the new WBBM-FM

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Posted by Rowdy Roddy Zimmerman on July 14, 2011 at 19:27:12:

Staying one step ahead of an anticipated format change at WKQX-FM 101.1 to news/talk, CBS Radio announced Thursday it will simulcast Newsradio WBBM-AM 780 on FM 105.9 beginning Aug. 1.

WBBM, which has been broadcasting its all-news format since 1968, is the top-ranked and top-billing station in Chicago. The station is defending its turf against a migration of news-talk formats to the FM band. CBS-owned WCFS, Fresh 105.9 FM, is currently an adult contemporary music station ranked 22nd in the market.

"Offering listeners an AM and FM option to interact with our stations has been a winning strategy for CBS Radio in major markets such as San Francisco and Detroit," said Rod Zimmerman, CBS Radio Chicago's senior vice president and market manager, in a statement released Thursday.

"The upside for the consumer, and the advertisers who want to reach them, is enormous, and we strongly believe this move will prove successful in the future," he said.

The move is likely a preemptive strike against Merlin Media, a new company headed by former Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels, which acquired WKQX, WLUP-FM and WRXP-FM last month from Emmis Communications.

With Merlin set to take over operations Friday, the jocks at alternative rocker Q101 are saying a long on-air goodbye all day Thursday.

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