July 17, 2012

All News Stations in New York and Chicago Fail, Switch Formats to Music

New York's "FM News 101.9" WEMP is now alternative "New Rock 101.9.” Chicago's year-old WIQI becomes "Adult Hits i101." Merlin CEO Randy Michaels says “It was a difficult decision to make, but after a year of minimal audience engagement, coupled with the format's inherent expense, I felt it was time to make a change." Jim Richards is interim operations manager of both stations. The return to the "New Rock" format mirrors the previous sounds on the 101.9 frequency (RXP New York Rock Experience). The most successful format at 101.9 FM however was the unique and special blend of jazz on CD 101.9 WQCD, which ended in 2008. CD 101.9 was a shell of its former self at that time of its demise. The station had evolved into the run of the mill, cookie cutter Smooth Jazz approach found in many cities around the country, and featured as much R&B vocalists as it did smooth jazz artists.

All-News radio stations are expensive
formats to run. The revenue they
can generate, makes them attractive

Merlin Broadcasting recently launched an all news morning show and talk format station called 'IQ106.9" WWIQ in Philadelphia. The ratings for the station that features Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck,and Sean Hannity have been less than stellar as Merlin's stations were in the New York Tri-state and the Windy City.

CBS Radio all-news station in Washington, D.C. WNEW 99.1 and Radio One News 92 FM KROI in Houston are also struggling to make a dent in the ratings in their respective cities as well. In Radio One's case not only did they drop the Gospel programming of the former Praise 92.1 but they also axed the morning show of Houston native Yolanda Adams. The only all-news format station in the city has yet to garner the same ratings as the Gospel station. The main problem these stations face is getting older listeners to change their habits by having them to reset their car presets from AM radio to FM. Also going up against long established and well trusted news and information stations on AM radio is the biggest hurdle these stations face.

For the most part in radio, when all else fails, put on some music.

Source Radio-Info.com

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