Letters of Leadership


The Wizard

In the beginning, there was nothing…unless you believe in the cyclical universe theory, but that’s not the point. The point is, as the universe expanded, it grew infinitely beautiful in it’s complexity, and somewhere down the line, humans began to roam the earth. In their efforts to recreate the beauty they saw everyday, humans made art.

But unlike the randomness of the universe they saw, most people felt the need to classify and categorize until they only focused on one particular area of life.

As radio was developed, this need for structure led to the blandness that is block programming, where a DJ only focuses on one genre and in general is told what to play.

But in 1974, a bunch of forward thinkers realized what tremendous art radio could be if it were more in line with the true nature of the universe. And thus, WZRD was formed, bringing this concept, dubbed freeform radio, to the Chicago airwaves and the world!

Ever since, WZRD’s mission has been to educate the masses with music and informational content rarely heard and/or many times never even heard on other stations.

With over 75,000 albums getting released each year and only a select few of those actually getting airplay on the radio, the WZRD believes that there are many talented musicians that go unnoticed.

The WZRD’s mission is to discover those great musicians and be the first to play their music. WZRD was the first radio station to play punk music on the radio in Chicago and helped with the underground punk movement. Since great music has no limit, WZRD plays a variety of genres all throughout the day and even hour.

We like to keep the listener on the edge and unaware of the surprises that they are in for.

Today, 41 years later, WZRD still searches to give a voice to the voiceless. Every Thursday night at 10 p.m., we have our longest running live show where we bring a different musician/band each week to play. Whether the band is touring or it’s a local band that might not even have an album out yet, you will hear them on the Wizard.

If you want to hear something you’ve probably never heard before, tune in now at 88.3 FM or online at wzrdchicago.org and maybe you’ll learn something that will expand the horizon of your mind or you might just not like the song that is playing.

Regardless, you hold the destiny at your fingertips.