Thursday, October 14, 2004

What's going on in Chicago?

Thanks to Zecom for the info:

Buzzes in Chicago about the license transfer this Friday of three rimshot FM stations from SBS Spanish Broadcasting to Newsweb, Corp. Word has it that Newsweb was going to simulcast a rock format they just put on the air on another station (NINE-FM), but things have changed. Newsweb is owned by Fred Eychanner, a wealthy local Democrat and I had heard that negotiations were ongoing with AAR to operate on some, if not all of those station. However, now word is that Eychanner will sell all his FM stations (4 around Chicago) to Salem…the fascist broadcasters…who swapped stations to they could get a Chicago outlet for “The Patriot” and then would move “The Fish” to the Newsweb stations. Again, this story appears to change daily…but that’s not unusual with Newsweb that always makes the wrong move.

I'd hate for Salem to get these signals. They're the Sinclair of radio, but slightly less repulsive. The FM stations are located on 92.5 and 92.7 (dance music fans may remember the old "Energy" format). This would be a decent simulcast for a liberal talk format, as even tiny WNTD (950) showed up in the ratings with only a month of carrying Air America. The three signals cover most of the Chicago market, but may fade a bit downtown.

Clear Channel-owned WRLL (1690) has also been rumored for their fast-growing 'progressive talk' format. The station gets so-so ratings in a rather undesirablie format (adult standards/oldies). But they may be hesitant to flip this signal, depending on their contracts with current air talents. Who knows? Either way, with Chicago being an ideal market for this new format, and WLS' ongoing implosion, any station deciding to go with liberal talk would be making a smart move.


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