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Posts Tagged ‘98.7 KISS FM’

WBLS’ Skip Dillard ‘Very Excited’ By Ratings Turnaround

It’s been one year since WBLS/107.5 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The result of which led to YMF Media taking majority control from original owner, Inner City Broadcasting.

However, a confluence of events has resulted in WBLS scoring its best achievement since debuting almost 40 years ago.

In April, Disney acquired the FM signal from KISS FM/WRKS, meaning black music for listeners wedged between hip-hop and Jazz was down to just one station.  At the same time, ‘BLS was struggling to keep its playlist fresh and revenue streaming.

With ESPN moving to 98.7 FM, WBLS smartly took advantage of the situation. Within days, WBLS had become a de facto merger with KISS. Air personality Shaila Scott resumed middays, while popular Kissing After Dark host Lenny Green was back in his familiar daypart as well.

“This definitely helped former WRKS P1′s [regular listeners] to feel more comfortable switching over and, these talents bring a lot to the table.” WBLS operations manager, Skip Dillard tells FishbowlNY. “They were all chosen [based on] talent and recognition in the community.”

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June PPMs: WLTW Keeps Top Spot, WHTZ Moves into Second

Without any fanfare, it’s a typical month for WLTW/Lite FM. The Adult Contemporary giant was number one in the just-released overall PPM ratings for June.

Lite FM saw its huge numbers dwindle from May (8.1 to 7.7). But the station maintained its 5,600,000 cume (audience).

A surprise at number two, where WLTW sister station WHTZ/Z100 made a nice .5 leap.

Despite only slipping .1 for June, WCBS-FM fell from its usual second-place perch. The Classic Hits format, now under the direction of longtime WLTW programmer Jim Ryan, finds a home in third.

It’s the second ratings book for WBLS since the Urban station gave a voice to several displaced KISS FM/WRKS personalities following ESPN’s takeover of the 98.7 frequency.

WBLS had a fourth-place showing, with only a minimal drop off to 5.6.

As for ESPN/WEPN, the all-sports station lost .2 to 1.6 in the overall ratings. By contrast, rival WFAN improved slightly to 3.3.

More ratings insight after the jump

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WLTW Takes April PPM; KISS Closes Shop in Fifth

As the adage goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That could have been written about WLTW/Lite FM and its ratings prowess.

Once again, the Clear Channel heavyweight was tops on the overall PPM Arbitron ratings for April by maintaining a 7.5 rating for the second straight month.

WCBS-FM, which last week announced programmer Brian Thomas is leaving to run the CBS Radio cluster in Tampa, kept its number two position by posting a slight gain to 6.4.

The number three and four stations are familiar dwellers as well. Clear Channel sister stations WHTZ/Z100 was third with a .4 boost to 5.6. WKTU marked time at fourth by again registering a 4.7.

It was a strong finish for KISS FM/WRKS, jumping to fifth place with a 4.0. Last month, ESPN/Disney took over the Emmis’ 98.7 FM frequency.

More from the monthly radio ratings after the jump.

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Emmis Emerges from Six and a Half Years of Transformation, Says Jeff Smulyan

The company logo could have been a person tightening his belt. Emmis Communications has completed a 6 1/2 year transformation. Jeff Smulyan, the Indianapolis-based chairman of the board, said in the conference call yesterday that Emmis is moving forward with a group of stations in secondary markets such as St. Louis, Austin, and Terre Haute. He also mentioned New York’s lone wolf–Hot 97/WQHT.

Emmis is down to one radio destination in the biggest market. Last year, Emmis sold off Rocker WRXP to new Merlin Media, which created FM News/WEMP.

More recently, Emmis was at the center of another radio surprise, leasing 98.7, the former KISS FM home, to ESPN/Disney.

In the two deals last month, Emmis stands to pocket $92.5 million, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. Despite the sadness loyal fans felt about their beloved KISS leaving the air, with several personalities and shows shifted to WBLS, the news sent Emmis stock soaring 21.5 percent, to $1.05 cents per share. It was the first time Emmis shares had traded above $1 since July.

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Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

  1. Fallout from ESPN-FM Deal: Syndicated Tom Joyner (left) and Michael Baisden Fight Back Without KISS, New York Outlet, May 1
  2. New York Wins ASME ‘Best Cover’ of 2011 Award, May 3
  3. Time Inc. Experiences a Rough First Quarter, May 2
  4. Sports Illustrated Dedicates Issue to Title IX, May 2
  5. Jacob Ward Promoted to EIC of Popular Science, May 1
  6. New York Daily News Hires Web Editor, May 2

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign-up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

Fallout from ESPN-FM Deal: Syndicated Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden Fight Back Without KISS, New York Outlet

While the rumors were flying for weeks that ESPN Radio would bolt the inferior 1050 AM signal for a quality FM sound, the station’s ultimate destination caught most by surprise.

ESPN/WEPN made it official yesterday with a new home in FM stereo at 98.7. That was the home of Emmis’ KISS since its inception in 1981.

WBLS formed a merger as several personalities, most notably midday Shaila and nighttime Lenny Green, joined the on-air staff.

As we reported last week, gone from the air are morning host Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden in the afternoon. The two syndicated shows did not find a home at WBLS, meaning they are not heard in the nation’s top market.

Joyner has declined FishbowlNY’s interview request, instead discussing the KISS/WBLS situation on his radio show and writing about it on his blog. Joyner and Baisden agree that the bigger picture means that the black audience suffers with fewer options.

“Thursday, we found out that a very important voice in New York City would be silenced,” Joyner writes. “After 20 years of broadcasting to and advocating for a mostly African-American audience, our New York affiliate, KISS 98.7, is now gone. It makes me sad, not just for our own personal loss but because of what the community-at-large is losing.”

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Rivals KISS FM and WBLS Merge at 107.5 FM

It was a whirlwind of activity yesterday and when the smoke cleared, ESPN’s WEPN made the switch from 1050 on the AM dial to 98.7 FM.

Caught in the crossfire of the reported $96 million deal is the longtime R&B formatted WRKS/KISS FM. The Emmis-owned station, which celebrated 30 years on the air in 2011, has merged music and talent with WBLS 107.5 FM. It’s almost as surprising a turn as the ESPN jump to 98.7.

In a joint statement, the two stations said that they will become “One Family, One Station.”

No sooner than the announcement was made, KISS was being simulcast on WBLS. Just after midnight on Monday morning, the two Urban stations will consolidate at 107.5 under the WBLS call letters.

As we reported yesterday, KISS midday host Shaila and evening personality Lenny Greene will reconvene at WBLS.

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ESPN Radio Switching to 98.7 FM Sunday

In a complicated radio maneuver, ESPN Radio announced today that it will be moving to the FM frequency at 98.7 in New York, the longtime home of KISS FM. The switch to the FM dial begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. ESPN’s lackluster 1050 AM signal, which had equally lackluster ratings since competing against all-sports station WFAN in 2003, will simulcast ESPN Radio programming until September. Then, to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month, ESPN will debut a 24-hour Spanish sports talk station.

“The bottom line is we’re extremely delighted that the company is providing this resource,” David Roberts, ESPN New York general manager, says. ”…We have to make sure that we produce the kind of content and programming that will not only get sampling, but to get people to come back more often.”

Part of the programming will have new times for Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco, together from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., as the lead-in to The Michael Kay Show.  The station also announced Patrick McEnroe will do a Saturday show from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning May 5.

As the rumors about ESPN’s move became more widespread this week, so did the speculation about bringing the Yankees on board in 2013. Traug Keller, senior vice president, production, business divisions, tells FishbowlNY in today’s conference call that no deal is in place.

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Breaking: ESPN 1050/WEPN Moving to 98.7 on FM Dial

It’s been rumored for several days, but it appeared to be official. ESPN Radio in New York, 1050 WEPN, will start simulcasting on 98.7, All Access reports.

The FM frequency has long been associated with Emmis’ R&B station KISS FM.

This is scheduled to happen Sunday morning at 12:01, according to the report.

Stay with FishbowlNY for the latest details on this story.

 Update: ESPN Radio, which will hold a conference call at 1 p.m., plans to simulcast on 1050 until September or October. At that point, the frequency will become a 24-hour ESPN Deportes station.

The Radio Ratings Leaderboard Looks All Too Familiar as WLTW Wins Again

Chalk up another victory for WLTW/Lite FM. The Adult Contemporary powerhouse ranked first again in the monthly PPM Arbitron ratings.

WLTW kept its huge audience with a 7.5 rating, a .2 increase from the previous month.

Top competitor WCBS-FM remained a consistent number two in the overall ratings for March. The Classic Hits station, though, lost .3 for the month to 6.3.

Clear Channel’s Z100/WHTZ held third place, and maintained a 5.2 rating for the second straight survey. Sister station WKTU got a .3 boost to 4.7 for March.

Popular Tropical station WSKQ has a slight increase to 3.9. The city’s other Spanish formatted station, WXNY, registered a 3.5 again.

WRKS/KISS FM made a slight gain to 3.8, while Classic Rocker WAXQ slipped to a 3.8.

More from the monthly ratings after the jump

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