Even they are iHeart-owned, I was thinking of what would happen to 95.5. They ranked #23rd while US99 ranked #7th in the recent ratings. US99 has been Country for a long time and no other station that has attempted to challenge them for the country crown has dethroned them (remember 94.7's Kicks Country in the late 90s?). I just don't US99 flipping formats anytime soon. As for 95.5, could they tweak their country format to target older listeners (a 90s/2000s country format playing Garth Brooks, Reba MacEntire, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, etc.). Then again, a classic country format probably wouldn't work in Chicago.
If 95.5 drops country, what format would they go to? All signs point to alternative/rock and challenge WKQX but what if Entercom beats them to it and flips WXRT to alternative instead? 3 alternative rock stations just wouldn't fly. I do like the idea an earlier comment said about an 80s/90s/2000s CHR hits format. (think a younger version of WLS-FM's classic hits format.) But iHeart already owns 93.9 which has a somewhat similar (although AC-leaning) format. In addition, the format couldn't be too rhythmic-leaning since iHeart also owns WGCI and V103. A few years ago, 101.1 post-Q101 tried a 90s/2000s classic hits format after their news/talk format failed but returned back to alternative.
I would also rule out older-skewing formats such as classic hits/oldies (to compete against WLS-FM or ME TV) or a return to smooth jazz (I still miss that jingle, BTW). Could 95.5 try again with a Spanish-speaking format?
« Back to index | View thread »