AllAccess reports this afternoon that Clear Channel has spun off five stations in its Sandusky and Findlay/Tiffin clusters to local operator BAS Broadcasting. The move has been long rumored, and even hinted about here among recent news from that region.
The stations listed are CC's Sandusky cluster stations - sports WLEC/1450 "Sports Radio Sandusky", AC WCPZ/102.7 "Mix 102.7", and classic rock WMJK/100.9 Clyde "The Coast", along with WTTF/1600 Tiffin and one of its clustermates, the recently changed WPFX/107.7 North Baltimore, now AC outlet "My 107.7".
The move puts the entire Clear Channel Sandusky cluster under BAS, and two of Clear Channel's Findlay/Tiffin cluster stations in the company's hands as well.
But...note what's NOT on the list, and it's a big one: country WCKY-FM/103.7 Tiffin, which recently reimaged as "103-7 CKY" after years as "Buckeye Country".
We mentioned it very recently...when former WSPD/1370 Toledo talk host Denny Schaffer started his new Sunday morning music-and-commentary show, crafted with computerized, pre-recorded care from Denny's current home in the Atlanta area. (By the way, the music in the show? The songs weren't from WCKY's country playlist, but Christian contemporary hits provided by Denny himself.)
Since the BAS rumor has been kicking around a while, let us pull another from the unverified rumor mill. Some are wondering if Clear Channel - or another potential buyer - will nudge 103.7's signal just far enough north to make it a viable Toledo rimshot station.
We're not all that familiar with the region, but the signal right now is apparently better than we thought. But as pointed out by a local radio wag there, there would have to be a major effort - if not signal move - to make the station a serious Toledo player.
If there's another possible buyer for WCKY-FM that wishes to turn it into a Toledo-focused station, that'd be interesting. Of course, Clear Channel would have to be OK with the move, as it would bring another competitive outlet against its existing stations.
Perhaps a format operator that doesn't compete with Clear Channel, like a religious broadcaster, would be the player there. Since there's some question just how far 103.7 can move closer to Toledo, if at all, a religious operator would be much more willing to deal with a far rimshot signal.
Or, the company itself could hang onto it and have it serve some sort of "flanker" purpose alongside the existing CC Toledo stations.
This is enough speculation to make one queasy, so we remind you that we're just pointing out what we see as possibilities. None of this is backed by fact. We're just moving the chess pieces around in our collective heads.
BAS Broadcasting already has two stations in the region where it's buying the above stations - one being AC WFRO/99.1 "Eagle 99" out of Fremont. "Eagle 99" is pumping out ABC/Citadel's full-time satellite format "Hits and Favorites", with some fairly active coverage of local sports squeezed in there.
WFRO used to be WFRO-FM, before the station split from its former and historic AM sister station. That outlet was spun to ABC Radio, which ran it for a short time as an ESPN Radio outlet before shuttering the AM for good...to make way for the company's new Radio Disney move-in for the Detroit market.
BAS also owns oldies outlet WOHF/92.1 Bellevue "92.1 The Wolf", which runs ABC/Citadel's "Pure Gold"/"Oldies Radio" format, rimshotting Sandusky and Fremont.
Slightly closer to the OMW World Headquarters, BAS owns the former Clear Channel stations in Mount Vernon, standards WMVO/1300 and AC WQIO/93.7 "Eagle 93.7" - which, as you'd expect from the name, runs the very same ABC/Citadel 24/7 format as WFRO...