A locally owned radio company based in Columbia, S.C., is adding to its stable of radio stations by acquiring a Class A facility that owes much of its success to its proximity to Lake Murray and its wide mix of classic hits, crossover country, vintage R&B and Carolina beach music.
One of the two owners involved with the buyer is known by many for his years at the former B94 in Pittsburgh.
Midlands Media Group, led by Columbia residents Kirk Litton and Keith Clark, are acquiring WZMJ-FM 93.1 “The Lake” in Batesburg, S.C., for $450,000.
The seller is Lake Murray Communications.
According to an Asset Purchase Agreement filed Thursday (7/26) with the FCC, a $25,000 escrow deposit has been placed with John C. Trent.
At closing $75,000 cash will be paid to Lake Murray; the remainder will be honored via a Promissory Note of $350,000, bearing no interest. It will be amortized over a period of 75 months with equal payments of $4,666.
Midlands Media was formed in 2016, when the company acquired Class A WWNQ-FM 94.3, a Columbia station licensed to Forest Acres, S.C. branded as “Undivided Country — The Dude.”
“We’re pleased to add WZMJ to our lineup of local media offerings,” Litton said. “We have continued to invest in our home market, and want to thank our local sponsors and listeners for making this latest expansion possible.”
Following the purchase of WWNQ, Midlands put its money toward online newspaper ColaDaily.com; e-commerce site ColaDailyDeals.com; and an online radio station: SodaCityFizz.com.
Columbia was once home to a Coca-Cola bottling plant; the “Soda City” name is a nickname that links in small part to this heritage.
Clark is a veteran radio programmer and consultant best-known for his years at WBZZ-FM “B94” in Pittsburgh. He said, “It’s exciting to grow our company here in the Midlands with a complementary brand to The Dude, the only locally owned and operated country music station in Columbia. We see terrific opportunities for WZMJ as another strong, locally programmed station serving our local community and expanding the audience reach of the company.”
WZMJ is presently the home of Clemson athletics. Will this remain in place?
“We’re looking at everything,” Clark tells RBR+TVBR. “We’re looking at what will be the best fit for the Midlands area.”
To be clear, WZMJ will not be marketed to Columbia, with Richland and Lexington Counties the focus for the station.
Clark’s home is Columbia, S.C., and started his career in the market in 1979. “I loved my time there, but zero degrees and two feet of snow did enough for me,” he says. He returned to Columbia in 2014. “I love being home.”