“K-LOVE” sounds like it’d be a kick ass disco radio network, but alas, it’s the name of a syndicated Christian radio format whose owners have just purchased WLUP in Chicago.

WLUP, aka “The Loop,” is known locally for breaking the careers of a number of popular Chicago radio DJs in the 1980s. Among them was Steve Dahl, whose intersection with fate would come on July 12, 1979, when he decided to blow up thousands of disco records in the outfield of a White Sox game at Comiskey Park. (The price of admission that night was lowered to $0.98 to match WLUP’s frequency on the AM dial, 97.9.)

Disco Demolition Night is probably its most lasting historical impact, but WLUP actually had a very rich history beyond its footnote status as the sponsor of the only baseball game in history to be forfeit because riot cops were in the outfield. It was taken over by the Chess family – the owners of legendary Chicago blues and R&B label Chess Records – in a sale completed in 1979.

WLUP’s most recent owners, Merlin Media, just sold the station to Educational Media Foundation for $21.5 million. As frequently happens in the radio industry, the day after the sale it was announced the format would change and the entire on-the-air staff was let go.

As Radio Insight has it:

“From rock to hot talk to modern AC [adult contemporary] to classic rock — and being stuck in baseball and historical lore thanks to Steve Dahl’s Disco Demolition Night — the station will go down as one of the most important radio stations in history. And now just another historical footnote.”



  1. Just this morning on WBEZ’s “Morning Shift” there was an interview with one former producers of The Loop, and Disco Demolition was indeed mentioned. There was also a brief mention of another oconic station, WSDM (Smack Dab in the Middle) 😀

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