‘The Loop’ is gone, stations are bankrupt: Chicago radio struggles to stay relevant in digital age


By Robert Channick

March 10, 2018


Chicagoans who have their clock radios set to WLUP-FM 97.9 may be in for a rude awakening Saturday as songs like AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” give way to “Jesus I Believe” by Big Daddy Weave, the top song this week on K-LOVE, the station’s new Christian pop format.

Welcome to the Chicago airwaves, circa 2018.

Hitting the snooze button won’t bring Styx, Van Halen or Led Zeppelin back to “The Loop,” which is ending a 40-year-run as an iconic classic rock station. On Tuesday, owner Merlin Media announced it is selling WLUP to Educational Media Foundation, a California-based religious broadcaster, for $21.5 million.

The foundation is taking over WLUP’s programming through an affiliation agreement while the sale awaits approval from the Federal Communications Commission.


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