Now that Cumulus has launched Country “Nash-FM” on 94.7 WRXP Newark and the WNSH calls are en-route from their temporary home in Minnesota, it appears that there was a reason that the company brought the WRXP call letters out of mothballs after all.
Following registrations of eleven domains on Monday, Cumulus looks to be preparing a flip of suburban AC 103.9 WFAS-FM Bronxville to the WRXP calls and an Alternative or other Rock based format. The company registered 1039WRXP.com, WRXPFM.com, and WRXP1039.com (as well as .net and .org versions of) along with WRXP.net and .org on January 21.
The WRXP calls have been used at the two most recent attempts at Alternative Rock in New York on Emmis’ “The Rock Experience – 101.9 RXP” from 2008 until 2011 and Merlin Media’s reboot as “New Rock 101.9” from June to October of 2012 following the demise of its “FM News” brand. Cumulus claimed the calls as a placeholder for 94.7 Newark on January 14.
WFAS-FM has a built-out CP waiting to go live to operate from the northern Bronx with 980 watts at 203.4 meters. The station will serve portions of the New York market, including the boroughs of The Bronx, northern Manhattan and parts of Queens as well as suburban Westchester County, parts of Nassau County on Long Island, and Bergen County, NJ. It currently programs a Westchester targeted AC format from its existing tower in White Plains.
Earlier this month Cumulus hired Jolana Smith from Cox AC “Star 99.9” WEZN Bridgeport, CT to serve as PD of WFAS-FM and sister Talk 1230 WFAS. Smith is also midday host of 103.9. While this would seem to negate a format change at the station, Cumulus also brought in a new market manager in Kim Bryant, which could have led to a change in plans along with the audience feedback to the recent stunting on 94.7.