RXP is going away… again

That sound you hear on 101.9 FM is the sound of the WRXP Mark II in its waning hours. In November, the sounds of Giants football will arrive when WFAN begins simulcasting on FM. I’m a bit depressed about that.

WRXP logo.
One last look for old time’s sake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rumors had been swirling that Merlin Media was (or wasn’t) for sale, so this wasn’t a complete surprise.  What is a complete surprise is who bought 101.9: CBS.  Yes, the same CBS who currently owns channel 2 (WCBS-TV), 92.3 (Now FM), 101.1 (CBS-FM), 102.7 (Fresh), 660 (WFAN), 880 (WCBS-AM), and 1010 (WINS-AM).  Recently, they purchased Long Island’s channel 55 (WLNY-TV).  CBS was already at the ownership limit of 2 TV, and 6 radio stations.  Adding 101.9 puts a 7th radio station into the mix, and puts them over the ownership limit.  Either one radio station or TV station will have to be sold.

Having said that, it makes me wonder why the purchase was even needed in the first place.  Couldn’t they just switch off the struggling 92.3 and put WFAN on there?  Is CBS to blame for RXP’s impending death?  Merlin Media certainly was in debt, and $75 million will go a long way to bring that debt down.  Is Merlin Media to blame for RXP’s impending death?

Regardless of where to lay the blame, the end result is still the same.  RXP is going away, and rock fans (including myself) are not happy.  I try to listen to the station now, but I get melancholy, knowing that it’s going to be gone in a month.  Whither The Black KeysFlorence and the MachineFoster the People?  Other unhappy listeners have made their own Facebook page and group to voice their displeasure.  A petition has also been created.   Hopefully, all this activity will get the attention of someone, anyone, who is willing to take a chance on alternative rock on terrestrial radio.

At this point, you might be asking, “Hey, doc, what about the new stations you mentioned previously?”  Yes, 94.3 The Shark and 103.9 WRCN are the newest rock options to hit Long Island, but I’ve always found myself going back to 101.9.  The “everything that rocks” format has some alternative songs in it, but not enough to keep me coming back regularly.  With this change in the radio landscape, there may be some format tweaking for them in the future.

Maybe the music will return somewhere, but for now I’m mourning 101.9’s impending loss.  For some reason, this song seems to be appropriate.  Kurt Cobain was a huge fan of Shonen Knife, and they do a pretty good cover of the Ramones.

Are you disappointed that alternative rock is disappearing from 101.9, like I am?  Or are you looking forward to hearing more sports on FM?

Shonen Knife – “The KKK Took My Baby Away”

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Frequency to Watch: AM 660

660 WFAN-AM just might be taking the plunge into the FM band:

Coming off its silver anniversary celebration, WFAN, the most powerful all-sports station in America, may be positioning itself for a dramatic dial switch to FM.

Several factors are at play for WFAN to make that leap of frequency: First and foremost is last month’s announcement that CBS Sports Radio is being created. Original 24-hour programming will air on stations throughout the country starting in January. But as early as September, CBS Sports Radio will provide updates to affiliated stations.

One of those stations poised to take some of the network content is WFAN.

So, if CBS Sports Radio shows up on AM 660, where would WFAN go?  Quite possibly, FM 102.7.  Yes, that 102.7, the station that simulcast 1130 WNEW-AM back in the day, the place where rock lived, where Opie & Anthony talked, the station that Blinked, Mixed, then finally got Fresh (for a less abbreviated version of this same history, see Wikipedia).  If WFAN goes there, it would be the second time 102.7 hung up the music for talk.  CBS Radio has also tried FM talk on 92.3, after Howard Stern ascended to satellite radio.  CBS couldn’t make talk work on FM back then, but now that ESPN has popped up on 98.7, it just might work this time.

Yankees and Mets games on FM next year?  As they say, stay tuned…