Published on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 15:21
An unknown group of radio people have banded together to start a grass root campaign to "Save The Loop." Actually, they are doing more than just trying to "save" it, they want to gather up interest to see if a large group of Chicago radio fans are willing to buy WLUP-FM.
With Emmis Communications actively looking to sell the station (along with sister-station WKQX-FM), and with the company shocking fans by removing the harder classic rock and all new rock from its playlist to become a classic hits station less than two weeks ago
, this group has said "enough is enough." They are looking to find a way to take control of the station and return it to its glory years.
For now, Save The Loop's plans for taking ownership of WLUP-FM are not being fully unveiled, except to say that it feels it can follow in the footsteps of organizations like the Green Bay Packers and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, who allowed fans to take pride in ownership. An anonymous spokesperson for the group said today: "If the bustling metropolises of Green Bay, Wisconsin and Burlington, Vermont can pool together to own their beloved home-grown businesses, why can't Chicagoland radio fans who have literally grown up with The Loop, get together and save their beloved station from being swallowed up yet again by some corporate conglomerate and treated as part of some rich guy's 'holdings'?"
He went on to add, "Chicago has lost some of its finest institutions in recent years. As radio pros, business leaders, and prideful Chicagoans, we're mad as hell and not going to take anymore! We've decided to take action, and we want everyone to know they have the power to take action too. We hope everybody who has loved The Loop like we have over the past three decades will join hands with us as we band together to bring this station home to Chicago for good!"
A website has been started up, SaveTheLoop.com
. After entering an email address, you can then see a professionally done video running over six minutes long. It contains an overview of the Loop's famous era as a top station with top personalities, along with an overview of their plan to raise interest and perhaps even the money needed to purchase the station from Emmis. Fans can sign a petition on the site and link it to their Facebook pages.
The people behind the video are not looking for any donations right now. They are merely trying to generate some "buzz" and see if there is any strong interest in this plan. For now, the campaign is a rallying cry, nothing more. Those behind it, who wish to remain anonymous, may or may not consist of past employees of WLUP and may even have some current employees with their fingers in this pie.
The SaveTheLoop's Chairman of the Board is going by the name of Joey Baggadonuts. Longtime Loop fans will remember that name as the rather rotund dancer from many famous WLUP commercials in the 80's and 90's. The actor who played "Joey Bag O Donuts" in the old Loop commercials (one of which can be seen on the CRM Video page at this link HERE
) was Robert Marena, though he is not the one behind the current "Save The Loop" campaign.
This new Joey Baggadonuts has also started up a Facebook page
to help spread the word.
The website domain was started back on 5/15/2010 through GoDaddy.com. The owners have made the registration private, meaning the domain owners remain anonymous. The group is currently working out of a PO Box in Naperville, IL.
The group behind SaveTheLoop.com
will be revealing more of their plans and some of their identities in the weeks to come.
The group's secret spokesperson said tonight: "We are putting the band back together and we need every backup singer in Chicago to join what is shaping up to be an all-star lineup! Perhaps by showing average men and women that they have the power to step forward and take action in a world seemingly owned and operated by corporate America, we can encourage people to dream even bigger dreams and take back something bigger than The Loop, like the United States of America. For now, we'll start with taking our radio station back and go from there."
Will this gather up interest in finding buyers and/or investors for the station? Will this plan work? Could this plan even work? Could this all be a big promotional stunt by Emmis to draw attention to their desperate need to sell soon? Can The Loop be saved? Time will tell...