Yes, it's time for another story in the saga of Beacon Broadcasting, Inc., the most active radio company in Northeast Ohio over the past month or so.
New Beacon owner Harold Glunt has apparently decided that broadcasting is his future, instead of supplying machines to steel factories. And given the state of the steel industry in the Mahoning Valley, we're not sure we blame him for stocking up on anemic AMs.
This time, a reliable OMW source tells us that Glunt is buying WRTK/1540 Niles, a 500 watt daytimer with towers visible from the I-80/Rt. 46 interchange. WRTK owner Dale Edwards has reportedly been shopping the station around for months. It's the former home of Cleveland radio bad boy Lynn Tolliver Jr. (ex-WZAK), who recently left Northeast Ohio for a gig at Tampa urban AM/FM combo WTMP/1150-96.1. And Edwards unsuccessfully filed to move WRTK from Niles to the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood on 1180 AM, an application the FCC dismissed back in March.
The apparent plan is to link WRTK, recent Beacon acquisition WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and Beacon mainstay WANR/1570 Warren in a network running the former WEXC/107.1 "Wexy" oldies format...which 1470 started running after Glunt agreed to buy it from former owner Holy Family Communications. How this fits into Glunt's apparent desire to run Christian stations aimed at young people is a mystery...maybe he believes the secular oldies format will bring in money so he can finance the operations of his main FM, WEXC, now known as Christian rocker "Freq 107".
(Historical note: This wouldn't be the first time 1540/Niles and 1570/Warren have simulcasted. In late 1990, after 1570 owner Geri Taczak sold the then-talk station, the stations simulcast as urban formatted "Network 15 - The City".)
Our source also indicates that aside from putting money into the current Beacon stations, buying long-needed equipment, Glunt has his eye on still MORE AM stations in markets outside Youngstown/Warren. Harold Glunt...a one man media empire. Who'da thunk it?