THIS JUST IN: WNWV/107.3 Sold To Rubber City Radio

The rumors have been bouncing all over Northeast Ohio radio for some time, and have intensified this week, but it’s now official – with confirmation coming from the website of the co-owned newspaper to Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting AAA WNWV/107.3 Elyria “V107.3”.

ELB announced today that it is selling WNWV to Rubber City Radio Group, which owns Akron market stations oldies/news WAKR/1590, rock WONE/97.5 and country WQMX/94.9.

From ELB’s sister paper, the Chronicle-Telegram:

The agreement still needs to receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission before the sale can formally take place, said Paul Martin, president and CEO of Lorain County Printing and Publishing, which owns Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting and The Chronicle-Telegram.

Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting will continue to operate its four other stations, WEOL and WLKR on the AM dial and FM stations WLKR and WKFM.

From that wording, it appears there is no LMA deal in place for RCRG to operate 107.3 before sale approval, so ELB is driving that bus until that happens.

Those expecting a format change today, or some other kind of on-air change at “V107.3”, likely will hear the status quo, at least for now.

And nothing is changing at ELB’s four remaining stations, country WKFM/96.1 “K96” Huron, AAA WLKR-FM/95.3 and oldies WLKR/1510 Norwalk, and the only station left in ELB’s Elyria cluster, talk WEOL/930 Elyria. (Of course, 107.3 has long targeted the Cleveland market as a whole for many years, complete with a sales office in Rocky River.)

And anyone who says anything about Rubber City Radio’s future plans for 107.3 is probably just guessing at this point…

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10 Responses to THIS JUST IN: WNWV/107.3 Sold To Rubber City Radio

  1. Frank Macek says:

    This is great news. The format was a disaster from the start.

    Rubber City has some great plans for the station.

  2. Jim Nuznoff says:

    Well I hope they don’t use 107.3 as a repeater for WQMX in the Cleveland market. That would be a waste. It would be neat if they use their HD-2 or HD-3 for something out of Akron. WKSU can find another outlet in the Cleveland market.

  3. Tim says:

    Just a thought but I think Cleveland could use a news/talk station to compete with WTAM 1100. The station could have a mix of local and syndicated talkers without leaning right like WHK.

  4. Ann V. says:

    I like 107.3’s mix. They play album cuts by a lot of the artists I actually listen to. I wish they had pushed the Triple A bubble a little more, but it would be great if some of that format was maintained. I’m interested to see what’s going to happen next…

  5. Debbie says:

    Please change it back to smooth jazz!

  6. Brian K says:

    Wow, some possibly bad news. I love the station as it is, and have even noticed some improvement since the death of 92.3 with the subtle addition of Adult Alternative to the playlist. Cleveland needs this kind of station, there is absolutely nothing else worth listening to on the FM dial. Nothing.

    And Tim, I hate the idea of news/talk. By nature it leans right, if not totally right. It’s been proven that talk radio listeners lean right. Moderate or left leaning talk just doesn’t get the ratings.

  7. Tim says:

    I noticed WAKR 1590 AM has rights to the Indians, Cavs and Browns. If RCRG would simulcast this station on 107.3, could they air all these games or is there a clause against it from Clear Channel?

    • Tim, just this year, RCRG got the nod to make WONE-FM/97.5 the primary Cleveland Browns affiliate in the Akron market. (The games are still simulcast on WAKR/1590, except due to conflicts like the Indians in season, and whenever the Cavaliers start up again.)

      WONE-FM has very good coverage in much of the Cleveland market. I get the idea that Clear Channel may have objected to this kind of move in the past, but the Browns didn’t mind.

      As far as WNWV is concerned, it is a Cleveland market station – though currently co-owned WEOL/930 has the Browns games (and presumably, WNWV wouldn’t have been able to do so for the same reason WONE-FM wasn’t able to do so).

      In the end, I believe CC could still block 107.3 from airing the Browns games because it is a Cleveland market station, and they most certainly have Cleveland market exclusivity. WONE-FM, despite its signal, is not a Cleveland market station.

      And with RCRG taking over, I doubt they’d want to try such a move, anyway…with the Browns on their 97.5. And CC would clearly block it on market exclusivity grounds…again, even owned by an Akron-based company, 107.3 is a Cleveland market station.

      In reverse, it’s the same reason you don’t hear Browns games on CC’s WHLO/640…RCRG has Akron market exclusivity, to be sure.

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