Bahakel grows its Chattanooga cluster


The call letters WDEF and WDOD represent two stations each – good old-fashioned AM-FM combos  all licensed to Chattanooga, and the cluster represents the top-of-the-line cluster allowable in a brief window of history starting in 1992, when duopolies were first allowed, and 1996, when the new Telecom Act became law. Now, after all these years, a fifth station is joining the cluster.

The station is WUUQ-FM, licensed to South Pittsburg TN. It is being sold by Gary Burns’ 3 Daughters Media Inc.
The price is $2.2M cash.

WUUQ comes with a translator, W257AZ, and the translator comes with a stipulation – the seller must either repair or replace its antenna. It’s licensed to Lookout Mountain TN.

Bahakel is buying the stations under the licensee name Jackson Telecasters Inc., which happens to be the name it uses for the WDEF combo. The WDOD combo is licensed to WDOD of Chattanooga, and Bahakel is actually assigned an LMA it struck with Burns back on 11/4/10 to Jackson, back on 1/21/11.

Judging by the purchase price for the FM, Burns seems to have emerged from the broadcasting business downturn of the past few years in fairly decent shape, at least in terms of the core value of his stations.

RBR-TVBR observation: Burns bought WUUQ from Clear Channel per a contract signed 9/8/06, along with Chattanooga station WUUS-AM Rossville GA and two AMs in the Roanoke market, WGMN-AM and WVGM-AM. The total value of the Clear Channel deal was $2.6M.

Burns recently sold WUUS to Tennessee Temple University for $175K, making the total for the two Chattanooga stations $2.375M. That means at a face value level, he’d have to get only $225K for the two Roanoke-Lynchburg AMs to break even on his purchase price, if he were to try to sell them. Not bad in today’s trading market.