So maybe they get rid of Channel 55. Why is that so unbelievable? They've been selling small market TVs, and Long Island, while close to the city, is in a smaller MSI. Get rid of 55, and they can buy an FM. Simple.
Channel 55 is not only a regular TV station in the 19th market, it is carried on cable and satellite systems all over the entire number-one market. And, by far, most viewers get their TV over cable and satellite. In essence it is a full New York market station for most cable TV and satellite viewers, and it is getting a lot of promotion and support on Channel-2.
Since the acquisition earlier this year, CBS has pumped millions into new programming. It is using WCBS-TV news and weather people to host its own locally focused morning talk show, and a primetime hour of local NYC area news. It also is co-branding its news vans with logos of both stations.
One medium that is rarer than a NYC FM station is a NYC TV station, and there is no way CBS will give up this kind of TV potential just to put a sports talk station on FM. It has other options on the radio side of the business.
When it does feel the need to move sports talk, or all news, to FM, it can dump an existing FM format, or it can unload an AM before messing with TV, which has much greater long-term potential.
When it comes to AM signals WCBS and WFAN are among the best in existence and they will be the last AMs to go. Obviously, that leaves the WINS license. The WINS programming could move to other CBS owned signals and reach even more listeners than it does now.
WCBS and WFAN also use the same transmitting facilities creating an efficient synergy. They are the keepers, WINS is the odd AM man out when the necessity arises.