Deal for Grand Rapids Urban outlet filed


The receiver for WJNZ-AM, once the main radio destination for the African-American audience in Grand Rapids, has officially filed with the FCC to sell the station to a noncommercial religious outfit.

The Kent County Circuit Court approved the sale of WJNZ-AM Kentwood MI last autumn, and finally the paperwork has been accepted by the FCC. Daniel J. Youmans, Receiver for WJNZ Radio LLC, is selling the station to Holy Family Radio, headed by Cheryl D. Doyle, Judson L. Kovalak Jr. and Mary W. Quiroz.

The price is $310K. A TBA will begin at some point and stay in effect until closing day.

According to reports, Robert S. Womack has been able to move the Urban AC format of WJNZ to 1530 WYGR-AM, which has a scant 500 watts during the day, 250 watts during critical hours and shuts down completely at night.

RBR-TVBR observation: This is precisely the kind of situation that advocacy groups such as MMTC have been lamenting – a troubled minority niche station is sold out of the format, and the attempt to keep the niche alive is proceeding a signal-challenged AM.

The same thing happened in Pittsburgh when Sheridan sold its stations to a religious owner. The difference is that the attempt to move an Urban format to an AM station fell through.