Was listening to the radio late in the morning today (Tuesday, July 17th) when I decided I wanted to check out what was going on with traffic, so I went over to the 101.1 preset in the van I was driving.
Heard music. For four minutes. Sounded like a black funk version of the Smooth Jazz format that had (evidently) been finally banished from the Chicago airwaves.
Came to find out that FM News 101.1 decided to try for the “Modern Rock” format.
In other words, they decided to become what WTMX was (music for women who went to college and know what they liked from then) before WTMX became what it is (music for women who have their musical tastes dictated to them by their daughters who listen to what passes today as top forty dance (s)hits radio).
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Bad enough that the radio station decided to load up on yet another overdone format; but I liked the fact that someone tried to do a different take on news. It may not have been the most successful take (and it did seem to take on a present-day conservative view on things), but it made for some different information…plus their traffic and weather was done at a different time. I could miss the WBBM take on traffic and turn to WIQI to find out their take on traffic and weather. Between the two they were accurate enough to figure out what needed to be done.
It made for something different, even if it appeared that talk radio was getting ready to invade the one-prestine-for-music FM dial – what with WIQI and WBBM taking up space in the FM section of the dial and Rush Limbaugh moving to FM in Philadelphia (Speaking of which, where’s the continued outrage? Does it only exist when there’s a threat of a source of pussy about to be denied to men?) it looked like MP3 file sharing was about to take its toll on music on the FM dial. Already I saw the loss of dance music to Progressive Talk, now Alternative Radio (or what passed for it in Chicago) had become a casualty, taken out by soft-conservative news (WIQI got their news feeds from ABC; the conservative station before Fox was brought to existence).
Now the news is different. Alternative Radio (right down to the KQX moniker) has returned to Chicago, although stuck on the 87.7 band (where zombie formats go to die, it would appear), and the FM News format has died both in Chicago and New York. And while I can’t say I was much of a fan of the old WIQI (which seemed to have trouble finding its way), I can honestly say I miss it…if only for the choice of news and the ability to get needed information when it was missed.
And as for KQX….I hope to hear DJs on that station someday. That would mean there’s enough interest to keep the station going, and maybe for it to move up the dial to a more mainstream frequency.