Merlin Media To Take Over Emmis Stations This Friday
July 12, 2011
Later this week, the radio world will learn the future of the three stations Merlin Mediapurchased a controlling interest in from Emmis Communications. Merlin is slated to officially take over Rock WRXP/New York and Modern Rock WKQX (Q101)/Chicago as of this Friday, July 15. Rock WLUP (The Loop)/Chicago was also part of the deal, and while its fate is unknown, it is expected to keep its current format for the near future.
Merlin will handle programming and sales for all three stations as of Friday. It has been widely rumored that 'RXP will flip to a News/Talk format. Q101 is also expected to flip to News/Talk as soon as this Friday.
The entire airstaff of Q101 will be let go after Thursday. Q101 midday hostess Electra and afternoon drive host Tim Virgin have both confirmed via Twitter that their last day on Q101 will be this Thursday, July 14. And RXP's Matt Pinfield tweeted on Monday night "new ownership of the station takes over friday. RXP 2008-2011."
According to Chicagoland Radio and Media, "for the time being," the Loop's DJs will remain in place. The new format at Q101 will reportedly include a number of Chicago radio veterans from the News, Talk and Traffic world.
In other Merlin Media news, even though Randy Michaels is heading up the company, he is not the majority owner of Merlin or the stations being acquired. RBR.com links to a document submitted to the FCC, showing the organization of Merlin for the deal. Michaels only holds one percent of a stake in the deal.