October 8, 2012

Sports Radio 66 WFAN New York Goes to 101.9 FM

WFAN-AM, The Nation’s Most-Listened-To Sports Radio Station, To Be Simulcast On FM

New Station Will Change Its Call Letters To WFAN-FM

Merlin Merlin owners of local talk station IQ 106.9 (WWIQ) hasn't had much success with their all news formats in New York or Chicago. Less than a year after the news formats were launched in both cities the news were dumped in favor of music. There was speculation that IQ 106.9 would go all news to compete with KYW, but horrible ratings in NY and Chi-town ultimately convince them to go talk. However Merlin is still hoping to see some success at the former Family Radio station WKDN.

WFAN in New York had been looking to step over into the FM side of the radio spectrum for awhile with their mega-successful sports station 66 WFAN. They have done this in several other cities including 94 WIP in Philadelphia. Many were thinking they would change formats on their FM station 92.3 Now FM, however the opportunity to do an LMA with 101.9 FM has come to fruition. As it stands now CBS Radio has to divest itself of one of their media outlets in the New York City Tri-State area. They presently own Channel 2 CBS-TV, Channel 55 in Long Island, 101.1 WCBS FM, 1010 WINS, 880 WCBS AM, WWFS Fresh 102.7, along with the previously mentioned stations in this post. That would make nine and the FCC only allows up to eight radio and TV stations in any given market.

-[News Release from] CBS RADIO, a division of CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS), today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase 101.9 FM from Merlin Media for $75 million. In late fall, CBS RADIO will begin its operation of the station under a Local Marketing Agreement, launching a simulcast of the company’s premier sports franchise, Sports Radio 66 WFAN.

This move will immediately broaden the audience and reach of WFAN’s award-winning programming, which will continue to be broadcast on-air at 660 AM, online at www.wfan.com, and via the Radio.com app for a variety of mobile devices.

“This is an extremely exciting opportunity to expand our radio presence in the nation’s largest market,” said Dan Mason, President and CEO, CBS RADIO. “Sports is a very popular format and a huge growth category for our business. As a result of this new asset, we look forward to The FAN building on its position as the leading sports radio franchise in the country.”

WFAN pioneered the all-sports format when it launched on July 1, 1987, becoming the first radio station where listeners could hear and talk about sports 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has been the most-listened-to station of its kind since it signed on the air.  WFAN is home to leading personalities Mike Francesa, Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton, Joe Benigno, Evan Roberts and Steve Somers, and is the flagship station for the New York Giants, New York Mets, Brooklyn Nets and New Jersey Devils.

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