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Posts Tagged ‘Emmis’

Hot 97 Adds New Overnight Show with J. Medina

Hot 97/WQHT has created a new sound on the overnights. Up All Night with J. Medina runs from midnight to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday, and early Sunday morning. In addition, the Brooklyn born Medina joins DJ Mister Cee weekly for the popular mix show, Friday Nite Live, from 8 to 10.

“I’m excited about this new chapter in my career at Hot 97,” Medina says in a statement. “I look forward to bringing a new type of energy to overnight radio and turn it up!”

Medina started at Hot 97 as a production assistant. When not on the Emmis-owned Hot 97, Medina can be heard on satellite radio channel Shade 45, and worldwide weekly for the website ThisIs50.com.

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WRXP Officially Back at 101.9

The cycle is complete. WEMP is no more. The former FM News station, which returned to Alternative music earlier this month with New Rock 101.9, has also officially resurrected the familiar WRXP call letters.

Under Emmis’ ownership, WRXP had the reigns of Alternative from February 5, 2008, billed as The New York Rock Experience. The 101.9 dial position made way for Merlin Media and its “experimental” run as an FM newser on July 15, 2011 with a month-long Adult Contemporary stunting.

Insiders tell FishbowlNY that there is no doubt Merlin is committed to the Rock format this time. But before any mics are opened and additional talent hired, we’re told that sales are of the utmost importance at WRXP.

As we previously reported, along with WRXP back on 101.9, the station may eventually reunite listeners with former on-air personalities.

Merlin Media Looks to Regain its Prior Identity at 101.9

That didn’t take long.

As we continue with the dream, or nightmare theme, that was FM News 101.9/WEMP, there’s word that Merlin Media, not surprisingly, is ready sever ties with its call letters. FishbowlNY has learned that Merlin has re-registered for the WRXP calls.

Those call letters would bring the dial position full circle with Alternative Rock, except not under Emmis’ ownership this time. A source tell us the “Back to the Future” moment won’t end with the call letters, as the company s considering ”possibly bringing back some of the old staff.”

On Tuesday, Merlin ended its attempt at FM News after just 11 months and atrocious ratings, with New Rock 101.9 taking over the airwaves, minus any jocks.

Only a handful of WEMP staffers were kept on, for now as reporters for Merlin’s Philadelphia station. Among them are former WCBS 880 anchor Therese Crowley, one-time ABC Radio anchor Hilarie Barsky, Brett Larson, formerly with WINS and WNYW, and Bill Edwards, former WKJY/KJOY program director.

Whether this group is staying just to help with the sister station, provide news within the music programming once the mic is opened, or Merlin is laying the groundwork for another format is unclear.

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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Merlin Media Sets Friday for Takeover of 101.9

While the format is still to be determined, various reports say fledgling Merlin Media will remove Rock station WRXP 101.9 from the air on Friday. Reports say Thursday is the final day for the ‘RXP air staff.

On June 21, Randy Michaels assumed control of three Emmis radio stations, including ‘RXP.

Since then, Michaels brought in radio veteran Walter Sabo as COO, likely to run the day-to-day operations of the new 101.9.

Last week, FishbowlNY learned that Pete Salant was tapped to reunite with Sabo in an unspecified programming role. Salant ran Adult Contemporary WYNY in the early 1980s with Sabo as his boss.

Since buying the station, rumors have persisted that the new 101.9 would flip format. The most likely candidate for 101.9 is News/Talk, or some variation.

However, Merlin Media, in attempt to keep people guessing, recently registered www.1019wyny.com through Go Daddy.

Merlin Media Moves Closer to Potential WRXP Flip, Names Walter Sabo COO

Since buying a trio of Emmis radio stations last week, including New York’s WRXP, Randy Michaels has kept adding important parts to its upper management at newly formed Merlin Media.

Today, the fledgling company named Walter Sabo (left) as chief operating officer. Sabo, a former executive at ABC Radio, RKO Radio, and NBC’s FM station group, founded his New York-based Sabo Media consultancy in 1984.

“Success requires building brands that are unique, desirable and difficult to duplicate. Walter has the vision, intelligence, leadership skills, and experience to move Merlin beyond current convention and to take advantage of emerging media opportunities. It also means attracting special, talented people, and Walter knows how to do that,” said Michaels.

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Emmis Unloads WRXP to Randy Michaels’ Merlin Media

It’s been several months in the making. This morning, Emmis has sold WRXP. 

Two other stations (WLUP and WKQX) are part of the portfolio acquired by Randy Michaels and GTCR, a Chicago based investment firm.

Michaels bought the trio of stations under the name Merlin Media. Emmis retains minority stake in the radio stations.

Merlin Media has 45 days to file the paperwork and complete the acquistion.

Radioinsight.com says, once approved, expect WRXP to flip from Modern Rocker to a News/ Talker.   

Update: Statement from Jeff Smulyan, Emmis chairman and CEO

“While it is always difficult to part with stations that have been valuable contributors to our company, we believe that today’s transaction will create significant value for our shareholders.” said Smulyan. “As a significant minority partner in Merlin Media, we’re delighted to remain engaged with these markets and stations in the exciting days ahead.”

Miss Jones’ New 98.7 KISS FM Countdown Abruptly Cancelled

Miss Jones, the gregarious DJ and R&B personality, will not be having a return engagement with Emmis. Miss Jones was set to host her own countdown beginning last weekend on 98.7 KISS FM, but All Access has learned that the show never got off the ground.

Negotiations, apparently, fell through, leaving KISS FM/WKRS to return to regular programming.

Jonesy’s KISS List Countdown, which would have listeners vote for songs to make her Top 20, was scheduled to air from 10 a.m. to noon each Saturday.

An Emmis spokeswoman tells FishbowlNY that “at this time Jonesy’s KISS List Countdown will not be airing due to internal conflicts with Clear Channel out of our control.”

Jones, a former Hot 97/WQHT morning host, does morning drive in Philadelphia at Clear Channel owned Power 99 WUSL.

No Arrests Made in Death of Former Hot 97 DJ Megatron, As Station Reacts

As we reported yesterday, DJ Megatron (whose given name was Corey McGriff) was killed early Sunday down the street from his Staten Island home. He was 32.

McGriff was with the Emmis family from November 1998 until February 2007. As DJ Megatron, McGriff began with 98.7 KISS FM (WRKS), but his popularity increased when he joined Hot 97 (WQHT).

“From the entire Hot 97 family past and present, first and foremost, our blessings go out to Megatron’s family,” Ebro Darden, Hot 97 program director, says. “He will always be remembered as a great person. He was genuine, sincere, and always positive. It was a pleasure to have worked with him and know him.”

WCBS-TV reports a friend told investigators that he and McGriff were on the phone as the DJ went to buy marijuana. He told police that the line went dead, likely because McGriff had been shot.

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Miss Jones Rejoins Emmis; Hosts Weekly Saturday Morning Countdown on 98.7 KISS FM

Radio personality and R&B artist Miss Jones in back with the Emmis family. The former Hot 97 morning host is headed to 98.7 Kiss FM (WRKS) for a new Saturday show Jonesy’s KISS List Countdown.

 Airing from 10 a.m. to noon, Miss Jones will post her favorite R&B songs from the 80s, 90s, and today on www.987KISSFM.com, and give listeners the chance to vote on her Top 20 to make her Jonesy’s KISS List Countdown.

“I’m very excited to rejoin my Emmis family,” Miss Jones says. “As most of you know, I began my career as an R&B artist in the mid 90s, so the music is close to my heart.  On another note,  I can’t wait to get back to the city … Let’s Go!”

Miss Jones, known for her “straight talk” style, has made her mark, not only in the radio arena, but also in the world of television and print, authoring an autobiography.  

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