101.9 FM WRXP, as widely expected, becomes a news station, or mostly a news station?
Is that overload in a city that already has all-news WCBS-AM (880), all-news WINS (1010 AM), business-news WBBR (1130 AM) and three news/talk stations in WNYC 820 AM and 93.9 FM, WABC (770 AM) and WOR (710 AM)?
Not necessarily, says a perhaps unlikely source - a manager at one of the existing stations, according to a story by David Hinckley at nydailynews.com.
"Depending on which way [the new station] goes, it could bring more people to the format," says this manager, who doesn't have corporate authorization to be identified. "It could also help the existing stations because competition makes everyone better."
Merlin Media, the pending owner of 101.9 FM, has not yet announced the station's format, and that is not an accident. Merlin boss Randy Michaels and Chief Operating Officer Walter Sabo are also among the drollest executives in radio, and it's a sure bet they are enjoying all the speculation inside the business.
But we have a few decent clues.
One is the brand-name newspeople, particularly from WINS, who will be working there. Unless Merlin hired Alice Stockton Rossini to announce Alanis Morissette records, there will be at least a strong news component.
Two, the station's transitional programming is clearly targeted toward women. The music has been pop and lighter rock hits of the past 25 years, the same mix with which WPLJ and WWFS ("Fresh") keep female listeners.
Between songs, it has run seemingly random spoken riffs in mostly female voices, ruminating on shopping and rules for children.
The new station's first live show, hosted Monday morning by veteran Paul Cavalconte, purred about chocolate, with callers relating their own choco-love.
Whatever direction the new station takes, it has the attention of potential rivals like WKXW (101.5 FM) in Trenton, which has told its hosts to sharpen their focus on New Jersey 101.5's brand.