Skip to content

WBGZ names new general manager, effective Jan. 1


From Illinois Business Journal news services

ALTON – Nick Darr of East Alton has been named vice president and general manager of WBGZ in Alton, effective Jan. 1.

Sam Stemm, president of Metroplex Communications, Inc., which owns and operates WBGZ, 94.3 FM, 1570 AM, and its online daily newspaper, made the announcement today.

darr nickDarr (left)  served in various capacities at WBGZ, including news, sales, and management from 2000 to 2009 before embarking on a financial services career for the past six years. He says he’s excited to be back.

“I enjoyed my time in the financial services industry, but it was really an easy decision to come back and work in the community I love, in the business I love, at a station that has a great history, but an even more exciting future,” Darr said. “I’m thrilled to be able to play a part in that. Sam has done a great job building the station to where it is today and we have great people working for us, a tremendous listening audience, and outstanding local business partners who advertise with us every day. So the future really couldn’t be brighter.”

Darr is a native of East Alton, where he lives with his wife and four children. He is a graduate of East Alton-Wood River High School, Illinois College, and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Stemm, who has been with WBGZ for more than 30 years, has served as the station’s general manager since 1990. He acquired majority ownership in 2003. Stemm will continue to serve as president of the company as well as senior adviser to the general manager. Stemm says his decision to turn the general manager duties over to Darr is largely based upon a desire to focus on big picture items at the radio station.

“There are tremendous opportunities in the radio business that I haven’t always been able to pursue because of the requirements of managing the day-to-day operations. With Nick handling those duties, I can explore additional opportunities to better serve our community, such as the FM signal we put on the air earlier this year. I’m not retiring, I’m simply changing my role with a focus on the big picture.”

WBGZ has been locally owned and operated for 68 years and provides local news, sports and information programming for the River Bend area.


Send items of business interest to the Illinois Business Journal, care of Editor Dennis Grubaugh,

Leave a Comment