Station breaks from ‘Rewind’ branding

WILV logoChicago’s last pure adult-contemporary radio station has fast-forwarded out of rewind.

After more than three years as “Chicago’s Rewind 100.3,” Hubbard Radio’s WILV FM 100.3 has dropped the moniker “Rewind” to become simply “Chicago’s 100.3.” Whether perceptible to listeners or not, the move reflects the addition of more current music to the station’s playlist, according to program director Marty Bender.

“The moniker of ‘Rewind’ served the station well for a number of years when we exclusively featured music from just the ’80s and ’90s,” Bender explained. “For quite some time now, we’ve been weaving in a number of choice, contemporary songs. The response from our core adult/female audience has been overwhelmingly positive. The next logical step for us was to expand our branding of the station beyond the limited ‘Rewind’ name. The majority of our audience already refers to the station by just our dial position of 100.3.”

The station’s new logo, to be unveiled on its website Monday (and shown here for the first time), incorporates a new positioning statement — “more music, more variety.” The rebranding, first tipped by Lance Venta on, follows a similar change by Hubbard at its former “Rewind 94.9” WREW in Cincinnati.

Once among the most popular formats on the dial, mainstream adult contemporary splintered off into numerous sub-genres or, in some cases, morphed into “adult hits.” Last June, when Clear Channel’s WLIT FM 93.9 dropped its adult contemporary “Lite FM” franchise after 24 years to become hot AC “My FM 93.9,” that left “Chicago’s 100.3” as the sole standard-bearer in the market. (In any case, WLIT is now in the throes of its annual two-month Christmas music marathon.)

“Calling the station ‘Chicago’s 100.3’ with the new positioning of ‘more music, more variety’ is a clearer reflection of who we are and what we do," Bender said. "By saying less [we] actually get to say we are playing more. We are a true adult-contemporary station for listeners in 2014. Our listeners still have strong passion for the music they grew up with, from Michael Jackson and Journey in the '80s, to The Goo Goo Dolls in the '90s, as well as today's biggest stars — Train, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars and Katy Perry.”

The station’s live, local air staff remains unchanged with Brian Peck and Susan Wiencek in mornings, Megan Reed in middays, Brian Middleton in afternoons, Cara Carriveau in evenings, and Brian Travis in overnights.

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WILV tied for 15th place overall with a 2.4 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 1,382,200. (That was up marginally from 20th place and a 2.3 share for the same period last year.) In key demos, the station ranked 10th among women 25-to-54 with a 3.2 share, and eighth among women 35-to-64 with a 3.8 share.