It took about a year for the plug to be pulled on an ambitious (or some would say ridiculous) project: FM News 101.1. As of today, you will hear music on 101.1 FM instead of talk.
The CEO of the station’s owner cited “lack of audience engagement” as one of the reasons: that’s doubletalk for “people weren’t listening.” Here’s a link to Robert Feder’s play-by-play of the demise of the station.
When I first wrote about the station last year I indicated that I actually wanted to see the station succeed. They seemed a little light on substance and resorted to a bunch of hackneyed gimmicks but my hope was that station management would learn that Chicago radio audiences were more sophisticated, and that the real opportunity for News 101.1 was to fill a niche between WBBM and WBEZ. They opted to swing in the wrong direction entirely.
I did tune in to the station occasionally, mostly when I missed WBBM’s Traffic and Weather report, because News 101.1’s reports were now on the Ones.
101.1 now plays a mixture of 80s and 90s music
in kind of an odd mishmash of styles designed to appeal to 30-35 year-old-women (correction provided by my wife, who’s in that demographic).
And so we keep spinning the dial…