CBS Aquires 101.9 WRXP New York for WFAN

New Rock 101.9 WRXP New York Merlin Media CBS WFAN-FM WFAN Mike Francesa Boomer Carton FMCBS Radio has announced it has purchased Alternative 101.9 WRXP New York from Merlin Media for $75 Million.

Update 11/2: WFAN began its simulcast on 101.9 around 11:57pm as Jeff Buckley’s “Last Goodbye” gave way to Suzyn Waldman, the first voice to be heard on WFAN in 1987 kicked off the new format on FM.

The final hour of New Rock 101.9 consisted of:
MGMT – Kids
AWOLNATION – Kill Your Heroes
Linkin Park – Waiting For The End
Dirty Heads W/ Rome – Lay Me Down
Black Keys – Little Black Submarines
Killers – Mr. Brightside
Jack White – Freedom At 21
Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
Little Huricane – Haunted Heart
Death Cab For Cutie – I Will Follow You Into The Dark
Pearl Jam – Last Kiss
Beastie Boys – No Sleep ‘Till Brooklyn
Semisonic – Closing Time
Green Day – Good Riddance
Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye

Update 10/29: WFAN will begin its simulcast on 101.9 on Friday, November 2 at 12:00am.

Update 10/15: The sale’s filing has made its way to the FCC database. The sale will involve Merlin first spinning off WRXP to NYFMEAT LLC for tax purposes, with that holding company then turning the station over to CBS.

CBS has also detailed how it plans to fit WRXP under the ownership limits in New York. The company is petitioning the FCC that the coverage of WLNY-TV does not entirely encompass New York City, while none of the CBS Radio stations in New York put a city grade signal over WLNY’s Riverhead city of license. Scott Fybush explains the maneuver in detail in this week’s Northeast Radio Watch.

Original Report 10/8: The station will flip to a simulcast of Sports 660 WFAN when CBS begins operating the station via LMA in November. The sale currently places CBS one station over the ownership limits in New York as it currently owns two television stations, three AM’s, and three FM’s in the market. The delayed start of the LMA indicates that another move may be pending to resolve that issue.

Merlin Media flipped from News back to Alternative Rock in July. It has since grown in its first two monthlies from a 0.6 to a 2.1 share. WFAN will join ESPN’s 98.7 WEPN on FM once it consummates this move.

The CBS Press Release follows:

CBS RADIO, a division of CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS), today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase 101.9 FM from Merlin Media for $75 million. In late fall, CBS RADIO will begin its operation of the station under a Local Marketing Agreement, launching a simulcast of the company’s premier sports franchise, Sports Radio 66 WFAN.

This move will immediately broaden the audience and reach of WFAN’s award-winning programming, which will continue to be broadcast on-air at 660 AM, online at wfan.com/cbsnewyork.com, and via the Radio.com app for a variety of mobile devices.

“This is an extremely exciting opportunity to expand our radio presence in the nation’s largest market,” said Dan Mason, President and CEO, CBS RADIO. “Sports is a very popular format and a huge growth category for our business. As a result of this new asset, we look forward to The FAN building on its position as the leading sports radio franchise in the country.”

WFAN pioneered the all-sports format when it launched on July 1, 1987, becoming the first radio station where listeners could hear and talk about sports 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has been the most-listened-to station of its kind since it signed on the air. WFAN is home to leading personalities Mike Francesa, Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton, Joe Benigno, Evan Roberts and Steve Somers, and is the flagship station for the New York Giants, New York Mets, Brooklyn Nets and New Jersey Devils.

Additionally, WFAN is the recipient of four prestigious Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters, including most recently Mike Francesa being honored as Major Market Personality of the Year (2012).

The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory and other approvals.

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