A War Of Words Breaks Out Between WLUP And SaveTheLoop.com
March 3, 2011 at 10:33 AM (PT)
Last month (NET NEWS 2/3), ALL ACCESS tipped you to a group saying they consisted of "anonymous radio veterans, entrepreneurs, and civic and business leaders banding together to lead a grass roots campaign to take WLUP back as a CHICAGO institution." The group called itself "Save THE LOOP," and was formed after EMMIS Rocker WLUP (THE LOOP)/CHICAGO became "CHICAGO's Classic Rock Station," at the end of JANUARY. SAVE THE LOOP claims it wants to buy WLUP, and program it with a more "modern rock format."
What seemed like an innocent stunt has now grown into a war of words, with EMMIS/CHICAGO SVP/Market Mgr. MARV NYREN issuing a memo, which has leaked to TOCBLOG's ROBERT FEDER. In the memo, NYREN writes:
"OK ... this will be the only time I address this. Yes, there is a website out there trying to get people to believe they are going to buy THE LOOP.
They are NOT! The two guys behind the entire project are MIKE NOONAN and MATT DUBIEL. MIKE used to work at THE LOOP as a weekend air talent and MATT was the PD [Program Director] at a group of suburban stations. They are two unemployed guys that have been pitching us a show for the past two years that we have no plans on taking. Unfortunately, this is their way of being disappointed. They are also trying to get various ex-employees (who either left on their own or we asked them to leave) to be a part of their sad little online campaign.
Do not waste your time on the website and do NOT give them the time of day.
Thank you in advance for ignoring any and all future activity to this website or communication from them.
CHICAGO doesn’t care what they’re doing ... neither should you.
End of story."
SAVETHELOOP.COM reacted on their website, posting:
"We set out to ask CHICAGO a simple question: Do you love this institution, 97.9 THE LOOP, and if so, enough to actually pony up and own it? The story many 'radio people' want to talk about is: who has the balls to ask such a question anyway? I guess we didn’t get the 'memo' that only CLEAR CHANNEL, CBS and EMMIS are capable of such grandiose acts. Some people seem to think only a giant conglomerate is capable of owning or running a radio station like this. We disagree.
The story isn't, 'who’s behind SAVETHELOOP.COM?' The story is the same as it has been for a month. We will continue to ask Chicagoans if they have what GREEN BAY and BURLINGTON, VT. have, which is the chutzpah to buy, protect, preserve and save their beloved institutions. We expected any company with a property for sale would be THRILLED to have a movement like this. They’re for sale, we’re working to gauge interest in CHICAGO to make a bid to purchase.
When WKQX adds songs, they gauge interest first. They look at callout research. When RAHM EMANUAL was debating whether or not to run for Mayor, he gauged interest first. Ironically, someone on TWITTER parodied RAHM and it’s been bandied about that the anonymous and foul-mouthed TWEETER is a 'genius.' His reveal has even been celebrated in the press. The radio industry currently lives and dies by the input of roughly 2,500 Chicagoans. These people essentially control radio in CHICAGO. We’ve attracted three times that (without a radio signal) and we've been entertaining and engaging with them to see if they even care about radio, let alone THE LOOP, as much as we do.
We haven’t seen any memo from MARV NYREN, but we suspect there’s way more important things to be doing at EMMIS/CHICAGO than worrying about SAVETHELOOP.COM or who’s behind it. As it stands, we are revealing those behind SAVE THE LOOP, via video at SAVETHELOOP.COM. Incidentally, MR. FEDER we loved your column about the prospect of CUMULUS buying WLS. That’s exactly the point about keeping WLUP/CHICAGO owned by the people of CHICAGO. We don’t want another TRIBUNE fiasco here and as it stands, NEWSWEB and TRIBUNE are the only major local owners in radio in CHICAGO. It’s a shame."
ALL ACCESS has reached out to EMMIS/CHICAGO SVP/Market Mgr. MARV NYREN for further comments.
MIKE NOONAN and MATT DUBIEL told ALL ACCESS exclusively, "MARV is right. We do pitch radio shows to radio stations. We create and syndicate radio shows for a living, so naturally we propose shows to radio stations all the time. Sometimes we fail and sometimes we land on our feet as we did with our DONNY OSMOND feature.
"We're astounded a VP at EMMIS has chosen to bitterly and personally single us out and personally attack us without provocation. We have no beef with EMMIS. They just happen to own the station.
"We realize it may be revolutionary thinking (to some) to suggest that 'regular people' assemble and buy a radio station. In our opinion, it's silly to suggest we (CHICAGO) can not buy THE LOOP. We're personally in for $50,000 each. That's 15 years worth of savings from doing remotes at night clubs and water bed stores in the suburbs!
"We've spoken with people who are willing to pony up six figures, or more, provided we assemble the right team with the right plan. We're not raising money at this point, but 50,000 people at $1000 a pop get's CHICAGO a radio station. And everyone who knows, knows we don't need the whole nut upfront."