It was a whirlwind of activity yesterday and when the smoke cleared, ESPN’s WEPN made the switch from 1050 on the AM dial to 98.7 FM.
Caught in the crossfire of the reported $96 million deal is the longtime R&B formatted WRKS/KISS FM. The Emmis-owned station, which celebrated 30 years on the air in 2011, has merged music and talent with WBLS 107.5 FM. It’s almost as surprising a turn as the ESPN jump to 98.7.
In a joint statement, the two stations said that they will become “One Family, One Station.”
No sooner than the announcement was made, KISS was being simulcast on WBLS. Just after midnight on Monday morning, the two Urban stations will consolidate at 107.5 under the WBLS call letters.
As we reported yesterday, KISS midday host Shaila and evening personality Lenny Greene will reconvene at WBLS.
WBLS parent company Inner City Broadcasting recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. YMF Partners acquired Inner City, fueling the speculation that ‘BLS would make a format flip.
With the ESPN takeover of 98.7, set for Sunday morning at 12:01, Emmis is left with only one station in New York– hip hop formatted Hot 97/WQHT.
Last year, Emmis sold the 101.9 FM frequency to upstart Merlin Media.