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WLUW 88.7 FM
WLUW logo
City of license Chicago, IL
Broadcast area Far Northside of Chicago, IL and Evanston, IL
Branding Chicago Sound Alliance
Frequency 88.7 MHz
Format Indie Music, Community
ERP 100 Watts
HAAT 70 meters
Class A
Owner Loyola University Chicago
Website wluw.org

WLUW is a college radio station owned and operated by Loyola University Chicago, serving Chicago, Illinois and its northern suburbs. WLUW was founded by Jim Wagner and Michael Russo in the 1970s and they ran the station until Loyola University offered more funding and support. In the 1980s the station was guided by General Manager Wayne Magdziarz and into the mid-1990s by Tony Compton, Jim Lemon and various student program directors including Taylor O'Malley, Anna Consalvo, Jennifer Prietz Marszalek and Jeff Grossman, with ongoing support from Dr. Sammy R. Danna, Professor of Communication at Loyola.

Formerly known as "The Hitline", then moving to "High Energy 88-7 FM" in the late 1980s, then simply known as "Energy 88-7". In these years the station provided valuable real world experience running a robust schedule of music, news, sports and community service programming. In the mid-1990s the station changed radio formats to 88.7 Listener Supported Community Radio. Loyola University Chicago ceased funding WLUW in 2002, turning over operational control of the station to WBEZ. During this period, WLUW was known as "Independent Community Radio" and feature an eclectic selection of music, specialty music shows, and independent talk programming, including Democracy Now. WLUW had two full-time staffers (Craig Kois was Station Manager and Shawn Campbell Program Director) and a volunteer staff of nearly 200 during the years 2002 to 2007. Through much effort by the staff and WBEZ, WLUW became financially independent by 2007. During this period, WLUW was known for its Record Fairs. Two were held each year; one a stand-alone event in April, and one at the Pitchfork Music Festival (formerly the Intonation Music Festival).

On July 13, 2007, an article (Back To School) in the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that Loyola terminated its relationship with WBEZ and was to take back control of the station in June 2008.[1] The future of the station's programming was uncertain at this point, as reported in Time Out Chicago (WLUW: Now with less community?) and Chicagoist (WLUW: WTF?). Loyola posted some information here.[2] In July 2007, both Kois and Campbell were relieved from their positions by WBEZ, although who directed that move is disputed. WBEZ employee Kristina Stevens ran the station from that time until Loyola took over the station July 1, 2008.

Before and after the takeover, some volunteers, including former Program Director Shawn Campbell, left the station to form competitor Chirp Radio the Chicago Independent Radio Project, which has yet to secure a broadcasting license. The volunteers who had organized the record fairs took them with to benefit Chirp [3]

Stevens continued to run the station for Loyola from July 2008 to January 2009. In January 2009, WLUW hired a new, permanent station manager, Danielle Basci. In the fall of 2009, WLUW moved its headquarters from Damen Hall on the Lake Shore Campus to the Terry Student Center located downtown on E. Pearson St. at the Water Tower Campus. Now with more students and less community members, the sound has changed somewhat, but still is largely the same as during Kois and Campbell's tenure from 2002-07.

While most of WLUW's current programming is an independent radio format with various DJs, there are many community, genre, news and specialty shows, including:

  • Abstract Science [1] (electronic music), hosted by Chris Widman, Luke Stokes, Henry Self and Joshua Ferguson, on Thu 10pm (in January 2012, Abstract Science celebrated its 15th year on the air.)
  • Dimension Latina, a Sunday afternoon Spanish language public service and Tropical music program, produced and directed for the last 15 years by Juan Carlos Borja Perez, who succeeded Mario Chapman as program director, on Sun 2pm
  • The Drinking and Writing Brewery, hosted by Neo-Futurists Steve Mosqueda and Sean Benjamin on first Sun of month 6pm
  • Echo Beach (dub), hosted by Turntable Terrorist Terry, on Fri 2am
  • Everything Offbeat (ska), hosted by Chuck Wren since 1989, on Sun 9pm
  • Gospel Memories, hosted by Bob Marovich, on Sat 10am
  • The Hip Hop Project, hosted by Cosm Roks, on Sat 8pm
  • Labor Express Radio, a program devoted to issues of concern to working people locally, nationally and internationally. Describes itself as “Chicago's only English language labor news and current affairs radio program” and “News by working people for working people.” Airs on Mon 10am.[4]
  • Live From the Heartland (local talk topics), hosted by Michael James and Katy Hogan, on Sat 9am
  • The New Orleans Music Hour, "Chicago's weekly Mardi Gras party" hosted by Tom Jackson on Sat 1pm
  • The Old Style Show (1960s and 1970s rock) founded by Kate and Rachel and hosted by Nick M. on Wed 12am
  • Outside the Loop RADIO: Chicago's Almost Above-Ground Audio Magazine [2], with Mike Stephen on Thu 10am
  • Radio One Chicago (Chicago's local music scene), hosted by many DJs over the years, on Thu 6pm
  • Random Acts of Radio (Chicago themed audio documentaries) hosted by Cooper St. James first Sunday's at 7P
  • Reality Radio (hardcore and hard), hosted by Kenny Kicks, on Tue 10pm
  • Reggae Vibes, hosted by Slacky J, on Fri 6pm
  • The Retrospective, a documentary program focused on the history of rock music. It features band interviews and song selections. Hosted by Steve Damien
  • Rock Sin Anestesia (Latin alternative) on Wed 10pm
  • Somebody Else's Troubles (the best in CBGB), hosted by Tom Jackson, on Sat 11am
  • Sunday Sports Shootout [3], Sports Talk at 11am Sundays hosted by Darrell "The Mole" Horwitz

Previous Format[edit]

In the 1980s through the mid-1990s, the station had a contemporary hit and dance music radio format (High Energy 88-7 FM and then Energy 88-7 FM), modeled after commercial radio stations such as B-96 in Chicago, with a full staff of student disc jockeys and news anchors/reporters. During this period, WLUW broadcast from the Loyola Water Tower Campus Communication building at 26 E. Pearson in Chicago.

Many notables from that era were Station Manager, morning man, and "Super CFL" Creator Jym Geraci, Denise Jerger, Wayne Magdziarz, Sue Cavi, SJ Peters, Jim Lemon, Art Therios, Tom Gaines, Ed Varga, Joe Weiss, Lorraine Kleba, Tim Garrity, Vince Parisi, Chris Kerr, Joe Blaney, Patty Sands, Bobby Brady (Rob Creighton), Tony Compton, Billy Levere, Steve Burrell, P J Bozak, Griff Madigan (whose father was the then Vice President of the Chicago Tribune), Jim Domo (Jim Domalgowski), Todd Jackson, Bill Rancic of "The Apprentice" fame, Karen Karas, Alan Cox, Jerry Riles, Jeff Andrews (Grossman as listed above), Katherine Bailey, Adam Wilde, J R Rizzo, and Keith Jeffries (Keith Forshaw).

In the early 1990s, WLUW attracted the attention of a few major recording artists who sat down for on-air interviews at the Pearson street studio. Chris Kerr visited with the Pet Shop Boys, while Tim Garrity interviewed Curt Smith from Tears for Fears, Erasure, The Information Society, as well Donny Osmond, who was making a come back with his hit single "Soldier of Love." These interviews were highlighted in the Summer and Winter 1990 editions of Radio Chicago Magazine, which further enhanced WLUW's reputation as an influential college radio station in the Chicago market.

Many of its alumni went on to professional broadcasting careers, including:

  • Matt Smith, is Chief Spokesman for Mayor Daley's Department of Streets & Sanitation in Chicago and the former Director of Newsflow Analysis for Clinton-Gore '92.
  • Mercedes Soler (Martinez), former news anchor/correspondent for Univision's Premier Impacto and now one of the successful Florida-based authors of the book "The Miami Bombshells: Dish and Tell."
  • Tomas Martinez, Vice President/General Manager for Radio Caracol 1260 AM Miami (WSUA)
  • Tony Compton, Former WLUW station manager and afternoon jock
  • Jym Geraci, Imaging/Production Director at KSTP-FM in Minneapolis. Former WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3) on-air talent and manager. Beloved WLUW Station manager in the 1980s.
  • Joe Blaney, Associate Professor of Communication at Illinois State University, former on-air talent at WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3). Currently on-air talent for B104 in Bloomington-Normal.
  • Ed Varga, Former WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3) on-air talent
  • Keith Forshaw (a.k.a. "Keith Jeffries"), Former WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3) on-air talent
  • Tim Garrity, Former WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3) on-air talent
  • Robyne Robinson, Co-anchor for Fox affiliate KMSP in Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Edna Ho Director of Chicago's Municipal TV Programming and Executive Producer of the program "Chicago Works."
  • Katherine Bailey Traffic/Continuity Director for US99, Radio Disney AM1300, Big City Radio as well Traffic Coordinator for Big Ten Network.
  • Jerry Riles sports reporter, columnist, air personality, program director and producer with such companies as CLTV, WSCR-AM and WVON-FM.
  • Rob Creighton Program Director and Morning Show Host at 97-3 YES! FM (KLZK) in Lubbock, Texas.
  • Sue Cavi Production Assistant WBBM-TV News, PIA Radio Network, Voice Talent.
  • Emma Sofia Crisci, Writer; Marketing Specialist; Production Assistant and On-Air Talent at WQHT; Videography Assistant at Blue Flame Ad Agency: A P. Diddy Company.
  • Angenette Natkowski General Sales Manager for a 6-station cluster with Clear Channel Media + Entertainment in St Louis (6 years), previously with MAN Marketing Chicago (3 years), CBS Radio Chicago (9 years) and Tribune (1 year)
  • Alan Cox Former morning host at WKQX in Chicago. Now hosts mornings at WDTW in Detroit as well as an afternoon talk show at WMMS Cleveland.


Radio Chicago Magazine - 1990 Summer and Winter editions

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°00′04″N 87°39′36″W / 42.001°N 87.660°W / 42.001; -87.660