What I meant to post before my laptop keyboard went kablooey...
It's an imporant story; and will probably go down as one of the top media stories in Philadelphia this year. A news-talk FM - the first since the old 96.5 WWDB, and one that appears to be gearing up for a serious drivetime news presence.
The other side of the coin is, of course, the demise of a radio station and format that has been a part of the Philly Radio framework for several decades. No matter what you think of WKDN, Harold Camping, and Family Radio, it's longevity in this market is undeniable. How many other formats have lasted that long? KYW? Anybody else?
How much cyberspace have we wasted over the years discussing speculation, griping, and minutia that has never amounted to anything other than..... well.... speculation, griping, and minutia?
To be fair, WKDN existed for as long as it did only as a vanity project of one organization, not due to any success in attracting a sizable audience as KYW and WMMR did. Did 106.9 ever show up in the ratings at all with the FR format? Though it likely attracted enough believers to pay for its existence, is it really serving the public when a 50kW FM signal with a potential audience of millions is essentially unlistened to and unknown for 44 years? It could have easily been underground rock or dollar a holler for all that time too and still kept the lights on with few noticing. Like 94.5 and 103.9 when they were finally sold and programmed for mass appeal audiences, this will be the first time most have tuned to 106.9 in several generations.
Family Radio will be able to continue its broadcasts via the internet and perhaps AM, and this relatively scarce though ubiquitous FM band resource can make more efficient use of the bandwidth by attracting more listeners using locally relevant programming. Seems like a win-win.