103.1 Chicago

First Listen: WPNA-FM (103.1 FM) Chicago 

When WKIE Chicago was dance-formatted Energy 92.7 in the early 2000s, my favorite record that then-PD Chris Shebel played was Zero’s “Bania U Cygana,” a pounding, high-energy Polish-language dance hit. Because, of course, that was what you should play in Chicago. In my ongoing quest for local hits and oddities, I kept hoping that Chicago’s major Polish community would make “Bania U Cygana” so popular that bigger rival WBBM-FM (B96) would have to acknowledge it, but that never happened to my knowledge. By the early ‘00s, every language had a record that sounded like “Bania U Cygana,” but I knew there was a special connection between Eastern Europeans—there and here—and dance-pop. The danceable new wave of the late ‘80s, still largely underground here, was mass-appeal music and still shows u...[Read More]

Polish CHR Launches In Suburban Chicago

The Polish National Alliance has closed on its $5.5 million acquisition of 103.1 WVIX Highland Park IL and has flipped the station to mix of Polish music and current European hits as WPNA-FM. The station is currently running jockless with the exception of AP News at the top of the hour. PNA’s Alliance Broadcasting also owns Polish Talk 1490 WPNA Oak Park/Chicago. WVIX previously simulcasted Univision’s “Latino Mix 93.5” WVIV-FM Lemont, but became redundant when the station completed its move from Joliet creating overlap in the signals. WPNA-FM covers Chicago’s northern suburbs.

Univision Sells Chicago FM

Univision has sold half of its Spanish CHR “Latino Mix” simulcast in Chicago to the Polish National Alliance’s Alliance Radio LLC for $5.5 million. The deal will make 103.1 WVIV-FM Highland Park a sister to Brokered 1490 WPNA Oak Park. One of the conditions of closing is that Univision must complete the move of 93.5 WVIX Joliet to Lemont and the tower site of EMF’s 94.3 WJKL Glendale Heights where it will operate with 3.5kW/133m. The move will create overlap with much of WVIV-FM’s coverage making the need to simulcast moot. That may require a new application and CP as its previous CP was set to expire earlier this week.

Univision Rebrands Stations In Seven Markets

For the second time this year Univision is rolling out new branding for their Spanish Pop stations in seven markets. The stations all dropped their previous identities for just the frequency and market in March. Now the stations have all rebranded as “Latino Mix“. The stations are: “93.5/103.1 Chicago” WVIX Joliet/WVIV Highland Park “95.1 San Antonio” KGSX Comfort “99.1 Dallas” KDXX Denton/107.1 KESS-FM Benbrook “99.3 Las Vegas” KRGT Indian Springs “100.3 Phoenix” KQMR Globe/105.3 KHOV Wickenburg “104.9 Houston” KAMA-FM Deer Park “107.9 Fresno” KLLE North Fork The “Latino Mix” identity has previously been used by Univision stations in New York from 1999 to 2005 and San Francisco from...[Read More]

Univision Continues Branding Simplicification

Univision continues to roll out simplified branding at many of its stations nationwide. Following a graphical adjustment at all of their stations last fall to coincide with the launch of the Uforia music app, seven of Univision’s Spanish CHR’s and Hot AC’s are dropping their name in favor of just the frequency. The stations that have dropped their branding are: Chicago: “Maxima 93.5/103.1” WVIX Joliet/WVIV Highland Park Dallas: “Maxima 99.1” KDXX Denton/107.1 KESS-FM Benbrook Fresno: “KLLE 107.9” KLLE North Fork Houston “Tu Musica 104.9” KAMA-FM Deer Park Las Vegas: “La Kalle 99.3” KRGT Indian Springs Phoenix: “La Kalle 100.3” KQMR Globe/105.3 KHOV Wickenburg San Antonio: “La Kalle 95.1” K...[Read More]

La Kalle To Go Away In Chicago Again

Update 12/12: WVIV and WVIX made the previously announced shift to “Maxima” this morning. Univision is billing the newly tweaked format as a mix of of pop, bachata, and reggaeton from core artists such as Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, Pitbull, Reik, Camila, Romeo Santos, Alejandra Guzman, Mana and Prince Royce. Update 11/30: Univision confirms that “La Kalle” will rebrand as “Maxima” on Monday, December 12. ChicagolandRadioAndMedia.com has further details on recent musical tweaks and plans for an increased marketing push for the station. Original Report 11/23: Univision appears ready to once again shuffle its Chicago properties. It was just in July that “La Kalle” was moved from 106.7 to the 93.5/103.1 simulcast. Now the “La Kalle” n...[Read More]

Univision’s Chicago Shuffle

Robert Feder, The King of Chicago Media, reports that Univision will shuffle the formats at its Chicago cluster at noon on Friday, July 1. Spanish CHR “La Kalle” will move from 106.7 WPPN Des Plaines to the simulcast of 103.1 WVIV Highland Park and 93.5 WVIX Joliet. La Kalle had been on that pair from 2005 through early 2009 before moving to 106.7. 106.7 will once again become Spanish AC “Pasion 106.7“, a name the station used in 2004 and 2005. The moves will displace the Spanish Oldies “Recuerdo” format from the local airwaves.