Peoria pair shuts down


Standards WOAM-AM and Oldies WPMJ-FM, owned by Kelly Communications, abruptly ceased operations last week as the broadcast company struggled to make ends meet. Owner Bob Kelly is expecting the broadcast hiatus will last anywhere from six months to a year, and is said to have declared bankruptcy. According to a local newspaper, Kelly stated, "Operating expenses have drastically increased while operating funds have decreased, creating a shortage of operating funds. The business does not have the resources needed to continue to operate."

RBR/TVBR observation: The FM is a Class A licensed to Chillicothe IL, a few miles up the Illinois River from Peoria. In short, it may well qualify for rimshot/shoehorn status, and if such station failures become a trend, we’re looking at 1990-1992 all over again. It was that toxic advertising environment, exacerbated by a surplus of hungry stations thanks to Docket 80-90, that led to numerous bankruptcies and not one but two rounds of radio ownership consolidation, culminating in the eight-station clusters enabled by Telecom 1996. Of course, there was a great deal of pain experienced before regulatory fixes kicked in. Could that be where we’re headed yet again? Stay tuned.