|City of license||Skokie, Illinois|
|Broadcast area||Chicago metropolitan area|
|Frequency||101.9 MHz (also on HD Radio) 101.9-HD2 FM Smooth Jazz "The Groove 103.9"|
|Translator(s)||103.9 W280EM (Chicago, relays HD2)|
|First air date||August 18, 1961 (as WRSV)|
|Format||Hot Adult Contemporary|
|HAAT||476 meters (1,562 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||W The MiX|
|Former callsigns||WRSV (1961-1970)
|Sister stations||WDRV, WWDV, WSHE-FM|
WTMX (101.9 FM "The Mix") is a Hot Adult Contemporary radio station licensed to Skokie, IL in the Chicago market. It is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting. WTMX has studios at One Prudential Plaza and its transmitter co-located atop Willis Tower (the former Sears Tower).
The station currently known as WTMX began as WCLR in December 1970; prior to that, its call sign was WRSV (for Radio Skokie Valley). The station ran a "beautiful music" format for years. The station played easy listening renditions of pop standards/other songs along with a few vocalists and AC artists. The station dropped the instrumentals in the late 1970s and became a very Soft AC station still known as MOR playing a blend of easy listening vocals and soft pop songs from the 1950s to 1970s.
By the early 1980s, the station evolved to a straight-ahead AC format with studios located at 8833 Gross Point Road in Skokie, Illinois. WCLR was "Chicago's Lite Rock" from about 1982 until 1989. The station was best known for its soft rock starsets in the 1980s and their Saturday night all-request oldies program.
In 1989, WCLR moved to a hot AC format, changed its call letters to WTMX, and became known as "The Mix". By 1995, WTMX had moved its studios to the Prudential Building in downtown Chicago and began leaning more toward modern rock. By 1996, the format was modern AC, basically modern rock without any hard rock. They played more female vocalists and 1980s retro music than most modern rock stations and were hot AC in tempo and presentation.
The 1990s and the debut of the Eric & Kathy Morning Show
In September 1996, The Mix debuted the "Eric & Kathy Morning Show" fronted by Chicago natives Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart. They have boasted strong listenership among advertiser-coveted 25-to-54-year-old females for most of their tenure at the station. The key to the success of this entertainment based, lifestyle driven show has been its ability to keep the content edgy enough to engage grownups. On any given week, The Eric & Kathy Show will feature interviews with top Hollywood celebrities, including Josh Duhamel, Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, Maria Menounos, Jenny McCarthy, Jeff Garlin and others. In addition to celebrated guests, the show has played host to live performances from platinum selling, chart topping artists like Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Train and others.
In 1997, WTMX was simulcast on KPIX-FM (now KGMZ) in San Francisco, CA, from May 30th to July 11th, while the station was flipping from Hot Talk to CHR as KZQZ "Z95.7".
In 2001, WNIB (now WWDV) flipped to a simulcast of WTMX as WTNX; however, this did not help 101.9 in the Arbitron ratings at all, and the simulcast ended in 2003.
In February 2006, WTMX began broadcasting in HD Radio. WTMX's HD-2 format originally featured music from independent, unsigned bands called "iChannel". WTMX-HD2 then aired an all-80's format called "Totally '80s" until January 7, 2014, when the HD2 format flipped to Smooth Jazz, relaying the stream of former WNUA/WLFM-LP programmer Rick O'Dell's SmoothJazzChicago.net. "Totally '80s" is now available on the HD-2 stream of sister station WSHE-FM.
Also in 2006, WTMX evolved toward an Hot Adult Contemporary format with the addition of pop-crossover music by artists such as Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, while still retaining many of the modern AC artists they have been playing since 1996.
WTMX broadcasts two channels in the HD Radio format. On December 5, 2014 WTMX's HD2 sub channel dropped the smooth jazz format and began stunting with Christmas music as "The New 103.9" (relayed on FM translator W280EM 103.9 FM Chicago) with a new format to launch on December 26, 2014. Smooth jazz programming is still available online at http://www.smoothjazzchicago.net.
WTMX's current weekday airstaff includes: Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart (mornings), Lisa Allen (middays), Koz (afternoons), Andrew Finnigan (evenings), and Mike Roberts (overnights).
- "Call Sign History (WTMX)". Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- "WTMX adds Smooth on HD2", RBR.com, 07 January 2014.
- "$505M sale: Bonneville sells Chicago, D.C., St. Louis and Cincinnati to Hubbard". Radio-Info.com. January 19, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
- "Hubbard deal to purchase Bonneville stations closes". Radio Ink. May 2, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- Groove 103.9 Coming to Chicago
- Official website
- The Mix's Eric Ferguson co-hosts "Live! With Regis & Kelly, Chicago Sun-Times, January 27, 2011
- Chicago's celebrity dads dish on fatherhood - 101.9fm THE MIX's Eric Ferguson, Chicago Parent, May 24, 2010
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WTMX
- Radio-Locator information on WTMX
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WTMX
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W280EM
- Radio-Locator information on W280EM