Clear Channel has found a buyer for 17 of its smaller market radio stations. Louis Vitali’s and Bruce Biette’s Blueberry Broadcasting LLC is getting stations in two Maine markets from the radio giant. Vitali noted the positive business environment for radio in small and medium markets, and Biette says it’s an opportunity to own stations he already listens to. According to brokerage firm Kalil & Co., which handled the transaction, Blueberry will pick up stations in the Augusta-Waterville, including WABK-FM, WCME-FM, WFAU-AM, WIGY-FM, WKCG-FM, WMCM-FM, WQSS-FM, WRKD-AM & WTOS-FM; and Bangor, including WABI-AM, WBFB-FM, WFZX-FM, WGUY-FM, WLKE-FM, WVOM-FM & WWBX-FM.
RBR/TVBR observation: We will be interested in getting a gander at the ownership study attached to the FCC contract when it’s filed. There is a lot of cross-pollination between the various Maine markets, and that may be a key factor in allowing these clusters to remain intact as they go from one owner to another – without grandfather. Oversized clusters assembled prior to the partial adoption of the 6/2/03 Michael Powell ownership rules were allowed to stay together, but cannot be transferred, and both of these clusters appear to be on the overweight side, particularly when it comes to FM stations.