Media, Markets & Money tm

Citadel sheds a Worcester pair

Don't look in your Arbitron book to find WCAT-AM & WAHL-FM in the Worcester, MA market. They don't even show up, which may explain why Citadel Communications has decided to sell the Athol, MA combo to Steven Silberberg's Northeast Broadcasting Company.

Although Citadel has been operating these stations under the umbrella of its Worcester cluster, Athol is far from Worcester - - more than 20 miles west of Fitchburg and just 10 miles from the New Hampshire border. Strictly speaking, the Athol stations are in the Boston market - - at the extreme western edge of it - - although they don't meet minimum listening levels to register in the Boston ratings.

Silberberg and COO Ed Flanagan are quite familiar with the territory. Northeast owns WXRV-FM Haverhill, MA - - also in the Boston market - - as well as a number of stations in smaller rated and unrated New England markets. The price tag for this purchase was not immediately disclosed. Citadel, by the way, bought the pair for $875K in 2000. Broker: Stephan Sloan, Media Services Group (seller)

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