With new call letters, new branding and an enhanced adult-contemporary format, Hubbard Radio is putting a fresh coat of paint on WILV FM 100.3.
Starting at 10 a.m. Monday, the station will become WSHE and refer to itself on the air and in its marketing as “SHE.” It will continue to target adult women, specifically between the ages of 35 and 44, with a playlist of familiar artists.
“We believe these new calls letters and moniker will make us more memorable in the minds of Chicago radio listeners and our advertisers,” John Gallagher, vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, said in a statement.
Most recently the station was branded simply as Chicago’s 100.3.
Referring to the move as an “evolution,” program director Marty Bender told staffers that it would allow the company to “refine our musical position to a new and less predictable place [while] redefining adult contemporary radio for 2015 and beyond.”
It’s the latest appropriation of a pronoun in a radio market already populated by such brands as iHeartMedia, MyFm and the recently soft-launched MeTV FM.
No changes are expected in the station’s on-air lineup, which includes Brian Peck and Susan Wiencek in mornings, Megan Reed (currently out on medical leave) in middays, Cara Carriveau in afternoons, Robb Rose in evenings, and Brian Travis overnights. For the next few days, personalities won’t be heard while the station airs only music.
Since it first began airing an adult contemporary format in 1988, 100.3 FM has been known as WXEZ, WPNT, WNND and WILV.
The move to WSHE follows a challenging year for Hubbard Radio Chicago, which saw revenue decline in 2014 at all three of its stations. Hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9 was down 17.4 percent, classic hits WDRV FM 97.1 was down 22.1 percent, and WILV was down 15.6 percent. Total radio revenue in Chicago fell more than 10 percent last year.
Greg Solk, senior vice president of programming for Hubbard Radio, said: “With longtime market dominators The Mix and The Drive, Hubbard Radio is now poised to have three of the biggest adult radio brands in Chicago with today’s launch of SHE.”
According to Nielsen Audio figures for all of 2014, WILV ranked 15th overall with a 2.6 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 1,337,200. Among women between 25 and 54, it ranked eighth with a 3.8 share and 382,800 weekly cume.