Like a store at a strip mall, once one business leaves another one comes along and takes its place. And in the giant strip mall known as FM radio, a vacancy has been filled.
Two weeks ago, the former Clubsteppin’ 95.1 FM – later rebranded as “95.1 Chicago” when the station was sold (heard on Windy City Broadcasting’s rim-shotters in Chicago and Bolingbrook originating from WOJO-HD2’s signal) closed its terrestrial radio doors and moved online, leaving the frequency dark. Now a new radio station has filled the space – the new Streetz 95.1.
Billed as a Hip-Hop/R&B station, core artists include Cardi B, Drake, Future, Lil’ Baby, Chicago native Lil’ Durk, H.E.R., Megan Thee Stallion, among others. The format launched Thursday.
Streetz is operated by Core Communicators, owned by CEO Steve Hegewood.
“I was born and raised in Milwaukee Wisconsin 90 miles away, Chicago has always had a special place in my heart! “, says Hegewood. “We feel our Streetz brand is more than just music is a true lifestyle on air, through social media and in the community, we are excited to bring it to Chicago.” The Streetz branding is also used by Core in other markets, including Atlanta and Norfolk, Va.
The station’s morning show is the syndicated Streetz Morning Takeover featuring Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta star Yung Joc, a VH1 show highly-rated among African-Americans in the 18-34 demo. Co-hosted by Mz Shyneka and Shawty The Comedian, the program debuts locally April 26 after stunting with 5,000 songs in a row.
Streetz enters an already-crowded Black music marketplace in Chicago with iHeartMedia’s WGCI-FM and Crawford’s WPWX-FM (Power 92) as main competitors. During the last PPM survey, WGCI ranked 21st while Power 92 was 25th – hardly impressive as younger listeners are streaming Hip-Hop music (uncensored, of course) as opposed to listening on terrestrial radio and in a metro area whose Black population has been declining for years.
Meanwhile, Lamont Watts – the original brains behind the Clubsteppin’ format, has relaunched the station on Hubbard’s WTMX-FM second HD channel (101.9-HD2.). Of course, you can listen to the station online here.