I101 Chicago Shifts To Rhythmic Hot AC

i101 i101.1 101.1 WIQI Chicago iParty Rhythmic AC 90s Merlin MediaMerlin Media Hot AC “I101” WIQI Chicago has shifted to Rhythmic Hot AC.

Since its debut in July 2012, the station has constantly adjusted its focus to find its niche in the Chicago market. Starting with an all-90’s mix, WIQI quickly moved to Hot AC but its ratings hovered around a 1.5 share. In recent weeks the station has experimented with a more Rhythmic lean at night following the success of its “iParty” mixshows on Friday and Saturday nights, which brought the station’s share up to a 1.7 in the November PPM’s.

The 2:00pm hour on I101 featured:
Drake – Hold On We’re Going Home
Arrested Development – Tennessee
Mariah Carey – We Belong Together
Justin Timberlake f/ Jay Z – Suit & Tie
Kevin Rudolph f/ Lil Wayne – Let It Rock
2 Pac – California Love
Robin Thicke f/ Pharrell & T.I. – Blurred Lines
Eminem f/ Rhianna- The Monster
Paperboy – DITTY
Jason Derulo – In My Head
Pras Michael f/ ODB – Ghetto Superstar
Lady Gaga – Applause
Outkast f/ Sleepy Brown – The Way You Move

The new format is similar in vein to the successful format launches this year at Greater Media’s “Hot 96.9” WBQT Boston and Entercom’s “Hot 103.7” KHTP Seattle. Coincidentally, in what was likely a blocking scheme towards the name, Clear Channel registered Hot101Chicago.com and Hot1011Chicago.com in late November.

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  1. BC says

    definitely the smartest move the station has made since its launch. I think the success of the rhythmic AC format this year surprised a lot of people considering that the “movin” format failed in most markets. I remember a recent discussion about the “gen x” format label and the issue seemed to be that it lacked focus. The main reason why this idea is a sure pay off for Merlin, or whatever inevitable future owner for one main reason. The b96 heritage, it’s format is the most well respected for its rhythmic lean throughout the 90s, which brings me to the ultimate reason for this year’s rhythmic AC success. their not trying to combine casey and the sunshine band with a Tupak record, 70s and 80s rhythmic is very different from the 90s and 2k, and while some could argue that today’s records are 80s throwbacks, the demos interests are different. I don’t believe a next generation classic hits format will be possible mostly because who really wants to be called a “gen exer?” In this age and due to my many months of radio research, I’ve come to the conclusion that this generation strives for a very specific radio sound. leave matchbox 20 and Alanis to the hot ac and have boys to men and color me bad on the rhythmic ac. It’s easier to target interests that way, classic hits is an interesting format because back then people listened to many styles because that’s what’s been available, but there really should be a strong distinction between the 80s and 90s on stations unless they’re powerful 80s movie/video game soundtrack records. My point is, after hub bard’s recent move, it’s the smartest decision they could make considering Chicago’s heritage.

  2. oliverruiz says

    You can’t do much with a 1 share.

  3. jjspc says

    That’s true…there is really nowhere to go but up. Maybe the next call sign change could be back to WMAQ-FM. 🙂

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