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In a promotion for the Chicago-based radio station Q-101, listeners were encouraged to switch to the new radio station. Beginning as rock station WKQX in 1977, it would be rebranded as “Q-101” in the early 1980s. In the mid-1980s, it became a top station for Adult Contemporary and hosted Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s program Sexually Speaking. In 1988, the station was purchased by Emmis Communications and would continue to air the adult top 40 format until the early 1990s. On July 14th, 1992, the station began playing an alternative rock format and became “Chicago’s New Rock Alternative.” As an alternative rock station, Q-101 hosted music festivals and promoted local artists. In 2011, WKQX was sold, and the format switched over to news; Q-101 moved to stream online as an internet-only station. The final on-air show ended at 1:01 a.m., July 15th with the song “Tonight, Tonight” by Chicago-based The Smashing Pumpkins.
In 2014, after failed news ratings, the station on 101.1 began broadcasting alternative hits again under new ownership, Cumulus Radio Group. Although the station tried to capture the alternative music fanbase of Q101, the Q101 signature programs and radio personalities did not return. As station ratings fluctuated, some former Q101 content creators and personalities joined the new company, but the Cumulus format still remains with more broad definitions of alternative including lighter fare, such as Coldplay, gracing the airwaves.