In this week’s issue… Family Life buys, sells – “Alt” wars end in Albany – Binnie flips in NH – Rutland signal reclaimed – New “Moose” in Canada – Remembering Greek radio’s “Mr. D”
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*One of the fastest-growing broadcast groups in the region is growing again – and also getting ready to spin off one of its recent acquisitions.
While national groups like EMF (K-Love and Air 1) get most of the attention, Family Life Ministries has been steadily expanding its own regional Christian radio network outward. From its original home base in Bath, New York (and, soon, an expanded new headquarters down the road in Corning), the Family Life Network has continued to build its presence across western and central New York and Pennsylvania.
After a big expansion a few months ago with the acquisition of a cluster of signals spun off from Seven Mountains’ purchase of the former Sound stations in New York’s Southern Tier, Family Life struck again last week, filing to buy two more stations and to spin off one of the former Seven Media/Sound signals.
The bigger of the two acquisitions is a sequel to an earlier deal in Pennsylvania. In April, Family Life (the Bath-based entity) bought WKDN-FM (88.3 State College) and WFRJ (88.9 Johnstown) from Family Stations (the national Christian broadcaster now based in Iowa). A third nearby Family Stations station, WUFR (91.1 Bedford), wasn’t included in that deal, apparently because of some issues over its transmitter site – but now that’s been squared away, and Family Life will pay Family Stations $150,000 for the 2.5 kW/372m class B signal, which reaches from Altoona almost to the Maryland border. Once it goes back on the air (it’s been silent since February), it will become the southermost link in the Family Life Network.
A much smaller addition to FLN’s reach is east of Syracuse, where it’s paying Cazenovia College $30,000 for WITC (88.9). What does Family Life want with the 130-watt signal, which is entirely overlapped by its much larger WCIS (105.1) in nearby DeRuyter? We’ll be watching.
And then there’s the sale: when Family Life bought a package of signals from Sound/Seven Mountains, we knew it would try to spin off the two AMs that came along with the deal. WPGO (formerly WMTT) 820 in the Elmira market went last week, and now WGGO (1590 Salamanca) is also being sold. Holy Family Communications, the Buffalo-based Catholic broadcaster, will bring its “Stations of the Cross” network to Cattaraugus County as it pays $100,000 for WGGO and its Olean translator, W263CZ (100.5).
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