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More country for Chicago: 95.5 changes format, no longer Spanish

For the longest time, the music format for WNUA-FM (95.5) was smooth jazz. Then in May 2009 it became Mega 95.5 FM, a Spanish language hot hits format. In June 2012 it became El Patron 95.5 FM, with a focus on “regional Mexican” tastes. And as of today, it’s all about country.

Big 95.5 debuted this morning with little fanfare, except for a press release sent out to local media. It will feature modern hits plus some throwbacks. The press release didn’t give any details for the thinking behind the sudden business move that will bring more Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean to the Chicago music market. However, it did say the following:

“Big 95.5 is going to be a dynamic country music leader and a breath of fresh air for country radio in Chicago. The station will deliver the biggest hits, the biggest stars and the biggest results for our advertising partners too.” —Matt Scarano, President of iHeartMedia Chicago

Interestingly, earlier today, some of the ads on the website were still Spanish language, which could indicate a healthy overlap between Spanish speakers and country music. Or, it could indicate that some business odds and ends still needed to be worked out. The station also goes head to head against US 99.5 FM, which also boasts a country format.

Cue the Miranda Lambert please.