|Broadcast area||Chicago market / Northern Illinois|
|Slogan||The Soundtrack of Our Lives|
|First air date||1955(as WNIB)|
|Callsign meaning||Derived from "DRiVe"|
|Former callsigns||WNIB (1955 to March 15, 2001)|
|Sister stations||WTMX, WSHE-FM|
|Website||97.1 The Drive|
WDRV (97.1 FM "The Drive") is a radio station in Chicago, Illinois. The station is owned by Hubbard Radio, and simulcasts on WWDV (96.9 FM). "The Drive" programs a broad-based classic rock format called "Timeless rock."
WDRV now broadcasts in HD digital radio, with its normal format located at 97.1 HD1, while it airs Deep Tracks" (deeper album cuts) on 97.1 HD2. The main WDRV feed also streams on the Internet at wdrv.com, but Internet streaming of the "Deep Tracks" feed was discontinued in October 2013, due to its popularity.
The 97.1 frequency signed on in 1955 as WNIB (NIB = Northern Illinois Broadcasting, original owner), playing classical music. Later, the company purchased the station WKZN at 96.9 FM in Zion, changing the call letters to WNIZ and serving as a simulcast for communities north of Chicago. The stations were sold in 2000 to Bonneville International, which changed the station to its current format on February 12, 2001.
WNIB then became WDRV on April 2, 2001. It began as a classic hits format, but has slowly evolved into a broad-based classic rock format at the same time when former sister WLUP-FM was sold to Emmis and changed to a mainstream rock'n roll rock'n roll format in 2005. Many of The Drive's personalities have had long histories at other Chicago radio stations. The on-air staff includes morning host Steve Downes (the voice of the Master Chief in the Halo video games), Kathy Voltmer with morning news and traffic, Bob Stroud (middays), Steve Seaver (afternoons), Phil Manicki (evenings), and Greg Easterling (overnights). Current weekend personalities include Byrd, Allie Ellison, Jim Foster, Don Nelson, Tim Spencer, Sunday Night Stars, and Mitchell "Marc" Vernon.
On Saturday nights, "The Deep End with Nick Michaels" is aired. On Sunday mornings, Bob Stroud hosts his famous Rock & Roll Roots show, which debuted in 1980 at WMET. Steve Downes' nationally syndicated show, "The Classics", is aired every Sunday night.
Although the station became WDRV on April 2, 2001, the station celebrated its 15th anniversary on Friday, May 20, 2016.
June 9, 2016, John Gallagher, vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, announced that veteran Chicago sports radio host Dan McNeil would be leaving WDRV after 16 months at the station.
WWDV 96.9 FM
For many years, this station simulcast the programming of WNIB as WNIZ. When WNIB became WDRV, WNIZ became a simulcast of WDRV's sister station, WTMX. Call letters for 96.9 became WTNX. This simulcast did very little for WTMX's ratings, and management felt it would be more appropriate to be paired up with its neighbor at 97.1. On January 1, 2003, 96.9 became the north metro frequency for "The Drive", and the call letters were changed to WWDV.
- "Call Sign History (WDRV)". Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- "WDRV-FM's 'Decade Tracks' Stream Gets Deep Sixed". Chicago Radio and Media. October 16, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "$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.