Merlin Media launches All-News FM in Chicago


Jumping ahead of CBS Radio’s FM simulcast of All-News WBBM-AM on the FM band come Monday (8/1), Merlin Media late Friday (7/29) launched a new All-News station on WWWN-FM Chicago. That’s the former WKQX-FM which Merlin is LMAing from Emmis pending the closing of a pending sale.

As of last report there is no live Internet stream, so you’ll have to actually be in The Windy City market to hear what’s going on. The station website is pretty bare bones.

The new station’s Facebook page, however, is soliciting input from listeners. “Welcome to the new FM News 101.1! We are building this station from the ground up for you, so tell us what you want to hear about! Weather? Traffic? Certain kinds of news stories? You tell us!”

If you are able to actually hear the station, please post below about what you’re hearing.

RBR-TVBR observation: You can bet that Randy Michaels and the other folks at Merlin Media did plenty of research before choosing this course. Even so, All-News is a hugely expensive format, so it is going to be quite an uphill climb to get to profitability. But once you pass break even the cash flow really grows. Just look at WTOP-FM Washington, which is a cash flow machine. This will be interesting to watch.

Also, with CBS Radio beginning its simulcast of WBBM on FM Monday (8/1) there’s a rumor of a similar move coming in New York, with WINS-AM possibly getting a simulcast on 92.3, the current home of WXRK “Now FM.”