Chicago’s Q101 was one of the first commercial alternative rock stations, and the first one to bring that format to the Chicago radio starting in 1992. The format and Q101 branding went away on July 15, 2011, when Randy Michaels’ Merlin Media took over the station, flipping it to his FM News format, that was also on in New York City. While Merlins’ FM News went belly up just a year later, Q101 has not returned to the FM airwaves, although there is an online incarnation.
Now there is a book telling the twenty-year history of Q101. We Appreciate Your Enthusiasm: The Oral History of Q101 documents the stories and memories from over 75 former employees, from syndicated shock jock Mancow Muller to former MTV VJ Mark Goodman. Author James VanOsdol was a Q101 DJ himself, and is currently a podcaster. He funded the book with a Kickstarter campaign he started within 24 hours of hearing the news about Q101’s sale to Merlin Media. In what is pretty good time for the publishing industry, just sixteen months later the work is available for sale in paperback and ebook.
I have not yet read the book, but Chicago media blogger Robert Feder gives it a positive review (third item down). He calls it “a riveting, you-are-there account of a Chicago radio treasure.” Feder praises VanOsdol’s work, saying “no one has ever captured the story of a local radio station with as much candor and insight.”