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Wednesday, March 4, 2015




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New music FMs for New York, Chicago.



Nearly a year after Merlin Media gave New York and Chicago their first all-news FMs, the company today dropped the ratings-challenged format. Merlin flipped New York’s “FM News 101.9” WEMP to alternative as “New Rock 101.9” returning the format to the former home of Emmis’ WRXP. In Chicago “FM News 101.1” WIQI converted to adult hits as “i101.”

The moves return alternative music to New York and adult hits to Chicago. “It was a difficult decision to make, but after a year of minimal audience engagement, coupled with the format’s inherent expense, I felt it was time to make a change,” Merlin CEO Randy Michaels said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the people who poured their heart and soul into the effort and I wish them all the best.”

“After a year without alternative in New York, I expect to see the audience rapidly embrace ‘New Rock 101.9’,” says Jim Richards, interim operations manager of both stations. “The market is wide open and the listeners are passionate for this type of music.”

The adult hits format has been missing from the dial in Chicago since CBS Radio flipped “Jack FM” WJMK to classic hits as “K-Hits 104.3” in March 2011. “Chicago’s current competitive market matrix creates an opportunity for adult hits and ‘i101’ is the ideal weapon for the battle,” Richards says.

The following is a list of the first 10 songs on each station:

“New Rock 101.9” WEMP, New York:
Beastie Boys – No Sleep Til Brooklyn Alex Clare – Too Close
Foo Fighters – Walk
Third Eye Blind – Graduate
Phoenix – 1901
Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
Offspring – Self Esteem
Black Keys – Tighten Up
Pearl Jam – Daughter
Rage Against the Machine – Guerilla Radio

“i101” WIQI, Chicago”
*NSYNC – Bye Bye Bye
P!nk – Get the Party Started
311 – All Mixed Up
EMF – Unbelievable
Goo Goo Dolls – Name
Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch – Good Vibrations
Alanis Morissette – You Outta Know
Poison – Unskinny Bop
Britney Spears – Baby, One More Time
Salt N Pepa – Whatta Man


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