Merlin Media Moves Closer to Potential WRXP Flip, Names Walter Sabo COO

Since buying a trio of Emmis radio stations last week, including New York’s WRXP, Randy Michaels has kept adding important parts to its upper management at newly formed Merlin Media.

Today, the fledgling company named Walter Sabo (left) as chief operating officer. Sabo, a former executive at ABC Radio, RKO Radio, and NBC’s FM station group, founded his New York-based Sabo Media consultancy in 1984.

“Success requires building brands that are unique, desirable and difficult to duplicate. Walter has the vision, intelligence, leadership skills, and experience to move Merlin beyond current convention and to take advantage of emerging media opportunities. It also means attracting special, talented people, and Walter knows how to do that,” said Michaels.

Sabo also was instrumental in creating the talk format at New Jersey 101.5/WKXW. More recently, Sabo has consulted for various Sirius XM Radio channels.

“We are attracting the best marketing and performing talent in all phases of the entertainment industry to build Merlin’s compelling assets,” said Sabo. “No other mass media company has our ability to innovate and then captivate a significant share of audience and revenue.”

On Thursday, Merlin Media selected Greg Janoff as EVP of Revenue. Janoff, most notably was the one-time 1010 WINS VP/general manager and general sales manager.

Speculation is running high that Michaels will switch WRXP and his two other new properties, later this summer, to a News/Talk format. These two hires could indicate a push in that direction.

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