WNUR-FM (89.3 FM) is a 7,200–watt radio station based in Evanston, Illinois that broadcasts to Chicago and its northern suburbs. It is the student radio station of Northwestern University.

WNUR-FM logo.png
CityEvanston, Illinois
Broadcast areaChicago
SloganChicago's Sound Experiment
Frequency89.3 MHz
First air dateMay 8, 1950
ERP7,200 watts
HAAT30.0 meters (98.4 ft)
Facility ID49779
Transmitter coordinates42°3′12.00″N 87°40′33.00″W / 42.0533333°N 87.6758333°W / 42.0533333; -87.6758333
Call sign meaningWe're Northwestern University Radio
OwnerNorthwestern University
WebcastListen Live


WNUR first began broadcasting on May 8, 1948. It originally operated from a 10-watt transmitter that reached into portions of Skokie and Chicago.

Between 1982 and 1995, WNUR's slogan was "The New Music FM". Since 1995—the same year the station moved into new facilities in Northwestern's Annie May Swift Hall—WNUR's slogan has been "Chicago's Sound Experiment". (The station had previously broadcast from older facilities in the basement of the same building). In March 2007, WNUR began broadcasting from studios in John J. Louis Hall on Northwestern's Evanston Campus.

In 2019, the first volume of WNUR Wavelength magazine was published.[1]


WNUR programming over the years has included Airplay (a weekly program dedicated to local Chicago music), free-form experimental audio collage programming, weekly live radio comedies, and world-premiere live radio dramas written and directed by David Mamet. Current programming includes news, music (including classical, folk, hip-hop, jazz, and rock), Continental Drift, Streetbeat, and This is Hell.

WNUR Rock Show DJs are Northwestern University students who complete two quarters of apprenticeship and attend one academic year of weekly meetings to learn about the development of underground and experimental rock in Chicago and around the world. The show specializes in independent, experimental and underground music. DJs play no wave, punk, musique concrète, post-punk, noise, noise rock, and related styles. Notable alumni include Steve Albini and the Arcade Fire's William Butler.

WNUR Jazz Show DJs are community DJs and Northwestern University students and alumni who complete one quarter of apprenticeship. The show specializes in independent, experimental and underground music, and emphasizes new and local releases. DJs play Free Jazz, free improvisation, noise, and related styles.


WNUR Sports carries Northwestern football, baseball, and men's basketball. Since the mid-1990s, WNUR has been the exclusive carrier of Northwestern Wildcats women's basketball. In addition, WNUR often covers Wildcats women's lacrosse, softball, as well as a handful of Northwestern Wildcats volleyball, soccer, and field hockey games. WNUR Sports has carried every Northwestern football game since at least 1995, and the last eight NCAA women's lacrosse championship games.

WNUR Sports is a distinct entity that operates on its own budget, separate from the WNUR operating budget. WNUR Sports has served as the exclusive carrier of Northwestern Men's Basketball for several tournaments that flagship WGN was unable to cover, including the 2006 San Juan Shootout hosted by the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and the 2005 BCA Invitational at the University of Wyoming. WNUR Sports also provides sideline reports for all football broadcasts. WNUR Sports hosts a weekly call-in show known as The SportsVoice. The SportsVoice is the only call-in show dedicated to Northwestern Wildcat Athletics. As with all WNUR Sports programming, it is hosted and produced entirely by students.


DJs from WNUR have occasionally gone on to produce their own music. Alumni include music critic and sometimes musician John Corbett and members of many bands including OK Go, The Effigies, Arcade Fire, Town and Country, Chavez, Volcano! and the No Doctors. House DJs Derrick Carter and Mark Farina also held shows on WNUR in the early 1990s. Other alums include Neil Tesser and Steve Albini, and This American Life host Ira Glass got his start at the station. Arbitron executive Pierre Bouvard also hails from WNUR, as does radio researcher and strategist Mark Kassof. Kevin Beacham, host of Redefinition Radio on Minnesota Public Radio's independent music station, KCMP, hosted the hip-hop program Time Travel on WNUR during the mid-1990s. In the late 1970s, novelist Eckhard Gerdes was a DJ, Free Form Producer, and Rock Producer at the station.

Alumni of WNUR Sports include Guy Benson of WIND, Dave Eanet of WGN, Glenn Geffner of the Florida Marlins, Dave Revsine of the Big Ten Network, Kevin Blackistone of Fanhouse.com and ESPN, and Darren Rovell of CNBC.


  1. ^ "WNUR website".

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