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|Broadcast area||Rockford, Illinois|
|Branding||104-9 The X|
|Frequency||104.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||100.5 W263BJ (Loves Park, relays HD2)|
|First air date||1971 (as WKWL-FM)|
HD2: Classic Hits "Rockford's Greatest Hits, 100 FM"
|Former callsigns||WKWL (1971-1976)
|Owner||Mid-West Family Broadcasting
(Mid-Way Radio, Inc.)
Listen Live (HD2)
WXRX (commonly known as "The X") is an FM radio station, broadcasting at 104.9 FM. Licensed to Belvidere, Illinois, the station serves the Rockford, Illinois area. Originally created by a company called "Radio Works" run by David McAley and Robert Rhea Jr., it is now owned by Mid-West Family Broadcasting. WXRX started as a classic rock station. Today, the X is a mainstream rock station including a wider variety of classic rock while still featuring new rock.
Popular disc jockeys that have worked for WXRX include Jonathon Brandmeier, Tim Crull, Cheryl Jackson as K.C. Meadows, Sky Drysdale, Alan Cox, Jamie Markley, Mark Zander as Mark Edwards, Lori Hastings, and Pete McMurray.
The station went on the air as WKWL on February 27, 1971 playing a "Good Music" format and affiliated with the ABC news network. The 300 foot tower was co-located with the studios on N. Bell School Road in Rockford. A fire in the basement where the transmitter was located burned the entire building to the ground.
The license was acquired in December, 1974, and the station was rebuilt at the Cherryvale Mall. It returned to the air in 1976 with the call letters WYBR (for "Yellow Brick Road"), transmitting from a 300' tower in the Cherryvale parking lot, with studios inside the mall in suite E-114.
The initial format was termed "Theatre of the Mind", and the first airstaff included many people with theatrical background. Actress Susan Saint James was a frequent visitor and contributor to station programming elements. The format gradually migrated to an Adult Contemporary/MOR format in the late 70s. Jonathon Brandmeier was the morning show host from 1978 to 1980.
RadioWorks, Inc acquired WYBR-FM (and WRRR-AM) in August 1989. Over the next four months, the Company undertook a total upgrade of the station's audio chain. The debut of WXRX at midnight on January 1, 1990 was supported by an intensive TV advertising campaign. A year and a half after the debut, WXRX rose to #1 in the market according to the Arbitron report. This displaced WROK and WZOK after a 25 year spam where one or the other had been #1 overall in Rockford In October 1992 Pete McMurray was hired as morning man, along with Linda Lampert as sidekick, thus "McMurray in the Morning" was born. No morning show in the history of WXRX has achieved higher ratings or a bigger following than "McMurray in the Morning." Lampert left in 1996. In 1998 McMurray exited for WCKG FM Talk Chicago, IL. From 1993-1998 Pete McMurray reigned as the "King of Rockford Radio." He currently hosts the morning show at WDRV-FM The Drive in Chicago.
- The 1972 Broadcasting Yearbook
- The 1978 Broadcasting Yearbook