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The Friday Flashback: The Loop AM 1000

By Chuck Sudo in Miscellaneous on Apr 18, 2008 1:00PM

The late 80's were probably the last great era in Chicago radio. In 1985, WLUP bought a floundering Christian radio station broadcasting at 1000 on the AM dial. Two years later they loaded it with an all-star lineup of Jonathan Brandmeier in the mornings, Steve Dahl and Garry Meier in the afternoons, and a young hotshot personality/impressionist from Grand Rapids named Kevin Matthews manning middays. After Steve and Garry, the station would simulcast with WLUP FM and re-air Dahl and Meier's show during the witching hour.

Station managers Jim DeCastro and Larry Wert tried to position AM 1000 as a younger, fresher, hipper version of WGN, which (even then) didn't take much effort. At 50,000 watts of broadcast power, it could also reach a large portion of the continental US after dark. We can remember waking up before sunrise while attending our version of grad school in Connecticut and catching the final hour of Steve and Garry with crystal clarity. It was a tie to home that we never took for granted whenever we missed Chicago.