Dismantling The Beacon Empire

Long-time readers of your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) have probably noticed that we have a particular obsession with a small Mahoning Valley radio group.

Since before we started in 2005, some form of Beacon Broadcasting has owned up to five radio stations along the Ohio/Pennsylvania border…a reign that’s coming to an end.

Pittsburgh-based broker Ray Rosenblum passes along word that the remaining three Beacon stations – on the PA side of the state border – are being sold to Educational Media Foundation for $225,000.

Yes, that’s EMF as in “K-Love”, and the California-based Christian contemporary satellite format is already airing on at least one of the three stations, WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA, under a network agreement with the incoming owner.

Rosenblum’s release says that unlike in Toledo, EMF won’t be hanging onto the other two AM stations it is buying, WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA:

Mr. Rosenblum stated that contingent on FCC approval of the 3-station transaction and the closing of the sale, he will then arrange for Educational Media Foundation to re-sell WGRP in Greenville, PA and WLOA in Farrell/Sharon, PA to new buyers.

Our readers in the market note that EMF is including all three stations in its legal ID, though at very least WLOA/1470 may not be in the simulcast – as heard Saturday afternoon – for technical reasons. (We don’t know if WGRP/940 is still being fed directly from WLOA.)

The flip to K-Love reportedly happened after high school football coverage on Friday.

In Toledo, EMF – after a long-term LMA – bought both WNKL/96.9 Wauseon and WNWT/1520 Rossford/Toledo, and still operates AM 1520 with the K-Love format after displacing a secular talk format.

So, though Beacon Broadcasting still owns all 5 Mahoning Valley and Shenango Valley stations until the FCC approves two separate sales, all 5 stations are now under other control.

Earlier this month, Chris Lash’s Whiplash Communications took over Beacon’s Ohio stations, sports WANR/1570 Warren “Fox Sports 1570” and daytimer WRTK/1540 Niles, now doing classic country as “The Farm” after a brief time simulcasting WANR in the final weeks of Beacon’s ownership.

With the flip of 1470 and 940, WRTK is now alone in the classic country format in the region.

And whichever owner ends up buying WLOA and WGRP, the stations will change format one way or the other…assuming a brief period simulcasting WEXC’s “K-Love” format while EMF works to sell the AM stations.

The Beacon group sold off to other buyers after the death of leader Harold Glunt in January, and sold all 5 stations for just $275,000.

That’s about $1 million less than the advertised price for all stations…and the bundling of the two PA AM stations for later sale tells us that Glunt’s heirs basically want no part of running radio stations even for a short time.

The sale ends a long and winding radio journey that saw the stations change format frequently, airing programming ranging from secular oldies to sports, to classic country, and Christian rock and contemporary music, and adult contemporary music, with some conservative talk thrown in for good measure. (For example, the WEXC/107.1 format change means Premiere’s Glenn Beck is now without a Youngstown market outlet.)

Rosenblum’s full release is below:

————–

NEWS RELEASE September 10, 2010

Sale Announced Of 3 Beacon Broadcasting Radio Stations
In Greenville, PA /Youngstown, OH To EMF/KLOVE

Media Broker Ray H. Rosenblum of Pittsburgh, PA has announced that
Dennis Glunt, the Executor for the estate of the late Harold Glunt, has agreed to sell the 3 Beacon Broadcasting, Inc. radio stations in Greenville and Farrell, PA to Educational Media Foundation/KLOVE of Rocklin, CA, subject to the approval of the Federal Communications Commission [FCC]. All 3 stations are in the Youngstown, OH market. They began KLOVE programming under a network agreement on September 10th.

According to Mr. Rosenblum, WEXC(FM-107.1) and WGRP(AM-940) in Greenville, PA, as well as WLOA(AM-1470) in Farrell/Sharon, PA have been sold for a total of $225,000. The stations were recently simulcasting a sports talk format.

The CEO/President of the buyer, Educational Media Foundation, is Michael Novak.

Mr. Rosenblum stated that contingent on FCC approval of the 3-station transaction and the closing of the sale, he will then arrange for Educational Media Foundation to re-sell WGRP in Greenville, PA and WLOA in Farrell/Sharon, PA to new buyers.

In August Mr. Rosenblum announced the sale of Beacon’s 2 Ohio stations, WANR(AM-1570) in Warren/Youngstown and WRTK(AM-1540) in Niles/Youngstown for a total of $50,000 to Whiplash Radio of Waynesville, OH. That sale is now pending approval at the FCC.
Harold Glunt, the principal owner of Beacon Broadcasting, died on January 25th. The Executor of his estate is his son, Dennis Glunt.

—END—

Advertisements

4 Responses to Dismantling The Beacon Empire

  1. Rick Schaffer says:

    K-Love, the broadcaster of last resort

  2. Nathan says:

    I just noticed the one obvious typo in the press release:

    “According to Mr. Rosenblum, WEXC(FM-107.1) and WGRP(AM-940) in Greenville, PA, as well as WLOA(AM-1470) in Farrell/Sharon, PA have been sold for a total of $225,000. The stations were recently simulcasting a sports talk format.

    I guess that applied for WGRP and WLOA… several formats ago… 😉 Of course, had Harold Glunt’s Beacon not managed to drive all three stations into the ground with horrid programming moves, they could have fetched a bit more money… and maybe a better buyer.

    At least Chris Lash was able to purchase WANR and WRTK, and make them a part of the community again. I hope the same goes for WGRP and WLOA.

  3. Rod Welling says:

    How do you make 200,000, take a guy with cancer whos a millionair, buy 5 radio stations, make them christian to save your soul, then sell them for 200K………. nice

  4. KB says:

    is there anyway possible to make money with WGRP and WLOA? I bet someone could buy them for around 50,000? They don’t have a staff, there are NO sales or advertising on them, someone could do alot with them but the big question is can these stations make money?

%d bloggers like this: