It’s a whole new day at WLUP FM 97.9 as the Cumulus Media classic rock station unveils a revamped weekday talent lineup Monday.
Returning as afternoon personality is Tim Virgin, who previously worked at The Loop in the mid-’90s before two stints at alternative rock WKQX FM 101.1. He most recently hosted afternoons at KEGY in San Diego.
“I’ve come full circle back to The Loop and Chicago — my home,” Virgin said in a statement. “To say that I am excited to be back at the legend that is The Loop is a huge understatement."
Virgin replaces nine-year Loop veteran Patrick Capone, whose last day was Friday. “The new owners have wisely chosen to move the station in a new direction, and even though I will not be a part of that future I certainly wish them the best of success,” he wrote on Facebook.
Also joining the new Loop lineup are midday personality Lyndsey Marie (Lyndsey Marie Cook), just in from WNNX in Atlanta, and evening personality Pyke (Jeremy Peterson), a veteran of the former Q101 and WKSC FM 103.5. Mornings will remain open while The Loop conducts a nationwide search to replace Maxwell (Benjamin Bornstein), whose last day also was Friday.
“Chicago has a high expectation for the personalities on The Loop, so we’re thrilled to have Tim, Lyndsey and Pyke join us,” said Wade Linder, who was named program director and operations manager of The Loop last June. “Now we start our search for The Loop’s next amazing morning team.”
Cumulus Media has been operating The Loop and WKQX since last January, when it signed a local marketing agreement with Merlin Media for both stations with an option to buy them. In Chicago, the company already owns news/talk WLS AM 890 and classic hits WLS FM 94.7.
"This is a part of the continuing evolution of WLUP,” John Dickey, executive vice president of programming and content for Cumulus Media, said of the talent changes. “Chicago is a city known for great personalities and this new lineup continues that tradition.”
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, The Loop tied for 16th place overall with a 2.3 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 1,240,200. Among men between 25 and 54, it ranked seventh with a 3.8 share and a weekly cume of 424,000.