Billed as “Liberty County’s Only Daily News Source,” a Texas radio station has dutifully served its listeners as a Full Service facility blending “music mixed with things that matter.”
Its a combination that locals have enjoyed for 42 years, first on AM and on an FM facility since 1991.
Now, the FM has been sold. Monday is the final day of operations, ahead of a shift to online-only delivery of its programming.
The over-the-air signal is heading to a rapidly growing broadcast ministry based in nearby Houston.
At approximately 6pm on Thursday (6/27), Trinity River Valley Broadcasting signed an agreement to sell Class C2 KSHN-FM 99.9 in Liberty, Tex.
The station’s signal covers a wide swath of land to the east of Houston, and its signal can even reach the metropolis’ east side. KSHN is also a Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tex., station, given its signal strength to the east of Liberty, depending on how one looks at it.
For owner Bob Buchanan and KSHN listeners, KSHN was all about Liberty County.
He broke the news to listeners in the 9am hour Friday (6/28), noting, “It hurts just sayin’ it.”
Buchanan explained that the station’s sale quickly transpired. In early May, KSBJ Educational Foundation contacted KSHN through a broker and asked if we were interested in a sale of the radio station.
Buchanan replied, “We’re not interested. Thank you very much.”
It didn’t end there. The broker asked if he would be willing to talk, and Buchanan said, “Well, I’d be willing to talk about anything.”
This set off a chain of events that proved Buchanan wasn’t a seller. “I gave them a ridiculously high price, just so I could prove to them that two people can play that game,” he admitted on-air.
The reply from KSBJ? “That price is outrageous,” Buchanan recalled. “One: I wasn’t trying to sell the radio station. Two: If you can be outrageous low I can be outrageous high.”
A second offer was rejected by Buchanan.
Then, Buchanan had a moment of reflection. He was about to turn 78 years old. That was June 23. “I was getting really old and tired of this seven-days-a-week thing, which had been going on for quite a while,” he said.
Additionally, a 24-year trusted employee with much of the day-to-day responsibilities of KSHN fell ill and passed away in mid-May.
With the KSBJ offer still in Buchanan’s mind, and a five-year training ahead for that employee’s successor, he called the broker and submitted an offer with some concessions.
These were accepted without question.
KSBJ is a Houston-based CCM leader led by President/CEO Joe Paulo.
A Form 314 filing is expected to be posted on the FCC’s database early next week; the sale price has not yet been disclosed. An LMA is in place that will see KSBJ assume control of KSHN on Monday.
Buchanan told listeners that the purchase of KSHN is being done as KSBJ wants better coverage of Beaumont. The station’s programming can presently be heard on Class A KWUP-FM 92.5 in Navasota, serving the Bryan-College Station, Tex., market; and on Class C0 100kw KXBJ-FM 96.9 in El Campo, which covers much of the Victoria, Tex., market area.
KSHN will complement another new acquisition for KSBJ — KETX-FM 92.3 in Livingston, Tex.
RBR+TVBR reported on June 14 that KSBJ is acquiring the Class C2 FM serving the Lake Livingston area to the north of the Houston metropolitan area.
With KETX, the KSBJ brand effectively extends to Lufkin, as the station’s signal reaches this Texas community.
Greg Guy and Jason James of Patrick Communications served as the broker in the KETX transaction, representing the seller; they did not serve as the brokers in the KSHN deal.
For Buchanan and KSHN, 11:59pm Monday will see not the station’s end, but a transition to the internet.
It’s the second transition for the station’s programming, which originated in 1977 on now-defunct KPXE-AM and moved to KSHN in 1991.
On the KSHN website, Trinity River Valley Broadcasting said, “To all our listeners, advertisers and friends, we have enjoyed our time as your hometown station, we hope we’ve done some good, and we will miss all of you. We will keep streaming at kshn.com, so while we are going off your radio, we are not completely going away. We will still be here, just different.”