CBS Brings All-News to FM in D.C., Could NYC Be Next?

CBS Radio announces it’s launching an all-news FM station in Washington, D.C. after the new year, and it will have some New York blood. The station’s program director is Rob Sanchez, the longtime WCBS 880 Assistant Director of News and Programming.

But the question begs to be asked–would CBS consider programming an FM news station in New York, and waging a direct battle with Merlin’s FM newser 101.9/WEMP?

“We have no further announcements in regards to our all news stations at this time,” Karen Mateo, CBS Radio, SVP of Communications, tells FishbowlNY.  

Her statement could be cryptic, so FishbowlNY dug deeper.

A source with knowledge of the situation gives a resounding no to bringing FM News to New York.

The source tells FishbowlNY that CBS bought a new signal to do it D.C.

For an FM newser to make a splash in New York, it would likely be through an underperforming FM. The source adds, though, that all of the stations are making money.

While FishbowlNY is not privvy to the ledger sheets, we do have access to the most recent Arbitron ratings.

WCBS-FM is, consistently, the highest-rated CBS station each month, usually landing in the Top 3. In October, the Classic Hits station had an overall number two finish, with a CUME (average listenership) at 3.5 million.

Fresh 102.7/WWFS, seemingly has found its stride–in 11th place, also grabbing a 3.5 million CUME.

The “weakest link” was WXRK/Now FM with a respectable 3.0, although the CUME is only 1.9 million.

By contrast, WRXP had a 2.6 in its final ratings book before Merlin bought the station from Emmis in June, ultimately flipping it to WEMP in August.