( 4UMF NEWS ) KISS FM Closing Down:
The change will take effect Monday at 12:01am. WRKS will simulcast “1050 ESPN” WEPN until September at which time the AM will shift to Spanish Sports “ESPN Deportes Radio.”
WRKS ranked 7th in the market in the March PPM monthlies with a 3.8 share. The move leaves YMF Media’s 107.5 WBLS as the sole Urban AC in the market. Emmis has sold the intellectual property related to Kiss-FM to YMF which will merge it into WBLS. WRKS is leaving behind 31 years of heritage in the Urban format.
The Press Release follows:
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on April 30, 2012, ESPN Radio New York (1050 AM) will be heard on 98.7 FM as a result of an agreement between ESPN Audio and 98.7’s owner, Emmis Communications. ESPN New York 98.7 is New York’s first 24/7 sports talk station on the FM band.
For now, 98.7 FM and 1050 AM will simulcast content but plans are to turn 1050 AM into an ESPN Deportes New York Radio owned operation in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15).
The addition of 98.7 FM in metropolitan New York reinforces ESPN Audio’s strategy to pursue FM distribution for its content. Of ESPN’s 364 full-time affiliates, 137 are positioned on the FM band, representing a growth rate of 120% in the last two and a half years. FM stations make up 30% of ESPN’s total affiliate base (not all are full-time).
“Opportunities like this don’t come along too often and it’s tremendous that we were able to conclude a deal that will enhance our mission of serving sports fans in not just English but Spanish as well,” said Traug Keller, ESPN Senior Vice President/Production, Business Divisions. “Come Fall, Spanish-speaking New Yorkers will have their first 24/7 sports talk radio station.”
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