The Best Funeral Ever: R.I.P. Q101

Posted on July 15, 2011


One of the biggest complaints listeners have about radio is that their favorite stations and hosts often seem to disappear.

No goodbye. No explanation.

Poof! All gone. 

Coming from programming I completely understand why.

There have been many times I would have liked to let a host do a goodbye show. 

But the reality is there are some competitive situations that require making  changes quickly and quietly and there are some talent who can’t be trusted with a live mic if they are being asked to leave.

But the day-long farewell broadcast yesterday on Q101 in Chicago proved that there are airtalent that can be trusted to act like adults and say goodbye to their audience in a professional, positive and frequently touching way.

Even as a large crowd of current and past employees gathered in the studio — and spilled out into the hallway — and more than a few adult beverages were consumed there was no complaining or bitching about the impending change.

Many staffers even thanked the new owners for letting them have this day.

You read that right, they thanked the people who are changing the format.

That’s a classy move. 

At one point I heard Tim Virgin cut off a couple of former staffers who were starting to get negative . He explained that Q101’s last day wasn’t about complaining.

It was about celebrating the station’s legacy and what it meant to fans of alternative music in Chicago over the last 20 years.

Someone on Facebook called it the best funeral ever. I was thinking it was more like a wake but I like best funeral ever.

So, while it seems weird to congratulate a staff that just lost their jobs, everyone who took part in Q101’s final day as an alternative station should be very proud of how they conducted themselves and the special treat they gave the audience.

It made this former Q101 programmer smile a lot and maybe even tear up a time or two.

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