WKDN Philadelphia Sold

Merlin Media LLC 106.9 WKDN Camden Philadelphia Family Radio FMNews FM News KYW 1060

Update 12/7: Merlin paid $22.5 Million for WKDN.

Original Report 12/6: As first reported by ChicagolandRadioAndMedia.com, Merlin Media has acquired 106.9 WKDN Camden, NJ/Philadelphia from Harold Camping’s Family Radio for an undisclosed price.

The purchase makes Philadelphia the third market and fourth station for Merlin joining 101.9 WEMP New York and 97.9 WLUP and 101.1 WIQI Chicago. All expectations have the station going All-News competing with CBS’ market leading 1060 KYW. Merlin acquired FMNewsPhiladelphia.com along with domains for many other markets earlier this summer.

It had been known that WKDN and 107.9 WFSI Annapolis, MD (which was sold to CBS last month) were on the market since the summer when they applied to return to commercial status.

WKDN is Class B operating with 38kW however it will need some engineering improvements to better compete in the market. Its tower site and ground system have been poorly maintained over the years and the station receives some adjacent channel interference on the western side of the Philadelphia market from Cumulus’ WMHX Hershey, PA. We would expect a long stunting period between the time Merlin takes control while the station upgrades before the launch of a permanent format.

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  1. Joseph says

    Might CBS now decide to “blow up” WOGL-98.1 right after Christmas and replace it with a simulcast of KYW-1060, since they won’t be able to purchase WKDN for that purpose??

    1. Lance Venta says

      That’s exactly what we’ve been discussing on Twitter this evening. CBS has a tough decision ahead of them.

  2. HomerJay says

    No. Did they blow up WCBS? No. They blew up an also ran in Chicago, a different situation than they have here.

    1. Lance Venta says

      Exactly like you said, its a different situation.

      Unlike WBBM where they did see the need to simulcast on FM, or the WCBS/WINS tandem, KYW’s signal is not the best in parts of the Philly market. It is vulnerable. If/When 106.9 goes All-News, CBS needs to make the determination whether protecting KYW’s brand by moving to FM is worth blowing up WOGL.

  3. Jeremy says

    At this rate, CBS has little to worry about. Merlin isn’t even properly promoting or operating their 5 month old “FM News” stations, which are a ratings joke.

    Now they’re launching another one? Gotta be kidding me.

    1. Lance Venta says

      That’s the whole point why you can’t gauge the performance of their Chicago or New York stations yet. Once they start marketing the station you can start the clock on measuring the growth.

      Who knows about the station other than people who observe the radio industry?

  4. MattParker says

    All I have read about Michaels at Tribune gives me zero respect for the guy (and not like him much either). I have listened to his “chick news” from New York (and a little bit from Chicago). OK, I’m not in the demo but still not impressed. PPMs from NYC and CHI don’t show him making a dent in CBS news stations there. (Insanity: Continuing to take the same action while expecting a different result.)

    Randy is being bankrolled by GTCR, an equity firm specializing in leveraged buy-outs. An old story: Randy did the old razzle dazzle and these people expect to see money PDQ. These companies tend to have little patience and when the money does not roll in, Randy is history. This is what happened at the “minor market” level to Lloyd Roach (and a lot of others).

  5. CosmicRock says

    CBS would sooner blow up WIP then WOGL.

  6. Joseph says

    WCBS-FM New York was “blown up” several years ago and replaced by the “Jack FM” format.

    But it was a flop, and the previous oldies/classic hits format came back, and it’s my understanding it’s recently done very, very well.

    Were CBS Radio to simulcast either WCBS-880 or WINS-1010 on FM, WWFS-102.7 or WXRK-92.3 would be more likely to be replaced by a simulcast of an AM all-news format that CBS-FM.

    Also: Could CBS possibly simulcast AM all-news stations on FM in Los Angeles (likely by “blowing up” KTWV-94.7 and replacing it with a simulcast of KNX-1070) and/or Boston (where WBZ-1030 could be simulcast over what is now WODS-103.3), even though there at the moment isn’t anything to suggest that a commercial all-news FM station will be coming to either city??

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