WXRT

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WXRT
WXRT station logo.png
City Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast area Chicago market
Branding 93XRT
Slogan Chicago's Home For Music Lovers
Frequency 93.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date March 15, 1960[1]
Format Adult album alternative
HD2: Blues, Rhythm & Blues
ERP 6,700 watts
HAAT 399 meters (1,309 ft)
Class B
Facility ID 16853
Transmitter coordinates 41°53′56″N 87°37′23″W / 41.899°N 87.623°W / 41.899; -87.623Coordinates: 41°53′56″N 87°37′23″W / 41.899°N 87.623°W / 41.899; -87.623
Owner Entercom
(Entercom License, LLC)
Sister stations WBBM, WBBM-FM, WCFS-FM, WBMX, WSCR, WUSN
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.93xrt.com

WXRT, also known as XRT and 93-XRT is an adult album alternative (AAA) radio station in Chicago, Illinois. For many years, their slogan has been "Chicago's Finest Rock". "Chicago's Home For Music Lovers" has been used as its slogan since fall 2017.

The station broadcasts from a transmitter atop John Hancock Center and its studios are located at Two Prudential Plaza near Chicago's Millennium Park. WXRT broadcasts in the HD Radio format.[2]

Programming

WXRT tent at an event in Daley Plaza

WXRT plays a very broad range of music in a format known as AAA / Triple A (Adult Album Alternative). With a playlist of more than 5,000 songs from wide-ranging genres including blues, reggae, folk-rock, pop, and rock and roll, WXRT is considered a pioneer in the format.[3][4] WXRT is well known for several locally produced, original programs such as Saturday Morning Flashback hosted by Frank E. Lee, Johnny Mars, and Richard Milne on a rotating basis, Breakfast with the Beatles hosted by Terri Hemmert,[5] "Blues Breakers" hosted by Tom Marker, and new music programs "The Big Beat" hosted by Jason Thomas and "New Noise at Nine" hosted by Ryan Arnold.

Local music show "Local Anesthetic", hosted by Richard Milne, aired its final show on December 24, 2017.[6] The final "Jazz Transfusion" hosted by Barry Winograd aired February 4, 2018, marking the end of more than four decades of the program.[7] WXRT introduced several popular specialty programs in recent years. "All Vinyl Saturday" began in 2016 to celebrate Record Store Day by playing individual songs and entire album sides non-stop for 12 hours. The albums selected to be played are from the personal record collections of DJs Marty Lennartz, Frank E. Lee, and Ryan Arnold - WXRT's de-facto vinyl enthusiast. Due to "All Vinyl Saturday's" popularity, the feature is presented 3 to 4 times a year. The "XRT Friday Feature" spotlights two artists or bands popular among WXRT listeners.

On Air Personalities

  • Lin Brehmer – morning show host
  • Mary Dixon - morning co-host, news
  • Terri Hemmert - middays, also host of "Breakfast With The Beatles"
  • Marty Lennertz - middays, also "The Regular Guy" movie critic
  • Richard Milne - afternoon host, also host of "Saturday Morning Flashback"
  • Ryan Arnold - evening host, also host of "New Noise at Nine" new music program
  • Bill Artlip - weekends, overnights
  • Emma Mac - weekends, overnights
  • Lara Mondae - overnights
  • Laura Vaughn - overnights
  • Don Davis - weekends
  • Johnny Mars - weekends, also host of "Saturday Morning Flashback"
  • Frank E. Lee - weekends, also host of "Saturday Morning Flashback"
  • Jason Thomas - weekends, also host of "The Big Beat" new music program
  • Tom Marker - host of "Blues Breakers"

History

WSBC-FM

The station began broadcasting March 15, 1960, holding the call sign WSBC-FM.[1] The station's studios and transmitter were located at the West Town State Bank Building at 2400 W. Madison in Chicago, and it had an ERP of 27,500 watts.[8] WSBC-FM featured a variety of musical programming, including classical,[9] jazz,[10][11][12] folk,[13] and popular music shows,[9][14] and simulcast some of the ethnic programming of its sister station 1240 WSBC, when the shared time station was on the air.[1] The station was owned by Louie Lee.[15] In 1962, its ERP was increased to 55,000 watts.[8]

WXRT

Former studio and transmitter site at 4949 W. Belmont

In 1963, the station's call sign was changed to WXRT.[8] The station increasingly aired ethnic programming.[16][17][18] In 1971, WXRT's studios and transmitter were moved to 4949 W. Belmont Ave., where it operated with an ERP of 50,000 watts at a HAAT of 500 feet.[8] In 1981, the station's transmitter was moved to the John Hancock Center.[8][19][20]

The format as it exists today began in August 1972 as a nighttime-only freeform rock experiment, while a variety of ethnic programming continued to air during the daytime hours.[21][22] The part-time progressive rock format was started by Don Bridges, who soon brought in John Platt, Seth Mason, and Bob Schulman.[3][22]

The format's hours were gradually expanded, and on April 26, 1976, it began airing 24 hours a day.[21][22][23] The station was branded "Chicago's Fine Rock Station" and later "Chicago's Finest Rock".[22][23][24] In the 1980s, the station heavily played music from the new wave, synthpop, and alternative rock groups of that era.[23][4] By the 1990s, the station's format was considered adult album alternative.[4] The station's offices and studios were located at 4949 W. Belmont Ave. on the northwest side of Chicago until 2008, when it was relocated to the NBC Tower in downtown Chicago.[25] On March 16, 2010, it was again relocated to the Prudential Plaza.

In 1995, Danny Lee, son of the station's original owner Louie Lee, sold the station to Westinghouse for $44 million.[15][26] Shortly thereafter, Westinghouse would acquire CBS and Infinity Radio, with the company changing its name to CBS Corp.[27] The Infinity name was retained for its radio division. CBS and Viacom would merge in 2000.[28] In December 2005, Infinity Radio officially became CBS Radio in anticipation of the CBS/Viacom split up.[29]

On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom.[30] The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was consummated on the 17th.[31][32]

April Fools' jokes

WXRT has performed numerous April Fools' Day jokes, dating back to the 1970s.[33] In 1980, the station promoted "Mayor Jane Byrne April Fool Fest" on Navy Pier, promising live performances by multiple artists, some of whom were dead.[33] Hundreds of people showed up to the then derelict and padlocked Navy Pier, believing that the festival was real.[33]

In 1998, WXRT stated that it was now a subsidiary of Playboy Enterprises.[33] The station said it was now "True Adult Radio", and that its call sign was changed to WXXXRT.[33]

References

  1. ^ a b c 1961-62 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1961-1962. p. B-52. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  2. ^ HD Radio Guide for Chicago
  3. ^ a b Caro, Mark. "Radiodaze", Chicago Tribune. November 16, 1997. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Nidetz, Steve. "Rest of the Country Finally Catching Up With WXRT", Chicago Tribune. March 22, 1994. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Hageman, William. "Terri Hemmert, WXRT deejay", Chicago Tribune. February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  6. ^ Feder, Robert. "Robservations: WYCC gets reprieve to November 24", Robert Feder. September 25, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  7. ^ Feder, Robert. "Robservations: WXRT unplugs 'Jazz Transfusion' after 43 years", Robert Feder. February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e History Cards for WXRT, fcc.gov. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "BMW News Editor Takes to Airwaves", Billboard. September 18, 1961. p. 14. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  10. ^ Bundy, June. "Vox Jox", Billboard. February 13, 1961. p. 37. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  11. ^ "Music as Written", Billboard. October 24, 1960. p. 55. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  12. ^ "Music as Written", Billboard. November 6, 1961. p. 8. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  13. ^ "FM Units Double in Two Year Period", Broadcasting. February 20, 1961. p. 82. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  14. ^ "Norma Rivers at Quid", Billboard. September 25, 1961. p. 4. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Wyman, Bill. "WXRT: Sold Down the River?", Chicago Reader. March 9, 1995. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  16. ^ "Stations By Format", Billboard. October 16, 1965. p. 63. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  17. ^ "Stations By Format", Billboard. November 19, 1966. p. 40. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  18. ^ 1972 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1972. p. B-62. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  19. ^ Public Notice Comment – BPH-19800310AK, fcc.gov. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  20. ^ Public Notice Comment – BLH-19810930AF, fcc.gov. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Neumer, Alison. "WXRT still going strong at age 30", Chicago Tribune. October 30, 2002. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c d "Looking Back", The AOR Story. Radio & Records. 1978. p. 9. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  23. ^ a b c Wyman, Bill. "So Many Records, So Little Time?", Chicago Reader. November 15, 1990. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  24. ^ Chicagoland Radio Waves, MediaTies. Summer 1988/Spring-Summer 1989. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  25. ^ Rosenthal, Phil. "Some static expected as 'XRT leaves home", Chicago Tribune. February 8, 2008. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  26. ^ Nidetz, Steve. "Group W Buy May Alter Score in Radio", Chicago Tribune. March 2, 1995. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  27. ^ "Westinghouse to Change Name to CBS After Spinoff", Bloomberg News. Los Angeles Times. February 06, 1997. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  28. ^ "CBS And Viacom Complete Merger", CBS News. May 4, 2000. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  29. ^ "Infinity Broadcasting to Become CBS Radio", Bloomberg News. The New York Times. December 15, 2005. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  30. ^ Venta, Lance. "CBS Radio to Merge with Entercom", Radio Insight. February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  31. ^ "Entercom Receives FCC Approval For Merger With CBS Radio". Entercom. November 2, 2017. Archived from the original on November 11, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  32. ^ Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  33. ^ a b c d e Jacob, Mark; Benzkofer, Stephan. "10 things you might not know about April Fools' Day", Chicago Tribune. March 28, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2019.

External links

  • Official website
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WXRT
  • Radio-Locator information on WXRT
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WXRT
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