In our continuing coverage of the disposition of the Clear Channel small market clusters in Ohio, we've noted that the company's Ashtabula cluster was one that is apparently NOT going to GoodRadio.TV, the company started by former PAX-TV/ION Networks president Dean Goodman out of Florida.
It turns out that we were correct. And the identity of the buyer may be quite an interesting surprise for local media types.
AllAccess reports that Clear Channel's Ashtabula stations are being sold to a new company called "Sweet Home Ashtabula".
And though the company name means nothing to anyone, the big name behind it is certainly familiar to long-time Cleveland radio types: company chairman Tom Embrescia.
We wrote about Mr. Embrescia back in October of last year, when he was listed as one of a number of creditors in the Air America Radio bankruptcy filing.
The former owner of then-WWWE/1100 (today's Clear Channel talk WTAM) and WDOK/102.1 (now owned by CBS Radio) has been doing a lot of non-radio things, including holding the rights to a top-level domain and selling framed artwork online.
It would now appear that he's ready to jump back into the business of owning radio stations, at least in Ashtabula, at any rate. (We're told he may own stations in the Jamestown NY area, though we can't identify which stations those would be.)
The Ashtabula Clear Channel cluster includes talk WFUN/970, AC WREO/97.1 "Star 97.1", top 40 WZOO/102.5 "102 ZOO", rock WFXJ/107.5 "The Fox", and the newcomer in the stable, country WYBL/98.3 "The Bull".
Matt Embrescia is listed as president of the new company. We'll assume that's a son of Tom's or other relative.
OMW has no indications, at this time, that Mr. Embrescia plans to expand his new broadcast empire beyond the northeastern most radio market in Ohio. But we're sure folks will speculate about that...right here...