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Merlin Media To Take Control Of WKQX/WLUP This Friday

Ahead of what was originally planned, Merlin Media will take operational control of Emmis Communication's Chicago properties WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM this coming Friday, July 15th. The alternative music format on WKQX-FM, known as Q101, will come to a final end this Thursday. All on-air staffers from Q101 will be released. The station will flip to it's new format of News & Talk soon after the end of the music Thursday night.

Gone after Thursday will be Q101 DJs Brian Sherman, Steve Tingle, Christine "Electra" Pawlak, Tim Virgin, Tim Pogo, Chris Payne and other weekenders. For the time being, the on-air staffers at WLUP-FM will remain.

The new on-air staff at WKQX-FM will be announced later this week. It is expected that the line-up will be an exciting one, which will include many very familiar Chicago radio personalities, especially from the talk, news and traffic radio worlds, but also from some music radio. Details coming soon.

Emmis Communications entered into an agreement to sell their Chicago stations, as well as one in New York, to Merlin Media, LLC on June 21st. Emmis will retain a minority share in the new Merlin Media company. Although the sale has not yet closed and may not for many more weeks, the company has agreed to allow Merlin Media to go ahead and take over all operations of the radio stations, including programming and advertising, ahead of the sale's closing. The temporary local marketing agreement (LMA) to allow Merlin's takeover prior to the close of the transaction was originally planned to be at the end of the first week of August, but has now been pushed up to the end of this week.


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