EMF To Begin Operating Its Six Cumulus Acquisitions On June 1

Cumulus Entercom EMF Educational Media Foundation K-Love WPLJ WRQXAs the calendar turns over to June, Educational Media Foundation will takeover operations of the six stations it is acquiring from Cumulus Media in New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, San Jose, Syracuse, and Savannah.

We already knew this would be the sign-off date for 95.5 WPLJ New York’s current format but it has been announced that the additional stations in the deal will also leave Cumulus’ control at the stroke of midnight on Saturday, June 1. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the staffers at “Talk 106.7” WYAY were informed yesterday, while 105.9 WXTL Syracuse has already begun redirecting their listeners to their new online home.

The only question that remains is whether the intellectual property of Hot AC “Mix 107.3” WRQX Washington DC will find a new home by the end of the month. WRQX has yet to make any public announcements about the sale and upcoming end of the format on 107.3 and rumors continue to persist that Entercom will acquire the brand and relocate it to one of their five FMs in the Washington market.

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  1. dudefromva says

    Will the WPLJ callsign go to another Entercom or Cumulus station in the NYC market or is it stuck at 95.5?

    1. Nathan Obral says

      EMF is saying that they’ll have the rights to the WPLJ call letters, but I’d be surprised if they kept them on 95.5. But to be fair, they’ve not only kept the WCCC calls on 107.1, they reverted the calls of 107.1 Portsmouth Ohio to WPAY-FM after buying that monster FM from Northern Kentucky University (it’s now WPYK).

      Whatever legacy and heritage that had graced the WPLJ calls evaporated a long time ago. EMF could “park” the calls on a station in Florida after renaming 95.5 as WKLV … and no one would notice.

      Lance has said that Cumulus is specifically retaining the WRQX calls.

    2. jcurtis1027 says

      I read on Radio Ink that at least in the short term, EMF is keeping the WPLJ call letters on 95.5.

  2. Les Talk says

    Would Entercom leave Mix 107.3 as is and spin 99.1/107.9 to EMF?

    1. Eric Jon Magnuson says

      In that case, Entercom would have to swap with EMF–which almost certainly won’t happen now.

    2. Eric Jon Magnuson says

      Also, Bloomberg’s programming deal with Entercom for 99.1 probably would prevent that signal from being spun off.

    3. Nathan Obral says

      If Entercom does anything (which may come literally at the last minute), it would be for the intellectual property of WRQX. The sale of 107.3 to EMF is a done deal.

      1. Les Talk says

        Was there a recent press release stating 107.3 is going to K-Love, outside of the original transaction? Because it is quite odd that a station like MIX is completely silent on this unless there are other signals at play. Possibly a wild card trade in another market with Entercom?

        1. Nathan Obral says

          WRQX PD Rob Roberts, who doubles as Cumulus VP of hot AC, told Inside Radio that “Mix 107.3” will also sign off May 31 and “turn the keys over to [EMF] midnight Saturday, June 1.”

          It doesn’t get more definitive than that.


          1. Les Talk says

            Hmmmm. Interesting.

  3. Les Talk says

    Does anyone know when the deal is up for Bloomberg and 99.1?

    1. Nathan Obral says

      Well, the leasing deal with Bloomburg went into effect in December 2015. Needless to say, it would be beyond foolish for Entercom to breach the contract, especially if it is a long-term one.

  4. Les Talk says

    Can anyone think of a time EMF pulled OUT of a market/frequency instead of overtaking one? The only example I can think of is in Richmond. There was something oddly stated by EMF like, “obligations beyond our scope are not allowing us to continue on 100.5 FM” The former WZEZ was owned by EMF for a little over a year, then LMA’d to a Spanish format (?) and was sold to become an ultra conservative talker now as WJFN. I think I’d actually rather have K-Love on it.

    1. Nathan Obral says

      They don’t need to pull out of a market per se. Small divestitures with regards to translators have taken place, one deal with iHeart happened a few weeks ago. Most of the AM stations they get as tagalongs with an FM acquisition are sold off. And they are in a surplus position with stations in Chicago, a sale there is inevitable.

  5. dudefromva says

    I was just curious. I didn’t know if Cumulus was doing the same with the PLJ calls as they were doing with the RQX ones. I knew about the RQX ones, but sometimes there is a behind the scenes thing we don’t know about….or that I miss. 🙂

  6. radioperson says

    The beginning of FM radio deteriorating into what AM has become……..an overabundance of religious stations and brokerage outlets.

    1. Les Talk says

      Don’t get me started.

    2. Nathan Obral says

      That’s what happens when the industry is solidly in a seller’s market and no one outside of EMF wants to buy.

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