There can't be too many people who deduced 98.7 as being the one. That was a surprise. We've been reading both major radio boards here -- like reading the NY Daily News and the NY Post, lol -- and I don't recall anyone mentioning 98.7
The reason none of us saw this coming was that we were all thinking about radio format's, ratings, cume numbers, traditions etc.
But, this decision was about.....Money, and, possibly, desperation !!!! Apparently, it happened as a result of a financial squeeze that Emmis finds itself in. They just blew up the number-6 station in the 6+ PPMs and the top urban format in the top radio market. A station with a cume of 2-million listeners.
We first were focused on WFME which was supposed to be "for sale" and now we get a comment from Merlin CEO Randy Michaels, who just purchased WFME's sister-station in Philly, that WFME is not on the market yet. Michaels likely would know. Then we went looking for stations with poor ratings, assuming nobody would want to blow up a top-10 format. So you never know.
And, it will be interesting to see what happens to 92.3? If I worked there I wouldn't be making any long-term financial commitments or plans. I wouldn't be buying a new condo in Manhattan, and taking on a new mortgage.
CBS probably will wait to see how the new ESPN FM catches on, but with both baseball team radio contracts coming up next year, CBS may be forced to do some things differently. It still has the advantage of clear channel AMs that carry Yankees and Mets games to fans far out of the NY market, and while that doesn't matter much for ad sales, it does help the team image and help it keep a big fan base. That extra coverage would be lost with FM only, but again we are talking radio signals, and what will really make the deals happen is....Money. CBS vs. Disney and ESPN. Get your calculators out, as with some TV Olympics coverage, it will be interesting to see who is willing to pay the most, and possibly lose the most, to have the "prestige" of carrying Yankees or Mets baseball starting next year.