Hilton Head radio sale includes local clause


The seller of WVGB-AM Beaufort SC isn’t presuming to tell the buyers how to program the station once they take the reins after their acquisition of it is closed. Not for 164 hours of the week, anyway – but it is asking that four hours weekly remain local and targeted to the local African-American community.

Vivian Broadcasting Corporation is the seller, headed by Dr. William Galloway. The buyer is called Partners Broadcast Group LLC, headed by C.J.Jones, Joel Garrett and Joe Mule.

The price is $300K, $30K of which will go into escrow for release on closing day. The remaining $270K will be in the form of seller paper. An LMA is scheduled to kick off 8/1/11.

The buyers will be ending up with an old-fashioned AM-FM combo in the Hilton Head SC market, pairing WVGB up with WLHH-FM Ridgeland SC, which they own under licensee name Low Country Radio LLC.

The AM is one of those rare senior-band occupants that gets stronger when the sun goes down. It is a Class C on 1490 kHz with 500 W-D and 1 kW-N on a non-directional antenna. The strong part of the daytime signal does not reach Hilton Head, but it is more than up to the job at night. The FM gets into town all the time with its C3 16 kW 410’ configuration on 104.9 MHz. Believers in the mystic art of numerology may believe the stations were meant for each other, seeing that they share the exact same four digits in their frequencies.
As for the programming request, the seller said it realized it may not be a legally-enforceable part of the contract, but asked the FCC to waive any rules to put it into effect. Here is the plea:

“The proposed assignee has decided that the proposed assignor should broadcast local community programming on the station each Sunday morning between 8:00AM and noon, for a period of 60 months from the closing…The owners of the proposed assignor are African-American and have owned and operated the station for decades. They and the proposed assignee want to insure that the bond between the station and the African-American community within the station’s listening area remains strong. To the extent that the Commission believes that this arrangement may not be fully consistent with any of its regulations, they respectfully request that the Commission waive any such regulations for good cause shown for the period of the arrangement.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We can’t imagine that there is anything in the desire of the two parties to this application to preserve a four-hour block of programming in accordance with seller’s wishes that couldn’t be resolved by striking an LMA that allows the seller to program that small block every week after closing.