For the first time since 1999, a new FM radio frequency is up for sale in the Erie market at 92.7 FM — a 6,000-watt signal based in Lawrence Park Township, PA. FCC auction 91 for the Class A frequency starts on 4/26 at 10 AM and could last for weeks.
Prospective buyers, says the Erie Times-News, include a company that involves Richard Rambaldo, who in 1989 founded AOR WRKT-FM, known as Rocket 101, and went on to be part of the ownership of six Erie-area stations in all. Rambaldo has applied to bid on 92.7 FM through a newly formed company, First Channel Communications LLC, of which he owns 50%, according to the story. The records show the other owner of First Channel is Erie car dealer Dave Hallman Jr.
Also eligible to bid, according to FCC records, is an entity that is part of Connoisseur Media, which already owns six radio stations in the Erie market (it may have to divest a station in the process)–Mini Me Media LLC. The person listed on Mini Me Media’s auction application as its responsible party is Michael Driscoll, Connoisseur’s CFO. Driscoll, in an interview with the paper, said Mini Me Media Mini is not sure if it will bid on the permit for the new signal in Lawrence Park. Connoisseur Media and Mini Me Media’s six stations there are WTWF-FM/The Wolf, WXBB-FM/Bob, WRKT-FM/Rocket 101, WRTS-FM/Star 104 as well as WFNN-AM/1330 and WJET-AM/1400.
Citadel, which also owns the four other stations in the market is not bidding on the new station, according to FCC records. Bidding on the 92.7 FM signal starts at $100,000.