Category: Press Releases

Breaking News: Format Changes for FM News in New York and Chicago

The final stories covered by FM News 101.9 (WEMP-FM, New York) and FM News 101.1 (WIQI-FM, Chicago) announced format changes for the respective stations.

“Effective immediately, Alternative is back on the air in New York as New Rock 101.9 and Adult Hits are on the air in Chicago as i101. It was a difficult decision to make, but after a year of minimal audience engagement, coupled with the format’s inherent expense, I felt it was time to make a change.” stated Randy Michaels, CEO of Merlin Media. “I’d like to thank the people who poured their heart and soul into the effort and I wish them all the best.”

“After a year without Alternative in New York, I expect to see the audience rapidly embrace New Rock 101.9. The market is wide open and the listeners are passionate for this type of music,” stated Jim Richards, Interim Operations Manager of WEMP and WIQI. Richards went on to say, “Chicago’s current competitive market matrix creates an incredible opportunity for Adult Hits and i101 is the ideal weapon for the battle.”

Here’s a sample of the first 10 songs on each station:

New Rock 101.9

Beastie Boys – No Sleep Til Brooklyn
Alex Clare – Too Close
Foo Fighters – Walk
Third Eye Blind – Graduate
Phoenix – 1901
Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
Offspring – Self Esteem
Black Keys – Tighten Up
Pearl Jam – Daughter
Rage Against the Machine – Guerilla

Radio i101

*NSYNC – Bye Bye Bye
P!nk – Get the Party Started
311 – All Mixed Up
EMF – Unbelievable
Goo Goo Dolls – Name
Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch – Good Vibrations
Alanis Morissette – You Outta Know
Poison – Unskinny Bop
Britney Spears – Baby, One More Time
Salt N Pepa – Whatta Man

WKQX Announces Promotion of WTF

Walter Tiberius Flakus (WTF??) is the latest to join the sandbox full of misfit toys at WKQX-FM (Q87.7 87.7 MHz, Chicago) as Assistant Program Director/Music Director. He adds these duties to his current ones at sister WLUP (97.9 The Loop, 97.9 MHz, Chicago), where he has served as Music Director.

If his face looks familiar, it could be from his days as a founding member of the band Stabbing Westward (1993-2002), when they earned gold records for both “Wither Blister Burn + Peel” and “Darkest Days.” Post-Stabbing Westward, Flakus also spent time at Q Prime Management.

“If Alternative grew both sets of organs and birthed a human, it would be Walt. His experience in the format as an artist, in management, and in radio is a PD’s wet dream.

I’m thrilled he wants to join the rest of us at the beginning of the dial,” said WKQX Program Director, PJ.

Flakus chimed in, “I’ll be sure to keep a box of tissues on my desk. My passion has always been turning people on to new music and I’m thrilled to do it on my home turf!”

“’Alt’ is part of his f’ing name…how could we not hire him?!?” added Merlin Operations Manager, Jim Richards.

Flakus picks his corner of the sandbox on Monday (7/16).

WKQX Fills On-Air O’pening With O’Neil

Lauren O’Neil has been hired to fill one of the remaining on-air positions at Alternative WKQX-FM (Q87.7 87.7 MHz, Chicago). She travels north from Tampa, FL where she was most recently part of the Kage Kult Show on WXTB (98Rock 97.9 MHz, Tampa).

“I am so excited to start this new chapter at Q87.7 with such a great group of dudes! I just hope they won’t cry too hard when I drink them all under the table!” exclaimed O’Neil.

“She’s got a great vibe on and off the air and is very well liked by a ton of people we mutually know,” said Merlin Media’s Operations Manager, Jim Richards. He added, “My only concern was wondering how she’d fit in, given her Irish heritage. I think her response has alleviated that”.

O’Neil begins on July 16th.

Rush Limbaugh the latest addition to the lineup at the New IQ 106.9 FM

The line-up at the New IQ 106.9 further solidifies with the addition of Rush Limbaugh weekdays from noon to 3 PM. Limbaugh’s show is sandwiched between Glenn Beck from 9 AM to noon and Sean Hannity from 3 PM to 6 PM. For now, Limbaugh fans who work late can catch up on the show during replays in the evening.

Since the station’s launch in May, Delaware Valley residents have been able to hear Philly’s Morning News featuring Al Gardner and Larry Mendte, weekdays from 5 AM to 9 AM. Mendte is a decorated broadcast journalist, earning over 80 regional Emmy awards, 40 of them for work in Philadelphia television.

For more information, contact:

Al Gardner, Vice President of News & Programming, IQ 106.9, Leigh Jacobs, Program Director, IQ 106.9,

The Loop Brings Back Zakk

Air talent Zakk Tyler has made a triumphant return to WLUP-FM (The Loop 97.9 MHz, Chicago). His previous stint was as syndicated morning host for Fox Sports Radio from 2010 to 2012.

“When I heard he was ‘on the beach’, I thought, ‘how weird…Indy doesn’t have beaches’, said WLUP’s OM Jim Richards. He added, “I’ve known Zakk for many years, but still don’t know why he has two “k”s in his name. Now that he’s working for me, I’ll get to find out.

Zakk, who’s working on-air on The Loop and can also be heard on Merlin Media LLC’s WEMP-FM (FM News 101.9 MHz, New York City), and WIQI-FM (FM News 101.1 MHz, Chicago) doing sports reports remarked, “Well, Beach Grove, Indiana was the only vacation I was able to afford. But, wait, you mean to tell me that Jim spells his name with only one “m”?