The Zone…gone Oldies?

I stopped listening to 94.7 The Zone quite a while ago when it basically tunred into an even clumsier version of Q101 – The Metal Years. However my girlfirend just called me to let me know she thinks the station, “may have changed formats” at noon today. Look at this playlist:

11:24 AM STAIND Falling
11:28 AM AC/DC Hell’s Bells
11:37 AM GODSMACK Voodoo
11:49 AM 10 YEARS Wasteland
11:55 AM METALLICA For Whom The Bell Tolls

(insert stunned gasp here)

12:01 PM THE BEATLES Rock And Roll Music
12:04 PM THE KINGSMEN Louie, Louie
12:06 PM STEVIE WONDER Uptight (Everything’s Alright)
12:09 PM THE HOLLIES Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)
12:12 PM THE FOUR SEASONS Working My Way Back To You
12:17 PM ROY HEAD & THE TRAITS Treat Her Right
12:18 PM B.J. THOMAS & THE TRIUMPHS Hooked On A Feeling
12:20 PM THE GENTRYS Keep On Dancing

Did anyone know of this at all? I can’t say it’s a change for the worse but it certainly is a shock.

Come to think of it, why was my girlfriend listening to The Zone in the first place?!

UPDATE: Looks like even Billboard was caught off guard.

83 Comments so far

  1. David Samples (unregistered) on October 15th, 2005 @ 11:19 am

    Im a 46 year old engineer and musician that listened to the zone for the last 5 years, and can not believe there is no market for this. Everyone I have talked to in the last 4 weeks, not only listened to the zone, but is totally pissed off at this. Its like a major big time news event for “Not having any market”. Metallica can sell out multiple shows in places like the United Center several nights in a row, but there is no market for decent metal on the radio, or talent like Brian, Sludge, and Freak. Well I guess its time to put our money where our mouth is, no more ABC, or Disney (I already hated Disney, IBM, and Sears anyway), I havent listened to any radio except College of DuPage 90.9 (Public), and I am just playing CD’s. Next its satellite radio for me. I think you could call this the proverbial last nail in the coffin of Chicago Radio-IT JUST PLAIN SUCKS!

  2. Ricky Stewart (unregistered) on October 15th, 2005 @ 7:29 pm

    I was just tuning in to the zone to catch the 4-hour long saturday 80s thing, but 94.7 is calling itself the “Oldies station”?!?! something’s wrong!

  3. Figh Fire with Fire (unregistered) on October 15th, 2005 @ 9:11 pm

    I say keep this page alive if anyone big sees how fucking pissed we all are about this maby they have the sense to put some the zone or anything back its better than doing nothing….(By the way I am a long time mancow listener and a few weeks ago I heard him talking about how the company that owns Q101 bought the zone fome abc radio monopoly? mabey but I dont.)If you agree this sucks say write something get the word out!

  4. Phil (unregistered) on October 15th, 2005 @ 9:17 pm

    If anyone remembers 96.7 will rock rocks say something so I no I wasnt dreaming.

  5. Sarah Wimberly (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 1:49 pm

    I agree with what almost everyone is saying-we need to complain to ABC radio. Here is my message to them:I can’t believe that you would deceive loyal listeners of 94.7 the Zone by switching formats without giving even a slightest warning. All Zone fans are very upset by this-not just the fact that it is gone, but that it is gone without the decency of anyone telling us why or giving us a heads-up to not listen to abc radio anymore. I think the fans deserve, at the least, an exact explanation of what happened, or will happen to Chicago’s #1 metal rock station.

  6. Me (unregistered) on October 25th, 2005 @ 9:20 am

    Sarah i completely agree with that statement, and i have refused to switch to 94.7 since, so they get no ratings.
    PS that was my birthday they shut that down, what a great b-day present thanks ABC.

  7. blah (unregistered) on October 26th, 2005 @ 1:29 pm

    i too was a loyal zone listener until it went oldies. for those looking for an alternative station (and who live in the chicagoland area) to tide them over until something better comes out, try 95.1 fm, its a wisconsin station so it comes in fuzzy at times, but it still plays mostly the same stuff as the zone we all knew and loved.

  8. Mason (unregistered) on November 11th, 2005 @ 8:52 am

    Who ever the hell said The Zone was a dumb station is an emo-alternative idiot. 94.7THE ZONE was the best thing in radio since, well, radio began!
    First we had The Rock 103.5 and THAt went oldies and then we were stuck with Q10sucks for a good whie untill 947 came along.
    It was the hardest rock playing station alive…I loved it…and now its gone.


  9. rucrazy (unregistered) on November 11th, 2005 @ 12:21 pm

    The Zone sucked…good riddance to bad rubbish. As soon as they launched their tits and testosterone billboards, they lost a lot of people. If they had to try that hard to get an audience together, they deserved to get shitcanned. Those ads were fucking desperate…with a repetitive, boring playlist to match.

  10. Batka (unregistered) on November 12th, 2005 @ 2:51 pm

    I am very disappointed with ABC’s decision to switch formats at 94.7 The Zone. We can only hope that 97.9 The Loop steps up, but I am starting to have my doubts with “Johnny B” back on the air in Chicago.

    Here is a copy of an email I sent to ABC. Everyone needs to keep sending ABC emails and overwhelm them!

    “Dear ABC:

    I think you are making a huge mistake with changing the format of 94.7 WZZN in Chicago from New Rock to Oldies. With Q101 going to Shuffle and 94.7 now gone to Oldies there are no longer any good radio stations to listen to in Chicago.

    I don’t know who helped you with your market research and demographic studies, but you are making a huge mistake by abandoning the 20-35 year old Chicago market.

    Do you have any plans to offer a similar format on another ABC owned station?

    I am very disappointed in your decision to do this! I have listened to your radio station every day for at least 2.5 hours a day for the last 5 years.”

  11. yeah (unregistered) on November 15th, 2005 @ 3:08 pm

    i miss 94.7 the zone.. i go into my car and don’t even turn on the radio..because there is no good rock station..Q101 sucks (Wuss Rock)
    and 97.9 the loop plays Led zeppelin 22 hours a day(live into now) but who knows.. remember when CD 94.7(Oldies rock station) turned into 94.7 the zone?..The same could happen to any oldies rock station..maybe 97.9 or 97.1 the drive..

  12. Erich (unregistered) on November 15th, 2005 @ 7:25 pm

    Ditto to everything that everybody is saying above about this suckin’ ass. I’m 38 and grew up in the Chicago area. The Loop, XRT, Q101… those stations never change and I feel like they’re stuck in there timeless ruts. At least the Zone would play stuff that none of the others would dare to play. Any other major metro area in the USA would laugh at what’s going on here with the Chicago broadcast radio scene. I say we bombard the “New” 94.7 with email.

  13. Erich (unregistered) on November 15th, 2005 @ 7:43 pm

    Oh, and with regards to my suggestion immediately above:

    Zemira Jones –
    President and General Manager of ABC Radio Chicago (parent company of WLS, ESPN, Disney Radio AM and now the “Oldies Zone”)

    190 North State St., 8th Floor

    This info freely obtained through some simple googling.

  14. kyle (unregistered) on November 19th, 2005 @ 11:43 am


  15. Mike (unregistered) on November 21st, 2005 @ 1:52 pm

    I just got home from school on saturday. As soon as we got within range of chicago (coming north on 294) I hopped the radio on over to good ol’ reliable Zone rock. Suddenly, all I was hearing is some old song I could remember hearing on my father’s radio station years ago… this can’t be right, can it? So we ran the dial back and forth and once we were near Orland Park, tried again, maybe an Indiana station was overpowering the zone… nope. Still oldies. Now, granted, when I was younger I grew up on Oldies 104.3 (singing their old jingle right now) but I’m a college-age rocker, and Q101 went to hell years ago, I almost gave up on the radio if it weren’t for 94.7 switching from their neo-pop crap (wasn’t it Kiss FM for a while?) to progressive alternative and hard rock. I’ve gone to quite a few Zone shows, since they were the only radio sponsor of GOOD concerts in the area, and my ex-girlfriend’s band used to be promoted by them as well… Now, I’m torn between seeing her fail, and having the Zone stay around, but no matter how messy the breakup was, I wouldn’t trade the Zone for anything. Seeing as how the format’s been like this for the past month or so, I can’t forsee if the station is going to stay like this or flip-flop back to good rock anytime soon. It was the only thing I could listen to at work and when I go back I’ll be stuck with the Loop – good station but not enough.
    Frustration is the only thing I feel right now, I needs me metal.

  16. Mike (unregistered) on November 21st, 2005 @ 1:56 pm

    Oh, and also –
    Found that at… bastards…
    Let the flood begin, hit both emails: this one and the Zemira Jones one too.

  17. JOEY E (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2005 @ 3:38 pm


  18. Rachel (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2005 @ 7:49 pm

    God I miss 94.7! I wish it would come back. I’m 15 and live in Munster, Indiana. All of my friends lived on listening to that radio station. I’m serious to, we fell asleep to it, listened to it in the car, listened to it when we hung out, ALL THE TIME. We miss it so much. I hate whats there now it never plays good music. I mean I thought oh well its oldies I listen to oldies but nope no good music. I HATE WHATS REPLACING OUR 94.7!! Those bast#@*s! *sigh* but what can you do. Maybe protest?

  19. Rachel (unregistered) on November 24th, 2005 @ 11:10 pm

    Thank you Erich for the email address. I want to send them a email with my thoughts. I for one am pissed off as hell about this. Without that radio station life sucks ass.

  20. I (unregistered) on December 4th, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

    Did anyone ever notice the subtle right-wing propaganda on 94.7 The Zone?

    During the presidential election last year, you could hear the moronic DJs extolling Bush and asking people to vote for him. (repeatedly).

    When Bono said he was interested in becoming the head of the World Bank, 94.7 smeared him. They said that he was a whiner and that he should go back to wherever he was from. For those who are politically ill-informed, Paul Wolfowitz was trying to become the head of the World Bank at that time.

    94.7 had good music, but it’s good for the people that their right-wing propaganda is off the air now. RIP.

    I’ll listen to my hard rock collection on my iPod now.

  21. Juan (unregistered) on December 5th, 2005 @ 10:04 am

    Everyone, please go to this website and sign the petition to bring back the Zone:

    Hopefully, it’ll work.

  22. David (unregistered) on December 29th, 2005 @ 3:31 pm

    It is a shame (about 947 the zone 94.7 fm). I will miss Brian the Whipping Boy the most. I followed him for years on the radio… before Mancow… I will also miss James Van Osdol and Sludge. COMEON Chicago! Give these veteran radio gods a job!


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  25. Bill (unregistered) on January 14th, 2006 @ 10:18 pm

    hey i have a quick story to tell. I was listening to 94.7 and they just played a really good song by ten years, i think. then htey played Metallica, and I was tired but i said ” ah what the heck, why not listen for ten more minutes”, then i didnt hear anything. I though somehitng happened with my radio, but it wa fine, the next thing i know their talking about OLDIES!!i was like “This has got to be a joke!!!”, but no, they played the God- foresaken BEATLES!i think I almost cried after they played crappy song after crappy song.Now the only descent station is Q101 or 95.1. The problem is that the Zone was way better than both those stations.I mean WTF, I listened to 947 everyday of my life either lifting with the football team or running at Revere Park, or whatever!Q101 used to be a lot better but recently in the past year they changed it to all alternative which means they play stuff like U2 and Sublime,not that im against any of those bands, its just not the hard rock 947 had.And for some reason I can only get 95.1 on my car radio, probly because the stations out in Wisconsin somewhere. Well thats my story. I hope you listened. And I really hope the REAL 94.7 THE ZONE starts a new sation on like 89.3 or something because I think ALOT of people miss that station real bad. Either that or Q101’s gotta start playin more hard stuff. Well if anyone wants to give a holler my e-mails right ther and thats also my scren name if you didnt notice.

  26. bill says: Oldies sucks! (unregistered) on January 14th, 2006 @ 10:28 pm

    yeah my screen name is billythekid1106 im 15 give me holler if you feel like it alright….Hard rock is the best.Soft shit sucks!

  27. tom (unregistered) on January 15th, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

    Still sorry to see 94.7 The Zone gone. It basically was somewhat of a cleaned up morning zoo for those with some gray matter left. I think Sludge stunk up the place but Brian was very good.

  28. I don't want to leave a name (unregistered) on February 10th, 2006 @ 11:26 am

    Monday, 01.30.06

    Mix it up – Former WZZN-FM 94.7 morning personality Brian The Whipping Boy has landed at WTMX-FM 101.9 for weekend and fill-in duties.

  29. g (unregistered) on February 13th, 2006 @ 3:35 pm


    *shakes head* He’s better than that….

  30. Rachel (unregistered) on February 21st, 2006 @ 7:42 pm

    God this blows so many dogs for quarters…I use to learn about all the good upcoming music from 94.7 but now I’m forced to watch stupid mtv or vh1 for music updates and you know all they have is crappy Sean Paul and like Beyonce. I love 10 years I wish I had some updates on them. *sigh* I wish 94.7 was back the only good radio station now is Q101 and you know how much it sucks. If you don’t, let me note, they believe in playing all the other songs that aren’t hits on a cd…you know why they aren’t hits and not played by other radio stations? CAUSE THEY BLOW D***. 94.7 use to make fun of them all the time. Why did 94.7 have to sell out like this! I love you 94.7! WHY! Please come back or we’ll be forced to complain and eventually create our own radio station. Rock on everyone!

  31. Erica (unregistered) on February 21st, 2006 @ 7:46 pm

    I love oldies but this is ridicules. 94.7’s oldie station plays crappy old music no queen or anything good. I miss the old 94.7. The new radio station makes me angry at oldies songs. I HATE YOU NEW RADIO STATION! PLEASE COME BACK OLD 94.7!!! When I go on road trips and I’m listening to the radio on my cd player the only way I use to know I’m home was when I heard the 94.7 station go clear on my radio. I wouldn’t even mind the commercials it just comforted me to hear them again. I MISS YOU!! XOXOXO

  32. Brian (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

    This is bullshit! 94.7 was the best radio station on air! I would much rather have seen Q101 get taken over by oldies than 94.7. Why couldn’t they take over one of the 15 country stations on air? They played the best music, and had the best morning show. What the F***!?

  33. Brian (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 7:26 pm

    By the way. I agree with that Rachel chick 3 up^, and I think we should start a radio revolution to get our station back on air! I’m stuck listening to coldplay and U2 for christ sakes! I hate those bands! It was great driving to McDonalds listening to Metallica, banging on my steering wheel. Now I’m all depressed listening to some shit I never heard of. A part of me died when The Zone turned oldies. Bitches. RISE UP ZONE LISTENERS!!

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