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City of license Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast area Chicago market
Branding 93XRT
Slogan Chicago's Finest Rock
Frequency 93.1 FM (MHz) (also on HD Radio)
93.1 HD-2 for Channel X: New Music Channel
93.1 HD-3 for Discover
First air date 1972
Format AAA
ERP 6,700 watts
Class B
Owner CBS Radio
(CBS Radio East, Inc.)
part of CBS Corp. cluster with TV station WBBM-TV
Webcast Listen Live

WXRT-FM, also known as WXRT 93.1, XRT, and 93-XRT is an AAA radio station in Chicago, Illinois. For many years their slogan has been "Chicago's Finest Rock".



The format as it exists today began in 1972 as a night-time-only freeform rock experiment, sharing the 93.1 frequency with a variety of different ethnic and foreign language programming that aired during the daylight hours. The part-time progressive rock format was gradually expanded until by 1976 it aired 24 hours a day. By the 1980s the station played primarily new wave and alternative music of that time. As the 1990s approached the station opted to stay with its core audience and move to an AAA format. The office of the radio station is located on west Belmont Ave. in Chicago.

WXRT was locally owned until 1995. It was then purchased by Westinghouse, which had acquired WMAQ 670 (which has since changed call letters to WSCR) a few years before. WXRT became part of the CBS conglomerate in 1996 when Westinghouse and CBS merged. CBS later merged with Infinity Radio, keeping the Infinity name for its radio division. CBS and Viacom would merge in 2000, making WXRT an Infinity Radio station whose parent companies were CBS and Viacom. In December 2005, Infinity Radio officially became CBS Radio in anticipation of the CBS/Viacom split up.


Current Programming Personnel:

Norm Winer (Vice President Adult Rock Programming) John Farneda (Operations Manager/Music Director) Marty Lennartz (DJ/Creative Assistant to Programming/Host of the Big Beat/Going to the Show with A Regular Guy) Mike Pentz (Production Director) Lin Brehmer (Morning show host) Mary Dixon (News anchor) Marc Alghini (morning show producer/DJ) Terri Hemmert (DJ/Host of Breakfast with the Beatles) Frank E. Lee (DJ) Jason Thomas (DJ) Tom Marker (DJ/Host of Blues Breakers) Wendy Rice (DJ/Host of Saturday Morning Flashback) Richard Milne (DJ/Host of Local Anesthetic) Barry Winograd (Host of Jazz Transfusion) Leslie Witt (DJ) Johnny Mars (DJ) Ken Sumka (DJ) Doug Levy (DJ) Bill Artlip (DJ)

There has been remarkably little disc jockey turnover at XRT since it began in 1972. Terri Hemmert is the DJ who has been with XRT the longest, since 1973. Norm Winer, who worked at pioneering progressive rock radio stations WBCN in Boston and KSAN in San Francisco, has been the XRT Program Director for over 25 years.

Current format and programming

WXRT plays a very broad library of mostly adult-oriented rock dating from the mid-'50s to the present. The station's playlist includes over 5,000 songs which appear on a regular basis from a wide set of genres, including blues, reggae, folk-rock, pop, and rock and roll. The station is well known for its Saturday Morning Flashback program, hosted by Wendy Rice (Norm's wife), and its Breakfast with the Beatles (a show that originated at WCKG in 1985) program on Sunday mornings, hosted by Terri Hemmert. "Blues Breakers" emphasizes the blues of Chicago artists and has been hosted by Tom Marker since 1984. "Jazz Transfusion", hosted by Barry Winograd, features a wide range of jazz from different eras and genres. "Local Anesthetic," hosted by Richard Milne since 1991, features the latest music from Chicago-area artists.

April Fools' jokes

WXRT has performed numerous April Fools' Day jokes over the years.

On April 1, 1998, WXRT stated during its morning show with Lin Brehmer that it was now called WXXXRT, and that it was now a subsidiary of Playboy Enterprises. Brehmer, the normal morning show host, and his news anchor partner, Mary Dixon, very calmly and casually made the announcement several times throughout the show that day and made very little fuss about the change in ownership, trying to pawn it off as no big deal. The station's music format was now changed to include primarily 1980s dance music. Brehmer took extra care to mention the change in station call letters more than usual. Many of the conversations from angry listeners were recorded off-the-air that morning, and then edited together and played back the next day, April 2nd. Some of the conversations included Brehmer talking with people, letting them fume, and then asking the angry listener what day it was; this often resulted in the listener realizing they had been a victim of the hoax.

Also, during the 90's on April 1, WXRT announced its new studio, with a window to the street, at 380 N. Michigan Avenue. That address didn't exist, as it put the studio address in the middle of the Michigan Avenue bridge crossing the Chicago River.

In 2006, WXRT announced it would end its Saturday Morning Flashback program on April 1 of that year. Many listeners did not realize the importance of the proposed end date for the program as a clue that the announcement was a hoax.

External links

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