In A Historic First, A Christian Non-Comm Cluster Is Born

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In the Tyler-Longview, Tex., market are four FM stations that are being sold to a non-commercial broadcast foundation, which will take the facilities to NCE status.


The seller? It’s an individual who is an ownership partner with Mike Huckabee.

What’s the buyer’s plan? To create a six-station group of stations serving the Christian community.

Paul Coates serves as President/CEO of East Texas Results Media, the licensee of the following broadcast facilities:

  • Class A KZXM-FM 94.3 “Real Country” in Bullard, Tex.
  • Class C3 KFRO-FM 95.3 “Fun Radio” in Gilmer, Tex.
  • Class C2 KLJT-FM 102.3 in Jacksonville, Tex., a simulcast partner with KFRO
  • Class C2 KMPA-FM 103.1 in Pittsburg, Tex., a hit-driven regional Mexican station branded as “Super Radio—Puros Trancazos.”

All four of these stations will lose their commercial programming in favor of religious-themed formats under a new owner: Educational Radio Foundation of East Texas.

That’s the entity led by Troy Kriechbaum, who serves as President/CEO and is based at the licensee’s KVNE-FM 89.5 — “The Voice of Encouragement” — “Uplifting” KGLY-FM 91.3 in Tyler.

Both stations air varying forms of Contemporary Christian Music, and now Kriechbaum will be overseeing a six-station FM cluster — something perhaps unprecedented in the history of a format that has seen rapid growth since the early 2000s.

Under the FCC’s multiple ownership rules, there is no limit on the number of noncommercial stations that can be owned in a market.

However, broadcast ministries have rarely acquired more than two full-powered stations in the market.

The purchase price for the stations, under a different licensee than Coates’ Branson-based Ozark Mountain Media Group and Arkansas-based Bluff City Radio LLC, is $800,000.

A 10% escrow deposit has been placed with Hardy, Carey, Chautin & Balkin, as agent.

There is no broker or finder involved in this deal, which reflects a loss for Coates and Huckabee. In May 2017, they acquired the stations for $1.2 million.

Coates and Huckabee are not exiting Tyler-Longview. They will still own Classic Hits KTLU-AM 1580 and FM translator K280CL at 103.9 MHz, licensed to Rusk, Tex., and are acquiring through East Texas Results Media KEBE-AM 1400 and FM translator K284CT at 104.7 MHz in Jacksonville, Tex., from North Texas Radio Group.

 

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