87.7 Chicago

Ross On RadioInsight: Fresh Listen: Chicago’s MeTV-FM

For those of us not in Chicago, WRME-LP (Me-TV-FM) arrived, literally, as an intriguing station. Me-TV-FM didn’t stream its programming, and still doesn’t. Local press reports were nebulous—I couldn’t really translate the station as I heard it described into understandable programming terms. Was it an older oldies station? A supersoft AC along the lines of those in Miami and (at the time) San Diego? AM-style MOR? It couldn’t really be all those things? When I finally heard Me-TV-FM, it was, of course, all of those things. There were the sort of ‘60s oldies that had disappeared from most of today’s Classic/Greatest Hits stations. There were ‘70s pop songs far softer than anything played in WFEZ (Easy 93) Miami or the former KIFM San Diego. The new station also had an “oh wow” factor that we...[Read More]

Rick O’Dell Named MeTV-FM Program Director

Weigel Broadcasting Soft Oldies “87.7 MeTV-FM” WRME-LP Chicago has named Rick O’Dell as its new Program Director. O’Dell replaces Mark Zander who exited last month to join Hubbard Classic Rock “97.1 The River” WDRV for weekends. O’Dell is best known for his long run with Smooth Jazz 95.5 WNUA and has since been involved with a few digital ventures in that format. 10-7-15 – Chicago, Illinois – MeTV FM announces the hire of Chicago radio icon Rick O’Dell as Program Director. 87.7 MeTV FM features an exclusive format of classic pop music. O’Dell will focus on format development, brand management and work with the station team for creation of cross-platform content, ideas and initiatives. He’ll begin on Monday, October 12. “The timele...[Read More]

87.7 MeTV FM Chicago Debuts

Weigel began operating 87.7 this afternoon as the temporary WGN simulcast gave way at noon to the soft launch of Soft Oldies “87.7 MeTV FM” WRME-LP. The station is currently airing a jockless and commercial-free playlist focused on the 60s and 70s branded as “Me Music” with limited imaging. Original Report 2/9: Weigel Broadcasting has announced it will launch Soft Oldies “87.7 MeTV FM” WRME-LP Chicago in March. Positioned as a radio companion to the MeTV television network, the new station will be 70s centric with a “broad range of music skewing on the pop/softer side including singer/songwriters, album tracks and hits deemed “oldies” by some programmers but considered gold by our target audience.” Neal Sabin, Vice Chairman of Weigel Broadcas...[Read More]

WGN Simulcast To Remain On 87.7 Chicago For One More Month

Tribune’s simulcast of News/Talk 720 WGN on 87.7 WGWG-LP Chicago will extend through the month of February. Todd Manley, VP/Content & Programming for WGN told the Chicago Tribune that “Venture Technologies has asked us to simulcast for another month, and we’ve agreed to do that”. Once that extension ends Weigel Broadcasting will assume operations of the station. Update 12/30: The Chicago Tribune reports that when “87.7 The Game” signs-off tomorrow, it will flip to a temporary simulcast of News/Talk 720 WGN for the month of January. RobertFeder.com reports that Weigel Broadcasting, the Chicago based owners of the MeTV Network and WCIU-TV Chicago along with broadcast properties in Milwaukee, Rockford, and South Bend will be the next group to program t...[Read More]

Franken-FM’s To Get Temporary Stay; Potentially Permanent One

The LPTV stations on Channel 6 that operate as radio stations on 87.7 have gotten a stay of execution from the FCC. The September 1, 2015 deadline that would’ve forced all of the remaining analog LPTV’s to convert to digital operation has been suspended indefinitely until a new date is decided upon in an upcoming rulemaking. In the proposed rulemaking, the so-called “Franken-FM’s” may be granted a way to continue operating after the television portion of its license goes digital. The FCC has opened a comment period asking “whether to allow LPTV stations on digital television channel 6 (82-88 MHz) to operate analog FM radio-type services on an ancillary or supplementary basis”. As the commission states, “a station has proposed using a single t...[Read More]

Q87.7 Completes Relaunch As 101WKQX

Update 2/17: As its lease for the 87.7 signal expired, Cumulus has relaunched the Alternative format as “101WKQX“. The entire Q87.7 airstaff remains with the station and are joined by Brian Phillips, formerly of both incarnations of WRXP New York, who most recently had been on-air at the former “I101” format under Merlin Media. Phillips will co-host mornings with incumbent Lou Lombardo. Listen to the launch of 101WKQX at FormatChange.com. Original Report 2/12: Cumulus Alternative 101.1 WKQX Chicago will unveil its new identity on Monday, February 17 at 1:01pm. Identifying as just “101.1” since it reassumed the format from “Q87.7” WKQX-LP in January, we suspect the new identity will be just the frequency and call letters. Prior to Cumulus begi...[Read More]

Game Time For 87.7 Chicago

Update 2/17: Confirming what we first reported, Tribune has officially announced it will launch Sports “87.7 The Game” WGWG-LP today at 1:02pm and has set its inaugural lineup. Listen to the launch of 87.7 The Game at FormatChange.com. As previously announced, Jonathan Brandmeier will air in mornings from 6-9am. David Kaplan will move from nights at 720 WGN to a 9am-1pm slot on 87.7. He will be joined until 12pm by Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh. Former NFL Fullback Howard Griffith, a Chicago native and current analyst for the Big Ten Network and WGN Operations Manager/Fill-In Host Alex Quigley will host from 1 to 3pm. Harry Teinowitz, who had been hosting a show on the WGN.FM stream will reteam with his former 97.9 WLUP and 1000 WMVP co-host Spike Manton for afte...[Read More]

Alternative Returns To 101.1 Chicago

Update 1/10: Following Semisonic’s “Closing Time”, 101.1 WIQI flipped to a simulcast of “Q87.7” as the Alternative format made its return to its heritage frequency in Chicago. Currently stunting as being still under construction, the station is branding itself currently as “A New Alternative Station Coming To 101.1”. WIQI has applied to transfer the WKQX call letters back to 101.1 as well. The call letters are currently held on a CP in Watseka, IL controlled by Randy Michaels’ Radioactive LLC. Listen to the return of Alternative to 101.1 at FormatChange.com. The first hour of the new 101.1 format consisted of: Foo Fighters – Times Like These Cage The Elephant – Come A Little Closer Phoenix – Lisztomania Bastille – Pomp...[Read More]

2014 Post-Christmas Format Change Rundown/Watchlist

It’s beginning to look and feel like that time of the year. The time when radio stations use the Christmas holiday and beginning of the new year to launch new formats. Completed Changes 1/3: Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting closed on its purchase of Classic Rock 94.1 WSOS-FM and Country “100.7 The Bull” WMUV Jacksonville and flipped both to Christian AC “The Promise“. 1/2: Townsquare Classic Hits “Oldiez 96” WODZ-FM Utica, NY relaunches as “96.1 The Eagle“. 1/2: Cumulus Rhythmic CHR “Power 92.3” WZPW Peoria rebrands as “Peoria’s 92.3“. 1/1: Volusia Broadcasting flipped Oldies 1340 WROD/104.7 W284AV Daytona Beach to Classic Rock “The Rock of Daytona“. 1/1: 920 KKLS/104.7 K284BA Rapid City, SD flips to 80s ...[Read More]

FCC Report 1/18: Chicago Flash Cut, Phoenix Move-In & More

WLFM, LLC has begun the process to convert WKQX-LP to digital. The low-powered television station is known to radio listeners as Merlin Media’s Alternative “Q87.7“. With the September 2015 deadline for all remaining analog LPTV’s to convert to digital, the flashcut will need to happen by then. The digital transition will end the ability of the LPTV on Channel 6 to masquerade as a radio station. That will not mean the end of Q87.7 any time soon. Once the FCC approves the application the station will have three years to build out the new digital facilities. That will take it well past the September 2015 drop dead date for analog LPTV, keeping WKQX’s programming safe until at least then. Southwest FM Broadcasters Beautiful Music 102.1 KAHM Prescott, AZ has been g...[Read More]

Q87.7 Chicago Debuts

Merlin Media launched Alternative “Q87.7” WKQX-LP Chicago at 7pm this evening. The first song was Rise Against’s “Satellite”. The station is also simulcasting on 101.1 WIQI-HD3.As previously reported, Jim Richards most recently PD at “Click 98.9” KLCK Seattle will be overseeing the new launch. Here’s a quick look at the music on Q87.7 in its second hour on air: Foo Fighters – These Days Red Hot Chili Peppers – Soul To Squeeze Cage The Elephant – Shake Me Down Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know Florence & The Machine – Shake It Out Sublime – Doin Time Foster The People – Helena Beat Death Cab For Cutie – You Are A Tourist 30 Seconds To Mars – ...[Read More]

Merlin Media Adds Third Chicago Signal

Update 4/30: “Smooth 87.7” signed off following an infomercial at 12am and after a short period of dead air has begun simulcasting new sister “FM News 101.1” WIQI in order to transfer the audience to that station. Update 4/27: Robert Feder reports the station will be branded as “Q87.7” when it debuts. Merlin has also hired Jim Richards, most recently PD at Sandusky’s “Click 98.9” KLCK Seattle as Operations Manager of 87.7 and The Loop. Richards has a long history with Randy Michaels, working for him a Jacor, Clear Channel, and Tribune. Update 4/24 6:40pm: Merlin Media registered 877TheX.com on March 5. This was followed by by an anonymous registration of Q877Chicago.com on April 11. Broadcast Barter Radio Networks, the owners of the Q10...[Read More]

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