All-sports radio WFAN (660 AM) has added an FM signal at 101.9 starting some time late this fall. The stations will initially simulcast one another, but I say it’s a good bet the AM side will switch to 24/7 coverage of CBS Sports Radio when it goes full time on Jan. 2.
The fledgling CBS Sports Radio has been adding stations in major markets following its fall partial launch, and I imagine WFAN-AM will go the way of WEEI in Boston (ESPN Radio) and WIP in Philadelphia (CBS Sports Radio) — in those two cases, the AM side picked up an FM signal to continue popular local programming, including live sports action, while turning the AM side over to the national syndicator.
The CBS Sports Radio lineup will have Jim Rome from noon to 3 p.m., Doug Gottlieb from 3-6 p.m. and Scott Ferrall from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Other slots still need to be filled.
This long-rumored move follows ESPN Radio New York moving from its 1050 AM frequency to 98.7 FM, a move which has upset some listeners in the Hudson Valley, notably those who live north of Interstate 84 who receive spotty or no reception at all. The 1050 frequency is now ESPN Deportes, a Spanish-language version of ESPN Radio.
In recent decades, talk radio and sports disappeared from the FM landscape in favor of music formats, which sound much better with the FM signal. In the past couple of years, that pendulum has swung back in a major way as broadcasting companies try to seize upon younger listeners, who grew up on FM and don’t go to AM for radio.
The 101.9 frequency is used by WXRP, an alternative rock station. WXRP switched from alternative rock music to an all-news format with the call letters WEMP but the station failed and returned to rock.