Saturday, July 2, 2011

Will CBS make one of their Chicago FM's a BBM simulcast?

With the unpredictable Randy Michaels at the helm now of Q101, it might make competitive sense.

From Tom Taylor:

The rumor is that some local decisionmakers in Chicago favor that option, to get out in front of whatever Merlin Media is going to do with “Q101” WKQX. Of course that brings up the question about devaluing a perfectly good 50,000 watt AM radio facility - because you’re telling the world that while its signal may be second-to-none, it isn’t reaching all the younger ears who only roam the FM dial. But CBS is taking the threats from Merlin in both Chicago and New York seriously. Especially when they read stories like this from Robert Feder at Time Out Chicago - “Incoming Q101 news chief Andy Friedman is said to be busy assembling a staff of Chicago radio news voices, including Charlie Meyerson, Rob Hart and Lise Dominique.” Meyerson’s the former news director at Tribune’s talk WGN (720).

Then, since "it all rolls downhill" and might well roll down I-55 to Memorial Drive, is it likely that EZ or Y98 might abandon their music format and take on a news-talk profile?

Frankly, it'd be stupid to keep such a format off one or the other market-covering signals.  We're not growing any new AM listeners at all and we're growing damned few new FM listeners.  Might not be a bad idea to toss out a net to pull in some of the other-media listeners who could use a taste of local news and talk.

It's all about commercial radio's survival, kids.

I've never understood the industry's reticence overall to keep news/talk off FM.