Merlin Media has officially launched its All-News format in Chicago.
After slowly integrating its female focused news into the placeholder “101.1 FM New” music format, 101.1 WWWN launched its permanent format as “FM News 101.1” at 4pm.
1011FMNews.com and FMNewsChicago.com have been moved to the servers of Emmis Interactive, while the latter shows a content-less template of what will be the station’s site. By launching today, WWWN beats CBS’ WBBM to the FM dial by a weekend.
Merlin has also begun to protect its branding for future expansion. Domains for over 40 markets were registered by Merlin yesterday. These include are in the style of FMNewsAtlanta.com and FMNewsLosAngeles.com. The entire list of markets covered are: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Greensboro, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Raliegh/Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington DC, and West Palm Beach. We don’t expect Merlin to magically add stations in all these markets. But it does help protect their brand from others squatting domains.