CATCH A WAVE: Is the City of Broad Shoulders--home of sizzling Polish sausages, the brawlin' Black Hawks and federally subsidized street gangs--ready for New Age Radio? In fact, you can spin your dial here and find (count 'em) two New Age-style stations. Ironically, the first one, WNUA-FM, which hit the air in August, replaced a classic-rock station that had originally been WMET-FM (sister station of L.A.'s KMET, which was replaced by the Wave). The other new entry is WTWV-FM, which just switched over last month from WZRC-FM (Z-Rock), a popular heavy-metal station. It's too early to get a ratings fix on WTWV, but WNUA has opened with a batch of strong numbers. In the recent Birch ratings survey, WNUA more than doubled its previous ratings, ranking as high as sixth in the market with its key 25-54 male audience.
"Chicago is a great radio market and really wide open for a new radio station," said WNUA program director Bob O'Connor. "We were concerned with Chicago audiences being a tough sell for a station with a mellow image, so we've positioned ourselves as a more upbeat, foreground type of station. We figure if people embrace us here, then this format could work anywhere ."