Chicago area Q101.com online alt rock owner sues b'dcaster Merlin for trademark infringement

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 12:50pm

A company called Broadcast Barter Radio Networks has filed a trademark infringement suit against broadcast group Merlin Media over BBRN-owned intellectual property.

Last year Emmis Communications sold radio station Chicago alternative rock station WKQX (Q101) to Merlin, which changed the station's call letters and format. At the time, BBRN purchased all related Q101 intellectual property and social media assets from Emmis Communications, and launched the online-only Q101.com Internet radio station (RAIN coverage here; also, here). In May, Merlin launched "Q87.7" on a low-power FM frequency it LMAs, and changed the call letters to WKQX-LP. It's an alternative rock "soundalike" of the original Q101 (using similar imaging and slogans).

As Chicagoland Radio and Media reports, "BBRN owns the Q101 name, the Q101 logos and images, 19 years of recordings, 19 years of promotional materials, the online Q101 Club database, and perhaps biggest of all, the website Q101.com... Merlin Media did not choose to purchase any of these physical or intellectual materials when they agreed to purchase WKQX-FM and two other stations from Emmis Communications in June 2011."

Read Chicagloand Radio and Media's coverage here.

Regional news portal Boston.com will launch online-only alternative rocker with FNX talent

Monday, June 25, 2012 - 11:45am

Boston's alternative rock station WFNX will change formats next month, following its sale to Clear Channel. But regional web portal Boston.com plans to keep the modern rock flag flying. It's announced plans to launch its own online-only alt-rock station, and it has enlisted former WFNX personalities and former WFNX PD Paul Driscoll.

Boston.com offers news and other local content, and is part of New York Times Digital.

In 2009 Boston's legendary heritage rocker WBCN left the on-air dial and soon reappeared as two HD Radio channels, and online simulcasts (here). Chicago alternative Q101 went online-only (RAIN coverage here) after the sale of its frequency; legendary Cincinnati station WOXY and Los Angeles rocker KNAC are well-known for doing the same.

Lisa DeSisto is GM of Boston.com and chief advertising officer for The Boston Globe. She commented, "Boston.com has been at the forefront of multimedia for some time now, producing award-winning videos, live video programming, interactive content, and more. We’ve long thought radio would be a natural extension for us, and we’re fortunate to launch with such an incredible team."

Phoenix Media/Communications sold the station to Clear Channel, and most of the staff was let go immediately when the sale was announced last month. The station will reportedly change format July 23.

Read The Boston Globe's coverage here.

Chicago's web-only Q101 lands on the AM dial

Monday, May 7, 2012 - 11:35am

Q101In what Radio-Info rightfully dubs "a unique twist," the web-only version of Chicago's alternative rock station Q101 is now simulcast on 1530 AM. The AM station, WJJG-AM, flipped from talk radio (featuring Michael Savage, Steve Dahl and others) over the weekend, reports Radio-Info. It now broadcasts the same content playing on Q101.com.

Chicago's Q101 was an FM station found at 101.1 FM. It was flipped to all-news by Merlin Media in July 2011 (RAIN coverage here). Broadcast Barter Radio Networks purchased Q101's intellectual property and website soon after the flip (RAIN coverage here).

You can find Radio-Info's coverage here.

Internet incarnation of FM alt rock station hoping to resurrect Jamboree fest via Kickstarter

Friday, April 27, 2012 - 11:30am

Q101's Kickstarter projectChicago's iconic alternative rock station Q101 has lived an online-only life since its FM frequency, 101.1, was flipped to all-news by Merlin Media in July 2011 (RAIN coverage here). Broadcast Barter Radio Networks purchased Q101's intellectual property and website soon after the flip (RAIN coverage here). 

Now the web-only Q101 is running a fundraising campaign through online service Kickstarter to bring back the Jamboree music festival in 2012.

Q101 hosted the first outdoor "Jamboree" music fest in 1995 (with bands like Bush, The Flaming Lips and Sheryl Crow). Subsequent festivals were held somewhat regularly through 2011.

The 2012 Kickstarter project needs nearly $300,000 in funding. As of publication, Q101 has raised $53,000 with 8 days left in the project. Q101 says the date and venue for the festival will be finalized "the minute this project is funded." No artist line-ups have been announced.

You can find Q101's Jamboree 2012 Kickstarter page here.

Kickstarter is a website that helps raise funding for products, services and ideas. RAIN recently highlighed 5 radio projects on Kickstarter here.

Hat tip to Gaper's Block for their article on Chicagoland music-related Kickstarter projects here.

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