Here is a tale that in some ways sums up the broadcast trading environment for the last decade or so. Michael Sbuttoni bought WEZO-AM Augusta GA in 2003, back when its call letters were WKIM. Since then he has sold it no less than four times, only to wind up with it still in his possession every single time.
As Eastern Broadcasting Group, Sbuttoni acquired WKIM-AM via an 8/30/03 contract from Freddie Lee Handy. The price was $425K.
A little more than two years later, EBG attempted to sell what by then was WNRR-AM to Enye Radio Broadcasting of Augusta Georgia Licensee, headed by Anthony M. Hernandez, for $686K, to be paid by promissory note. The contract had a blank where the date was supposed to be, but the FCC transaction application was dated 10/21/05.
That deal obviously did close, because pursuant to a 7/1/06 contract, EBG attempted to sell the station to Traditions Broadcasting Group for $689K, with $100K to be paid in cash and the rest via note.
Again, the transaction did not make it to the finish line, because on 9/15/07, yet another deal was filed. This time the buyer was Will Nunley Broadcasting LLC, and the price was $650K, all of which was tied to a note.
Nunley did take over the license of WNRR, but on 8/10/09, Nunley sent the station back to Sbuttoni, this time as MJS LLC, in exchange for debt forgiveness for the remainder of money owed pursuant to the note.
A 4/29/10 contract sent the station to Savannah River Radio Inc., headed by John and Dana Summers. This time the price was $535K, with $35K in cash and the rest paid by note.
And now comes the latest act in this marathon transactional melodrama – Sbuttoni is getting the station back yet again in a deal just filed with the FCC. The station, now using the WEZO calls, is his again in exchange for forgiveness for the remainder owed on the latest note.
The station calls itself Easy 1230 and plays “All the Good Stuff!” with 1 kW of unlimited power on a non-directional tower.