Pruett Calls It Quits In Rural Oregon

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One month ago, RBR+TVBR exclusively reported on the plight of a Reno, Nev., air personality who thought radio station ownership would be fun, and a logical next step in his career.


Instead, Chris Pruett ended up with a “big mess.”

Now, Pruett is saying goodbye to the AM/FM combo and FM translator he took a chance on.

Guess what? He’s making a profit on it.

On May 14, RBR+TVBR reported that for the third time in less than three years, a Class C2 facility serving a rural community some five hours to the southeast of Portland, Ore., filed for a silent STA with the Commission.

Why? Landlord-tenant issues got a bit testy.

“I inherited a big mess,” Pruett admitted in a candid interview.

On May 5, via a Facebook post, Chris Pruett — owner of KSQB-FM 92.7 in Burns, Ore. — revealed that “Star 92.7 will be off the air for quite a while so we are going to be moving all of our advertising and our shows [to “1230 AM The Coyote”], which is still on the air.”

Pruett, via the Starlight Broadcasting LLC Facebook page, apologized “for this inconvenience” and noted that it is working to fix the issue.

Why was KSQB dark? Starlight noted on Facebook that it was due “to unforeseen circumstances.” An FCC filing made May 14 elaborated on the matter, blaming the STA request on a “sudden and unexpected dispute” with KSQB’s current tower landlord.

Making the FCC filing for Starlight as its legal representative is Takoma Park, Md.-based attorney Michael W. Richards. He told RBR+TVBR that the tower dispute involves a local company that recently acquired the structure, located in an “antenna farm” atop a butte, from another local entity.

Richards declined to elaborate on the dispute, while Pruett noted that Starlight was quickly working to move the Star antenna to another tower in the antenna farm — just 50 feet away.

Now, it appears KSQB and sibling KYQT-AM 1230 “The Coyote” in Burns, along with FM translator K256DC, will have a hopefully brighter future under new ownership.

Pruett’s Starlight Broadcasting is selling the facilities to Alexandria Communications Inc. for $75,000.

That’s great news for Pruett, who acquired the stations from Harney Country Radio for $30,000 in July 2016.

Call it another favor from a regional player turned ally. Tom Hodgkins, owner of Walla Walla, Washington-based Alexandra, agreed to loan Starlight “some old equipment” as it was starting from scratch. This saw vintage early 1990s technology used to get KSQB and The Coyote up and running under Starlight ownership.

Once the tower issue was resolved, Pruett hoped to repay Hodgkins, and make Starlight a success.

Now, that task will be left to Hodgkins’ group.

The asset purchase agreement is dated May 31. However, the APA was not filed with the FCC until June 12.


From the RBR+TVBR Archives:

The Sounds Of Silence Plague An Air Talent-Turned-Owner

For the third time in less than three years, a Class C2 facility serving a rural community some five hours to the southeast of Portland, Ore., has filed for a silent STA with the Commission. Why? It seems there are some landlord-tenant issues that have gotten a bit testy. It’s the latest nightmare for a DJ-turned-owner who shares his tale exclusively with RBR+TVBR.

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