In the first step of an unusual partnership between competitors, Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720 will air news updates during morning drive on Me-TV FM, Weigel Broadcasting’s soft rock/oldies station on WRME LP 87.7.
Starting Wednesday, “Me-TV FM News Minute” will air at 20 minutes and 50 minutes past each hour from 6 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. WGN’s Andrea Darlas, Steve Grzanich, Ryan Burrow and Vic Vaughn will take turns anchoring the news, weather and sports updates.
“WGN's programming is complementary to our music format, and the credibility of WGN's news and information makes this a win-win for both stations and our compatible audiences,” Neal Sabin, vice chairman of Weigel Broadcasting, said in a statement.
Todd Manley, vice president of content and programming at WGN, said plans call for cross-promotion of the two stations on the air as well as other forms of brand sharing.
“When you have award-winning journalists like ours, it makes perfect sense to share them,” Manley said. “There’s clearly something bold and brilliant about what Neal’s team at Me-TV FM has created, and we look forward to doing more together.”
The arrangement also is expected to include a joint sales effort, with WGN selling advertising on Me-TV FM in exchange for a share of the revenue.
Me-TV FM broadcasts over a low-power analog station on VHF TV channel 6. Before Weigel Broadcasting began leasing the signal from Venture Technologies Group in 2015, it was used by Tribune Media for the short-lived sports/talk format known as The Game 87.7 FM.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WGN ranks sixth with a 3.8 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 642,400. Me-TV FM is tied for 22nd with a 2.0 share and 684,600 weekly cume.