Bear Trading In Michigan, A Sound Merger In Indiana


Two deals are featured in RBR+TVBR‘s TRANSACTIONS TODAY for Thursday, March 8.

In the first transaction, a swap of two FMs brings a piece of Michigan a fiercer Bear.

The second deal sees a pair of “artistic” stations being melded into a very “sound” buyer.


Right in the heart of the Gaylord State Forest Area along Interstate 75 in Northern Michigan is Class C2 WWSS-FM 95.3 in Tuscarora Township.

It’s the home of “Straits Country,” and while George Strait may come up on the playlist, this is in reference to the body of water surrounding Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island, which WWSS reaches to a limited extent with its Gaylord, Cheboygan and Petoskey-focused signal.

That’s soon set to change, as WWSS owner David L. Smith is doing a straight-up exchange of WWSS for Black Diamond Broadcast Holdings’ Class C3 WCHY-FM 97.7 “The Bear,” licensed to Cheboygan.

The move gives “Straits Country” more coverage of the straits that separate Lake Huron from Lake Michigan, while the Bear’s Classic Rock format widens its listening area to the Petoskey market, rated by Nielsen Audio.

That’s big, because Petoskey is a shared market with Traverse City, to the south. There, “The Bear” can be heard on Class C2 WGFN-FM 98.1.

Thus, the deal makes The Bear a full-market entity.

There is no money being exchanged in this license transfer agreement.


In September 2017 TRANSACTIONS TODAY reported that Art Agnotti is merging his Sound Management LLC with his Artistic Media Partners by bringing in South Bend, Ind., properties WNDV-FM 92.9 “U93,” WYXX-FM 92.7 in Goshen, and WYET-FM 102.3 in New Carlisle. The deal is valued at $3.4 million.

Now, Artistic Media Partners is shifting its Class A WBWB-FM 96.7 in Bloomington and Class A WHCC-FM 105.1, licensed to Ellettsville, Ind., to the west of Bloomington, to Sound Management.

There is a $4.4 million on the transfer of control of the two stations to Sound, with a $600,000 deposit required. A sum of $3,951,000 is due at closing, plus the assumption of a $449,000 “Katieco Note.”