Cumulus may return Alternative to NYC via WFME


CumulusIt’s all because Radio License Holding X, LLC, the company Cumulus used to buy (closed on 1/10) WFME-FM 94.7 in that market from Family Stations, applied for the call letters WRXP. Most think Cumulus will bring a full-signal Country format back to the Big Apple, but this may mean a return to Alternative with those heritage calls.

WRXP was the calls of Merlin Media’s and before them Emmis’ Alternative station before the sale to CBS Radio, which flipped it to the all-sports simulcast WFAN-AM.

Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey tells RBR-TVBR he can’t comment at this time. That makes us wonder—it’s not a denial that WRXP may make its return.

Here is what one source fairly close to the situation tells us: “I really believe this will be kept a secret until the last possible minute. As much as I want RXP back and for 94.7 to be a rock station, I’m having a gut feeling those call letters are being parked somewhere and this becomes WNSH for Nashville.

I think the reason is this, it’s a female based format, it compliments PLJ best, and gives a combo sales effort to compete with Z100/ WLTW.

Country is high profile, big artists who will bend over backwards to support the station, and I think it’s easier to run and will give them quicker numbers and a bigger share to help their network.

And it also is a format that guarantees no competitor ever. Whereas if they did rock, there is still a chance that CBS could revive a brand like K-ROCK with a KROQ clone or Clear Channel coming in with a KYSR or WRFF clone. I could be wrong on this.”

RBR-TVBR observation: There is no WNSH-FM currently airing, so this could be true. Our opinion, as it has been for years (especially in such a big, cutting-edge market as nYC), is go with an Indie Rock format. Songs from bands like Animal Collective, Beck, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Death Cab for Cutie, Mates of state, LCD Sound System, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Flaming Lips, Pinback, Ladytron, Clinic, Muse, Tom Waits, The Moldy Peaches, The Raveonettes, The Kills, The Postal Service, Devendra Banhart, Vivian Girls, Black Lips, Cold War Kids, Cat Power, Architecture in Helsinki, Matt & Kim, Lykke Li, The Blow, Sleigh Bells, The Hidden Cameras, Deerhoof, The Vaselines, Vampire Weekend, Tune-Yards, Surfer Blood, Cloud Nothings, etc..

Also, perhaps some Classic Alternative, such as: The Velvet Underground, T. Rex, The Ramones, David Bowie, Blur, Bjork, The Pixies, Devo, The Cure, The Cowboy Junkies, etc..