Add Dallas-Fort Worth to the markets where iHeartMedia is investing in AM radio stations, albeit with FM translators, to solidify owned-and-operated homes for its recently launched Black Information Network (BIN).
Kalil & Co. was the broker in this transaction.
The company has filed paperwork on the FCC’s LMS that sees the nation’s largest licensee purchasing properties with a rich African American heritage in North Texas.
The stations iHeart are getting are Southern Gospel KKGM-AM 1630, on the expanded band, in Fort Worth, and longtime Black Gospel sibling KHVN-AM 970 “Heaven 97,” also in Fort Worth.
With the AMs are FM translators K237HD at 97.3, rebroadcasting KHVN, and K221GV, presently silent at 92.1 MHz.
The seller is Mortenson Broadcasting Co., represented by John Neely of Miller and Neely.
Serving as iHeart’s legal counsel is Gregory Masters of Wiley.
The transaction is valued at $950,000, and includes a $47,500 “holdback.”
On January 2, 2021, iHeart will assume control of both stations via an LMA. Does this mean Heaven 97 is being laid to rest?
It is unclear, given the history of the brand in the market. That said, the 970 kHz frequency has been associated with Black consumers since 1954, when it adopted R&B programming across much of its broadcast schedule and adopted R&B full-time in 1957. In 1979, the Soul programming in place at what was KNOK-AM moved to an FM, with the former adopting a Jazz format.
In 1985, Black Gospel arrived, with a change in call letters to KHVN.
The history of KKGM directly involves KHVN. In 1994, it signed on as KHVN’s simulcast partner, as part of a plan to shift KHVN to the expanded band and exit the 970 kHz signal. That never happened, however.
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