Published on Thursday, 14 July 2011 17:53
Those listening to WKQX-FM today are hearing the current DJs and past DJs saying their farewells on the air, as the alternative rock-formatted Q101 comes to a close on terrestrial radio late tonight
. As of tomorrow, WKQX-FM will no longer be known as Q101 and at some point later this month will be an all new news/talk/commentary format run by a new company, Merlin Media, LLC. However, the iconic radio station Q101 will not be gone for good! Fans of Q101 will be excited to read this news...
The Chicagoland-based Broadcast Barter Radio Networks has purchased Q101 and all related intellectual property and social media assets from Emmis Communications. BBRN will now own the Q101 name, the Q101 logos and images, 19 years of recordings, 19 years of promotional materials, the online Q101 Club and perhaps biggest of all, the website Q101.com
. Anything and everything Q101 related will now be owned and cared for by BBRN -- even Robert Murphy's straight jacket from the old Q101 commercials! Merlin Media did not purchase any of these physical or intellectual materials when they agreed to purchase WKQX and two other stations from Emmis Communications in June.
The transaction terms between Broadcast Barter Radio Networks and Emmis Communications is not being disclosed. The agreement ensures that the heritage alternative rock station and all of its memories will not just fade away at Midnight tonight, as originally feared. Chicago's favorite Alternative station will live on, just via the Internet and via mobile distribution.
Emmis Communications previously charged $.99 for their mobile apps to listen to Q101. This weekend, free of Emmis Communications ownership, that app becomes free for all to use and download.
BBRN is inviting all listeners and fans of Q101 to visit Q101.com
and join its email "Q101 Club" so they can be kept up-to-date on what BBRN is calling the "re-birth and re-invention" of Q101. The company promises the fans of Q101 that they will have a "big say" in the music and content heard on the radio station across all platforms.
The website will remain basically the same for the immediate future, but will eventually change and grow rapidly. It will be a current alt-rock online radio station, as well as becoming a celebration of the station's past glory years, featuring photos, audio, and much more. Emmis Communications will initially program the alternative rock music heard from their alternative station KROX-FM in Austin, but within just a few weeks, the programming will become all locally done, with fans having true input into the music played. The music will be completely commercial free.
Additionally, BBRN is in the process of reaching out to Q101 jocks (both past and present), its longtime partners, vendors, clients, along with any and all content providers eager to be seen and heard on this platform. Those looking to be part of the new Q101.com can reach out to the new owners at
In a new statement being issued later today, BBRN's co-founder Mike Noonan says: "We couldn't stand to watch this tremendously important brand to Chicago, with all of its history and the impact it's had on this city, the radio business, and the music industry, simply go by the wayside. Today is a great day for alternative music fans and Q101 listeners! Advertisers are going to love the opportunities we have with this brand and Q101.com's reach and performance!"
Matt DuBiel, BBRN's other co-founder, adds: "I remember the first time I heard Nirvana. It was on Q101. Q101 is where I got my first paycheck in radio. It's an emotional time for anyone who's ever been involved with Q101, and we have a standing offer to the Talent and sales staff to join us at Q101.com! We have big plans for Q101.com! One of the first orders of business is make the Q101 App completely FREE for all listeners!"
Broadcast Barter Radio Networks was first formed in 2004 by Chicago radio veterans Matt Dubiel and Mike Noonan as a boutique radio programming and sales firm. In 2009, BBRN sold its home-grown daily vignette "8 Track Playback," hosted by Donny Osmond, to McVay Syndication. BBRN has created and currently syndicates the 24/7 hard-drive country format Blue Collar Radio
, as well as the nationally syndicated talk show "The Kevin Trudeau Show." Both Dubiel and Noonan previously worked for WKQX-FM and/or sister-station WLUP-FM in the past, as well as many other radio stations in Chicagoland. Earlier this year, both men were also among those involved with the "Save The Loop" grass roots campaign to find local ownership for the two Emmis-owned radio stations in Chicago, prior to the Merlin Media purchase agreement