Manning Broadcasting has closed on its $100,000 acquisition of two translators in the Maryland cities of Hagerstown and Frederick that have been used since 2012 to bring American University‘s Bluegrass Country programming to a region that is swiftly becoming home to Washington, DC bedroom communities.
What does Manning have planned for the signals, now that the transaction brokered by Larry Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications, on behalf of AU, is complete?
RBR + TVBR spoke with President/COO Fred Manning and we have the answers.
As of today, translator W228AB in the Hagerstown suburb of Paramount, Md., and Frederick-licensed W228AM are no longer AU-affiliated translators.
Coming soon, these facilities won’t be sharing the same 93.5 MHz frequencies.
Manning tells RBR + TVBR that his company will soon be filing paperwork with the FCC that will allow the Frederick facility to temporarily go silent, as it increases it output to 250 watts from 150 watts and shifts to the Braddock Heights, Md., tower used for WAFY-FM 103.1.
Manning Broadcasting, which owns and operates Talk WARK-AM 1490 & Classic Hits WWEG-FM 106.9 in Hagerstown and Hot AC WAFY-FM 103.1 in Frederick, plans to rebroadcast WWEG-HD3’s future programming once the Frederick translator is ready for operation.
WWEG-HD2 is already in use as the home to AC-formatted “More FM,” which uses a translator to air at 102.1 MHz in Frederick.
Meanwhile, Manning says the Hagerstown facility is set to move to 93.3 MHz and take on 1 watt — enough to give it coverage of nearly all of the city.
Manning won’t be keeping the Hagerstown translator, though, and efforts will soon begin to market the station to potential buyers.
Manning is not involved in the intellectual property sale of Bluegrass Country that AU is reportedly ready to execute. This would preserve the presence of bluegrass music in the Nation’s Capital after a nearly 50 years on the FM dial.
From 1967 to 2007, WAMU’s programming featured large blocks of bluegrass music. Due to changing demographics in the Washington, DC market, station management shifted all bluegrass programming online and to WAMU’s HD2 signal.
American University purchased the Maryland translators in May 2012 from Family Stations to provide its Bluegrass Country an additional home; it uses a translator at 105.5 MHz in Bethesda, Md. to reach DC’s “close-in” suburbs.