Jacksonville FM sold by receiver


In yet another sign of the times sort of deal, a troubled commercial FM station not only has been sold by a receiver, it is going to a noncommercial buyer. And even though it’s not the sharpest knife in the Jacksonville FM drawer, it is still commanding a respectable price tag.

The station is WHJX-FM. It is being sold by Scott Savage, receiver for Tama Broadcasting Inc. Savage has been in that position since 9/5/08 at the direction of the Supreme Court for the State of New York.

He’s selling it for $1M cash to West Jacksonville Baptist Church Inc., headed by Rodney Kelley. The church has placed $50K into escrow to seal the deal and the parties will execute an LMA which will be in effect until closing. The buyer lists itself as a non-profit entity.

The station is a Class C3 on 105.7 MHz, firing off a 25 kW signal off a 328’ antenna. It’s out of Baldwin FL, to the west of Jacksonville, and lays down a 60 dBu contour that only goes a little ways east of I-95, missing much of the market’s population who are between that point and the Atlantic Ocean.

The station occupies the lower rungs of the local Arbitron reports, when it appears at all, and is not helped much by a simulcast with WSJF-FM St. Augustine, which approaches Jacksonville from the south and misses much of the same territory WHJX misses.

According to the contract, Star Media Group represented the seller and Media Services Group worked on behalf of the buyer.

MSG broker Eddie Esserman noted that the Church sold its WJBC-FM Fernandina Beach to Nancy Epperson’s noncom River Educational Media at the end of 2009 for $2.25M, and missed its broadcast outlet, which provided the impetus to acquire WHJX. He said that despite the deficiencies of the signal, its coverage area matches up well with the Church’s location and the area from which it pulls its congregation.

As for WSFJ, a deal for its sale, along with two other area FMs, was filed 4/28/09. The trio are headed for Family Broadcasting in a deal that was valued at $3.6M, according to the contract.

RBR-TVBR observation: The principals of Tama have been fighting the loss of their group for years now, and have another case pending in the federal judiciary, going after the FCC for its handling of particulars of its case. So it’s possible that this one could be reeled back in, but the buyer and seller weren’t concerned enough about that prospect to make any mention of the case in either the contract or on the application.