A group of stations which have been subject to charges of a premature transfer of control, and indeed which are the subject of a consent decree bringing the charges to a settled ending, are now headed into receivership. They are going from various versions of Tama Radio Licenses to Scott Savage, Receiver, over the objections of Tama’s former CEO Glenn Cherry, who also objected to the consent decree.
The premature transfer involved dealings with financial backer D.B. Zwirn.
According to the FCC, Honorable Emily Jane Goodman of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York placed the stations in Savage’s hands back on 0/5/08, and through this action, the FCC is endorsing that move and denying Cherry’s informal objection.
The FCC said, “…we find that Cherry has not raised a substantial and material question of fact warranting further inquiry and that none of the allegations demonstrate that grant of the Assignment Applications would be inconsistent with the public interest. We further find that the Receiver is qualified to hold the Stations’ licenses, and that grant of the Assignment Applications is consistent with the public interest, convenience and necessity.”
Here are the stations: In the Tampa-St. Petersburg market are WTMP-AM Egypt Lake FL & WTMP-FM Dade City FL; in Jacksonville are WHJX-FM Baldwin FL, WJSJ-FM Fernandina Beach FL & WSJF-FM St. Augustine Beach FL; in Savannah are WSGA-FM) Hinesville GA, WSSJ-FM Rincon GA WTHG-FM Hinesville GA; and finally, WFJO-FM in unrated Folkston GA.
RBR/TVBR observation: This type of story has been a rarity since the early 90s. Our fear is that it will cease to be a rarity. We have to believe that the majority of financial backers want to be in the money business, not the broadcasting business, so we strongly advise staying on good terms and in close and open communication with backers so that workouts are seen as a better option than takeovers and liquidations.