Losing "Chicago's Alternative" Q101 Sooner Than We Thought...

A few weeks back I wrote about the news of Q101's sale from Emmis Communications to Merlin Media, run by Randy Michaels, former Tribune CEO, and how that the beloved rocker had at least till August 1st to live...

...well think again as Chicago Media insider "Larz" reported yesterday on his wildly industry popular website ChicagoRadioandMedia.com, that Emmis has agreed to allow Merlin to take over all operations of the stations, which include programming, this Friday, July 15th.

It gives the fans of the station, young and old, less than eighty-four hours from the time of this post to enjoy their favorite DJ's and alternative tunes.

Already confirmed by various posts and tweets from the on-air staff themselves, it's never an easy thing to announce to your loyal fans, especially when they aren't the ones bearing the tough times after the mic is shut off.

I'm sure most of the talent will bounce back and find work eventually, as have others that have been involved in station sales and format flips before them.

For those looking to get their alternative fix in after Friday, I'd suggest "102.1 Independent" out of Milwaukee in the Norther burbs and "95.1 Will Rock" from the Illinois/Wisconsin border (Pleasant Prairie to be exact) for those of us closer to the city.

Not exactly the same thing as having a major market alternative station, but after Friday, I have even less of a reason to cancel my subscription to SiriusXM or stop my religious listening to anything on Kevin Smith's "SModcast" Network.

What are some of your best memories from "Chicago's Alternative Q101"?

Filed under: Chicago, Music, Q101, Radio

Tags: Alternative, Chicago, music, Q101


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  • I thought Q101 would always be part of Chicago, you know, like Marshall Fields or the Sears Tower... oh, wait...


  • How can anyone claim to be "alternative" after 20 years? Alternative to what? It's like Mexico being ruled for years by the "Institutional Revolutionary Party."

  • I wasn't really into much of their music, but I did appreciate that they played something beyond pop and the standard canon of oldies played by every other station. And they had at least some DJs who seemed to know something about music. Too bad.

  • Sad to lose another alternative station - but if you've got web access, you can always listen to Minnesota's 'The Current'. You'll be amazed...http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/services/the_current/

  • Sirus' "Underground Garage" and many others on satellite radio blow Q101.1 away in terms of song quality. Q101 wasn't bad, for a commercial radio station, and its demise probably means more affirmation for the fact that commercial radio must be absolute vanilla mainstream to survive in thrive, which is probably the most unfortunate thing about it. But all in all, I won't terribly miss it.

  • What really sucks especially for the people who work there and all the listeners is now they won't be able to cover Lollapalooza in the coming weeks which was always a big part of Q101. All the bands coming into town who had previously worked with them now will not have an outlet to spread their music.

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    I haven't listened for years, but felt that the station lost their "edge" about a 16 years ago - probably when 'alternative' became Seattle. This is around the same time the quit playing 80s in the afternoons and started playing grunge 24/7.
    No one plays good music. No one. XRT - same old tunes, but 'woah, those guys play the Dead, man'. Screw that, the station sucks. They sold out, too, just to the older empty-nester. Sirius? Tons of stations, but nothing edgy - half the bands on the college station "XMU" are signed to majors. In fact, the Cults (?) will be on next week to discuss their move to Columbia records. I hope XMU has them on when Columbia eventually drops them. The alternative station, "Lithium" is very reminiscent to mid-90s q101, a HEALTHY dose of Nirvana-Pearl Jam-Soundgarden. Like, every 20 minutes. Now, added to that, Blink 182, because THAT'S the same.
    If you like q101, just go online and download all the music you liked. Throw it on an ipod/zune/creative, and press shuffle. Done.

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