Frequencies to Watch: FM 97.5 and 98.3, AM 1370 and 1100

When it comes to Long Island radio ratings, WALK-FM 97.5 is an 800 lb. gorilla.  You kind of have to take notice when something happens to it, and there’s definitely something happening.  Connoisseur is going to take ownership of WALK-FM & AM:

Qantum, led by Frank Osborn, will swap its 29 stations in five markets to Clear Channel for the Aloha Station Trust held Standards 1370 WALK and AC 97.5 WALK-FM Patchouge, NY. Qantum will then turn around and sell the two Long Island stations to Connoisseur Media. They will join a cluster that already includes Rock “94.3 The Shark” WWSK, AC “K98.3” WKJY, Classic Hits “B103” WBZO, and Standards 1100 WHLI.

In the words of George Takei, “Oh myyy!”

Speculation time: what’s going to happen when WALK FM & AM become part of Connoisseur?

Musically, there’s a lot of overlap between WALK-FM and WKJY (K-98.3).  It’s quite possible that a format flip is in the future for 98.3, but flip to what?  94.3 already covers 90’s to now rock, 103.1 is classic hits, another rock-based format might not (or might?) be in the cards.   In the Nassau-Suffolk April 2014 ratings, WALK-FM is ahead of WKJY by quite a margin, but WLTW in between the both of them (although nearer to WKJY than to WALK-FM).

The AM side is in a somewhat similar situation.  Musically, WALK-AM (AM 1370) and WHLI (AM 1100) both overlap with their adult standards playlists.  Could there be a simulcast in the near future?  It’s not the first time 1100 simulcast with another station.  Some years ago, 740 (then WGSM) simulcast the 1100 signal, back when Barnstable was still around.

All we can do now is sit and wait, and (maybe) something will happen.

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Can you translate this?

What is a translatorAccording to Wikipedia:

A broadcast relay station, relay transmitter, broadcast translator (U.S.), rebroadcaster (Canada), or repeater (two-way radio) is a broadcast transmitter which repeats or transponds the signal of another radio station or television station, usually to an area not covered by the signal of the originating station.

So, why is there a construction permit for a translator (94.1 W231CM) in Southampton for WALK-FM97.5 FM is a signal that goes everywhere.  It has no trouble at all reaching Southampton.  However, the same can’t be said of their HD-2 signal.

Taylor Swift at the Time 100 Gala, May 3, 2010.
94.1 in Southampton could be the new home of Taylor Swift (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

97.5 HD-2 broadcasts country music, and adding 94.1 on the east end can only help their coverage.  It’s not out of the ordinary for a translator or LPFM station to simulcast an HD-2 signal (Hope Radio is already doing that with WBLI HD-2).  Despite the fact that HD Radio has been around for over ten years, it really hasn’t gained a lot of traction.  Not all stations are broadcasting in HD, and HD radio hardware isn’t exactly flying off the shelves.  94.1 may gain more listeners in their first week than 97.5 HD-2 had in its entire existence.

Country Returns

After stunting with a “wheel of formats” all weekend, 94.7 unveiled their new format this morning:

A loud cheer from Country music fans was heard at 9:47a this morning, as their format returned to the #1 market on CUMULUS WRXP/NEW YORK as 94.7 NASH-FM “America’s Country Station.”

For country music fans, this is a good thing.  Country left the New York City airwaves in 1996 when 103.5 flipped to the New KTU.  Shortly thereafter, 107.1 in Briarcliffe Manor flipped to country as Y-107.  Other stations located at 107.1 FM joined in this simulcast (on Long Island, North Jersey, and Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley) and ultimately created a quadcast.  This would not last long, as in 2002, all four stations would flip to a Spanish format. Long Island country fans can now add 94.7 FM to their car radio presets, but might find it difficult to hold on to the signal as they drive out east.  Fortunately, there are other options.  96.1 WJVC (“My Country 96.1”) recently celebrated two years of playing country music with a concert.  They provide decent coverage of Suffolk county, where Nash-FM has a hard time reaching.  WALK-FM 97.5 HD2 is another choice, for the lucky HD radio owners.  Finally, there’s 92.5 WWYZ (“Country 92-5”) in Hartford, CT, which has been playing country since 1988.  While not based on Long Island, the signal does have a fair reach across the sound. I don’t see Cumulus hanging on to the WRXP call letters for very long, as they’ve been previously associated with a rock format (twice).  Cumulus already has WNSH in Minnesota, so they can be moved here.