The rock in this case is Granite Equity Partners, backer of 10-station group Heartland Communications with properties in Wisconsin and Michigan. Jim Coursolle, most recently of Armada, will have a 66% stake of Heartland. Coursolle’s NorthStar Properties LLC is the purchasing entity. Granite is headed by Art Monaghan.
The stations include WCQM-FM and WNBI-AM, Park Falls WI; WATW-AM, WBSZ-FM, WJJH-FM and WNXR-FM. Ashland WI; WRJO-FM and WERL-AM, Eagle River WI; and WIKB-FM and WIKB-AM, Iron River MI.
The stations are all in unrated territory stretched out across the northern portion of the state – Ashland is near Lake Superior, Park Falls and Eagle River are respectively farther to east, and Iron River is on Michigan’s northern section just across the line from Wisconsin.
Granite’s Tu-Mar Inc. will continue to hold 100% of a trio of stations in Houghton MI.
Coursolle, perhaps one of the biggest fans of small market radio in the US, told RBR his work with Armada veered to far to the M&A side of the business and that he’s looking forward to a more hands-on roll with his new group.
“These folks,” according to Coursolle, “have assembled ten solid radio broadcast properties located in the beautiful north country of Wisconsin and Michigan; I will be proud to be a part of this fine small-market local radio company. The people at Granite Equity Partners are excellent business people plus they are simply nice to associate and work with. I look forward to having them as my partners and I am excited to get personally and actively involved in the operations and the markets. We have a significant opportunity to grow this business and capitalize on the tremendous strengths of each of these stations. This will be a great deal of fun!”
Terms of the transaction were not released.