Looks like Merlin COO Walter Sabo is out


The COO of Randy Michaels’ Merlin Media may have left the building. This, possibly after the initial ratings of all-News WEMP-FM in NYC and WWWN-FM Chicago weren’t yet up to expectations. WEMP’s December Arbitron ratings scored only a .6. Sabo changed the status on his “LinkedIn” page to show his position as COO of Merlin changed from current to past. Sabo continues his Sabo Media consultancy. The best we could get out of Merlin CEO Michaels was “I do not disagree with his post,” in reference to the LinkedIn changes. On LinkedIn, Sabo listed Merlin Media as his employer from May 2011 to December 2011. He joined Merlin on 6/27, before Merlin launched WEMP and WWWN.

From Sabo’s LinkedIn page:

Chief Executive Officer at HITVIEWS LLC
Chairman at Hitviews
Chairman at Sabo Media

Chief Operating Officer at Merlin Media LLC
Consultant at SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Vice President at ABC Radio Networks

RBR-TVBR observation: The two Merlin all-News stations initially tried to differentiate themselves from heritage All-Newsers in their markets with a bit of entertainment, features and personal/family-oriented content/tips. Unfortunately, much of the audience looking for that sort of information is tuned into NPR affiliates. Bottom line, it takes time for any new station to be noticed and it takes time to gain the trust of all-News audiences. We suggest partnering with big News names in the market — and perhaps a local TV station’s news department as well.