In this week’s issue… Cumulus winds down big FMs – New brand for CT talker – New music, logo at KYW – Another college drops FM – Halls of Fame induct new members – More consolidation in Ontario

By SCOTT FYBUSH

Jump to: MENHVTMARICTNYNJ PACanada

*You could make the case, I suppose, that NEW YORK‘s WPLJ (95.5) ended its “legendary” days in 1983, when top-40 replaced rock, leaving WNEW (102.7) all alone as the rock FM station in the big city. You could make a case for December 1987, when the callsign changed to WWPR for an unsuccessful year as “Power 95.” You could point to the end of the ABC owned-and-operated stations group with the 2006 sale to Citadel.

But when the history books are written (and, yes, it’s been something like 18 years since I tried to start writing this particular one), we now know that “May 31, 2019” will mark the end of the end of WPLJ. That’s the date when Cumulus will hand over the keys to EMF Broadcasting, which is paying $103 million for a package of stations including WPLJ, WRQX in Washington, WYAY in Atlanta, WZAT in Savannah and – well, keep reading for the other NERW-land piece of this puzzle.

Because you read NERW and other industry trades, this news isn’t coming as much of a surprise to you – except for the actual date of the switch, which WPLJ’s morning team announced Wednesday morning, the rest of the sale was a big headline for us back in February. For the general public, though (and a surprisingly large chunk of the mainstream media), the announcement on Wednesday appeared to be the first they’d heard about WPLJ leaving the airwaves.

That, of course, triggered plenty of nostalgia, if not for the current hot AC version of WPLJ, then at least for its predecessors. If you grew up in New York City or its suburbs in the 1970s and you were a rock-loving teenager, WPLJ was probably where your radio dial was locked – and the teens of the 1970s are the nostalgia-loving 50-somethings of today. Over the next few weeks, we’re guessing they’ll get treated to some remembrances of WPLJ’s heyday as the station winds down to its final days.

And after that? As with so many of the other big-market stations it’s purchased in recent years, EMF will follow the last moments of WPLJ with a prompt switch to its national “K-Love” contemporary Christian format. About the only mysteries still remaining are whether the WPLJ calls will stay in place, whether they’ll be parked on a different Cumulus station elsewhere, and whether EMF will move the WKLV calls down with the format from suburban 96.7 up in Port Chester. (That signal, in turn, is almost guaranteed to go to EMF’s secondary “Air 1” format.)

What else can we learn from the WPLJ reaction? That there are still radio listeners out there paying attention to what’s on the dial – and noticing when there’s change. That’s a theme running through a few other stories this week…keep reading.

The 2020 Tower Site Calendar will soon be off the press, but orders are already coming in, and we want to keep them coming.

From now through November 11, you can order your copy in advance for 10% off the regular price.

Note to our regular buyers (and our irregular buyers — we love every one of you): This is not this year’s cover, as this year’s calendar is still in production. We promise the real cover will be just as beautiful, if not more.

Have a suggestion for a cover photo? Look through our Tower Site archives, and if you see a beautiful photo we haven’t featured yet, suggest it to us!

Visit our store to buy the new calendar and check out our other products.


You don't have to stop reading here! Click here to subscribe and enjoy full access to current NERW and Tower Site of the Week columns and more than a decade of searchable archives -- for as little as a quarter per day.

Why are we now subscriber-based? Click here to read more about the reasons behind our decision.

If you're already a subscriber, please login to view the rest of this column.

If the site does not recognize your username, don't panic! Either your subscription has expired and we need to reactivate your account, or your username and email do not match our payment records and we need to link them. Please email Lisa, or call her at 585-442-5411, for instructions.


GROW WITH US! Fybush Media and RadioInsight have joined forces to provide a bigger ad sales platform for the broadcast and streaming industry. Are you the right fit to become our next sales professional? We’re seeking someone creative and energetic who knows his or her way around the radio, TV and streaming community. Generous commission and profit-sharing. Want to join our team? Let’s talk.
Fybush.com isn’t a mere website.
We’re a community.

And we take care of our community members. Do you have a piece of equipment you want to sell? Or one you want to buy? Are you looking for a job? An employee? We can help you with all of those searches and more! We offer classified ads at reasonable prices, seen by people in every part of the industry. Contact Lisa for details.

1 COMMENT

Comments are closed.