WLIT-FM

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WLIT-FM
WLIT-FM The New 93-9 Lite FM logo.png
City Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast area Chicago market
Branding The New 93.9 LITE FM
Slogan
  • Chicago's Best Variety from the 80's, 90's, & Now (General)
  • Chicago’s Christmas Station (November–December)
Frequency 93.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date April 7, 1958; 60 years ago (1958-04-07) (as WEBH)
Format
ERP 4,000 watts
HAAT 482 meters (1,581 ft)
Class B
Facility ID 70042
Callsign meaning LITe FM
Former callsigns
  • WEBH (1958–1970)
  • WWEL (1970–1972)
  • WLAK (1972–1989)
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
(AMFM Broadcasting Licenses, LLC)
Sister stations WEBG, WGCI-FM, WGRB, WKSC-FM, WVAZ, WVON
Webcast Listen Live (via iHeartRadio)
Website 939litefm.iheart.com

WLIT-FM 93.9 FM, (93.9 LITE FM) is a radio station licensed to Chicago, Illinois, featuring a format of Mainstream AC music. The station is currently owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Communications until September 2014). WLIT has studios located at the Illinois Center complex on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago, and it broadcasts from a 4kw transmitter and antenna based atop Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). WLIT broadcasts with the maximum authorized power for a Class B FM station at the specified antenna height.[1]

History[edit]

93.9 FM in Chicago began operation April 7, 1958, with the call sign WEBH (which stood for the Edgewater Beach Hotel, the location of its original studios), under the ownership of Buddy Black Broadcasting Co.[2] In 1969 the station was sold to Rich Communications Corp., a group owner of WAMO AM-FM in Pittsburgh (25%); WILD in Boston; WLTO in Miami; and WUFO in Amherst, New York.[3] The new owner changed the WEBH call sign to WWEL in January 1970.[4] The station broadcast "beautiful music", an easy listening format with mostly instrumentals and a couple of soft vocal songs per hour. WWEL was "WW-EL" from mid 1970 to 1972, to describe the easy listening format that was broadcast.

In 1971, WWEL was sold to Sudbrink Broadcasting,[5] a group owner of WAVO AM-FM in Decatur, Georgia; WZIP and WWEZ-FM in Cincinnati; WRMS in Beardstown, Illinois; WRIZ in Coral Gables, Florida; KYND in Pasadena, Texas; WLYF in Miami; WTOW in Towson, Maryland; WLIF in Baltimore; and WEZW in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.[6] In March 1972, the WWEL call sign was changed to WLAK. [7] WLAK adopted the beautiful music format produced and distributed by Stereo Radio Productions, as did the other Sudbrink FM stations.

In 1978, WLAK was sold to Storer Broadcasting, group owner of KTNQ and KGBS in Los Angeles; WGBS in Miami; WSPD in Toledo, Ohio; and WHN in New York, as well as seven television stations.[8] That December, Storer announced that it would exit radio to focus on its television stations and cable systems; while the company's other radio stations were sold in 1979, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations of the time required Storer to retain WLAK for three years. Storer sold WLAK to Viacom International in 1981.[9]

In 1983, WLAK switched to soft adult contemporary, playing 99% vocal songs and virtually no instrumentals. Core artists included Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand and others. WLAK was very successful in the format, and was one of the first in the nation preceding its sister station WLTW in New York. WLAK changed call letters on January 16, 1989 to WLIT-FM, and rebranded as "93.9 The Lite."[10]

In the mid-1990s, WLIT evolved out of soft AC and into a mainstream adult contemporary format. Viacom sold its radio stations to Chancellor Broadcasting in 1997. In 1999 Chancellor restructured as AMFM Inc. In 2000, WLIT fell under the ownership of Clear Channel Communications after Clear Channel's merger with AMFM. It later became "93.9 Lite FM."

Lite FM logo used from 2012 to 2013

WLIT became Chicago's only adult contemporary station on August 1, 2011, when former rival WCFS-FM flipped to a simulcast of WBBM. This marked the first time in years Chicago had had only one soft rock radio station.

My FM logo, 2013 to 2017
My FM Christmas logo

On June 17, 2013, at 9 AM, WLIT rebranded as "93.9 My FM". The first song on "My FM" was "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry.[11][12][13] The change updated the station's playlist to be more current/recurrent-based. On December 1, 2017, at 5 PM, during its annual Christmas music programming, WLIT returned to the Lite FM branding.[14] Unlike the previous "Lite FM", this incarnation uses the same logo and jingles as sister station WLTW in New York City.

Imaging[edit]

WLIT used jingles consistently to brand its station.

It started in 1994 with a custom package produced by what it was called TM Century, now TM Studios of Dallas.

In 2000, WLIT started using Reelworld Productions in Seattle, with a grand total of 5 custom packages that soon became the main formula for AC radio jingle imaging nationwide. After WLIT rebranded to 93.9 Lite FM in 2012, the station used Reelworld's Hallam FM 2006 and KMYI 2009 packages, with some Reelworld One AC cuts. The WLIT hasn't used any jingles since the rebrand to 93.9 My FM.

Imaging wise, the station used Randy Reeves from 2000-2004, and current imaging voice Cam Brainard since 2004, though WLIT used Scott Fisher and Joe Cipriano in the past. With the My FM rebrand, the station went back to Cam Brainard's voice, and the station hasn't turned to another imaging voice since. WLIT also uses Reelworld's Production Vault imaging library for all of its imaging.

HD programming[edit]

In February 2006, WLIT began broadcasting in HD Radio. WLIT's HD-2 was originally a simulcast of the now-defunct "Real Oldies" WRLL (now WVON) 1690 AM, then changed to a mix of disco music and 1970s/1980s called "Flashback." In August 2009, the format changed again, this time to a gold-based AC format known as "Chicago's Classic Lite", and later branded as Delilah.[15][16]

Christmas broadcasting[edit]

From November through Christmas Day each year, WLIT changes its branding to The Holiday Lite and format to continuous Christmas music, resuming its regular branding and format on December 26. During the period between December 26 and January 2, the Christmas music moves to the HD2 channel while the main terrestrial station resumes the regular format. After the mid-2013 rebranding, the all-Christmas tradition was continued without reference to "lite".[17][18]

On Air[edit]

  • Melissa Foreman (6AM-10AM) Weekdays
  • Robin Rock (10am-3pm) weekdays
  • Mick Lee (3pm-7pm) weekdays
  • Delilah (7pm-11pm) weekdays
  • The Rendezvous with Simon and Angi (11pm-1am) weekdays

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FCC FM Query". Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1958 (Retrieved August 26, 2016)
  3. ^ "Actions" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. December 8, 1969. 
  4. ^ "Call Letter Actions" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. January 26, 1970. 
  5. ^ "The Media" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. October 18, 1971. 
  6. ^ "Too much concession to citizen group?" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. December 20, 1971. 
  7. ^ "Call Letter Actions" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. March 13, 1972. 
  8. ^ "Approved" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. April 17, 1978. 
  9. ^ "Storer sells its final AM [sic] to Viacom" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. September 14, 1981. 
  10. ^ https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-3924182.html
  11. ^ Venta, Lance (June 17, 2013). "Lite's Out In Chicago". Radio Insight. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ "WLIT-FM Drops 'The Lite' - Changes To '93.9 My FM'". Chicagoland Radio and Media. June 17, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  13. ^ "WLIT now MY FM with updated playlist". Chicago Tribune. June 17, 2013. 
  14. ^ WLIT Chicago Reverts To 93.9 Lite-FM Branding
  15. ^ http://939myfm.iheart.com/articles/my-fm-promotions-118262/listen-to-delilah-247-13198118/
  16. ^ http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=4 HD Radio Guide for Chicago
  17. ^ "WLIT Goes All Christmas Just After Midnight". Chicago Tribune. November 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ "WLIT-FM Begins Its Annual Teasing of Listeners Waiting for Christmas Music". Chicago Radio and Media. November 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°52′44″N 87°38′10″W / 41.87889°N 87.63611°W / 41.87889; -87.63611