The Death of Q101.1 “Chicago’s Alternative”

8 Aug

JPG Rating:     On the decision to axe the station.  It will be sorely missed, but they had it coming.

It was a strange moment when I found out Q101 was dead.  It started with one co-worker saying they heard Tio Cruz.  Then another mentioned they’d heard the Black Eyed Peas on the alternative rock station, and then someone dropped a bomb on our proverbial water cooler.  He smacked me in the face with this; Q101 was bought out and switched to an all-news format.  All of the staff affiliated with the former station had been laid off.

Nirvana-Nevermind (1991)

Q101.1 FM wasn’t the only thing that died that day.  A piece of my childhood went with it.  When I was growing up in the 90’s my mom would have me ride with her to take my sister to the Art Institute in downtown Chicago.  We would take I-90, windows down, volume up, on days that always seemed sunny.  In those years we drove to the city listening to Q101 I not only found my musical taste, but my personal identity as well.  I didn’t want to listen to pop or rap.  I wanted to rock out!With age however comes perspective.  The station had this one coming.  I wasn’t the only one who had been complaining that the aging kings of alternative had held onto their bread and butter far too long.  Songs like “Interstate Love Song” and “Come as You Are” were great when they debuted in the early/mid 90’s.  The problem is that they’ve been playing those same songs for almost 20(!) years now. They never really embraced the changing landscape of rock with open arms and I believe it is what caused their demise.

I don’t think radio is dead just yet though.  I think there’s still a large population of people who want music on the radio that’s not country or Katy Perry.  Q101 may be saying hello to the Dodo, but surely someone else can learn from their mistakes, right?  Can I get an Amen….anyone?

-Follow Josh on Twitter @JoshPGreenberg

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