In this week’s issue… Beasley sells near Philly – WMGK picks DeBella successor – Remembering the voice of the Sabres – Evanov to shutter “Proud” – Corus cutbacks – New tower rises in Ontario, towers come down in Southern Tier – Translators file for changes ahead of LPFM window
By SCOTT FYBUSH
FEBRUARY IS ALMOST GONE
We are down to our final copies and they won’t be reprinted.
This is the 23rd edition of our popular wall calendar, featuring gorgeous full-color photos of tower and transmitter sites from around the country, and sometimes the world. Our photos capture the sites throughout the day and throughout the year.
This makes a great gift for the tower enthusiast in your life — or a special treat for yourself!
Don’t miss out — order yours today!
(Programming note: We had a lot of news this past week and some time to put an issue together, so here’s a NERW that’s slightly out of our summertime bi-weekly schedule. Depending on the news over the next week or two, we may or may not have issues on Aug. 28 or Sept. 4, but we will be back for certain on Sept. 11. Thanks again for your patience and continued support.)
For years, WJBR has been a one-off in the Beasley Media Group portfolio, the company’s only station in the Wilmington market, operated mostly on its own but with some services shared with its nearby – and much larger – cluster in Philadelphia proper. After paying $42 million for WJBR in 2007, Beasley is now selling WJBR for just $5 million, a sign of how swiftly the value of standalone stations has declined in this decade.
The buyer? It’s VCY America, the Wisconsin-based Christian broadcaster that’s making an aggressive play for expansion into big cities. Just last year, VCY paid $7.25 million for the former WFAS-FM (103.9) in the New York market. Like WJBR into Philadelphia, 103.9 (now WVCN) serves some, but far from all, of the New York market – but for a religious broadcaster that’s driven by donations instead of ratings, what matters is simply the number of people covered, not how well that coverage matches the Nielsen market boundaries.
When the deal closes, WJBR’s “Mix 99.5” AC format will go away, leaving Forever’s WSTW (93.7) hot AC/top-40 format as the closest thing remaining in the Wilmington market, where it will be the only full-market commercial class B signal.
We expect the WJBR calls to go away (ending a legacy that goes back to the late 1950s, when John B. Reynolds, Sr. and Jr., put the station on the air), and we’ll be watching closely to see whether this is the only sale Beasley makes, or whether that company’s financial issues might prompt more selloffs.