FM Radio enters an “all-news” era in Chicago

Last week, Chicago did not have FM all-news stations. As of 8:10 a.m., we had not just one – but two as the race between the Court Jester and The Church of Tisch for all-news supremacy begins.

On Friday, WWWN-FM (101.1 FM) dropped all music from its airwaves and became all-news, with Merlin Media making the announcement official on Sunday via press release. And at 8:10 a.m. Monday, CBS-owned WCFS-FM began simulcasting sister station WBBM-AM.

Judging by tweets and message board postings, listeners were not impressed with Merlin’s Media’s new all-news station. Many criticized WWWN for numerous screw-ups and some compared it to a bunch of interns on-air at a college radio station and for being just downright amateurish (not exactly “winning” radio.) Others continue to bemoan the loss of WKQX-FM/Q 101 and cursing at Randy Michaels.

As for WBBM-AM’s move to the FM dial this morning, the move took later than expected: Church of Tisch management decided to hold off on flipping WCFS from its failed “Fresh” format to Newsradio 780 until 8:10 a.m. so special guest Mayor Rahm Emmanuel can “push the button” to make a change (an engineer actually does that) was nothing more than a glorified publicity stunt. The flip should have taken place at 5 a.m., at the start of Pat Cassidy’s and Felicia Middlebrooks’ shift

While many are lauding the moves of both WWWN and WCFS for switching to FM News formats, especially as some music fans are getting their tunes elsewhere (i.e., MP3s, Internet and satellite radio, etc.), others are bemoaning the loss of not one, but two music stations as the FM band is starting to evolve away from music.