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City of license Bloomington, Illinois
Broadcast area Bloomington-Normal
Branding 101.5 WBNQ
Slogan "Today's Best Music"
Frequency 101.5 MHz
First air date Early 1980s
Format Top 40 (CHR)
ERP 50,000 watts
Class B
Owner Regent Broadcasting
Sister stations WBWN, WJBC, WJEZ, WTRX-FM
Webcast Listen Live

WBNQ (101.5 FM) is the most powerful FM radio station in McLean County, Illinois: 50,000 watts on 101.5 MHz. It has had a contemporary hit radio music format since the early 1980s.


WBNQ first signed on the air as WJBC-FM. It was the practice among the early FM stations, to to simply add FM to the AM call letters and simulcast programming. The early days of the WBNQ call letters saw the station airing a home-grown easy listening/beautiful music automated format recorded at the old studio site above the Castle Theater in downtown Bloomington. In August 1972 WBNQ became an oldies station using the Draper-Blore Olde Golde syndicated format, then changed to Drake-Chenault Solid Gold format in 1974 and evolved to Drake-Chenault's XT-40 format, a blend of current Top 40 hits, recurrents and oldies. In the Spring 1976 Arbitron, using Drake-Chenault's XT-40 format, WBNQ attained it's highest 12+ share ever of 24.3%. In 1976 Denny Adkins, the Operations Director of WBNQ, joined Drake-Cheanault as a programming consultant working with their client stations on format presentation, promotion and community involement. Adkins rose through the ranks at D-C becoming President in 1985.

While supposedly WBNQ is an acronym for "We're Bloomington Normal Quality", the slogan was rarely used and never used after the format change in 1972. In the early 1980s, WBNQ became a "live" operation with a contemporary hit radio station, a format that remains today.

WBNQ enjoyed #1 ratings in 2000 and had a run of consecutive number one ratings from 2001 to 2004. Despite increased competition in 2005, WBNQ has remained a top rated station with #1 or #2 12+ Arbitron rankings as of Spring of 2008.[1]


  1. ^ "Arbitron Rankings". Retrieved 2008-08-08.   Login required.

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