Thursday, April 12, 2007

Moving Central Ohio Radio Stations

Our friend and colleague Scott Fybush at NorthEast Radio Watch, who goes through new FCC applications like some folks go through candy, passes this one along.

Scott tips us off that WKOV/96.7 Wellston OH, licensed to that city in extreme southern Ohio near Jackson, has filed an application to head north - for a change of community of license to Frazeysburg.

Yeah, that meant nothing to us, either, until Mr. Fybush pointed out to us that the small town is just outside of Zanesville, and the station identifies a new transmitter site between Zanesville and Newark that would put a full signal over both of those communities.

For WKOV to move north, WCMJ/96.7 Cambridge has agreed to move over to 102.7 with a power increase. And due to a technical issue brought up by that move, WBIK/92.1 Pleasant City has agreed to move to a different transmitter site. It's all outlined in this attachment (PDF) to the WKOV application.

What's the eventual disposition of the WKOV move-in, whenever it happens?

Well, we've reported extensively here about the desire of the WHIZ Media Group folks to find a replacement frequency for WHIZ-FM/102.5 Zanesville - which will eventually move into the Columbus market, with a new community of license of Baltimore (Ohio, not Maryland).

To that end, it was learned that the WHIZ folks unsuccessfully tried to buy WCVZ/92.7 South Zanesville, the only other full power commercial FM in the immediate area, from the Christian Voice of Central Ohio folks...who run the Christian contemporary "River" format on it. (Oldies WYBZ/107.3 Crooksville OH rimshots Zanesville from the south.)

So, it would seem natural to us that these proposed moves - already coordinated with the stations that need to make changes - would lead to the new 96.7 Frazeysburg being the eventual replacement for 102.5, and free the current WHIZ-FM to make its move into the Columbus market.

But...we're reminded that another station in the region is also trying to make a move west to the "big city".

That'd be oldies WNKO/101.7 Newark, which has applied for its own new COL of New Albany. The move, if approved, would put it directly in the Columbus market.

So, we don't know right now. Maybe there's even some combination there, where stations get traded like so many playing cards. (See: Cincinnati radio market.)

But we're laying down a guess that the new frequency - or a trade for it - will end up being the new home of ONE of the stations bolting for Columbus...eventually...


Anonymous said...

Frazeysburg is "suburban Dresden." The Longaberger Company's large basket-making plant, distribution center and its "Homestead" are located in between.

Anonymous said...

This could be very interesting. If the Frazeysburg station is programmed right, it could easily take this section of Ohio. It could really hurt WHIZ, WTNS and could really put a dent on WCLT. This area of Ohio is lacking solid programming and if it is done right I fell sorry for some of the stations.

Anonymous said...

I think the contention here is that WHIZ would officially move its transmitter to over near Baltimore and sell it, then buy this "new" frequency in the market as its FM presence in the Zanesville-Newark market.

If so, I doubt that the WHIZ-FM programming would change, which really wouldn't affect any of the others.

We'll see, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I agree - since WHIZ has been unable to purchase the "other" Zanesville signal it wouldn't suprise me to see WHIZ buy this as their new signal.

Anonymous said...

My guess is WHIZ probably won't have the opportunity to by the new station... and if not, that leaves them outside looking into the Zanesville with no FM signal. Zanesville is losing a long-time local FM station.

Anonymous said...

Good Karma in Columbus... How much longer before Craig pulls the trigger on another sports station in Columbus? Not too long I bet.

david5258 said...

oa--while in cambridge on monday and tuesday, heard 102.7 id itself as wile-fm, no mention of the longtime calls, wcmj. i guess this transfer is becoming operational--david5258