Meredith donates station into a de facto AM duopoly


DealThis is an odd little deal, not in the least because it is very rare to put a story about Meredith Corporation in RBR-TVBR’s Radio News category. In fact, we had forgotten that the TV/magazine group even had a radio station. But soon, WNEM-AM will be no more than a piece of the company’s history.

The station, licensed to Bridgeport MI in what was once the Saginaw-Bay City-Midland market but is now unrated, is being donated to Ave Maria Communications, a noncommercial Catholic broadcasting organization headed by Al Kresta.

Meredith will have the station appraised for tax purposes. We doubt that it will appraise for the price the company paid to get it, but who knows? It was acquired as WKNX-AM from Frankenmuth pursuant to a 3/19/04 contract for the sum of $1.1M.

Meanwhile, Ave Maria has also struck an LMA with Thomas Monaghan’s AM Media Services to run WMAX-AM Bay City. It kicked in at the beginning of 2013. According to the contract, AM Media is aware and approves of Ave Maria’s plan to either put the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network or programming of its own on the station.

Both stations are Class Bs with decent market coverage. WNEM is on 1250 kHz; WMAX is on 1440 kHz.