Family Stations Closes On Its NYC Bargain Buy


Que pena … The end is near for “Qué Buena” listeners across the New York Tri-State Area.

For those who have wanted WFME back on a FM signal heard in Gotham, it is almost time to rejoice.

Family Stations has closed on its acquisition of what will soon be the former WQBU-FM 92.7, licensed to the Nassau County municipality of Garden City, N.Y.

According to the asset purchase agreement, finalized on December 2, 2021 and subsequently filed with the FCC, Univision is selling WQBU and its two boosters, giving it coverage in Manhattan and Queens, for $9 million.

A 10% escrow deposit was placed with Kalil & Co., as escrow agent. Kalil & Co. represented Univision in the transaction, as the exclusive broker. As previously reported, Univision months ago retained the Tucson-based brokerage to help it spin non-essential radio stations.

With the deal’s completion, after 18 years Family Stations will regain much of its lost FM signal coverage from the sale of the original WFME-FM (today WXBK-FM 94.7) to Cumulus Media in late 2012. At the time, WFME “moved” to 106.3 MHz, a facility from 1964-1993 known as WVIP-FM. As locals can attest to, it is hardly a New York-market facility, with a 980-watt Class A signal covering northern Westchester and Fairfield County, Conn.

Even with WQBU, WFME still will lack a Northern New Jersey FM signal. However, there is an AM option. WFME-AM 1560 uses a two-tower daytime signal and three-tower nighttime signal pushing out 50kw watts of Christian talk and teaching fare; it sold its Maspeth, Queens, tower site and uses a new site based in New Jersey.

In the 18 years since Univision purchased what is today WQBU, it is being sold for $51 million less.

The deal value crossed what Hoffman Schutz Media Capital’s David Schutz in December told RBR+TVBR is a “psychologically significant valuation metric” — one dollar.

Based on the new 2020 Census, the 60 dbu “service area” contour of WQBU reaches 9,396,000 people. “At a $9 million announced selling price, that represents a population metric of $0.96 per person,” Schutz concludes, adding that the twin synchronous on-channel boosters in Manhattan and Brooklyn didn’t exist when Univision bought the facility.

Representing Family Stations, best known for its association with the late Harold Camping, as its FCC legal counsel is Matthew McCormick with Fletcher Heald & Hildreth.