Morning Star Widens ‘River’ With Forever Deal


It owns and operates the “River Radio Network,” comprised of a Weirton, W. Va.-based AM/FM combo and an FM translator.

Now, its owner has signed off on an asset purchase agreement giving it three FMs, and an AM with an FM translator, in the nearby Wheeling market.

With Tim Ohalek and Cindy Taylor the driving forces of River Radio Network, parent company Ohio Midland Newsgroup is growing beyond WEIR-AM & WCDK-FM in Weirton by agreeing to acquire the following properties from Forever Media:

  • WLIE-AM 1290, licensed to Bellaire, Ohio, on the left bank of the Ohio River. It is a 1kw Class D with 30 watts at night and associated with FM translator W261DH at 100.1 MHz in Wheeling. It airs a Classic Country format as “Willie,” a homage to Willie Nelson.
  • WBGI-FM 100.5, also licensed to Bellaire. It is a Class B 48kw facility branded as “Biggie 100.5,” airing a contemporary Country format.
  • WUKL-FM 105.5, in Bethlehem, W. Va. It is a Class B1 13.5kw facility known as “Kool 105.5.” It is an Adult Hits station with a playlist ranging from Haddaway to England Dan and John Ford Coley.
  • WRQY-FM 96.5, in Moundsville, W. Va. The Class A is a Classic Rocker, branded as “Rocky 96.5.”

Ohio Midland Newsgroup, a subsidiary of Cody Barack-led Morning Star Media, is paying $885,000 for the properties, with Lynn Deppen signing off on the agreement for Forever Media. A $50,000 escrow deposit has been made to Forever by Ohio Midland.

In return, Ohio Midland is spinning silent FM translator W235BX at 93.9 MHz in Colliers, W.Va. to Forever Media for a token price of $10.

The translator will be used to rebroadcast what WOHI-AM 1490, licensed to East Liverpool, Ohio.

Forever Media is owned by Kirby Confer and Donald Alt.