|City of license||Chicago, Illinois|
|Broadcast area||Chicago, Illinois|
|Former frequencies||101.1 FM|
|Owner||Broadcast Barter Radio Networks|
Q101 Chicago is an alternative internet radio station serving the Chicago metropolitan area.
"Q101 Chicago" is a direct continuation of the programming that was featured on terrestrial radio station WKQX 101.1-FM from 1992 until 2011. Following a sale of the radio station and closedown of the format on July 14, 2011, the intellectual property of "Q101" was purchased by Chicago entrepreneurs Matt Dubiel and Mike Noonan under the Broadcast Barter Radio Networks banner.
The station currently broadcasts online, and maintains a working relationship with talk-formatted WCKG 1530-AM, a station that is also managed by BBRN.
Sale and Move to Online Radio
On July 14, 2011, WKQX-FM and sister station WLUP-FM were sold by then-owner Emmis Communications to Merlin Media, with plans to convert it to an all-news station, similar to market leader WBBM (AM). Before Merlin officially took over, Broadcast Barter Radio Networks, which included entrepreneurs Matt Dubiel and Mike Noonan, bought the intellectual property of "Q101" – the name, image, history from 1992-2011, logos, and domain name – from Emmis. For an interim period, Q101 immediately started broadcasting the same music on Q101.com as KROX-FM (another radio station operated by Emmis) without DJs or commercials.
Merlin Media since moved the WKQX call sign to a low-power analog television channel (and a silent radio station in Watseka, Illinois owned by Merlin Media's CEO), and subsequently began broadcasting an alternative rock format on the aural side of the television channel as "Q87.7", but that station had no connection to "Q101 Chicago." BBRN also simulcast the stream of Q101 on co-managed WJJG 1530-AM for a brief period in 2012 before relaunching that station as talk-formatted WCKG. BBRN then filed a trademark infringement suit against Merlin Media following the launch of "Q87.7"; the case would be settled out of court.
On January 2014, Merlin Media's Chicago cluster was taken over by Cumulus Media in a local marketing agreement, which included the former terrestrial radio home for "Q101 Chicago". While the WKQX callsign has been restored on the 101.1 facility, and the alternative format featured on "Q87.7" is moving to the 101.1 facility in a month-long simulcast period, Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey, Jr. publicly stated that the new format on WKQX-FM would have no connection to "Q101 Chicago" and would not use the "Q101" moniker. Consequently, the station temporary used oblique branding until the simulcast ended on February 17, 2014, upon which the station was rebranded as "101WKQX."
For their part, "Q101 Chicago" and BBRN's Matt Dubeil have also publicly stated that, despite initial erroneous reports and initial listener confusion, their operation was not purchased by Cumulus Media, and that the new WKQX-FM will have nothing to do with "Q101 Chicago".
Q101 Live Music Festivals
As a terrestrial station, Q101 hosted annual festivals that incorporate many well known alternative artists. These included:
Twisted was an annual music festival each December, the first being in 1994.
Twisted Christmas - Bad Religion, Killing Joke, Dinosaur Jr., Veruca Salt, Weezer, and Hole.
Twisted 2 - Alanis Morissette, Porno For Pyros, White Zombie, Oasis, Silverchair, Tripping Daisy, Goo Goo Dolls, Soul Asylum
Twisted 3 - Fiona Apple, Bloodhound Gang, Sheryl Crow, Gravity Kills, KoRn, Stabbing Westward, The Violent Femmes, The Wallflowers, Weezer
Twisted 4 - 311, Björk (cancelled), Chumbawamba, The Cure, Duran Duran, Everclear, Sarah McLachlan, Sugar Ray
Twisted 5 - Beck, Cake, Everlast, Garbage, Goo Goo Dolls, Soul Coughing, Third Eye Blind
Twisted 6 - Fiona Apple, Blink-182, Bush, The Chemical Brothers, Filter, Foo Fighters, Moby, Oasis, Run DMC
Twisted 7 - Cypress Hill, Deftones, Disturbed, Everlast, Incubus, Live, The Offspring, Orgy, Papa Roach
Twisted 8 - 311, Alien Ant Farm, Blink-182, Bush, The Crystal Method, Puddle of Mudd, Sum 41, Pete Yorn
Twisted 9 - 3 Doors Down, Box Car Racer, Disturbed, Jimmy Eat World, Local H, Moby (cancelled), Public Enemy, Sugarcult, The Vines
Twisted 10 - 311, AFI, Dashboard Confessional, Jane's Addiction, KoRn
Twisted 11 - Califone, Franz Ferdinand, The Hives, Modest Mouse, My Chemical Romance, Secret Machines, Snow Patrol, Taking Back Sunday, The Used
Twisted 12 - The All-American Rejects, Coheed and Cambria, Death Cab For Cutie, Fall Out Boy, Hot Hot Heat, The Lovehammers, O.A.R., The Psychedelic Furs
Twisted 13 - Disturbed, Flyleaf, Guster, Gym Class Heroes, Jet, My Chemical Romance, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Rise Against, Stone Sour
Twisted 14 - The Almost, Atreyu, Drowning Pool, (Cancelled, Replaced by Danger is My Middle Name), Coheed and Cambria, The Secret Handshake, Silverchair, Silversun Pickups, The Starting Line, Strata
Twisted 15 - Theory of a Deadman, Hollywood Undead, Saliva, Shinedown, Saving Abel, The Gaslight Anthem, Scott Weiland, Cold War Kids, Eagles of Death Metal
Twisted 2009 - AM Taxi, As Tall As Lions, The Bravery, Breaking Benjamin, Halestorm, Janus, Manchester Orchestra, Rev Theory, Rise Against, Shinedown, Sick Puppies, Street Sweeper Social Club, Thirty Seconds To Mars, The Used
Twisted 2010 - Alter Bridge, Bad City, Cake, Chevelle, Danko Jones, Finger Eleven, Five Finger Death Punch, Greek Fire, Hail the Villain, Hellyeah, Middle Class Rut, My Chemical Romance, Sick Puppies
Q101 hosted an annual outdoor music festival during the summer entitled "Jamboree".
1995 - Bush, Collective Soul, Sheryl Crow, Duran Duran, Faith No More, The Flaming Lips, KMFDM, The Lupins, Phunk Junkeez, Sponge, The Stone Roses
1996 - Afghan Whigs, Candlebox, Cracker, Cypress Hill, Everclear, Filter, Foo Fighters, Garbage, Girls Against Boys, KoRn, No Doubt, Seven Mary Three, Stabbing Westward
1997 - Beck, The Cardigans, Echo & the Bunnymen, Erasure, Jamiroquai, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Moby, Republica, Social Distortion, Veruca Salt, Verve Pipe
1998 - Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five, Creed, Eve 6, Fastball, Foo Fighters, Harvey Danger, Soul Asylum, Spacehog, The Specials, They Might Be Giants, Scott Weiland
1999 - 2 Skinnee J's, Blink-182, Blondie, The Flys, Hole, Kottonmouth Kings, Lit, Local H, The Offspring, Orgy, Puya, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Silverchair
2000 - 311, Bloodhound Gang, Everclear, Eve 6, Goldfinger, Long Beach Dub All Stars, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Moby, The Suicide Machines, Third Eye Blind, Travis
2001 - Alien Ant Farm, Cold, Crazy Town, Disturbed, From Zero, Fuel, Linkin Park, Lucky Boys Confusion, Monster Magnet, Papa Roach, Run-D.M.C., Saliva, Staind
2002 - Dashboard Confessional, Earshot, Hoobastank, Kid Rock, Local H, Our Lady Peace, Quarashi, The Strokes, Tenacious D, Thursday, Trik Turner, Unwritten Law, X-Ecutioners, Zwan
2010 - AM Taxi, Coheed & Cambria, Crash Kings, Flobots, The Frantic, Hollywood Undead, Janus, Papa Roach, Puddle of Mudd, Saliva, Seether, Story of the Year, Three Days Grace, Ok Go, Villain vs. Villain, David Costa
2011 - Part I - Thirty Seconds to Mars, Seether, Papa Roach, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Bayside (set cancelled due to storm), Crash Kings (set cancelled due to storm), Pop Evil (set cut short by storm), Adelitas Way, Greek Fire, Anberlin, Awolnation, Sum 41, Ed Kowalczyk of Live, Beyond Words, The Action Blast, Imperial Sons
2011 - Part II - Part II was reported cancelled by Q101's Twitter page on August 29, 2011. They have also stated that they are "re-loading" and "jamboree will be back"
Beginning in 2003, Q101's summer music festival was rebranded as "Block Party." During 2003–2005, the event was held at the New City YMCA (North & Halsted). In 2006 & 2007, the event moved to Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island. For 2008, the festival was held at Western and Roscoe (near Lane Tech High School & DeVry University.) Day 1 of 2008 Block Party was cancelled due to excessive flooding of the stage and viewing areas. Some day 1 bands volunteered to play a free set at the nearby Cubby Bear bar on Clark & Addison. Day 2 went on as scheduled, but with the headlining acts playing on what was supposed to be the local band stage. The local bands scheduled for day 2 were cancelled as a result. The 2009 Block Party returned to Charter One Pavilion. In 2010, Q101 returned to the Jamboree name for their summer festival.
2003 - The Flaming Lips, Violent Femmes
2004 - Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, The Lovehammers, The Ponys, The Reputation, The Walkmen
2005 - Thirty Seconds to Mars, A Static Lullaby, Assassins, Hot Hot Heat, Interpol, Rise Against, Sum 41, Queens of the Stone Age, Unwritten Law
2006 - Angels and Airwaves, Head Automatica, The Subways, Taking Back Sunday
2007 - The Bravery, Buckcherry, Finger Eleven, Godsmack, Good Charlotte, Shiny Toy Guns, Sum 41, Taproot, The Violent Femmes
2008 - Absentstar (cancelled), American Taxi (cancelled), Apocalyptica, Atreyu, The Attraction (cancelled), Black Tide (cancelled), Bullet For My Valentine, Danger Is My Middle Name (cancelled), DJ Alex Rage (cancelled), DJ Merk 1 (cancelled), The Frantic (cancelled), Holding Mercury (moved to Cubby Bear), Honey (moved to Cubby Bear), The Lifeline (moved to Cubby Bear), Local H, Ludo (moved to Cubby Bear), Mindless Self Indulgence (cancelled), Munroe (moved to Cubby Bear), Pennywise, Rule 22 (cancelled), Sick Puppies (moved to Cubby Bear), Simplistic Urge (cancelled), Theory of a Deadman (cancelled), Tonight the Prom (cancelled)
2009 - 311, Ziggy Marley
- "Q101's Past, Present & Future To Continue Online At New Q101.com". Chicagoland Radio and Media. July 14, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- "TWO Alternative Rock Radio Stations Launch - WJJG and WKQX". Chicagoland Radio and Media. May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- "Q101 Owner Sues Q87.7 Owner Over Trademark Infringement". Chicagoland Radio and Media. July 4, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- "Cumulus Purchasing All Merlin Media Properties; Alternative Coming Back To 101.1". Chicagoland Radio and Media. January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- "Deal for "the Loop" gives radio powerhouse bigger reach in Chicago". Crain's Chicago Business. January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- "Alternative Returns To 101.1 Chicago". RadioInsight. January 3, 2014; updated January 8, 2014 and January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- "Cumulus Purchases Q101, Will Return To Original Alternative Format".
- ""Cue" The Alternative, The Matt DuBiel interview". Q101.com, Broadcast Barter Radio Networks. January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.