The story of Amador Bustos is worthy of a screenplay.
In 1992, Bustos created a radio broadcasting company under the Z Spanish Radio Network brand. Eight years later, he sold the company to Entravision for $475 million. By 2003, he took another stab at ownership — one that saw many twists and turns and the emergence of now-defunct Adelante Media Group.
Today, Bustos is buying. In fact, he just filed another Form 314 with the FCC reflecting a station purchase — just one day after agreeing on another deal.
Now, Bustos Media Holdings LLC is adding a 70,000-watt Class C facility licensed to Centralia, Wash., to its Seattle-Tacoma station group — perhaps its most significant in terms of market size.
The station Bustos is picking up for $3 million is KFNY-FM 102.9 — a facility placed into the Ocean Station Trust created as a result of a swap of stations between Entercom and iHeartMedia.
That transaction, agreed upon November 1, 2018, saw Entercom give WRKO-AM, WZLX-FM, WKAF-FM and WBZ-AM in Boston and KZOK-FM, KJAQ-FM and KFNQ-AM in Seattle to iHeartMedia.
In return, iHeart traded to Entercom WRVA-AM, WRXL-FM, WTVR-FM, WBTJ-FM, WRNL-AM and WRVQ-FM in Richmond and WKXJ-FM, WLND-FM, WRXR-FM and WUSY-FM in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Given iHeart’s Seattle-Tacoma holdings, it had to make a move. That resulted in the placement of KFNY; WKOX-AM in Everett, Mass.; and KTDD-FM in Eatonville, Wash.; in the trust, presently administered by former Backyard Broadcasting President/CEO Barry Drake.
Drake’s duties were previously held by Tully, who passed away September 11, 2018 in Nashville, where she lived.
KFNY has been airing a Smooth Jazz format since being placed in the trust.
That’s poised to change, and KFNY is expected to become the bigger FM home in the market for Bustos’ “La Z Network,” which uses north-metro KZNW-FM 103.3, licensed to Oak Harbor, Wash., to reach such communities as Mount Vernon and Bellingham. Right over the heart of Seattle-Tacoma is the main signal for “La Z,” KMIA-AM 1210.
With KFNY, La Z could enjoy an FM signal spanning from Seattle’s Lake Union area south to Tacoma and the state capital of Olympia. In fact, KFNY’s south coverage is so great one can hear it in Astoria, Ore., and in parts of Vancouver, Wash.
That said, Bustos’ primary desire for KFNY is to monetize it in the Northwest’s biggest DMA.
“The addition of KFNY will strengthen our presence in the Seattle market,” Bustos said. “We
will now have three FMs in this dynamic metropolitan area. I have been negotiating this acquisition for almost two years. For a while it looked very bleak but we stayed the course and finally got the deal done.”
Bustos Media also owns Regional Mexican KDDS-FM “La Gran D.” Licensed to Elma, Wash., KDDS has a similar signal contour to KFNY.
Bustos Media will begin operating the stations following FCC approval and closing of the deal.
Bill Fanning of Media Venture Partners Capital served as the broker in this deal, which brings Bustos Media’s holdings to 24 stations.
RBR+TVBR RELATED READ:
There’s a Class C 64kw FM facility serving the Seattle-Tacoma region’s Hispanic audience by providing regional Mexican programming. It’s a big stick, hence its moniker: “La Gran D.”
But, this station is licensed to Elma, Washington and uses a tower well to the southwest of downtown Seattle. The result: Signal holes in the metropolitan area.