WLS Kick off

WLS 94.7 Kicks Kicks Off. Footage of a live broadcast from 94.7 Kicks Country in Chicago, December 26, 1995.

00:00Copy video clip URL Static.

0:16Copy video clip URL Video opens on an ascending elevator.

00:28Copy video clip URL Inside a radio studio for WLS 94.7 KICKS radio, Chicago, where the videographer, Nathan Goldstein, talks with Grant, the board operator. There is Christmas music playing in the background. Grant talks about how he got the job, what he does as board operator, and how he has a pre-play list and various other things about his experiences at his job.

02:38Copy video clip URL Grant explains the station isn’t traditional format. They play pop, country, holiday music. Various b-roll of the board operator at work, shuffling through CDs, loading decks for air play, the board, VU meters, play list.

06:17Copy video clip URL Grant notes he’s been playing Christmas music for three weeks. “It’s worn on me, but it’s made others happy. We’ve drawn them in so hopefully they’ll stay when we switch over to country.” He adds that he worked on Christmas eve until midnight and had Christmas Day off.

8:02Copy video clip URL Another man enters, the Program Director, and talks with the DJ. This man, Spence, also speaks with the camera.

07:45Copy video clip URL They are joined by another man. B-roll of the two in conference about the play list and procedure. A third man enters.

11:00Copy video clip URL The program director says “at 3 o’clock we’ll run an introduction [that the station is changing its format to country] and then start playing 10,000 songs commercial free.” The first song will be “Gone Country” by Alan Jackson. He adds that he’s been at WLS for one week. He notes that country music is important to Chicago. It’s one of the few main cities that only has one choice. He says he was a Program Director in New Orleans.

13:20Copy video clip URL The station’s General Manager, Greg Lindhal, enters. Goldstein explains he’s shooting for a show called Radio Faces for WPWR. Lindhal and the program director take their position hear the audio board and wait for the 3 o’clock kick off.

14:50Copy video clip URL Lindhal says the station started playing Christmas music Thanksgiving Day. It was a great reaction. People loved it. Various b-roll of the studio.

17:07Copy video clip URL Fade to black

17:10Copy video clip URL Grant and the Program Director are in conference at the audio board about the play list. Various b-roll, Grant organizes cassette tapes and CDs. He says the last Christmas song is Harry Connick Jr’s version of “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve.” It’s noted that the 10,000 songs in a row will begin at 3 o’clock today, December 26, 1995 and that it will take about 3 weeks for all 10,000 songs to play — ending in mid-January 1996. The final holiday song plays. Station employees gather in the studio for the kick off. “Two minutes!”

25:20Copy video clip URL At the end of the song, Grant pulls down the volume and the station is dead air for the mandatory 5-seconds before the new station premiers. A promo airs: “And now a special message concerning the future of 94.7 FM … Welcome to the celebration!  10,000 songs all in a row. And when we stop someone will win ten thousand dollars … Chicago’s all-new 94.7 KICKS Country. Alan Jackson’s song plays and the station employees erupt in cheers, clapping, and hand shakes. “We’re off and running!”

29:38Copy video clip URL The Program Director says he’s relieved its all over and the new station is up and running. A second song plays. Grant notes that working at the station has expanded his awareness of music. He doesn’t mind listening to country. He says the format change was a shock. A co-workers enters, the two greet.

37:40Copy video clip URL The Program Director says he’s been connected to the company that owns the radio station for a long time. Changing format was a big decision. Grant takes a phone call from a listener requesting Christmas music. The caller wants to hear more and tries to describe a specific song.

43:23Copy video clip URL An co-workers hands Grant a slice of pizza, part of the employee celebration over the format change. The Program director comes in eating pizza. Various b-roll of the two in the studio monitoring the transmission. B-roll of the equipment, the phone, Grant takes another call.

50:32Copy video clip URL Grant tells a co-worker, Keith, he just found out this morning the station was changing formats. Keith notes to camera that he is a Senior Producer for the sister AM station. “I programed all the Christmas music.”

53:21Copy video clip URL END



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