WXRT rocks straight to the top

Terri Hemmert

Barely three months ago WXRT FM 93.1 was languishing in 15th place among men between the ages of 25 and 54. Hardly a lustrous showing for “Chicago Finest Rock.”

On Wednesday the CBS Radio adult album alternative station tied for first place in its target demographic, according to Nielsen Audio figures for June.

Led by especially strong ratings during middays for veteran hosts Terri Hemmert and Marty Lennartz, WXRT shared the top spot among adult men with Cumulus Media classic rock WLUP FM 97.9 and CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670. All had identical 4.9 percent shares in the demo.

It was a remarkable leap for a heritage rocker that had some wondering if it had lost its way in recent years.

Greg Solk

“WXRT is truly a special place — from our people to the vast library of music we play to the city we call home — it’s been a 45-year love affair,” said Greg Solk, operations manager and program director. “We’re just so thrilled that the love keeps getting stronger.”

Since Solk took over the programming reins of 93 XRT last February he has broadened the music playlist and refocused its on-air presentation. While not all of his moves have met with the approval of longtime listeners, the station’s ratings success is undeniable.

Another notable winner in the ratings Wednesday was 87.7 Me-TV FM, the Weigel Broadcasting soft rock/oldies station broadcasting on WRME LP 87.7.

With a record 2.9 percent share of all listeners, Me-TV FM ranked 14th, beating two classic hits rivals — CBS Radio’s WJMK FM 104.3 and Cumulus Media’s WLS FM 94.7.

Said Neal Sabin, vice chairman of Weigel Broadcasting and creator of Me-TV FM: “Pretty amazing if you ask ‘Me.’ ”