PORTLAND, ORE. — Of all of the radio broadcasting companies that have rumored to be sellers, Alpha Media continues to be a top-of-mind entity discussed by both media brokers and D.C. communications attorneys.
On July 26, the owner of 229 AMs and FMs across the U.S. agreed to sell two FMs and an AM in the Midwest. Four days later, Larry Wilson — the veteran radio industry executive who in 2009 founded what was first called Alpha Broadcasting — stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Directors under circumstances that have still not been fully shared with the public. The company declined to answer questions regarding Wilson’s health; Wilson was visibly under the weather at the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas in early April.
Now, Alpha is selling another group of stations in a transaction brokered by Kalil & Co. — a six-station, plus one FM translator, cluster acquired in late 2012 from a subsidiary of a company then-led by David Benjamin.
For the sum of $1.85 million, Alpha is selling the following stations to First Media Services:
- Class B WHIS-AM 1440, Class C WKEZ-AM 1240, Class C WHAJ-FM 104.5, Class A WHKX-FM 106.3 and FM translator W254CV in Bluefield, W. Va.
- Class C3 WHQX-FM 107.7 in Gary, W. Va., which covers the Bluefield area.
- Class A WKOY-FM 100.9 in Princeton, W. Va., also serving the Bluefield region.
First Media will add the Alpha stations to WKQB-FM in Pocahantas, Va., adjacent to Bluefield, and West Virginia holdings comprised of WELC-AM 1150 and FM translator W227DU in Welch, WKQR-FM 92.7 in Mullins, WAMN-AM 1050 in Green Valley, and Bluefield-based FM translators W233CL and W247BO.
A $91,250 escrow deposit has been placed with Kalil & Co., as escrow agent.
Kalil & Co. also served as the broker in the July deal that saw Alpha sell a group of stations to Radford Media Group, led by CEO Clayton Radford and co-owned by his wife, Brittany. The company paid $250,000 for Class A Classic Rock KXEA-FM 104.9 “The Eagle,” Class C3 Country KDKD-FM 95.3, and Class D KDKD-AM “AG 1280″ in tiny Clinton, Mo. — population 9,000 as of the 2010 Census.
Alpha acquired the Bluefield, W. Va. stations in December 2012, in a $21 million deal that saw the company add stations in Peoria, Ill.; Biloxi, Miss.; Fargo, N.D.-Moorhead, Minn.; Savannah, Ga.; and Hilton Head, S.C. from Triad Broadcasting Co.
At the time, the stations were under Triad subsidiary “Monterey Licenses LLC;” Alpha’s name in 2012 was L&L Broadcasting, a name that referred to the company’s “live and local” operation.
The Bluefield, W. Va. market was effectively abandoned by Nielsen Audio in Spring 2018. As such, First Media Services retained the services of a qualified technical consultant to prepare a contour-based duopoly showing. First Media intends to amend its Form 314 filing with the FCC, made Sept. 17, to supply this study to the Commission.
In the Fall 2017 survey, the last Nielsen conducted for Bluefield, only Alpha stations appeared. Hot AC WKAJ and Country WHKX were tied for No. 1, 12+, each with a 15.2 share. Classic Rock WKOY had a 7.1 share.