In February 2019, Dick Gleason was remembered for his five decades as an owner of radio stations in Maine, following his death from ALS at the age of 71.
Now, the radio stations licensed to Gleason Media Services are saying goodbye — and the coronavirus pandemic is one of the reasons why they are shutting down on March 29.
Confirmation of the silencing of Gleason Media’s stations in the Auburn-Lewiston, Me., area — WPNO-AM 1450 and FM translator W245CQ at 96.9 MHz in South Paris, Me.; WOXO-FM 92.7 in Norway, Me.; WTME-AM 780 in Rumford, Me.; and WEZR-AM 1240 and FM translator W288CW in Lewiston, Me. — came from GM Vic Hodgkins.
An on-air announcement was made Wednesday morning (3/25), with listeners told that 7pm Sunday will see their silence.
WOXO airs a Country format and simulcasts with WRMO-FM 100.7 in Mexico, Me.
WTME airs Sports Talk programming, while the remaining signals comprise “Maine’s Big Z,” best-described as a Hot AC.
Hodgkins returned to Gleason Media for the role, in late February 2019, after a two-year term as Town Manager of the Town of Paris, Maine.
Hodgkins’ return coincided with the passing of Gleason. He’ll be impacted with a job loss, as will Big Z Breakfast Club host Mark Turcotte, sales rep Dave Dean, traffic manager Amanda Mendoza, and OM Wally McCarthy.
In a brief interview with the Sun Journal newspaper, Hodgkins cited “a combination of low receivables and slow payments, combined with a projected drop in advertising because of COVID-19” as the chief reasons leading to the stations’ shut down.
All of Gleason’s properties have been for sale since the death of Dick Gleason. However, a buyer his heirs could agree on did not emerge.