The real estate associated with a radio broadcasting company operating since 1927 is heading for a tax auction following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Of the five stations it is licensed to operate, just one remains on the air — and it is fully automated.
A rotting station van for a now-defunct FM sits at the facility that’s soon to be auctioned off.
This is the sorry end to a cluster in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York.
As reported Nov. 17 by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Saranac Lake Radio has marked its 90th anniversary in near silence, with WNBZ-FM 106.3 in Saranac, N.Y., the only station licensed to the company actually on the air. Also licensed to Saranac Lake Radio but no longer in operation are the silent WLPW-FM “Rock 105” and the dark WNBZ-AM 1240.
WNBZ-AM signed on the air on Sept. 11, 1927; it had been silent since at least 2016, the Enterprise reports.
Also dark are WRGR-FM 102.1 in Tupper Lake, N.Y., and WIRD-AM 920 in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Now, the newspaper says Radio Park — the offices and studios where Saranac Lake Radio was housed — are going on the auction block.
Specifically, a pair of properties tied to WNBZ will be sold at tax auction Nov. 29 at a hotel in Ticonderoga, N.Y.
The reason? WNBZ owner Edward “Ted” Morgan failed to pay taxes on the properties since 2014. A parcel at 159 Santanoni Ave. is listed as $3,598.31 in arrears. An adjacent property is $13,317.64 in arrears; the properties will be sold to the highest bidder.
This isn’t new news to locals. In 2014, RadioPark went up for tax auction, but Morgan was the highest bidder, paid the delinquent taxes and retained ownership. This time around, Morgan had until Nov. 15 to retain ownership.
Where is Morgan, who acquired the station group in 1998? While WNBZ offices moved to Plattsburgh, N.Y., in 2016, a former employee says he’s out of the country.
“The last I heard, he was in the Bahamas or something,” ex-engineer Chris Brescia told the Enterprise. “I think he’s trying to hide because he owes so many people money.”
Among those owned money: The FCC and the company that owns the transmitters Saranac Lake Radio used.
From 1963-1998, the radio group was owned by James Rogers III and his wife, Keela.