That’s The Truth: A Deal With Family Ties


A Class D AM serving Virginia’s state capital with Christian Talk and Teaching programming is being sold to an entity that already provides all of the station’s programming.

Yes, money is trading hands. But it is very much a deal that’s all in the family — and it involves key individuals tied to a big publicly traded broadcasting company saddled with a sagging stock price.

North Carolina-based Truth Broadcasting Company is purchasing Bon Air, Va.-licensed Class D WLES-AM 590 “The Truth,” with 1kw during daylight hours and 58 watts at night, from 1 tower.

The seller is Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corp., which earlier this month found itself on the losing side of an FCC waiver request involving the application for an FM translator in Auction 100.

Astute readers will recognize that Truth’s President is Stuart Epperson Jr. He is the nephew of Ed Atsinger III, CEO of Salem Media Group. And, in Salem’s words, Truth “is a current customer of the company.” Epperson also serves as a Salem board member.

Meanwhile, the seller is led by President Nancy Epperson. That is Stuart Jr.’s aunt, on his father’s side.

An LMA is in effect allowing Truth to operate WLES.

An aggregate sum of $125,000 will go to Chesapeake-Portsmouth, with $50,000 applied to a programming agreement.

Davina Sashkin of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth served as legal counsel for both licensees.

While Salem is not an owner of Truth stations, all offer programming from Salem’s non-secular talk and teaching stable, in addition to its own shows.

This is the second time in March that the seller has made headlines.

As RBR+TVBR reported on March 8, Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corp. in 2016 designated WCPK-AM 1600 “Hosanna Radio” in Chesapeake, Va., as the originating station for a translator, but ultimately nixed that idea. In Auction 100, WCPK was selected as the station for a whole new translator. That’s against the Commission’s rules, since WCPK was involved in a previous proceeding.