Emmis To Stream WRXP

New York broadcast rock station WRXP, which Emmis recently agreed to sell to Merlin Media, will continue to stream online and “strengthen Emmis’ presence in the digital space, as well as preserve the identity of RXP, which has become a leading alternative rock brand within New York City and national markets since the current format launched in 2008.”

Well, there’s some irony for you. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan is one of the most vocal broadcasters when it comes to busting streaming’s potential as a business model. A huge advocate for FM chips in cell phones, he’s gone to great lengths to argue against streaming as a viable mobile distribution channel for radio due to its large expense. He’s stated repeatedly that there is no money in streaming for his company.

Did he forget to inform his staff of his position?  

“Emmis has some big things in the works to continue expanding our digital footprint,” said Chase Rupe, Vice President of Programming & Operations for Emmis. “As competitors are moving in on the land rush to grab the next bit of real estate focused on delivering audio content on multiple platforms, we are fortunate to have big brands with impressive local and national followings that we can continue to serve and expand upon.  RXP is one of our strongest brands and we are excited to keep it alive in the hearts and ears of its loyal followers in New York and around the world.”

Oh, I get it, it’s all for the listeners:

“We recognize that RXP passionate fan base loves the station and we look forward to continu(ing) to deliver a quality product to these listeners.” said Patrick Walsh, CFO/COO at Emmis.

I’m glad that WRXP will live online. It’s a smart move to take a station with an established brand and move it online. Listeners will follow. But I don’t believe for a second that Emmis and CEO Jeff Smulyan made this decision because they think they’re going to lose money…

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