This Bird Has Flown … To Midday Man

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“Mister Gaylord” himself Mike Reling, along with colleagues Bryan Hollenbaugh and Rob Weaver, will soon be seeing some changes at their place of work.


That’s because “Eagle 101.5,” a Class C2 facility serving a large chunk of Michigan, has just been sold.

Who’s the owner? Look to the midday man for answers.

The station that’s being traded is WMJZ-FM 101.5 in Gaylord, Mich., and Darby Advertising is selling the facility to a newly formed entity named 45 Media North Inc.

It’s led by two individuals — Hollenbaugh, who hosts the midday shift at Eagle and holds 83% interest, and his wife Joyce, who holds 17% interest in 45 Media North.

Bryan Hollenbaugh

Hollenbaugh is a veteran radio industry management and sales executive who served as GM of Albany Broadcasting Co. in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy market until November 2017. From August 2010-November 2014, he was a standout VP/Regional Manager for the now-defunct Adelante Media Group, serving the Tri-Cities, Wash. and Yakima Valley region for the Spanish-language radio broadcasting company headquartered in Sacramento.

Hollenbaugh also has international experience, and from November 2007-August 2010 was the Market Manager in the Cayman Islands for DMS Broadcasting, owner of “X107.1,” “96.5 Cayrock,” “HOT 104.1FM,” and “KISS 106.1FM.”

He’s also been GM for Heartland Broadcasting in Punta Gorda, Fla., and from 1984-1991 was a Public Affairs specialist in the U.S. Air Force.

Hollenbaugh and his wife are acquiring WMJZ for $750,000. A $25,000 deposit has been made to Darby, led by Kent Smith. The remainder is being delivered by way of a Promissory Note bearing interest at 3% per annum.

Darby will continue to own another Eagle — Class C3 WUPN-FM 95.1 in Paradise, Mich., branded as “Eagle 95.1.” It serves the Sault Ste. Marie area of Ontario and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

In an exclusive interview with TRANSACTIONS TODAY, Hollenbaugh explained why he decided to purchase a small station in Northern Michigan. He says, “Eagle 101.5 is an example of why I got into radio many years ago. It is local and relevant, and has a mutual bond with the communities it serves. The station features a veteran air staff who are the heart and soul of the station. It was exactly what I was looking for—an opportunity to go back to the radio I love, in my home state, with a radio station already doing great things that just needed a little TLC and enhancement. And, of course, the thought of never again being dinged over the head by taskmasters — where good will never be good enough — was also appealing.  Our industry has far too many of those, and many aren’t in touch with what truly makes radio the heartbeat of a community.  Perhaps they once were, but everything is now about satisfying investors or bankers.  In this venture, I don’t have that. My obligation is to the community and my staff to ensure we’re delivering something we can all be proud of.”