WXLP

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WXLP
WLXP - 97X Classic Hits (logo).png
City of license Moline, Illinois
Broadcast area Quad Cities
Branding 97X
Slogan The Quad Cities Classic Rock Station
Frequency 96.9 MHz
First air date November 1970 (as WMDR)
Format Classic Rock
ERP 50,000 watts
HAAT 152 meters
Class B
Facility ID 13663
Callsign meaning W X LP = ("X" A reference to its branding "97X". "LP" as in long play form of record album)
Former callsigns WMDR (1970-1975)
WHTT (1975-1978)
Owner Townsquare Media
(Townsquare Media Quad Cities License, LLC)
Sister stations KBEA, KBOB, KJOC, KQCS
Webcast Listen Live
Website 97x.com

WXLP is a Quad Cities area commercial classic rock radio station, licensed to Moline, Illinois. The station is owned by Townsquare Media, with studios located in Davenport, Iowa (along with the co-owned KJOC, KBEA-FM, KQCS and KBOB).

WXLP is commonly and currently known as "97X" once again, after being known by the moniker "97 Rock" for a few years. The station's frequency is 96.9 MHz, and broadcasts at a power of 50,000 watts.

Station history[edit]

Formats of WXLP
Name (call signs) Format
97 WMDR Beautiful music (1970-1975)
Stereo 97 (WHTT) Adult Contemporary, later Country (1975–1978)
97X (WXLP) Album Oriented Rock (1978–2004)
97 Rock (WXLP) Active Rock (2004–2007)
97X (WXLP) Classic Hits (2007–2014)
97x (WLXP) Classic Rock (2014 –present)

Early history (1970-1978)[edit]

Serving the Quad City-area, 96.9 FM had two early formats before switching to its longtime rock format.

The station signed on in November 1970 as WMDR, a Christian-oriented station that also formatted beautiful music. Studios were located in Orion, Illinois. The station was a stalwart in the market for nearly five years before being purchased by KSTT Broadcasting, owners of the powerhouse Top 40 station KSTT-AM 1170.

The station moved to Davenport in 1975, changed its call letters to WHTT, and introduced an automated adult contemporary format known as Stereo 97 which it maintained for three years before switching to an automated country music format. WHTT was not able to bill advertising dollars or compete in the ratings with country music rival WHBF-AM, which had adopted the country format a year earlier. For many years WHBF-AM (aka "Country Sunshine Radio") was among the top-rated stations in the Quad Cities market, alongside Top 40 hit music stations KSTT-AM (1170) and KIIK 104FM.

With WHTT underperforming, KSTT Broadcasting decided to make the switch to a live and local album-oriented rock format that would complement but not directly compete with the company's AM station.

97X (1978-2004)[edit]

In July 1978, program director Jim O'Hara, along with on-air personality John Keith and music director Rick Fields, put together a brand new rock station for the Quad Cities—based at least in part on WLPX in Milwaukee. Then-owner Fred Epstein liked the name "X-97", but "97-X" sounded better, and when the station took on its current WXLP callsign, it became known to a generation of fans as "97X," or simply "The 'X'." Later program director Gabe Baptiste took the station to its highest ratings in the late 1980s.From 1985 through 86 The 97-X lineup included Phil and Jack (mornings),JJ Scott (mid-days), Terry Dugan (afternoons)She was replaced by Gene Olson in the afternoon when Terry became program director. Evenings were handled during this period by Steve DeBouvre. JJ Scott brought "The Electric Lunch" to 97-X during his 2 year mid-day run. Gene Olson brought 97-X national attention when he promoted "Shoes for Imelda" gathering thousands of shoes he sent to exiled Imelda Marcos. The station's first newsman was Dave Douglas (Tom Hosmanek) also of KSTT-AM.

Over the years they had many top morning shows including Phil Maicke, Ian Case & the Coach and Dwyer and Michaels.[1] Dwyer and Michaels (real names Greg Dwyer and Bill Obenauf), who began working for the station in 1990, left to market competitor KCQQ-FM (Q-106.5) in 1995 after a dispute over a non-compete clause that kept them off the air for six months. They were followed by a short-lived morning show before "Matt and Homey" took over the morning slot from 1996 until 1999.

Through the years, the station took on more of a classic rock format, although it still played plenty of album cuts. It was 97X's eclectic blend of rock music and offbeat personalities that made it one of the Quad-Cities' highest rated stations for more than 25 years.

97ROCK: The Quad City Rocker (April 2004 - March 2007)[edit]

In April 2004, WXLP's format was altered as part of a series of programming changes at two Quad Cities-area Cumulus Broadcasting stations. While it kept elements of the former 97X's classic rock format, the newly christened "97 Rock" took on the hard rock format of the former "93 Rock" (KORB-FM). KORB, meanwhile, began an adult contemporary format as "Star 93.5" and changed its call letters to KQCS.

97X: "Classic Hits" (March 2007-March 2014)[edit]

In March 2007, the station switched its focus to "Classic Hits," or a softer rock style. playing Elton John, Boston, Chicago and Journey. The active rock format moved to KBOB-FM, which abandoned the country format it had had since 1994.[2]

97X "Classic Rock" (March 2014-Present)[edit]

On March 3, 2014, 97X shifted its format from classic hits to classic rock.

The return of Dwyer and Michaels[edit]

On July 13, 2007, on-air personalities Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels returned to 97X after a 12-year absence at the station.[3] Dwyer and Michaels left rival station KCQQ in Davenport — where they had worked since 1995 — after their contract expired December 31, 2006. As part of their contract with Clear Channel Communications (owners of KCQQ), they had to honor a "local air" resctriction, meaning they could not work for a competing station in the Quad Cities for six months. In the interim, the duo worked for KRNA, an active rock station based in Cedar Rapids.[4]

Clear Channel sued Dwyer and Michaels in February, 2007 claiming that KRNA was audible in the Quad Cities area and the duo was actively promoting the upcoming show in the Quad Cities.[5] A Scott County District Court judge, however, ruled that Dwyer and Michaels did not violate the clause since Arbitron does not consider the Quad Cities part of KRNA's market area.[6]

On August 30, 2013, a deal was announced in which Townsquare Media would acquire 53 Cumulus stations, including WXLP, for $238 million. The deal is part of Cumulus' acquisition of Dial Global; Townsquare and Dial Global are both controlled by Oaktree Capital Management.[7][8] The sale to Townsquare was completed on November 14, 2013.[9]

See also[edit]

  • Anderson, Frederick I, editor. "Joined By a River: Quad Cities." Lee Enterprises, 1982. (ISBN 0-910847-00-2)

The current on-air line-up is 5:30a-10a The Dwyer and Michaels Morning Show 10a-3p Goose 3p-7p Kevin Walker

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 41°20′17″N 90°22′48″W / 41.338°N 90.380°W / 41.338; -90.380