WLUW 88.7 FM
City Chicago, IL
Broadcast area Far Northside of Chicago, IL and Evanston, IL
Branding Chicago Sound Alliance
Frequency 88.7 MHz
Format Indie Music, Community
ERP 100 Watts
HAAT 70 meters
Class A
Owner Loyola University Chicago
Website Wluw.org

WLUW is a college radio station owned and operated by Loyola University Chicago, serving Chicago, Illinois and its northern suburbs. WLUW was founded by Jim Wagner and Michael Russo in the 1970s and they ran the station until Loyola University offered more funding and support. In the 1980s the station was guided by General Manager Wayne Magdziarz and into the mid-1990s by Tony Compton, Jim Lemon and various student program directors including Taylor O'Malley, Anna Consalvo, Jennifer Prietz Marszalek and Jeff Grossman, with ongoing support from Dr. Sammy R. Danna, professor of communication at Loyola.

Formerly known as "The Hitline", then moving to "High Energy 88-7 FM" in the late 1980s, then simply known as "Energy 88-7". In these years the station provided valuable real world experience running a robust schedule of music, news, sports and community service programming. In the mid-1990s the station changed radio formats to 88.7 Listener Supported Community Radio. Loyola University Chicago ceased funding WLUW in 2002, turning over operational control of the station to WBEZ. During this period, WLUW was known as "Independent Community Radio" and feature an eclectic selection of music, specialty music shows, and independent talk programming, including Democracy Now. WLUW had two full-time staffers (Craig Kois was Station Manager and Shawn Campbell Program Director) and a volunteer staff of nearly 200 during the years 2002 to 2007. Through much effort by the staff and WBEZ, WLUW became financially independent by 2007. During this period, WLUW was known for its Record Fairs. Two were held each year; one a stand-alone event in April, and one at the Pitchfork Music Festival (formerly the Intonation Music Festival).

On July 13, 2007, an article "Back To School"[1] in the Chicago Sun-Times, revealed that Loyola terminated its relationship with WBEZ and was to take back control of the station in June 2008.[2] The future of the station's programming was uncertain at this point, as reported in Time Out Chicago,[3] and Chicagoist.[4] Loyola also posted.[5][6] In July 2007, both Kois and Campbell were relieved from their positions by WBEZ, although who directed that move is disputed. WBEZ employee Kristina Stevens ran the station from that time until Loyola took over the station July 1, 2008.

Before and after the takeover, some volunteers, including former Program Director Shawn Campbell, left the station to form competitor the Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP). The volunteers who had organized the record fairs took them with to benefit CHIRP.[7]

Stevens continued to run the station for Loyola from July 2008 to January 2009. In January 2009, WLUW hired a new, permanent station manager, Danielle Basci. In the fall of 2009, WLUW moved its headquarters from Damen Hall on the Lake Shore Campus to the Terry Student Center located downtown on E. Pearson St. at the Water Tower Campus. Now with more students and less community members, the sound has changed somewhat, but still is largely the same as during Kois and Campbell's tenure from 2002-07.

While most of WLUW's current programming is an independent radio format with various DJs, there are many community, genre, news and specialty shows, including: The Drinking and Writing Brewery, hosted by Neo-Futurists Steve Mosqueda and Sean Benjamin and Labor Express Radio, a program devoted to issues of concern to working people locally, nationally and internationally. Describes itself as "Chicago's only English language labor news and current affairs radio program" and "News by working people for working people." Airs on Mon 10am.[8]

Previous format

In the 1980s through the mid-1990s, the station had a contemporary hit and dance music radio format (High Energy 88-7 FM and then Energy 88-7 FM), modeled after commercial radio stations such as B-96 in Chicago, with a full staff of student disc jockeys and news anchors/reporters. During this period, WLUW broadcast from the Loyola Water Tower Campus Communication building at 26 E. Pearson in Chicago.

Many notables from that era were Station Manager, morning man, and "Super CFL" Creator Jym Geraci, Denise Jerger, Wayne Magdziarz, Sue Cavi, SJ Peters, Jim Lemon, Art Therios, Tom Gaines, Ed Varga, Joe Weiss, Lorraine Kleba, Tim Garrity, Vince Parisi, Chris Kerr, Joe Blaney, Patty Sands, Bobby Brady (Rob Creighton), Tony Compton, Konstantina Douvris, Billy Levere, Steve Burrell, P J Bozak, Griff Madigan (whose father was the then vice president of the Chicago Tribune), Jim Domo (Jim Domalgowski), Todd Jackson, Bill Rancic of "The Apprentice" fame, Karen Karas, Alan Cox, Jerry Riles, Jeff Andrews (Grossman as listed above), Katherine Bailey, Adam Wilde, J R Rizzo, and Keith Jeffries (Keith Forshaw).

In the early 1990s, WLUW attracted the attention of a few major recording artists who sat down for on-air interviews at the Pearson street studio. Chris Kerr visited with the Pet Shop Boys, while Tim Garrity interviewed Curt Smith from Tears for Fears, Erasure, The Information Society, as well Donny Osmond, who was making a comeback with his hit single "Soldier of Love." These interviews were highlighted in the Summer and Winter 1990 editions of Radio Chicago Magazine, which further enhanced WLUW's reputation as an influential college radio station in the Chicago market.

Many of its alumni went on to professional broadcasting careers, including:

  • Maureen Maher, news correspondent with CBS News' 48 Hours
  • Susan Carlson, now a WBBM-TV CBS 2 Anchorwoman in Chicago
  • Diane Carbonara, an award-winning news producer for WFLD in Chicago, and a former anchorwoman with WIFR-TV in Rockford, Illinois and WMTV-TV in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Jeff Hagedorn, a play-by-play announcer for the Houston Rockets and Houston Comets
  • Lou Canellis, a Chicago TV sports and entertainment personality with Chicagoland Television (CLTV) and WLS-TV
  • Matt Smith, a Chicago-based media consultant (Emess Communications) served as a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign in Iowa. Prior to that was the City of Chicago's longest-serving media spokesperson for several high-profile departments including Streets & Sanitation.
  • Brian Wheeler, a Portland, Oregon sports personality who is in his tenth season as the radio play-by-play voice of the Portland Trail Blazers[9]
  • Mercedes Soler (Martinez), former news anchor/correspondent for Univision's Premier Impacto and now one of the successful Florida-based authors of the book "The Miami Bombshells: Dish and Tell."
  • Tomas Martinez, vice president/general manager for Radio Caracol 1260 AM Miami (WSUA)
  • Tony Compton, WLUW general manager 1990-1993; student staff and on-air personality 1983-1988. In 2000, with support from former WLUW colleagues Tom Vercryusse and Dr. Bob Parkinson, and Bob's wife Eileen Parkinson (former president of the Screen Actors Guild Chicago Branch), Tony, and a global team at eLoyalty launched eLoyaltyTV, the first Internet broadcast channel dedicated to customer relationship management, and the customer loyalty industry.[10]
  • Jym Geraci, imaging/production director at KSTP-FM in Minneapolis. Former WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3) on-air talent and manager. Beloved WLUW Station manager in the 1980s.
  • Joe Blaney, associate professor of communication at Illinois State University, former on-air talent at WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3). Currently on-air talent for B104 in Bloomington-Normal.
  • Ed Varga, former WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3) on-air talent
  • Keith Forshaw (a.k.a. "Keith Jeffries"), Former WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3) on-air talent
  • Tim Garrity, Former WXLC-FM (Hot 102.3) on-air talent
  • Robyne Robinson, co-anchor for Fox affiliate KMSP in Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Edna Ho Director of Chicago's Municipal TV Programming and Executive Producer of the program "Chicago Works."
  • Ernie Manouse, Emmy-nominated and Katie Award-winning TV interviewer/producer of the PBS show InnerVIEWS with Ernie Manouse
  • Amy Sweezey, broadcast meteorologist at WESH-TV (NBC) in Orlando, Florida.
  • Jeff Grossman (Jeff Andrews) is the owner and president of Sheet Happens Prep. Most recently morning man at WINK-FM/Ft Myers.
  • Katherine Bailey, traffic/continuity director for US99, Radio Disney AM1300, Big City Radio as well as traffic coordinator for Big Ten Network.
  • Jerry Riles sports reporter, columnist, air personality, program director and producer with such companies as CLTV, WSCR-AM and WVON-FM.
  • Steve Niketopoulos, production coordinator at CAN TV Chicago.
  • Rob Creighton, program director and morning show host at 97-3 YES! FM (KLZK) in Lubbock, Texas.
  • Sue Cavi, production assistant WBBM-TV News, PIA Radio Network, voice talent.
  • Emma Sofia Crisci, artist & digital marketer; formerly on-air talent at WQHT; went on to produce for Hot 97, tour manage for Desiigner, produce video for Ciroc and Martha Stewart
  • Angenette Natkowski, digital manager for Salem Surround Chicago and senior consultant for Salem Media Group Chicago, AM 560 The Answer and AM 1160 WYLL (2015-current) general sales manager, total traffic & weather manager, for a 6-station cluster with iHeart St Louis, KLOU-FM, KSLZ-FM, KMJM-FM, KSD-FM, Hallelujah 1600AM, (4 years) and sales manager iHeart Chicago, WLIT-FM, WGCI,-FM, WGRB-AM and WVAZ-FM, 100.3 The Beat (3 years), previously with MAN Marketing Chicago (3 years), CBS Radio Chicago (9 years) and WGN Radio 720 & Tribune (1 year)
  • Alan Cox, former morning host at WXDX / Pittsburgh & WKQX / Chicago. Now hosts mornings at WDTW / Detroit as well as an afternoon talk show at WMMS / Cleveland.


  1. "Chicago | Chicago : News : Politics : Things To Do : Sports". Suntimes.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  2. Joravsky, Ben. "Picking Up Its Marbles | The Arts". Chicagoreader.com. Archived from the original on 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  3. Jocelyn Geboy (2007-07-17). "Wluw: Wtf?". Chicagoist.com. Archived from the original on 2016-01-11. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
  5. "Record Chirp - Gapers Block Chicago". Gapersblock.com. 2008-03-20. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  6. "Labor Express". Laborexpress.org. Archived from the original on 2015-04-12. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  7. "Brian Wheeler | The Official Site Of The Portland Trail Blazers". Nba.com. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  8. "eLoyalty Debuts Industry's First Internet Broadcast Channel Dedicated to Customer Loyalty". PRNewswire. PRNewswire.
  • Radio Chicago Magazine - 1990 Summer and Winter editions

Coordinates: 42°00′04″N 87°39′36″W / 42.001°N 87.660°W / 42.001; -87.660

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