If you are a local here in Chicago, you probably turned on Q101 last week and heard the DJs do their last goodbyes. It was hard no matter how much of a happy face they tried to put on it. Q101 has been here in Chicago almost 20 years. The kicker was today when the company that bought Q101 put a Red Hot Chili Peppers song for the last 12 hours. It's just autoplayed the same song. It's basically sticking up the middle finger at the long time Q101 listeners. Here's the crazy thing though — there are no longer any rock stations in Chicago and that's just wrong.
However, we have not lost everything. After doing some research, I found out that 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. As I write this, I am listening to Q101.com.
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.
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!”
I am sad that Q101 on the radio is gone. But thank you BBRN for picking up the torch and allowing Q101 to live on!