WFAN-FM – Starts Friday On A Radio Near You

Save the date: Friday, November 2 will be when WFAN will begin simulcasting on 101.9 FM, with the callsign of WFAN-FM. There is no end date set for the termination of the simulcast of 101.9 FM and the station’s original dial position at AM 660.

We know that CBS Radio purchased 101.9 FM with the intention to simulcast WFAN, where sports radio had lived at AM 660 for a quarter century.

But we did not know when the simulcast will be in effect.

Until now – and it was their big kahuna that broke the big news.

On Monday, a day when Mike Francesa was conducting his top-rated radio show via ISDN line from his home on Long Island (sans YES Network simulcast), he announced at the top of the show that the effective date for the simulcast will be Friday, November 2.

Additionally, the WFAN Twitter account (which I would imagine needs a new handle by week’s end) tweeted the news that the simulcast would start “at 12:01 AM.”

Many speculated that the local marketing agreement (LMA) with Merlin Media, current owners of 101.9 FM, would start on Thursday, November 1, as the Brooklyn Nets – whose games were heard on WFAN since the turn of the century when they were based in New Jersey – play their home opener (basically their “Brooklyn opener”) at Barclays Center against the New York Knicks – whose radio flagship is ESPN New York 98.7, which itself had migrated to the FM dial earlier this year from AM 1050, which is now carrying “ESPN Deportes” programming (though for the next several hours, both AM 1050 and FM 98.7 are carrying audio from ABC O&O WABC-TV as Hurricane Sandy threatens the area; incidentally, WFAN is asking listeners to tune to 92.3 FM “if WFAN loses transmission today on 660 AM” – not too confusing, right?).

When the AM/FM simulcast takes effect, the call letters on 101.9 will go from WRXP to WFAN-FM. CBS brass had not set a timetable for the simulcast to end, with AM 660 switching to different programming – specifically, the new CBS Sports Radio Network, which launches January 2, though there is a good chance it could pop up on 94.7 FM in New York, which was recently purchased by Cumulus, who, with CBS, will be heavily involved with the new network.

No word if the YES simulcast for Francesa’s show will resume by the time the FM simulcast begins. On Monday morning, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton did their WFAN morning show without the assistance of their television simulcast via MSG Network; also, WFAN’s midday show hosted by Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, which does not have a TV simulcast (yet) went on as scheduled, though with Roberts in studio and Benigno contributing via telephone.

For more information about WFAN’s new dial position, click here.

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