Media in Chicago

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Harpo Studios, home of talk show host Oprah Winfrey

The Chicago metropolitan area (the Chicago Market) commands the third-largest media market in the United States after New York City and Los Angeles and the largest inland market.[1] All of the major U.S. television networks have subsidiaries in Chicago. WGN-TV, which is owned by the Tribune Media Company, is carried (with some programming differences) as "WGN America" on cable and satellite nationwide. Sun-Times Media Group is also headquartered in Chicago, which, along with the Tribune Media Company, are some the largest owners of daily newspapers in the country.


Journalists, novelists, architects, engineers, business tycoons, scientists, poets, sports teams, criminals, and millions of laborers shaped Chicago's national and international reputation. Images and representations are important means by which the city is known and negotiated. During the years of rapid urbanization between 1890 and 1930, numerous daily newspapers presented the most important and pervasive versions of the city.

Among the significant innovations of Chicago's newspapers in these years that shaped the idea of the city was the emergence of the local color columnist. Groeninger (2005) examines the role of columnists in Chicago newspapers in creating a "city of the mind." After a review of the literature on images of cities, the relationship of newspapers to modern city life in the thought of Robert Park, and the world of Chicago's newspapers at the turn of the 20th century, detailed studies of a number of the most important columnists of the era follow. George Ade's column of the 1890s in the Daily News, "Stories of the Streets and of the Town," presented a view of Chicago from the perspective of migrants from the small towns of the Midwest. In the same decade Finley Peter Dunne's column in the Evening Post, featuring the fictional Irish barkeeper, Mr. Dooley, offered readers a literary version of the Irish working-class neighborhood of Bridgeport. Ring Lardner's Tribune sports column of the teens, "In the Wake of the News," satirized not only Chicagoans obsession with sports, but also the middle-class culture of opera, musical theater, and the newspaper itself. Several columns in the black newspaper, The Whip, offered images of Bronzeville in the 1920s that both reflected and helped shape the experience of African-Americans on the South Side of Chicago. Ben Hecht's "1001 Afternoons in Chicago" column in the Daily News expressed a new, anti-Victorian sensibility in the post-war era, but his most enduring contributions to the image of Chicago were on the stage and in the new medium of film. The columnists who wrote about everyday life in the city were the most distinctive and powerful newspaper voices in shaping the idea of Chicago and the civic personality of the city itself.[2]


Two major daily newspapers are published in Chicago, The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. The former has the larger circulation. There are also a number of regional and special-interest newspapers such as the Daily Herald (Arlington Heights), SouthtownStar, the Chicago Defender, RedEye, Third Coast Press and the Chicago Reader.




Business, legal, entertainment and other local periodicals

Defunct newspapers

Radio stations

According to Arbitron, Chicago is America's third largest radio market, trailing New York and Los Angeles.


Frequency Callsign Branding Format Owner
560 WIND AM 560 The Answer News/conservative talk Salem Communications
670 WSCR The Score Sports Radio Sports talk CBS Radio
720 WGN News/Talk 720 News/talk/sports Tribune Company
750 WNDZ Access Radio Chicago Brokered programming Newsweb Corporation
780 WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 All-news radio CBS Radio
820 WCPT Chicago's Progressive Talk Progressive talk Newsweb Corporation
850 WAIT The Promise Christian radio Newsweb Corporation
890 WLS 89 WLS News/talk radio Cumulus Media
930 WKBM Relevant Radio Christian radio Starboard Broadcasting
950 WNTD Relevant Radio Catholic Teaching M&S WNTD, LLC
1000 WMVP Chicago ESPN Radio 1000 Sports talk The Walt Disney Company
1030 WNVR Polskie Radio Chicago World ethnic Polnet Communications
1080 WNWI AP Radio Ethnic radio Birach Broadcasting Corporation
1110 WMBI Moody Radio Christian radio Moody Radio
1160 WYLL AM 1160 WYLL Christian talk Salem Communications
1200 WRTO La Tremenda 1200 AM Spanish news/talk Univision Radio
1220 WKRS ESPN Deportes 1220 Spanish language sports NextMedia Group
1230 WJOB AM-1230 WJOB News/talk/sports Vazquez Development, LLC
1240 WSBC Access Radio Chicago Variety Newsweb Corporation
1270 WWCA Relevant Radio Christian radio Starboard Broadcasting
1300 WRDZ Radio Disney Children's radio The Walt Disney Company
1320 WKAN Talk AM 1320 Talk/personality Staradio
1330 WKTA Chicago's Radio Station World ethnic Polnet Communications
1340 WJOL 1340 WJOL News/talk/sports NextMedia Group
1370 WLTH WeaLTH Radio Community radio WLTH Radio
1390 WGRB Inspiration 1390 Gospel music iHeartMedia
1410 WRMN The Radio Shopping Show
1420 WIMS AM-1420 WIMS News/talk Gerard Media, LLC
1450 WCEV 1450 AM WCEV Ethnic talk Migala Communications Corporation
1490 WPNA Chicagoland's International Choice Polish/ethnic Alliance Communications
1500 WAKE Oldies 1500 WAKE Oldies/Classic Hits Radio One Communications
1500 WPJX Spanish radio Polnet Communications
1510 WWHN WWHN 1510 AM Urban contemporary gospel Hawkins Broadcasting Company
1530 WCKG Chicago's Hometown Station Talk/brokered programming Joseph J. Gentile
1570 WBGX The Big Gospel Express Gospel Great Lakes Radio-Chicago, LLC
1590 WCGO Serving Chicagoland's Diverse Communities Ethnic Kovas Communications, Inc.
1690 WVON The Talk of Chicago Urban talk iHeartMedia


Frequency Callsign Branding Format Owner
87.7 WRME-LP Q87.7, Underground Alternative Alternative rock Venture Technologies Group
88.1 WCRX 88.1FM WCRX, Chicago's Underground Dance/Top 40/Hip hop Columbia College Chicago
88.1 WLRA 88.1FM WLRA, The Start College Radio Lewis University
88.5 WHPK-FM WHPK 88.5 FM College radio University of Chicago
88.7 WLUW Independent Community Radio Community radio Loyola University Chicago
88.9 WMXM Lake Forest College Radio College radio Lake Forest College
89.1 WONC Pure Rock FM 89 Album-oriented rock North Central College
89.3 WNUR-FM WNUR 89.3 FM,
Chicago's Sound Experiment
Variety Northwestern University
89.7 WONU Shine.FM Contemporary Christian music Olivet Nazarene University
90.1 WMBI Moody Radio Christian radio Moody Bible Institute
90.9 WDCB 90.9 FM WDCB Public radio/jazz College of DuPage
91.5 WBEZ Chicago Public Radio Public radio Chicago Public Media
91.7 WBGL Family Friendly Radio WBGL Christian AC Illinois Bible Institute
92.3 WPWX Power 92 Mainstream urban Crawford Broadcasting
92.5 WCPT-FM Chicago's Progressive Talk Progressive talk Newsweb Corporation
92.7 WCPY Chicago's Progressive Talk/
Dance Factory FM
Progressive talk (day);
Dance Hits (night)
Newsweb Corporation
93.1 WXRT 93XRT, Chicago's Finest Rock Adult album alternative CBS Radio
93.5 WVIX Maxima 103.1 / 93.5 Spanish urban Univision Radio
93.9 WLIT-FM 93.9 MYFM Hot Adult contemporary Clear Channel Communications
94.7 WLS-FM Chicago's Classic Hits Classic Hits Cumulus Media
95.5 WEBG El Patrón 95.5 Regional Mexican Clear Channel Communications
95.9 WERV-FM 95.9 The River Classic hits NextMedia Group
96.3 WBBM-FM B-96 CHR/Top 40 CBS Radio
96.7 WSSR Star 96.7 Adult contemporary NextMedia Group
96.9 WWDV The Drive Classic rock Hubbard Broadcasting
97.1 WDRV The Drive Classic rock Hubbard Broadcasting
97.9 WLUP-FM The Loop Classic rock Merlin Media, LLC
98.3 WCCQ 98.3 WCCQ Country NextMedia Group
(NM Licensing LLC)
98.7 WFMT 98.7 WFMT Classical music Window To The World Communications, Inc.
99.5 WUSN US99.5 Country Country music CBS Radio
99.9 WCPQ Chicago's Progressive Talk/
Dance Factory FM
Progressive talk (day);
Dance Hits (night)
Newsweb Corporation
100.3 WSHE-FM Rewind 100.3 Adult hits Hubbard Broadcasting
100.7 WRXQ 100.7 RXQ Classic rock NextMedia Group
(NM Licensing LLC)
101.1 WKQX 101 WKQX Alternative rock Merlin Media, LLC
101.9 WTMX The Mix Hot AC Hubbard Broadcasting
102.3 WXLC 102.3 XLC Hot AC NextMedia Group
102.3 WYCA Rejoice 102.3 Black gospel Crawford Broadcasting Co.
102.7 WVAZ Today's R&B & Old School V103 Urban AC iHeartMedia
103.1 WVIV-FM Maxima 103.1 / 93.5 Spanish urban Univision Radio
103.5 WKSC-FM 103-5 Kiss FM CHR/Top 40 iHeartMedia
104.3 WJMK 104.3 K-Hits Classic hits CBS Radio
104.7 WCFL Family Friendly WBGL Christian AC Illinois District Council of the Assemblies of God
105.1 WOJO La Que Buena 105.1 Regional Mexican Univision Radio
105.9 WCFS-FM News Radio 780 & 105.9 All-news radio CBS Radio
106.3 WSRB Soul 106.3 Urban talk/Urban AC Crawford Broadcasting
(Dontron, Inc.)
107.5 WGCI-FM 107.5 WGCI, #1 For Hip hop & R&B Urban contemporary iHeartMedia
107.9 WLEY La Ley 107.9 Regional Mexican Spanish Broadcasting System

Television stations

Local broadcast stations

Network owned-and-operated stations are highlighted in bold.

Channel Callsign Affiliation Subchannels Owner
Channel Programming
2 WBBM-TV CBS 2.2 Decades CBS Television Stations
(CBS Corporation)
5 WMAQ-TV NBC 5.2 Cozi TV NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations
7 WLS-TV ABC 7.2
Live Well Network
Disney-ABC Television Group
(The Walt Disney Company)
9. WGN-TV The CW 9.2 Antenna TV Tribune Broadcasting
(Tribune Media)
11 WTTW PBS 11.2
WTTW Prime
Window to the World Communications, Inc.
13 WOCK-CD MundoFox 13.2
KM Communications
20 WYCC PBS 20.2
City Colleges of Chicago
23 WWME-CD Me-TV 23.2 Bounce TV Weigel Broadcasting
24 WPVN-CD Independent/RTV 24.2
Polnet Communications
26 WCIU-TV Independent 26.2
The U Too
Me-TV (simulcast of WWME-CD)
Me Too (simulcast of WMEU-CA)
This TV
Weigel Broadcasting
32 WFLD Fox Fox Television Stations
(21st Century Fox)
34 PSIP 34 WEDE-CD Religious independent/
First United, Inc.
35 WWTO-TV TBN 35.2
The Church Channel
TBN Enlace USA
Smile of a Child TV
Trinity Broadcasting Network
38 WCPX-TV Ion Television 38.2
ION Life
ION Media Networks
41 WOCH-CD The Works KM Communications
44 WSNS-TV Telemundo 44.2 Inmigrante TV NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations
48 WMEU-CA Independent/Me Too Weigel Broadcasting
50 WPWR-TV MyNetworkTV 50.2
MundoFox (simulcast of WOCK-CD)
Fox Television Stations
(21st Century Fox)
60 WXFT-DT UniMás 60.2 TeleFutura (SD) Univision Communications
61 WCHU-LP Azteca América Venture Technologies Group
62 WJYS Religious independent Oxford Media Group Inc.
66 WGBO-DT Univision 66.2 Bounce TV Univision Communications

Local independent cable channels

Although EVINE Live does have over-the-air affiliates, it is not available via broadcast television in Chicago; however, is available on Comcast on channel 164 and RCN channel 193 in the Chicago market.


In addition to websites that are associated with print publications, a large body of publications that only exist online have come into existence in recent years. They include:

Media corporations

See also


  1. "Nielsen Media 2009-2010 Local Market Estimates". Nielsen Media Research. Broadcast Employment Services. 27 September 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. David V. Groeninger, "Chicago Imagined: The Role of Newspaper Columnists in Creating a City of the Mind, 1890-1930." PhD dissertation Loyola U., Chicago 2005. 280 pp. DAI 2005 66(5): 1925-A. DA3175764 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. See also Sarah Susan Marcus, "Up from the Prairie: Depictions of Chicago and the Middle West in Popular Culture, 1865-1983." PhD dissertation U. of Wisconsin, Madison 2001. 445 pp. DAI 2001 62(4): 1554-1555-A. DA3012550 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

External links