103.1 WXXY becomes Viva 103.1 - Format Change Archive

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Chicago

103.1 WXXY becomes Viva 103.1


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The Chicago division of Big City Radio offered some of the more interesting programming on the Windy City’s radio dial. However, three times, a format they debuted on one of their sets of suburban frequencies (103.1 or 92.7/92.5) ended up being copied and presented in a different form on a full signal in the market. WXXY and WYXX brought the “Jammin’ Oldies” format to Chicago, but AMFM (now Clear Channel) decided to debut its own “Jammin Oldies” on the powerful 103.5 FM. This led to the debut of “The 80’s Channel, 103.1 WXXY” on the 103.1 duo, in August 1999. Many considered The 80’s Channel to be the best-implemented version of the all-1980’s format, not only because of its willingness to play diffferent styles of 80’s music (instead of the Rock and New Wave emphasis found on most “80’s” stations), but also because of the stations’ presentation. With an emphasis on personality and the classic jingles, WXXY/WYXX truly sounded like a station that existed in the 80’s.

wxxy2.pngHowever, once again, Big City’s idea found its way to a station with a stronger signal. In late 2000, ABC flipped its languishing Classic Rock outlet, WXCD 94.7 FM, to a Rock/New Wave-oriented “80’s and more” format known as “94.7 the Zone”. So, on January 29, 2001 — just 3 days after surrending the “Kiss” name and CHR/Pop format to Clear Channel (see “Energy 92-7 & 5 description” above) — Big City Radio pulled the plug on “The 80’s Channel” and replaced it with Spanish Contemporary-formatted “Viva 103.1” (based on sister station “Viva 107.1” in suburban Los Angeles.

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