AM sold in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains


Roy W. Burnette is the principal of Five Forty Broadcasting Company, and he’s got a contract filed with the FCC for the acquisition of WRGC-AM Sylva NC. The seller is radio veteran Douglas M. Sutton.

The station is currently listed by the FCC as licensed and silent. As the licensee name of the buyer suggests, when it comes back on line it will broadcast on 540 kHz, with 5 kW-D and 14 W-N, ND. It’s a Class D station.

Not only is the deal for cash, the payment of the cash is front-loaded. The buyer is putting down a $179K deposit and will add $110K cash at closing for a $289K total purchase price.

A key component to the deal is a non-compete between the buyer and seller that runs through 12/31/15. Sutton has agreed to avoid running programming or selling advertising directed at the Sylva-Dillsboro-Collowhee area. This is necessary because of Sutton’s interest in WFSC-AM and WNCC-FM, licensed to Franklin NC, a few miles south of Sylva. It is even more necessary since the FM holds a CP to change the city of license to Sylva. The contract notes that all parties to the deal are aware of the impending move and that it is “acceptable to all parties.”

Sylva is in unrated territory to the west of Asheville and directly south of the Great Smoky National Park.