Asheville AM headed for noncom


Blue Ridge Broadcasting Corporation is making a second attempt to sell WFGW-AM Black Mountain NC. It is hoping that International Baptist Outreach Missions Inc. can make it to the finish line a previous potential buyer failed to reach.

The seller is headed by James Kirkland and David P. Bruce.

The price for the station will be $78K cash.

BRBC also owns WMIT-FM Black Mountain (and one other station in Tennessee). This deal does not include the WFGW call letters, nor does it include any property used in the operation of the FM.

An earlier sale to Humberto Martinez and Margarita Del Rosario Toth did not close. The price for that one, pursuant to a contract signed 5/29/12, was $98K, meaning BRBCF had to settle for $20K less to divest the station.

WFGW is a Class B on 1010 kHz with 50 kW-D, 500 W-N, DA3. It puts a signal over Asheville during the day but its signal, oriented to the east, falls short at night. It is a religious station using the phrase Faith and Freedom. Contracts for the Bill Bennett Show and the Dave Ramsey Show convey to the new owner.

It will go into a duopoly with WKJV-AM, which is licensed to Asheville and does a better job covering the town at night. It’s also a Class B, on 1380 kHz with 25 kW-D, 1 kW-N, ND. It calls itself The King’s Radio – Pure Gospel.

RBR-TVBR observation: In an extraordinary statement, this buyer leaves little or no doubt as to its non-profit status. Here’s how IBOM explained the local ownership cap ramifications of this deal:

“Assignee is a noncommercial entity and does not know whether Asheville NC is an Arbitron radio market. If it is, then both WFGW and WKJV operate in that market. If Asheville is not a rated market, for the purpose of this showing it is assumed that the primary coverage contours of station WFGW and stations WKJV overlap.”
It then listed a handful of Asheville-area stations, enough to support an AM-AM duopoly.

Note to IBOM: Yes, Arbitron is active in Asheville.