Charlie Banta Buys A Trio Of AMs, In Principle

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A 45-year radio industry veteran who serves as president of Mercury Capital Partners has agreed to pay $2.3 million for a trio of AM radio stations serving some of the nation’s biggest markets.


In a deal filed with the FCC on Monday (6/12), the Charlie Banta-led Universal Stations LLC is the buyer. The seller is tied to Banta, making this deal a bit of a reorganization.

The stations that Universal Stations LLC is buying are as follows:

  • Class C WESX-AM 1230 in Nahant, Mass., serving the Boston market.
  • Class D WJDA-AM 1300 in Quincy, Mass., also serving the Boston market.
  • Class B WLIE-AM 540 in Islip, N.Y., serving New York’s Long Island region.

The seller is The Principle Broadcasting Network, led by Sandra Miller.

Miller is the VP/Treasurer of Universal Stations LLC.

In this transaction, Buffalo-based Universal Stations LLC is the buyer in concert with the Mercury New York Fund. In essence, this deal shifts control from Miller to Banta.

Banta and Miller have attributable interest in KSJO-FM in San Jose, Calif.,  and KKDZ-AM in Seattle.

Banta founded Mercury in 2000, following a six-year run as founder and President of Mercury Radio Communications, which owned stations in Buffalo, Philadelphia, Detroit, Southern California, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

In 1989, he ran Rich Communications from its Buffalo headquarters.