City of license WDRV: Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast area Chicago market / Northern Illinois
Branding The Drive
Slogan The Soundtrack of Our Lives
Frequency WDRV: 97.1 FM (MHz)
(also on HD Radio)97.1-2 FM (WDRV-2 - Deep Tracks)
First air date WDRV: 1955 (as WNIB)
February 12, 2001 (as WDRV)
Format Classic rock
ERP WDRV: 8,300 watts
HAAT WDRV: 363 meters
Class WDRV: B
Facility ID WDRV: 49552
Callsign meaning Derived from "DRiVe"
Former callsigns WNIB until 03/15/2001[1]
Owner Hubbard Broadcasting
(Chicago FCC License Sub, LLC)
Sister stations WWDV, WSHE-FM, WTMX
Webcast Listen Live
Website wdrv.com

WDRV (97.1 FM] "The Drive") is a radio station in Chicago, Illinois. The station is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, and simulcasts on WWDV (96.9 FM). "The Drive" programs a broad-based classic rock format called "Timeless Rock" (similar to the early days of WLUP).

WDRV now broadcasts in HD digital radio, with its normal format located at 97.1 HD1, while it airs "Deep Tracks" (deeper album cuts) on 97.1 HD2.[2] The main WDRV feed also streams on the Internet at wdrv.com, but Internet streaming of the "Deep Tracks" feed was discontinued in October 2013, due to its popularity.[3]

WDRV has studios located at John Hancock Center, and its transmitter is located atop Aon Center.


  • History 1
  • WWDV 96.9 FM 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The 97.1 frequency signed on in 1955 as WNIB (NIB = Northern Illinois Broadcasting, original owner), playing classical music. Later, the company purchased the station WKZN at 96.9 FM in Zion, changing the call letters to WNIZ and serving as a simulcast for communities north of Chicago. The stations were sold in 2000 to Bonneville International, which changed the station to its current format on February 12, 2001.

WNIB then became WDRV on April 2, 2001. It began as a classic hits format, but has slowly evolved into a broad-based classic rock format at the same time when former sister WLUP was sold to Emmis and changed to a mainstream rock format in 2005. Many of The Drive's personalities have had long histories at other Chicago radio stations. The on-air staff includes morning host Steve Downes (the voice of the Master Chief in the Halo video games), Kathy Voltmer with morning news and traffic, Bob Stroud (middays), Bobby Skafish (afternoons), Phil Manicki (evenings), and Greg Easterling (overnights). Current weekend personalities include Byrd, Allie Ellison, Jim Foster, Don Nelson, Steve Seaver and Marc Vernon.

On Saturday nights, The Deep End with Nick Michaels is aired. On Sunday mornings, Bob Stroud hosts his famous Rock 'N Roll Roots show, which debuted in 1980 at WMET. Steve Downes' nationally syndicated show, The Classics, is aired every Sunday night.

Bonneville announced the sale of WDRV and 16 other stations, to Hubbard Broadcasting on January 19, 2011.[4] The sale was completed on April 29, 2011.[5]

In 2011, the station celebrated its 10th anniversary.On June 27, WDRV organized a free-entrance concert at the Rosemont Theatre by America and headliner Jethro Tull.

WWDV 96.9 FM

For many years, this station simulcast the programming of WNIB as WNIZ. When WNIB became WDRV, WNIZ became a simulcast of WDRV's sister station, WTMX. Call letters for 96.9 became WTNX. This simulcast did very little for WTMX's ratings, and management felt it would be more appropriate to be paired up with its neighbor at 97.1. On January 1, 2003, 96.9 became the north metro frequency for "The Drive", and the call letters were changed to WWDV.

See also


  1. ^ "Call Sign History (WDRV)". Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  2. ^ http://www.hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=25
  3. ^ "WDRV-FM's 'Deep Tracks' Stream Gets Deep Sixed".  
  4. ^ "$505M sale: Bonneville sells Chicago, D.C., St. Louis and Cincinnati to Hubbard". Radio-Info.com. January 19, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Hubbard deal to purchase Bonneville stations closes".  

External links

  • "The Drive" website
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WDRV
  • Radio-Locator information on WDRV
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WDRV