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WFAS Announces Lineup for All-Digital Shift

AM 1230 had previously announced elimination of analog signal would be coming

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A Cumulus-owned station in White Plains, New York will become just the third AM station in the nation to abandon its analog signal on Monday.

AM 1230 announced that it is flipping its sports format to conservative news/talk when it makes the digital switch.

“WFAS will no longer be available on analog-only AM radios,” Cumulus said. “Broadcasting in digital will eliminate annoying static and interference, improve the sound quality to equal FM radio and streaming and extend the range for clear reception.”

AM 1230’s news/talk lineup will include exclusively syndicated beginning with Chris Plante 9a-noon, Dan Bongino noon – 3p, Ben Shapiro 3-5 p, Michael Knowles 5-6p, and Rich Eisen 6-9p. The station will air Red Eye Radio overnights.

New rules in place from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allow AM stations to elect all-digital operations, shutting off its analog signal.

WFAS is in Westchester County and serves New York’s northern suburbs.

The first station to go all-digital is Hubbard Broadcasting’s experimental WWFD-AM “The Gamut,” at 820 kHz in Frederick, Md.

News Radio

Marketron Cyber Attack Creates Radio Industry Disruptions

“A Russian criminal organization called BlackMatter has created a big mess for Marketron.”

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A Russian criminal organization called BlackMatter has created a big mess for Marketron. The company alerted radio partners via email that it had been the victim of a cyber attack, creating nationwide problems for the company’s customers.

In a note to radio clients, CEO Jim Howard said the company made recent investments to separate backup and disaster recovery in different physical and network environments. In doing so, “zero trust” access management policy was created, and was supposed to provide new security detection and recovery tools.  The attackers though still found a way to overcome the company’s modifications. Marketron has yet to determine how the hackers exploited their network.

Howard apologized for the issue and acknowledged that the company is communicating with both BlackMatter and the FBI. Marketron says they are working on the issue and hoping to restore systems as quickly as possible. Once everything is back to normal they’ll provide an update to client stations.

Marketron is a leading provider of enterprise revenue and profitability management solutions for the media industry. They supply revenue generation and management solutions, ad tech and mobile advertising platforms, and an array of digital audience engagement tools to help drive new growth opportunities. Given their large footprint in the radio industry, it’s safe to say a number of groups and stations will be affected today.

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News Radio

Union Successfully Negotiates Contract With NPR Affiliate WHYY-FM

Representatives from The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) said the deal raises salaries and provides other benefits associated with the union.

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WHYY

A union representing 160,000 journalists, radio personalities, and other media types, has successfully negotiated a contract with Philadelphia-based NPR affiliate WHYY-FM, the station announced on its Twitter account. 

Representatives from The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) said the deal raises salaries and provides other benefits associated with the union.

“After a long negotiation process, SAG-AFTRA members finally have a solid first agreement with WHYY that implements vital benefits and pay increases,” said SAG-AFTRA national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “I congratulate our negotiating team as well as our amazing WHYY members on their new contract.” 

Union members at WHYY negotiated for two years before reaching a deal. Members held a rally in July when negotiations began to drag on. The unit won its union election 70 to 1 on October 30, 2019. 

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Dennis Glasgow Joins News Talk Station 104.7 WONK-FM

Glasgow had spent the past few years programming 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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An accomplished sports radio programmer is making the move into News/Talk. Dennis Glasgow made the announcement on social media Wednesday, confirming that he had accepted an opportunity to program Washington D.C. news/talk station 104.7 WONK FM. 

Glasgow had spent the past few years programming 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, North Carolina. His position was eliminated last year though during the pandemic. Prior to his tune in Raleigh, Glasgow programmed 1080 The Fan in Portland, and ESPN 980 in the nation’s capital.

“I know that it has been a very difficult year for many families, including ours,” Glasgow wrote. “But the good news is that I have a new gig (as of now) and will be working and living in Washington DC as Program Director for iHeartMedia at WONK FM.”

104.7 WONK FM first launched two years ago. At the time the iHeartmedia station billed itself as a “news and talk station serving thought leaders, influencers and stakeholders inside the Washington D.C. beltway.”

The challenge awaiting Glasgow is a big one. DC is a market that has been dominated by Hubbard’s all-news station WTOP which registered a 9.2 share in the last Nielsen ratings book. Cumulus news talker 105.9 WMAL has also been a healthy format competitor in the market.

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