Update 7/4: Urban AC “Radio 103.9” WNBM Bronxville made its debut at 1:03pm this afternoon.
Launching with an hour-long preview of the station’s playlist, WNBM will then air 64 straight hours of mixes for the July 4 weekend. Regular programming led by The Tom Joyner Morning Show will kick off on Monday, July 7.
The former AC format of WFAS-FM signed off just after 12am following a block of goodbye songs ending with Vitamin C’s “Graduation (Friends Forever)”. Its format will continue to be heard online and via 95.5 WPLJ-HD2 New York. The new Bronx transmitter for WNBM signed on around 9:00am and stunted with a ticking clock leading into the launch of the new format.
Update 6/26: Following their launch party in Harlem last night, Cumulus has officially revealed announced the launch of “Radio 103.9“. Despite what’s stated in the Press Release, the station will be launching on Friday, July 4 at 1:03pm.
Cumulus announces the launch of “Radio 103.9” featuring New York’s best mix of R&B with an urban adult format that extends the station’s signal to reach listeners across the New York metropolitan area, including 80% of the region’s African American population. The station launches on July 7.
“Radio 103.9” will include a heavy focus on community engagement, with the station’s on-air talent participating in local events and collaborating with leading community service organizations.
Cumulus celebrated the launch of “Radio 103.9” last night at world famous Sylvia’s in the heart of Harlem. Guests included Tom Joyner and D.L. Hughley, as well as community leaders including Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson, New York Urban League President and CEO Arva Rice and Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook. The event featured performances by Calvin Richardson and Eric Benet.
“Radio 103.9” joins the Cumulus New York cluster of popular stations including 77 WABC, 95.5 WPLJ and NASH FM 94.7, New York’s only Country music station. The station’s star-studded lineup includes the nationally syndicated morning drivetime program “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” and the afternoon drivetime program “The D.L. Hughley Show” that are both part of the Cumulus partnership with Reach Media.
The station’s local shows include “LaLoca” with host Sharon “La Loca” Montero, who joins “Radio 103.9” from Power 95.3 in Orlando, and “Hanging Downtown” with Marc Clarke, a host widely known for his three years hosting the popular “Hang Suite” on WHUR 96.3 in Washington, DC. The “Radio 103.9” lineup will be:
6am – 10am: “The Tom Joyner Morning Show”
10am – 3pm: “LaLoca”
3pm – 7pm: “The D.L. Hughley Show”
7pm – 12am: “Hanging Downtown”
“Women ages 35-44 who enjoy urban format music and stars from the last few decades through today are underserved in the Big Apple and we’re changing that now with an urban radio renaissance,” said Kim Bryant, Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus New York.
“New York is the greatest city in the world and the radio programmers and personalities that came before me are a part my philosophy on radio today,” said Ken Johnson, Program Director of “Radio 103.9.” “The only thing greater than my love for New York radio is my respect for its listeners.”
Update 6/25: As Cumulus prepares to promote the launch of their new New York station this evening, the company has launched the web properties for the station. “Radio 103.9” will be positioned as “New York’s Best Mix of R&B” with Tom Joyner in mornings and DL Hughley in afternoons as expected. The station’s Facebook page confirms WHUR Washington’s Marc Clarke will be heard on the station as will current “Power 95.3” WPYO Orlando middayer Sharon ‘La Loca‘ Montero.
The station’s launch will take place on Friday, July 4 at 1:03pm.
Update 6/23: At this point it is a foregone conclusion that Cumulus will be flipping 103.9 WFAS-FM Bronxville to Urban when it relocates its tower site to the Bronx around July 1.
All indications are the station will be branded as “Radio 103.9” as Radio1039NY.com was registered by a Cumulus employee on June 6 and since made private. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for the brand have been reserved. Additionally, Cumulus has sent out invitations for a launch party for “Radio 103.9” on Wednesday, June 25 at Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem to promote the new format to potential ad buyers.
AllAccess reports that the station’s staff will include current Cumulus Birmingham OM Ken Johnson as Program Director, Reach Media’s syndicated Tom Joyner and DL Hughley in mornings and afternoons respectively, and WHUR Washington DC’s and former WERQ-FM Baltimore morning host Marc Clarke in nights.
The new format will launch somewhere around July 1. We’ve heard the launch could be as early as June 27 and as late as July 4. We expect a launch date could be announced at the launch party on Wednesday. The staff of the existing AC format will be exiting as of June 30, although a few could be transferred to other Cumulus stations in other markets or remaining to operate sister Talk 1230 WFAS White Plains.
Original Report 6/18: Cumulus AC 103.9 WFAS-FM Bronxville, NY will complete its relocation to a new tower site in the Bronx by the end of the month.
The move will coincide with the station ceasing to target the suburban Westchester County and joining the rest of the Cumulus New York operations at 2 Penn Plaza in Manhattan with Country “Nash-FM 94.7” WNSH, Hot AC 95.5 WPLJ, and Conservative Talk 770 WABC. WFAS-FM will operate with 980 watts at 162.1 meters from its new location in the Bronx where it will put a city-grade signal over all of Manhattan and The Bronx along with parts of Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, and Westchester (Coverage Map).
Rumors are running rampant across the market that the move of WFAS will be accompanied by a flip to some form of Urban. Such a move would place the station in competition with Clear Channel’s Urban “Power 105.1” WWPR and Emmis’ duo of Urban “Hot 97” WQHT and Urban AC 107.5 WBLS.
At one point last year, it seemed likely Cumulus would restore the Alternative format and WRXP call letters to the New York market with the 103.9 signal. That no longer appears to be the case.