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Posts Tagged ‘WRXP’

Merlin Media Grabs Several WINS Staffers for New 101.9

As WRXP/101.9 plays its final songs this week, there is another clue that Merlin Media is headed for a All-News or News/Talk format.

There’s word today of a fire sale at 1010 WINS.

FishbowlNY has learned from a source close to the story that least four WINS staffers have “handed in the their two-weeks notice” and are leaving for the new 101.9.

The source tells FishbowlNY that it’s possible that “others may follow their lead.”

Media confidential reports the talent jumping ship includes anchor (and managing editor) Doug O’Brien and his wife anchor Catherine Smith and reporters Alice Stockton-Rossini, Kathleen Maloney, and Brett Larson.

Merlin recently registered the Web address  www.1019wyny.com.

WLTW Keeps Number One, WCBS-FM Returns to Number Two

Perennial top rated Soft Adult Contemporary WLTW/Lite FM maintains its stranglehold on number one in the latest Arbitron ratings.

Clear Channel’s WLTW remained at 6.6 for a second straight month, but rival WCBS-FM battled back from a third-place tie.

“Competition is getting tighter, so we are very pleased to see CBS-FM bounce back with a 10 percent gain at number two,” Brian Thomas, WCBS-FM program director, tells FishbowlNY.

CBS-FM improves from a 4.9 to a 5.4 and sole possession of second place.

Thomas says the rumored changes for 101.9 will “most likely benefit WAXQ and WCBS-FM the most.”

Meanwhile, WKTU makes gains from last month’s 4.9, but grabs number three at 5.1.

WHTZ/Z100 keeps pace for the second consecutive survey with a 5.0.

Tropical favorite WSKQ continues to jump by leaps and bounds. ‘SKQ added .6 since April (including .3 last month).

Classic rock station WAXQ/104.3 had a slight upgrade to 4.1 for June.

WCBS-AM, despite carrying the New York Yankees, has been on a ratings freefall. After dropping .7 for May, the All-News station gave back another .3 for June. 

More from the radio ratings after the jump

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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 Hires Veteran Radio Programmer Pete Salant

Merlin Media is taking another step toward the future.

Accomplished radio programmer Pete Salant has joined Merlin Media in an unspecified programming role, sources with knowledge of the information tell FishbowlNY. 

Salant made a name for himself as the program director and operations manager of WYNY from 1980 to 1983.  

Salant reteams with his former NBC boss–then-FM radio division executive VP Walter Sabo, now the Merlin Media chief operating officer.  While at 30 Rock, Salant led the team that pioneered the Adult Contemporary music format at WYNY, which climbed from number 22 to number one in Adults during Salant’s first six months. The station remained the highest rated music station among all FM and AM stations in New York City during his tenure.

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Merlin Media Takes Next Step with WRXP, Registers New Call Letters

Merlin Media, the start-up formed by Tribune castoff Randy Michaels, may have its new call letters ready to go. Perhaps, though, it’s all one big tease.

As we’ve been reporting for several weeks, rumors are running rampant that Merlin will flip former Emmis-owned Rocker WRXP 101.9 to a News/Talk station.

Now, All Access reports that Merlin has registered www.1019wyny.com through Go Daddy. The information lists Merlin Media, LLC as the registrant.

Of course, WYNY, which built its reputation by playing Adult Contempory, made the move to Country in the 1987.

However, bringing a Country format to 101.9 doesn’t appear likely.  

“There’s no chance,” one industry insider told FishbowlNY.

Walter SaboMerlin’s COO, is a longtime talk radio consultant.

Traffic Guru Jeff McKay Reportedly Headed to Merlin Media, New 101.9 FM Station

Last week, we told you that longtime traffic reporter Jeff McKay left Metro Networks after nearly 20 years. While McKay has been close to the vest about his next venture, the Daily News may have shed some light.

The paper reports today that McKay, known for his reports on 1010 WINS, will join Merlin Media. In turn, that will further fuel speculation that Randy Michaels upstart media company will flip WRXP/101.9 from a Rock station to News/Talk format.

Broadcasting  consultant Walter Sabo had been brought in to run Merlin. His background includes programming New Jersey 101.5/WKXW, a Metro affiliated station at which McKay also spent many years helping listeners negotiating jams with “The McKay Way.”

The Daily News reports that a timetable for the changeover isn’t known, but it’s not likely to be an extended process.

Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

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

  1. Does Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone Piece on Michele Bachmann Qualify for Plagiarism? June 24
  2. Tina Brown Speaks Out on Creepy Princess Diana Newsweek Cover, June 29
  3. Latest Newsweek Features Creepy Princess Diana Newsweek Cover, June 28
  4. Village Voice Staffers Set to Strike, Launch Alternative Site, June 28 
  5. The New York Post Didn’t Think Gay Marriage Bill Was Important, June 27
  6. Bruce Headlam on The Daily Show, June 24
  7. Merlin Media Moves Closer to Potential WRXP Flip, Names Walter Sabo COO, June 27 
  8. New York Wants Us All to Know When Frank Rich Debuts, June 27
  9. Esquire Sued for Over $100 Million Because of Satirical Article, June 29
  10. Life at The New York Observer: Treat Trump Kindly, June 27

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.

 

Red, White, and Radio Honor the Fourth

What would the Fourth of July be without the backyard barbeque? Of course, the Fourth is also associated with fireworks. 1010 WINS, once again, provides the radio simulcast of the Macy’s Fireworks beginning at 9:15 p.m.

Other stations have special holiday plans too.

  • WCBS-FM/101.1 has its A to Z artist countdown (started on Tuesday).
  • WAXQ/Q 104.3 gives listeners “four plays” all weekend of the biggest classic rock artists. On Sunday, the station is live in Red Bank, New Jersey from 6 to 10 p.m, including fireworks simulcast at 9:15 p.m.
  • WKTU/103.5 features party songs throughout the weekend and a Britney Spears ticket giveaway.
  • WRXP/101.9 (recent sold to Merlin Media, and likely to flip format in the coming months) has three-song blocks from the “Great American Rock Bands” during the long weekend.
  • WQHT/Hot 97 has live hip-hop mixes during the patriotic weekend.
  • WOR/710 welcomes former Governor David Paterson, who sits in for John Gambling on July 4th.

Photo courtesy of brooklynpaper.com.

WRXP Cancels TakLiberty Rock Festival Fueling ‘Flip’ Speculation

As we’ve been reporting, Emmis sold WRXP to veteran broadcasting executive Randy Michaels. Earlier this month, Michaels created Merlin Media for the takeover of ‘RXP and two other Emmis stations based in Chicago.

There has been much speculation that WRXP’s days as a Alternative Rocker are limited.  Rumors persist that Michaels will flip the station to News/Talk, Sports, or even a Country music format.

Now for the latest proof that WRXP will drop Rock once the paperwork goes through later this summer.

The station’s TakLiberty Festival, planned for the PNC Arts Center in New Jersey on September 18, is no more.

A brief statement from Emmis read, “The WRXP TakLiberty Festival featuring Coldplay has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.”

In a touch of irony, WRXP originally announced plans for the day-long concert one day before Michaels purchased the station.

WCBS/Channel 2 and WFUV Top NYSBA Awards for Broadcasting Excellence

At it’s annual dinner the New York State Broadcasters Association distributed Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting.

WCBS/Channel 2 was the big winner last night among New York City television stations, with five honors.

WCBS won awards for Outstanding Spot News (CBS 2 News at 11: Gas Explosion), Outstanding Hard News Story (Staten Island Bias Attacks), Outstanding Feature News Story (Robo-Tripping), Outstanding Locally Originated Newscast (CBS 2 News at 11: Tornados Hit NYC), and Outstanding Sportscast (Road to Glory: Feud in Foxborough).

WXTV, the Univisión owned-and-operated Channel 41, earned a nod for Outstanding Promotion Announcement or Series (X-Final), while WPIX/Channel 11, won for Outstanding Locally Produced TV Show (PIX Presents 2011 N.Y. International Auto Show).

A look at the radio winners after the jump

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