Friday, August 18, 2006

WLBY/Ann Arbor among stations to be dealt by Clear Channel

Thanks to Ohio Media Watch:

Background: As it's being reported now,, Clear Channel will trade their radio stations in Ann Arbor and Battle Creek, MI to Cumulus in exchange for WRQK in Canton, OH.

One of these stations is WLBY (1290AM), a low-power station that is also an affiliate of Air America Radio.

So far, it is not known as to the fate of the station, since it will take awhile for the trade to be consumated and approved by the FCC.

This also ties in with another Clear Channel-owned progressive talker - the newly christened WWWW (1310AM) in Detroit. Until last month, the station was WDTW, but the call letters of the soon-to-be-dealt FM country station in Ann Arbor were parked at 1310AM (temporarily?) in anticipation of the deal, as Clear Channel wanted to keep them. The station still identifies itself as "1310 WDTW".

WWWW-AM reaches into Ann Arbor during the day, but not well at night. WLBY also reaches into the southwest part of the Detroit area, so both stations act as somewhat of a simulcast. Both stations run an identical weekday schedule, though their weekend schedules differ.

If Cumulus, a rapidly growing owner in the radio industry, decides to keep WLBY as-is, it will mark their first foray into the format. They could opt to change the format, so as not to duplicate WWWW. What format would work there is unknown.

WLBY's ratings have ranged between under 1.0 all the way up to 2.2 overall since its debut, but Ann Arbor only publishes one ratings book per year.

Stay tuned.


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