The deal struck by Northern Nevada Media Inc. for KTSN-AM Elko NV had barely settled into its niche in the FCC transaction database when it was followed in short order by another NNM application to acquire an FM in the same town.
The new transaction is for KPHD-FM, a Class C on 97.5 MHz. Buyer NNM’s principals are Fred Weinberg, Allen Mishkin and Pacific Publishing Co., primarily controlled by Peter Bernhard.
NNM is buying the station from Dale Ganske’s Twin Peaks Media for $125K cash. It follows hard on the heels of NNM’s $175K deal to acquire KTSN from Ralph J. Carlson’s Humboldt Broadcasting LLC.
Despite the fact that the acquisition would create an AM-FM combo in Elko, it appears that KTSN’s future there will be as a standalone operation unless NNM has further acquisitions up its sleeve. That’s because KPHD holds a CP to move to Melba ID. It will slide a couple of clicks up the dial to 97.7 MHz there, as a Class C with 45 kW @ 2,717’.
The answer to why a station would want to abandon Elko to Melba can be answered in one word, and the word is not toast. It’s Boise. Melba is not far from the Snake River, and it is also southwest of Idaho’s largest market. The application notes that the station will be part of that market, and will constitute a standalone operation for the buyer.
However, word from Weinberg is that it the FM is likely to remain content with its Elko digs. The Idaho move could be costly, and it has a newspaper in Elko to go along with the two pending radio acquisitions. The move to Idaho has not been ruled out, but at the moment, Elko is looking pretty good.