Infobox Radio Station
name = WJMK

city = Chicago, Illinois
area = Chicago, Illinois
branding = "104.3 Jack FM"
slogan = "Playing What We Want"
airdate = 1961
frequency = 104.3 FM (MHz)
HD Radio 104.3-2 FM (WJMK-2 - Classic Hits)|
format = Variety hits
erp = 4,100 watts
haat = 480 meters
class = B
facility_id = 28621
owner = CBS Radio
licensee = CBS Radio East, Inc.
sister_stations = WBBM-AM, WBBM-FM, WCFS, WSCR, WUSN, WXRT
"part of CBS Corp. cluster with TV station WBBM-TV"
webcast = [http://player.play.it/player/player.html?id=99&onestat=wjmk WJMK Webstream]
[http://player.play.it/player/player.html?id=392&onestat=wjmk2 Oldies Chicago Webstream]
website = [http://www.iknowjack.com/ www.iknowjack.com]
[http://www.oldieschicago.com/ www.oldieschicago.com]
callsign_meaning = JacK FM (jumbled) "or" MaJiK (Previous slogan, jumbled)

WJMK (104.3 FM) is a rock-leaning variety hits radio station in Chicago, Illinois. The station is known as Jack FM. The station adopted this format on June 3, 2005 after spending 21 years as an oldies station. WJMK is a CBS radio station with CBS and Viacom as parent companies.


The station signed on in 1961 as WJJD-FM, co-owned with WJJD by Plough Broadcasting. Originally it simulcast WJJD during the AM station's operating hours, but changes in FCC rules eventually led to a separate format for the FM. By 1977 the station was known as WJEZ and had a "beautiful country" format, playing instrumental background music with country overtones. This was not a ratings success and by 1980 WJEZ had a more conventional country format. In the early 1980s 99.5 FM took a country format. At that point WJJD 1160 adopted a pop standards format and became known as "Music Of Your Life". WJEZ remained country. In 1983 Infinity would buy WJJD and WJEZ 104.3.

In 1984 WJEZ became "Magic 104" WJMK and began playing an oldies format. Initially it was similar to what RKO's WFYR was playing except WJMK played more '50s and early '60s music. WJMK initially also played '70s and '80s music along with a new song every hour. By early 1985 the current (at the time) product was dropped and all the '80s songs were gone by the end of 1985, as well as '70s songs past 1972.

The station focused heavily on 1964-1969 with a good amount of '50s music as well. Into the 1990s they only played a '70s song every 90 minutes and it was an early '70s song with a couple exceptions. In 1991, the station's Moniker was changed from "Magic 104" to "Oldies 104.3". In 1992 Infinity would buy 99.5 WUSN the country station. In 1996 Infinity was sold to CBS and then CBS/Infinity owned several AM stations in addition to WJMK 104.3 and WUSN 99.5. CBS also had WCKG 105.9, a classic rock station, WYSY 107.9, a 70s-based oldies station mixing in a few 60s and a few 80s songs, WBBM-FM, a rhythmic/CHR station on 96.3, and AAA WXRT 93.1. As a result Infinity/CBS had to sell '70s oldies station 107.9 to Spanish Broadcasting and that station became WLEY with a Mexican music format.

This left CBS/Infinity with its limit of 8 stations; 5 FM and 3 AM stations. WJMK dropped the Moniker "Oldies 104.3" by 2001 and returned to their former Moniker "Magic 104.3". In 1998, they began to mix in more '70s music to the format cutting off at about 1975 and playing 2 or 3 '70s oldies per hour while still playing 1 to 3 '50s an hour as well as a total of 3 or 4 pre-1964 oldies an hour.

In 1999 with the competition of WUBT, 103.5 "The Beat", WJMK added a few disco songs and played 3 or 4 '70s songs per hour and playing songs throughout the decade from 1970-1979 in the mix. They also added several dozen early 80s songs playing about one every 2 hours. They cut the pre-1964 songs to about 3 an hour with one to two '50s songs per hour still being played. They also began a '70s and early '80s rock show on Saturday evenings replacing a more traditional '50s, '60s and early '70s oldies show.

Other than that the station stayed the course with oldies well past the demise of 103.5 "The Beat". In 2001 they further cut back on the pre-1964 oldies playing down to one to two per hour and very few 50s songs. By 2003 the pre-1964 oldies were just about eliminated and WJMK now focused on 1964 to 1979 oldies playing just under 50% '60s and just under 50% '70s oldies with 2 or 3% of the music pre-1964 or post-1979. Ratings stayed decent but nothing great. The amount of songs was also trimmed over the years since 1999. In 2003, the station, once again, changed Monikers, going from "Magic 104.3" back to "Oldies 104.3" and adding back a few of the '50s and early '60s they previously trimmed off, playing about one per hour while maintaining the 70s music and adding Dick Bartley's syndicated "Rock and Rolls Greatest Hits" to Saturday Nights (which they'd drop at the beginning of June 2004 to return the 70s show "Saturday Night 70s". By the winter of 2005 all except about a dozen pre 64 oldies were gone. All except about 25 80s songs were gone. At this point, WJMK was playing almost entirely songs from 1964-1979. They became known as 104.3 WJMK and stopped using the word "oldies". But with all the changes made at WJMK, the biggest change was yet to come.


In the spring of 2005, Infinity opted to put a variety hits format on stations in many markets. That April, they dropped oldies on WQSR Baltimore and classic rock from KCBS FM Los Angeles. The format was known as "Jack FM". On June 3, 2005 at 4 PM, an hour after flipping long-time oldies station WCBS FM New York, WJMK Oldies 104.3 became Jack FM.

Jack FM is a format featuring mostly rock songs that appeal to adults. Jack plays about 2,000 songs. They play about an equal balance of '70s, '80s, and '90s rock songs with some upbeat rhythmic, dance and R&B songs mixed in. They also play some recent hits from the past few years and a couple current hits. They also mix a handful of uptempo late '60s songs. Jack has elements of classic rock, hot AC, modern rock, and '70s and '80s gold making up the format. The variety of the music makes it quite unique, though rock is the main force driving the format. However, the format has not yet paid off in Arbitron ratings, as the station's ratings dropped significantly since the switch from oldies. The '60s and '70s oldies format continued to be streamed online. Complaints about the change were prevalent, but not nearly to the extent of what happened in New York City with WCBS-FM.

While "Jack FM" is on the analog FM station on 104.3, the old format of '60s and '70s hits began airing in October of 2005 on WJMK HD-2, a digital subchannel in which can only be received with an HD FM radio which is just becoming available now. The former WJMK airstaff returned to WJMK-HD2 in October 2005. Also, that Fall, WLS-FM 94.7, owned by ABC (now owned by Citadel/ABC), switched to a satellite oldies format playing the hits of the late 60s mixed in with moderate amounts of oldies from 1955-64 and from the early 70s. WJMK-HD2 has therefore continued to stay strictly with the 1964-1979 mix.

But WJMK-HD2's listenership had not grown. CBS Radio was also looking to cut costs at the radio division eliminating over 115 full time positions. So on July 13, 2006, the entire airstaff was laid off. The late 60s/70s format has continued streaming online and on HD2 DJ-less along with Jack FM also, DJ-less. Since then, WLS-FM 94.7, has added a lot of WJMK's former airstaff and that station continues to focus on the late 1960s with a decent amount of pre-1964 product and 70s product mixed in. Now the music in focusing on late 70s to early 80s

On October 29, 2007, Steve Dahl announced he would be the morning personality with Buzz Kilman. They will be the only live personalities.

External links

* [http://www.iknowjack.com 104.3 Jack FM Website]
* [http://www.oldieschicago.com Website for the HD2 oldies format]
* [http://www.varietyhits.com/variety/markets/chicago.shtml Variety Hits Station Page]

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