To 97.9 The Loop Chicago radio: Stop sucking ass

An open letter to 97.9 The Loop Chicago’s Classic Rock station,

Our city already has a shitty classic rock station, its 97.1 “The Drive”. We don’t need two. Chicago radio is terrible, but whether I dig it or not, there’s pretty

Fine. Play cheesy 80’s Aerosmith on the radio. but if I hear Ragdoll one more time….

much only two rock radio stations in Chicago. And whether I dig it or not, I occasionally tune in, because lets face it, I’d rather hear Van Halen’s “Runnin’ with the Devil” on the radio for the 1000th time than [insert Lady Gaga/Katy Perry song here] play on the radio for the 1000th time. I’d also rather scrape my nails on an old chalkboard, but lets not be too picky.

Why, might you ask, am I chewing out a classic rock radio station for playing classic rock? Well, for one, it’s a shitty classic rock station. Like, how many times do we need to hear “Smoke on the Water” in one day? 3? 4 times? Fucking seriously? I know the artists are limited to that babyboomer stuff that sells the ad time, like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, but do you really have to play “Back in Black”? From a band that has been around for 30 years, has almost 20 official releases, and hundreds of original songs, you’re seriously going to play “Back in Black”?… Sandwiched right in between the other ‘classics,’ “Smoke on the Water” and “Life in the Fastline”? Seriously? Even the people who LIKE those songs are sick of your soundtrack. (Sidebar t0 my readers: if you legitimately like the song “Smoke on the Water”, like actually enjoy hearing it…  like, not as a guilty pleasure… and not just because it ‘brings you back’… but if you really, actually enjoy that song… and think it doesn’t get enough radio airtime or performed enough by crappy street-fair cover bands…. get the hell off my site. You’re not welcome here. That song is garbage).

Moving on… the second reason I am calling out a classic rock station for playing classic rock is because the change in ownership of 97.9 The Loop was entirely responsible for the demise of Q101, our last standing contemporary, alternative rock station after 94.7 The Zone bit the dust in 2005. The station went under new ownership in June 2011 to Merlin Media, “a new venture headed by Randy Michaels, former chief executive of Tribune Co. and owner of the Chicago Tribune. So congratulations baby-boomers, your ‘sticking-it-to-the-man’ music and radio station is now owned by ‘the man.’ I would care less if Q101 didn’t get caught up in the multi-million dollar deal.

Course of action:

Until Chicago gets at least 1 contemporary rock station, I will be posting a radio-themed rants, directed at 97.9 The Loop.

Photo off by Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The guy that sold Q101 down the river… Photo off by Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

I’ve kind of already made up my mind about this, but here’s what you can do to help your cause:

• The Loop’s facebook page says “97.9 The Loop Chicago’s Rock Station.” You are not a ‘Chicago’s rock station’… 94.7 was our rock station, Q101 was our rock station, and you were that other ‘classic rock station’ along with 97.1 in a seemingly ongoing contest to see who can play the most generic and typical classic rock hits to appeal to the 40-50 year old babyboomers.

• You can bring back Q101 as an alternative rock station. I don’t think your 101.1 FM news station is doing that well anyway. And how are those ratings goin? Does anyone even listen to it? Stop being in denial. You fucked up. And now here’s your chance to fix it.

• Lastly, you can mail me a free 97.9 The Loop t-shirt so I can write ‘sucks ass’ on it and wear it while I mow the lawn and do yardwork. I wear size medium.




  1. The loop used to play metalica, stp, etc. What pisses me off even more is when I see the loop at a crue or gnr concert I ask them what the f they are doing there when they Don’t play that music!!!! Might as well have B96 or US99 there too! Playing only music from 40 years ago gets old, why not play music from five decades ago too! There has been better music made since then, music to me is like technology, it gets better every year! I miss hearing my Hollywood Undead, Rise Against, etc. Just look at the ratings, the reason Gaga gets so much playtime is the youthful audience, even if she has 75% of that youthful audience, the remaining 25% youthful audience is IMO more than the 100% old geezer audience and BTW I am 40!!! Frickin dummies.

    • chicagoranter says:

      I agree 100%. I’m down with the classic rock, but let’s mix in some new stuff. Yes, the selling trend is this new pop music, but don’t forget about the other genres. Chicago radio is in a sad state and there should be something done to fix it. I think since the owner of The Loop is the one who took out Q101, 97.9 should have become a mix of the two, not stay the same.

  2. Once again, why does the loop show up at motley crue and poison and guns and roses when they DON’TPLAY THEIR MUSIC!!! They might as well sponser a Miley Cyrus concert as well!!!

    • chicagoranter says:

      I’ve seen 97.9 set up at a Judas Priest concert even though they only play Priest like once a month. They’re the only thing Chicago has close to a rock station so it’s not like anyone else is going to be there. It’s monopolized promotion. It’s not right that the Chicago radio scene has no contemporary rock stations. Q101 was one of the last of its kinda and we need a replacement. I’d also like to note that not only did Q101 attend the shows, but they hosted them as well.. didn’t they get Queens of the Stone Age to play one of their Q101 block parties?

  3. I agree with all of you! How can anyone “take a trip down memory lane” when the stuff is played multiple times a day on just about every Chgo radio station?! Why does the man think that’s all we want to hear? Do they think everyone is listening to all the “classic” stuff on their Sony Walkmans? Chicago Radio, lets move on & be a part of this millennium!!!

  4. I’ll immediately grab your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly permit me realize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  5. Michael says:

    Rock music (after the mid-60s and the Beatles) has “sucked,” in your rocker jargon. Fact of the matter is that Chicago radio sucks too these days. WLUP is part of the “wuss rock bandwagon.” It would have been great if they had stuck to their guns. I despise rock music in any form, I agree with you that WLUP “sucks.”

  6. I fricken hate the loop with a passion im 43 years old loved q101 and alternative. not the crap they play on the loop ie boston led zepplin same dam songs they been shoving up our ass for the last 30 years! wtf is this station still doing on the air pleasergo away loop you suck!!!!!

    • chicagoranter says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Q101 has a phone app that streams a decent mix, but other than that I’m all iPod nowadays…

  7. The loop sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I agree totally. I’m 47 and I’m tired of hearing the same shit everyday. The loop sucks!

  9. chicagoranter says:

    Forreal! and I don’t really even care if its just mainstream rock! But something for people under 50 definitely.


  1. […] stations and they both suck. 97.1 and 97.9 Chicago radio stations are just terrible. You can read the colorful rant from earlier this week here. And a lot of you have also expressed your like-mindedness and we have been heard, and answered by […]

  2. […] glad we got some rock back on the FM airwaves that doesn’t suck as bad as 97.9 The Loop or The Drive. But why is the new alt rock station have the ‘Q’ 87.7 fm if it’s all separate […]

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