Fallout And More
June 13, 2012 2 Comments
UPDATE 6/13/12 7:06 PM: The Asset Purchase Agreement (PDF) for Bernard Radio’s WRBP/101.9 Hubbard says that Educational Media Foundation will pay $500,000 for the Youngstown market station…
We had planned this as a “fallout” item after the testing of Venture Technologies’ WLFM-LP/6 “87.7” FM Cleveland, but as they say in the news business…”This Just In”.
WRBP TO EMF: Just under a month ago, Bernard Radio urban WRBP/101.9 Hubbard “JAMZ 101.9” was presented a resolution by the Youngstown City Council for its service to the community.
WYTV/33 reports from May 16th:
The resolution was in recognition of continued success in the urban format, and for keeping the radio station highly rated, profitable and on the air in Youngstown.
Well, for a few weeks longer, at least.
Bernard Radio has filed with the FCC to sell WRBP/101.9 to Educational Media Foundation, the California parent of the “K-Love” and “Air 1” Christian music networks.
Long-time readers know that EMF currently owns one other station in the Youngstown market, rimshot WLVX/107.1 Greenville PA…which it bought along with other Pennsylvania outposts of Beacon Broadcasting. EMF later sold WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA to Meadville PA-based Vilkie Communications, owner of classic hits WMVL/101.7 Linesville PA “Cool 101.7”.
We have no idea how EMF plans to handle its operations in the Youngstown market.
Presumably, one of the two stations will run the “K-Love” format and one will run the “Air 1” format…we don’t know if they’ll move “K-Love” to the more centrally located 101.9 signal, or if “Air 1” will be planted there.
Bernard Radio still owns (for now) oldies WGFT/1330 Campbell “Oldies 1330” and urban talk WASN/1500 Youngstown. As noted above, EMF has little interest in AM stations, though it does still operate one in Toledo.
A reader tells us that WRBP is still pumping out the “JAMZ” this afternoon, and Lance Venta of RadioInsight tells us there is no LMA in the WRBP sales contract…
AND THE FALLOUT: The signal of that new “Franken FM” in Cleveland is sure getting out there.
In the second day of testing for Venture Technologies’ WLFM “87.7”, the market’s newest “radio station” is still running that four song loop of old Indians, Cavaliers and Browns fight songs, along with iconic local favorite Michael Stanley Band’s “My Town”.
We have opened up a brand new SoundCloud account, and here’s a scoped aircheck of the stunting…which has been going on since at least Tuesday afternoon:
The signal seems to be stronger to our ears. One table radio at the OMW World Headquarters was unable to pick up 87.7 on Tuesday, but has no trouble receiving it today.
And the signal has been reported by OMW readers as far west as Norwalk, and as far east as Geneva.
Unlike the Cleveland market’s other new station, Clear Channel alt-rock W256BT/99.1 “99X”, WLFM has no other near or distant competition for 87.7 FM…give or take a possible incursion from a channel 6 TV station in Paris ONT, if that station has not converted to digital yet. We don’t know if the station is in a “mandatory” market for digital conversion in Canada.
We want to again clarify: We have heard nothing about the audio (or visual) future of WLFM-LP. No facts, no rumors, nothing.
Readers have been wondering if the collection of sports-related songs was a stunt designed to signal a sports talk format.
We noted the unlikely prospect of a third sports radio competitor coming out of nowhere, and noted it would be a good LMA prospect for Good Karma Broadcasting to put the signal of sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” as a simulcast on the FM band, just down the dial from CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “92.3 The Fan”.
But rumors take on a life of their own, and we just wanted to clarify that we are NOT classifying this information as a rumor or anything else but putting chess pieces together in our mind.
We’ve heard nothing from the Galleria, or third hand, or via rumor, that this sort of scenario is in the works. Nothing.
For all we know, the sports-themed songs are an attempt to “sound Cleveland” – as few songs exist that mention the city by Lake Erie. (Of the top of our heads, we can only think of Cleveland’s mention in the song “Heart of Rock and Roll” by Huey Lewis and the News.)
Maybe the songs were sitting on an iPod or smartphone or somewhere. Maybe the speculation is reading too much into it, or maybe Venture hopes to get Good Karma to do an LMA.
There are a lot of “maybes”, and not a lot of facts. So please, don’t start this rumor pointing to us…we literally do not know the future fate of “WLFM”…