Schwartz, Withers and Beck Close On Their First Deal


A newly formed entity whose principals include Joe Schwartz, Dana Withers and John R. Beck Jr. has just closed on its purchase of a group of stations serving Northern Arizona.

Stone Canyon Radio and Marketing is now the owner of a cluster of FM stations serving the Flagstaff-Prescott, Ariz., market.

On September 21, Stone Canyon Media Group signed off on an asset purchase agreement that saw the newly formed entity acquiring the following stations from Grenax II Broadcasting LLC:

  • Class C2 Talker KBTK-FM 97.1 in Kachina Village, Ariz.
  • Class A Classic Hits KFLX-FM 92.5 in Chino Valley, Ariz., which serves Prescott but not Flagstaff.
  • Class C0 100kw Country KSED-FM 107.5 in Sedona, Ariz.
  • Class C2 Classic Rock KWMX-FM 96.7 in Williams, Ariz., plus two boosters in Flagstaff and Sedona.

The purchase price is $925,000. A $100,000 earnest money deposit has been made.

George Reed and Megan Reed of the Jacksonville office of Media Services Group served as the exclusive brokers in this transaction.

Schwartz served as the chief executive of Cherry Creek until February 2016, when he told RBR+TVBR many things led up to his decision to depart after 12 years at the helm.

Withers is a broadcaster who assumed control of a company founded by her father, the late W. Russell Withers, Jr., in 1972. In addition to Withers Broadcasting, there is Dana Communications, which she oversees. She is highly regarded in Illinois, where the Illinois Broadcasters Association has bestowed on Withers its IBA/Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year award for 2018. Withers is a past chairman and current trustee of the IBA and began her career in broadcasting upon graduation from Colorado Mesa University.

Withers Broadcasting and Dana Communications operate 31 stations in southern Illinois, southeast Missouri, and western Kentucky.

Beck is best-known for his nearly 35 years at Emmis, most recently as SVP of its now-divested St. Louis stations — KSHE-FM, KIHT-FM (now KNOU-FM), KPNT-FM & KFTK-FM. He also had oversight of WRDA-FM 104.1 under Emmis ownership. Beck joined Emmis in March 1984 to oversee KSHE after some two years at Golden West Broadcasters’ KKCI-AM & FM in Kansas City.

Together, they will now have oversight and management responsibilities for four stations in the Flagstaff-Prescott, Ariz., last rated in Fall 2016 by Arbitron.

According to an ownership chart supplied to the FCC in a Form 314 filing made Tuesday (9/25), Beck and Schwartz are 50-50 partners in Stone Canyon Radio & Marketing Group LLC. This entity is the 75% owner of “Stone Canyon of Flagstaff,” with Dana Withers (independently from her companies) the 25% owner.