, Dan, who took ownership in 2019, is selling the stations to G&G Media Services, which consists of Mary and Tom Gerdes and Robert “Gabby” and Cheryl Gabrielson.

The AM station, WWIS, went on the are in 1958 from a 10×50 mobile home and was the first radio station in Jackson County. The company later added an FM station and an FM translator for the AM station.

Robert and Dorothy Smith bought the company in 1968 and stated that if they were to ever sell the station, they would want to offer it to the employees first. Dan Smith, in keeping with his father’s wishes, approached Mary and Gabby in early May, as he had made the decision to transition out the of the station’s ownership. An offer to purchase the station was accepted in August.

Mary and Tom, along with Gabby and Cheryl said they are excited to bring the ownership of the station locally and look forward to continuing to work with clients and listeners to bring a product everyone is proud of.

“We don’t really plan on changing a lot,“ Gerdes said. “Bob Smith definitely had a good thing going, and we would like to continue to make him proud as he looks down on us, just as his son Dan has.”