Um, play ball?

Well… here’s an interesting development.

YankeeCaps
YankeeCaps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that Yankees baseball may be broadcast on FM next season.  However, it was not known which station would carry the games:

No word, yet, on which FM channel ESPN is close to signing on with, but a source claims that one of its options last July, renamed WEMP 101.9 (from WRXP), is no longer in the picture.

Of course, the next logical choice after 101.9 FM (which ESPN has had their eye on in the past, until Merlin made it all news) would be 94.7 FM, which is currently for sale.  Now, Newsday’s Neil Best tweeted:

ESPN Radio is moving to 98.7 FM in New York, the long-time home of R&B station KISS-FM.

Holey moley!  I didn’t see this one coming.  However, when you think about it, maybe it’s what Emmis had been planning after Merlin purchased 101.9.  Emmis currently owns 98.7 FM, but could a sale to ESPN be in the future?  Is Emmis looking to sell all of their NYC radio stations?  If ESPN wants to get the Yankees on 98.7 FM next season, they need to do some wheeling and dealing right now, as the Yankees games are currently broadcast on WCBS-AM (880).  CBS Radio also owns WFAN-AM (660), the big kahuna when it comes to New York sports, and the current home of Mets baseball.  Could they put The Fan on FM, and make an aggressive move to grab the Yankees away from ESPN?  You bet your Louisville Slugger, they could.

ESPN radio makes its move to FM this Sunday, April 30th.  However, the R&B programming that has been on KISS-FM for decades is not fading away.  KISS-FM and WBLS are forming a partnership, and the R&B on 98.7 FM will be merging with 107.5 FM.

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107.5 lives… for now

So, apparently there was some nudity on the television last weekend. I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean, you’ve seen one nipple, you’ve seen them all, right? Anyway…

It looks like 107.5 WBLS-FM will be sticking around for a little while longer, with some help from Magic Johnson:

US Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman rejected the objection by the IRS, represented by the US Attorney in Manhattan, and approved the sale to YMF Media, which made a credit bid of $180 million. No other bidder came forward to challenge YMF’s “stalking horse” bid, so the auction set for earlier this month was canceled.

[…]

YMF Media was created by the two Yucaipa funds and two Fortress funds which own the senior debt of Inner City Radio Corporation. The “M” is believed to refer to Magic Johnson, who is already Yucaipa’s partner in three Phoenix radio stations.

Frequency to Watch: FM 107.5

107.5 WBLS-FM needs some love.  Awwww. 😉

Frankie Crocker, who was program director of WBLS several times throughout his career, created the urban contemporary format on the station in the 1970s.  Now it is going up for auction after a forced bankruptcy.  The bids are due February 13th:

Just as we expected, the debtors are authorized by a federal bankruptcy judge in New York to mount a “stalking horse” bid. That primes the process, as a “credit bid” based on the amount owed to them in these Chapter 11 proceedings. The creditors include Fortress and Yucaipa. The big prize is Inner City’s urban WBLS, New York City […]

listening to NY 107.5 wbls Friday midnight program online
Image by kenjimori via Flickr

WBLS has had a long run with its urban (now urban AC) format.  It’s always sad to see a heritage station come to an end, but the end may or may not be coming for WBLS.  ESPN is probably looking at 107.5 in addition to 94.7, but being an auction and all, just about anybody could have an interest.  The new owners, whoever they may be, just might keep the urban format in place.  It continues to do well, thanks in part to Steve Harvey in the morning.

When Valentine’s Day comes around, who will be the one to give WBLS  some love?