Billings radio swap gets Mini Me in under the cap


Elenbaas Media Inc. stands to benefit from an overage of stations within Mimi Me Media’s sphere of influence. Herm Elenbaas will be able to swap an AM signal for an FM, creating an old-fashioned AM-FM combo while Mini-Me goes to a 2-AM, 4-FM cap-friendly cluster.

The outline of this deal is that KYYA-FM is going to Elenbaas Media from CCR-Billings IV LLC, headed by Joseph Schwarz, in exchange for KURL-AM.

CCR is better known as Cherry Creek Radio, which earlier abandoned the market, selling its cluster to Mini Me Media, which already was in town with a pair of FMs and a third operated under terms of an LMA.

Mini Me is better known as Jeff Warshaw’s Connoisseur Media. “We are delighted to be able to add 730 AM to our expanding Billings cluster,” said Connoisseur GM, Cam Maxwell. “This will make Connoisseur Media the largest radio operator in the region with six stations in the Billings market.”

While the facilities of the stations will be changing hands, the call letters will not. Elenbaas will hang onto the KURL combination, and MMM will inherit KYYA when CCR turns the AM over to it.

Connoiusseur plans a new format, and lists its other in-market stations as KRKX-FM,  “Big Sky Country”, at 94.1, KRZN-FM, “The Zone”, a rock station at 96.3, KWMY-FM, classic hits ”MY 105.9”, KPLN-FM, 106.7, a modern hits music station also known as “The Planet”, and KBLG-AM, a news/talk station at 910.

Elenbaas noted his company’s plans to hang onto the KURL calls, and said, “We want to continue to use KURL considering our long history with our listeners and to reassure them that the format that they’re used to will not change except for the radio frequency.”

According to the contract, Kalil & Co. was the broker for this deal, on behalf of Cherry Creek.

RBR-TVBR note: Now available RBR-TVBR’s ‘2010’ new guide to help chart a course through the treacherous waters of buying, owning and selling radio or television stations.

Click to purchase “Profitably Buying and Selling Radio Stations,” or 1-800-288-4677, ext. 5022 for $49.95, paperback, $39.95, e-book.