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Cornelius News

Cornelius resident has big plans for local radio

Justin Ckezepis

May 17. By Dave Yochum. Justin Ckezepis, a 2008 Hopewell High graduate who got a degree in communications from App State in 2011 and a law degree from Charlotte School of Law in 2015, is buying WSIC in Statesville, pending FCC approval.

The Cornelius resident paid an undisclosed amount for the 24-hour, 1000 Watt station that broadcasts at 1400 on the AM dial. The seller was Mark Sanger.

Ckezepis is pronounced KUH-zep-is but you can just call him Justin. He said he bought the radio station because he loves the area that he grew up in and where he is now raising a family. With a little retooling, he can bring the signals closer to home.

Cornelius Studio

The 33-year-old operates out of what he calls the Cornelius Studio, about 650 square feet of office space—including a first-class sound booth—all within walking distance of his home in Preston at the Lake, where he lives with his wife Demi and two small children.

It’s suitable for interviews with local guests, eliminating the need to drive to Statesville.

Ckezepis was the founder of Birkdale Village based Ckezepis Law, which he sold in 2021 to Trey Bright who renamed the real estate closing firm Bright Law.

Ckezepis, who also has his real estate license, gained town approval for a new mixed-use building at the corner of Bethel Church and Jetton Road Extension back in September.

That building is on hold right now due to the general malaise around commercial construction: Labor and material pricing continues to fluctuate. Then, too, debt servicing has changed as banks continue to tighten on construction lending.

“Technically, we are temporarily on hold but when the market allows for this project we are ready,” the young entrepreneur said.

In spite of success in law and real estate, Ckezepis said broadcast media was his first love, starting in college.

WSIC gets its revenue from advertisers and show hosts who block out periods of time for special programming, among them Cornelius residents Joshua Dobi and Joe Vagnone who have programs on investing and business acquisitions, respectively. NC Sen. Vickie Sawyer, who now represents a portion of Cornelius as well as southern Iredell, also has a program.

The FCC is expected to approve the transfer of the license this spring.

Why radio in a digital age?

“Radio is live, local, and today. Digital certainly plays a wonderful role in our lives depending on our individual lifestyle but radio still is one of the broadest-reaching mediums to the local marketplace,” Ckezepis said.  “Every time you see a car, you see a radio.”

The concept of “community” will be crucial. Engaging residents, businesses, and leaders with rational and thoughtful discussions is one way we can all participate in the process,” he said.

WSIC details

1400 is a 24-hour 1000 Watt AM station based in Statesville

• 100.7 FM (fill in translator) covers Statesville and surrounding area (toward Rowan & Cabarrus Counties)

• 105.9 FM (fill in translator) – located in Mooresville at their Water Treatment Facility Tower – covers Lake Norman