Polnet buys Radio Disney’s WRDZ

Radio Disney

Radio Disney

Nearly a year after Radio Disney announced it was pulling the plug on its 24 stations nationwide, the company has found a buyer for its former Chicago outlet.

Polnet Communications, Chicago-based owner of four ethnic and foreign language stations here, has agreed to buy WRDZ AM 1300 for $3.45 million, according to an application filed Wednesday with the Federal Communications Commission.

Polnet also owns Polish WNVR AM 1030, Mexican WPJX AM 1500, and brokered ethnic WKTA 1330 and WEEF AM 1430, all in the north suburbs, and outlets in New York and Florida. The company is in the process of selling WPVN-CD, its Class A TV station in Aurora, to WPVN Holdings, according to Radio Insight.

Radio Disney took over the former Spanish-language WTAQ in west suburban LaGrange under a local marketing agreement in 1998 and later acquired the station outright.

In August 2014 Walt Disney Co. announced it was ending Radio Disney’s 18-year run as a local radio operator and shifting its resources to digital platforms. “Radio Disney will increase its investment in both digital distribution platforms and music-centric programming to optimize the network for long-term growth and to better reflect the habits of its listeners, a national audience of kids and families,” the company said.

Karyn Esken, who served as the first full-time station manager for WRDZ and rose to head sales, marketing, promotion and operations for Radio Disney throughout the Midwest, stepped down after the company announced plans to sell its stations. In April she joined Tribune Content Agency as vice president for business development.