EMF Sets New Call Letters For Cumulus/Aloha Acquisitions; WRQX Moves To…
With Educational Media Foundation set to close on its acquisitions of ten stations from its deals with Cumulus and iHeartMedia’s Aloha Stations Trust at the end of this week, the company has reserved new call letters for the majority of the stations.
We have known since the Cumulus deal was filed with the FCC that the seller would be retaining the call letters of what is now Hot AC “Mix 107.3” WRQX Washington DC, with the expectation that the intellectual property would be sold to another operator in the market. However with less than five days until EMF takes over no deals have been announced nor has WRQX said anything on-air about its potentially impending demise. While it is still possible that Cumulus comes to a deal with someone to acquire the WRQX IP, time is running out and for now the call letters will be headed to what is now Classic Country 600 WSOM Salem OH. Those WSOM calls will head to Washington temporarily until EMF replaces them the following week.
EMF will retain the call letters of 95.5 WPLJ New York and 105.9 WXTL Syracuse from the Cumulus deal and 102.3 WEKL Augusta GA from the iHeart/Aloha deal. The remainder of the new call letters applied for are:
- 97.7 KFFG Los Altos/San Jose CA -> KJLV
- 106.7 WYAY Gainesville/Atlanta GA -> WAKL
- 102.1 WZAT Savannah GA -> WKZV
- 107.1 WLRX Ironton OH/Huntington WV -> WAWT
- 101.7 WSNZ Lynchburg VA -> WAWX
- 106.1 WSFF Vinton/Roanoke VA -> WLRX
Two of EMF’s current holdings will also change call letters in the process as 88.9 WAKL Flint MI gives up its call letters to Atlanta and will become WKMF and 105.3 KJLV Hoxie AR trades its to San Jose and will become KLFJ.
INSTANT INSIGHT: It will still be a shock to us if the WRQX call letters and “Mix” IP do NOT end up on another station in the Washington market. The brand is too strong to just die and the format hole too great in the market. From those we’ve spoken too, it seems like this will be a matter of who blinks first between Cumulus and Entercom. Cumulus is surely seeking to monetize the assets as much as possible, but if there’s only one suitor and with time running out to start promoting a shift to the audience each minute that goes by dilutes the value of the brand.