Friday, October 11, 2013

To Be A Fly On The Wall

From Tom Taylor's NOW column today. This sounds like a fascinating lunch...

So Randy Michaels, Larry Wert and Jimmy deCastro had dinner...That’s not the setup for a joke – it really happened, Wednesday night in Chicago. Was it to discuss Tribune possibly buying or LMAing one of Merlin Media’s FM properties? To convert it to “WGN-FM,” perhaps? The fact that these three heavyweights should be talking business isn’t surprising. But what is surprising is that they chose to do it publicly, at a Chicago watering-hole. This trio could’ve met behind closed doors. (Perhaps Tribune Tower has a Batman-style clandestine elevator.) Instead they conferred in public. Merlin’s Randy Michaels, Tribune’s Larry Wert and WGN manager Jimmy deCastro weren’t just yakking about the Bears – they were talking about possibilities. Tribune’s 50,000-watt talk WGN (720) is a standalone, and deCastro’s already begun a second audio stream, featuring Jonathon Brandmeier. There’s plenty of audio content coming out of Tribune, and Merlin may have the answer to where to put it. Merlin owns two full-power stations in Chicago (classic rock WLUP/97.9 and hot AC “i101.1” WIQI), and it manages alt-rock WKQX/87.7 on the audio of a low power Channel 6 TV station. Lots of possibilities – like putting Brandmeier back on the Loop.

I wonder who tipped off Taylor.