In this week’s issue… IHeart rearranges Reading – Format flip at the Jersey Shore – Where’s NBC Boston this week? – Montreal morning show shuffle
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*It was one of the more curious little stories that barely made its way into the headlines last week – iHeart and EMF Broadcasting are swapping a dozen or so translator facilities around the country, everywhere from the Midwest to Texas and Oklahoma, to Reading, PENNSYLVANIA.
That’s where iHeart’s small cluster of signals includes hot AC WRFY (102.5) and Spanish tropical “Rumba” WRAW (1340), which in turn feeds translator W222BY (92.3), at least until noon today. W222BY is one of the seven iHeart-owned translators going to EMF in exchange for six EMF-owned translators (none here in NERW-land) that have been leased out to iHeart and are carrying urban formats in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Minneapolis, Lexington and Waco.
But while iHeart is losing ownership of W222BY, it doesn’t appear that it’s giving up the Rumba format on the translator. Instead, Rumba will continue to be fed to 92.3 via the HD2 of WRFY, while WRAW launches a new format at noon, returning to the news and talk it had been running a few years ago before “Rumba” launched as an AM-only format.
The new “NewsTalk 1340” WRAW format will include a simulcast of R.J. Harris’ morning show from WHP (580) down the road in Harrisburg, followed by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Buck Sexton. Limbaugh moves to WRAW from WEEU (830), which is picking up “PA Sports Midday” from the PA Sports Network to fill that midday slot.
Can WRAW get traction as an AM-only talk voice in an increasingly FM world? And as it transitions to new ownership, will the loss of Limbaugh damage WEEU’s ratings at all? We’ll be watching… and listening.
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