WTMX
CitySkokie, Illinois
Broadcast areaChicago metropolitan area
Frequency101.9 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding101.9 The Mix
Programming
FormatHot AC
Ownership
OwnerHubbard Broadcasting
(Chicago FCC License Sub, LLC)
WDRV, WWDV, WSHE-FM
History
First air date
August 18, 1961 (as WRSV at 98.3)[1]
Former call signs
WRSV (1961-1970)[2]
WCLR (1970[2]-1989)[3]
Former frequencies
98.3 MHz (1961-1966)[2]
Call sign meaning
W The MiX
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID6377
ClassB
ERP4,200 watts
HAAT476 meters (1,562 ft)
Links
Public license information
Profile
LMS
WebcastListen Live
Websitewtmx.com

WTMX (101.9 FM "The Mix") is a Hot AC radio station in Chicago, Illinois. Licensed to the suburb of Skokie, it is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting. WTMX has its studios located at One Prudential Plaza and its transmitter co-located atop Willis Tower (the former Sears Tower).

WTMX broadcasts in the HD digital hybrid format.[4]

History

WRSV

The station began broadcasting August 18, 1961, and held the call sign WRSV, which stood for "Radio Skokie Valley", its owner at the time.[1][5][2] Radio Skokie Valley was owned by M. Earlene Stebbins.[1][2][6] The station aired a full service format, with a wide variety of local programs along with classical music and standards.[1][7]

The station originally broadcast at 98.3 MHz.[1][2] Its transmitter was located in Skokie, Illinois, and had an ERP of 1,000 watts at a HAAT of 125 feet.[2] The station's frequency resulted in interference problems with 98.7 WFMT.[1][8] To eliminate this problem, WRSV's frequency was changed to 101.9 MHz in 1966.[2] The frequency became available in 1964, when 101.9 WCLM in Chicago had its license revoked.[1][9][10]

In 1969, the station's transmitter was moved to the Civic Opera Building and its ERP was increased to 12,000 watts.[2] In 1970, controlling interest in Radio Skokie Valley was sold to Bonneville International for $479,000.[6]

WCLR

On December 10, 1970, the station's call sign was changed to WCLR, standing for "clear", a theme that was used heavily in its advertising.[2][11][12] WCLR aired a beautiful music format through 1975.[1][13][14] WCLR played approximately 75% instrumentals, along with contemporary easy listening vocals and a few standards.[11] In 1971, the station's transmitter was moved to the John Hancock Center, and in 1974 its transmitter was moved to the Sears Tower.[2]

In 1975, the station shifted to middle of the road (MOR) format, with an 80/20 vocal to instrumental ratio, in contrast to its previous strong emphasis on instrumental music.[13][15] The station played a mixture of pop standards, easy listening, and soft rock.[13]

By the early 1980s, WCLR's format had shifted to adult contemporary.[16][17][18] The station aired a Saturday night all-request oldies program in the 1980s, hosted by Peter Dean.[19] In the late 1980s, WCLR was branded "Chicago's Lite Rock".[20][12][21]

WTMX

On February 21, 1989, the station's call sign was changed to WTMX, and it became known as "The New Mix 102", airing a mix of adult contemporary and oldies.[22][23][24][25][3] By 1992, the station's format had shifted to hot AC.[26]

In the mid 1990s, the station shifted towards a modern AC/modern rock format, and on January 25, 1996, it adopted the slogan "Today's Rock Mix".[27][28][29][30][31] By 2006, the station's format shifted to Adult Top 40.[31]

On January 19, 2011, Bonneville International announced the sale of WTMX, as well as 16 other stations, to Hubbard Broadcasting.[32] The sale was completed on April 29, 2011.[33]

From September 1996 until 2017, WTMX was home to the "Eric & Kathy" morning show hosted by Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart.[34][35][36] The show drew consistently strong ratings, and the duo was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016.[34][35][36][37] In April 2017, Kathy Hart left the program, and on September 7, 2017, Hubbard Radio announced that she would not be returning to the station.[35][36] Ferguson continued to host mornings, along with Melissa McGurren, Brian "Whip" Paruch, Violeta Podrumedic, Melissa "MelD" Dever, Cynthia DeNicolo and John "Swany" Swanson, and the show was rebranded as "Eric in the Morning with Melissa and Whip".[35][34][38] During the COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa "MelD" Dever and Cynthia DeNicolo were laid off from the show.[39] On June 18, 2020, an internal restructure of talent was announced with the Nikki hosting the Midday show, Chris Petlak with Lisa Allen hosting Afternoon MIX, and Jordan "Dash" Orman–Weiss hosting the evening show and THE MIX New Music Club.[40]

On December 16, 2020, after 22 years with WTMX, it was announced that Melissa McGurren had declined a contract extension, much to station management's surprise. Jeff England, Vice President and Market Manager at Hubbard Chicago, stated, "We were disappointed by her decision not to renew her contract, but also know that this year has led all of us to assess our lives in different ways. When she informed me of her decision, she described her time at the station as 'a privilege' and that feeling is completely mutual. We wish her the best."[41]

On October 29, 2021, WTMX morning show host Eric Ferguson released a statement that he and the station agreed that he will be stepping away from radio for the time being after allegations of sexual harassment by Ferguson began to surface.[42] On January 18, 2022, the station announced that afternoon host Chris Petlak would join Nikki, Whip, Violeta, and Swany as host of “The Morning MIX.”[43]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ghrist, John R. (1996). Valley Voices: A Radio History. Crossroads Communications. p. 322-327.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k History Cards for WTMX, fcc.gov. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Call Sign History (WTMX)". FCC. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  4. ^ http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=4 Archived 2016-09-16 at the Wayback Machine HD Radio Guide for Chicago
  5. ^ 1966 Broadcasting Yearbook, Broadcasting, 1966. p. B-49. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Ownership changes", Broadcasting. August 17, 1970. p. 70. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  7. ^ "Stations By Format", Billboard. November 19, 1966. p. 40. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  8. ^ "Interference invades rights, say WFMT fans", Broadcasting. July 16, 1962. p. 87. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  9. ^ "WCLM asks FCC to reconsider revocation", Broadcasting. August 31, 1964. p. 48. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "Revocations", Broadcasting. December 7, 1964. p. 94. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Duston, Anne. "WCLR-FM Clarions 'Clear Sound' MOR as Others Probe Rock Chance", Billboard. April 14, 1973. pp. 22 & 24. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Chicagoland Radio Waves, MediaTies. Summer 1988. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c Duston, Anne. "WCLR Chicago Ballyhoos Its Beautiful Programming", Billboard. October 4, 1975. p. 16. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  14. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1975, Broadcasting, 1975. p. C-60. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  15. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1976, Broadcasting, 1976. p. C-63. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  16. ^ "Stations Try Schulke II Format to Pull 25-54 Year-Old Listeners", Billboard. January 10, 1981. p. 21. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  17. ^ Penchansky, Alan. "DJs Scramble Over Chicago Dial", Billboard. March 28, 1981. p. 25. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  18. ^ McCormick, Moria. "Chicago AC Stations Battle For Top Spot", Billboard. January 30, 1982. p. 23. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  19. ^ Chicago Radio Guide. Vol. 1, No. 1. May 1985. p. 54. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  20. ^ "Chicago's Lite Rock 102FM WCLR Jingles - Late 1980s", Chicagoland Radio and Media. March 23, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  21. ^ Kinosian, Mike. "The Lites Are On", Radio & Records. May 22, 1987. p. 49. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  22. ^ Feder, Robert (February 22, 1989). "WCLR-FM switches to `oldies' as WTMX". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2019 – via Highbeam Research.
  23. ^ Unmacht, Robert (1989). The M Street Radio Directory. p. S-105. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  24. ^ Chicagoland Radio Waves, MediaTies. Spring-Summer 1989. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  25. ^ "WTMX FM 101.9", Radio Chicago. Fall 1989. p. 53. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  26. ^ "Some Formats and Their Target Audiences", Chicago Tribune. July 30, 1992. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  27. ^ Taylor, Chuck. "Vox Jox", Billboard. February 10, 1996. p. 77. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  28. ^ "Street Talk", Radio & Records. February 1, 1996. p. 23. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  29. ^ Unmacht, Robert; McCrummen, Pat (1998). The M Street Radio Directory. Eighth Edition. p. 220. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  30. ^ Sherman, Jeff. "Chicago station fills a Milwaukee music void", OnMilwaukee. April 6, 2001. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  31. ^ a b "NAB Marconi Award Finalist Profiles: WTMX (FM)", Radio World. August 17, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  32. ^ "$505M sale: Bonneville sells Chicago, D.C., St. Louis and Cincinnati to Hubbard". Radio-Info.com. January 19, 2011. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
  33. ^ "Hubbard deal to purchase Bonneville stations closes". Radio Ink. May 2, 2011. Archived from the original on March 12, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  34. ^ a b c Johnson, Steve. "Buddies in the morning", Chicago Tribune. January 10, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  35. ^ a b c d Venta, Lance. "Kathy Hart Will Not Return to WTMX Chicago", Radio Insight. September 7, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  36. ^ a b c Feder, Robert. "'Eric & Kathy' kaput: The Mix fires Kathy Hart", RobertFeder.com. September 7, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  37. ^ Feder, Robert. "Robservations: Radio cheers for Hall of Famers Eric & Kathy", RobertFeder.com. November 18, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  38. ^ "WTMX (101.9 The Mix)/Chicago Mornings Re-Brands As 'Eric In The Morning With Melissa And Whip'", All Access Music Group. September 12, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  39. ^ Feder, Robert (May 1, 2020). "Hubbard Radio Chicago fires 12 staffers". www.robertfeder.com. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  40. ^ "WTMX Shuffles The Talent Around", Radio Ink. June 18, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  41. ^ "Melissa McGurren Departs WTMX's Eric in the Morning", RadioInsight. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  42. ^ "Over and out: Eric Ferguson leaves The Mix", RobertFeder.com. October 29, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  43. ^ "The Mix taps Chris Petlak to replace Eric Ferguson in mornings", RobertFeder.com. January 18, 2022. Retrieved January 23, 2022.

Coordinates: 41°52′44″N 87°38′10″W / 41.879°N 87.636°W / 41.879; -87.636