EMF Says Goodbye To Southern Ohio FM


It’s not often that Educational Media Foundation is a seller of radio stations. Thanks to rapid expansion seen under the leadership of soon-to-retire Mike Novak, EMF is now the second-largest licensee of radio stations in the U.S., behind only iHeartMedia.

Yet, EMF is now selling a station — a Class A facility near the Huntington, W. Va. area.

Located in Portsmouth, Ohio is WUKV-FM 88.3, an affiliate of the EMF Christian AC “KLOVE” noncomm network.

Since February 2017, insiders likely knew that the future of WUKV was uncertain. That’s because EMF on Valentine’s Day of last year agreed to acquire the former WNKE-FM 104.1 in New Boston, Ohio from Northern Kentucky University for $700,000.

WNKE’s signal is tremendous, as it is a Class C0 facility with 100kw. As such, the facility now sporting the WPYK call letters covers Portsmouth, Ashland, Chillicothe and even the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati. It also reaches Huntington and much of Charleston, W. Va.

Rather than keep WUKV for EMF’s Christian Top 40 Air1 network, EMF is selling the station to St. Gabriel Radio Inc. in a move that retains the non-secular programming.

The sale price is $175,000, and an escrow deposit of $15,000 — in addition to an earnest money deposit of $2,000 — has been deposited with the escrow agent, LegalWorks Apostolate‘s Stuart Nolan Jr.

St. Gabriel Radio is based in Cincinnati, and is led by President Mark Hawk.

But, there is no Cincinnati-based station that St. Gabriel operates. Rather, it is the proposed licensee of WVSG-AM in Columbus, Ohio. Meanwhile, WVSG GM Bill Messerly is a member of the Board of Directors of St. Peter The Rock Radio in Cleveland, licensee of WCCR-AM in Cleveland.

As has been standard in most EMF transactions, its legal counsel in this deal is David Oxenford of Wilkinson Barker Knauer.