Friday, May 30, 2008

WWRC/DC may be sold to Daniel Snyder

The Washington Post is reporting that broadcast and dot-com mogul Daniel Snyder is getting closer to an agreement to buy three AM stations from Clear Channel Communications in a bid to expand his fledgling but problem-plagued radio operations, people familiar with the discussions said yesterday.

Included in a possible deal would be sports-formatted WTEM (980AM), conservotalker WTNT (570AM) and progressive talker WWRC (1260AM).

Snyder, who's Red Zebra Broadcasting programs a sports format via three low-power rimshot signals, in addition to several sports stations in Virginia, has been actively seeking other stations to expand his coverage of the Washington, DC market. The trimulcast acts as the flagship outlet for the NFL's Washington Redskins, which Snyder also owns. The acquisition of WTEM, the most desirable signal in this bunch, gives Snyder the full-power centrally-located sports station he has long desired, allows Red Zebra to dominate the local sports radio market and puts his football team on a better local signal.

As for WWRC and WTNT, there is no word yet on the fate of their formats, or the fate of the three sports signals Snyder currently owns. Snyder could elect to keep the present formats on the two talk stations, to provide some diverrsity to Red Zebra's broadcast offerings. Hard to imagine that many sports formats tripping over each other. Both WTNT and WWRC currently do lousy in the ratings, due in part to their mediocre signals and a very crowded and competitive talk radio market overall in the DC area.

The sale, if it goes through, could be announced by next week, with Red Zebra taking over operations of the three stations rather quickly via a lease agreement. The sale itself will likely be in limbo until Clear Channel sorts out their own sale to a pair of private equity firms.

Local media news site has perhaps the best coverage of this deal.

Meanwhile, up the coast in Atlantic City, Access.1 communications has sold all their station in the market, including progressive talker WTAA (1490AM) to a local group, Atlantic Broadcasting. In addition to WTAA, other stations include WOND, WMGM-FM and WJSE-FM. Access.1 still owns WWRL in New York, which acts as the 'flagship' of the Air America Radio network.

The partners in Atlantic Broadcasting are local businessman Brett DeNafo, radio engineer Michael Ferriola, former WAYV-FM program director and on-air host Paul Kelly and on-air personality Joseph Borsello. The group will run the stations according to a lease-management arrangement until the Federal Communications Commission approves the sale.

There have been rumors that the new owner may not keep WTAA's format, though they maintain that there will be no immediate changes at the stations.

Atlantic Broadcasting can be reached via snail mail at 1601 New Road, Linwood, NJ.


raccoonradio said...

Prog talk could well be
back in Dallas
by July 1.

ltr said...


Progressive talk goes full-time in Dallas

That was announced last week.

Jill said...

Actually, WWRL is no longer the Air America flagship station. The network HAS no flagship station. WWRL only takes the Rachel Maddow show of the AAR lineup. I think the relationship ended mid-April. There was some noise for a while about finding another flagship, but you don't hear that anymore.

FSL said...

Washington Post reports that the deal has closed and Snyder takes over July 1st.

The term "flagship" has been so over used and misused that it has become meaningless. Stations use it if they are in the same city even though they have nothing to do with the production and distribution of a show (and take the same satellite feed as everybody else).

WABC still calls itself Rush's "flagship" even though Clear Channel owns and distributes the show, which is usually produced in a dedicated facility in West Palm Beach. Randi Rhodes now does her show at WJNO, so it can legitimately claim to be her flagship. Same for Thom Hartmann and KPOJ, Stephanie Miller and KTLK and Ed Schultz and KFGO.

When AAR leased WLIB it was sort of a "flagship," except the station had no independent existence. It was just a computer in a closet and ran completely automated (except for two hours on Sunday morning when it ran two legacy shows carried as part of the lease agreement with ICBC).

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