The DOJ asked Cumulus to spin off two stations in Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle PA and one in Flint MI as a condition of approval for its acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting. It already had two spinning away in Harrisburg, which it will respin to a new trustee, and the new trustee will also be asked to handle the care and feeding of a newly-named Flint station.
In Flint, the new station is one of the ones Cumulus is bringing to the merger – Classic Rock 103.9 WRSR-FM Owosso MI. It will be going to a trusteeship called Potential Broadcasting LLC, under the operation of veteran media broker Eddie Esserman.
In Harrisburg, Country 102.3 WCAT-FM Carlisle PA, a Citadel station, and CHR 92.1 WWKL-FM Palmyra PA were already headed for a trust known as Volt Radio LLC, as Trustee, under the operation of radio veteran Scott Knoblauch, along with 12 other stations. The DOJ/Cumulus deal, which the FCC says strongly resembles a consent decree, will require that Knobloch’s Volt reassign the two stations to Esserman’s Potential.
DOJ also required that Esserman’s organization take over responsibility for the programming of all three stations.
The FCC basically has no problems with the merger as long as the local ownership excesses or in other cases the loss of grand-fathered status for oversized existing clusters are dealt with, and the existing and to-be-created trustee relationships handle all of these concerns.
In Harrisburg, Cumulus will be left with Adult Hit 106.7 WMHX-FM, Rock 105.7 WQXA-FM, Hot AC 104.1 WNNK-FM, Classic Rock 93.5 WTPA-FM, Urban AC 95.3 WTCY-FM, and Sports 1400 WHBGB-AM.
In Flint, Cumulus will be left with Country 95.1 WFBE-FM, Urban AC 92.7 WDZZ-FM, CHR 105.5 WWCK-FM, Talk 1570 WWCK-AM and Sports 1330 WTRX-AM.