Friday, January 25, 2008

More On Milwaukee

A quick follow to the item about Good Karma's Craig Karmazin and his purchase of Salem Christian talk WRRD/540 in the Milwaukee market...

The price Good Karma has now been revealed, thanks to FCC filings...$3.8 million.

And some more details are being made known.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel now reports
rumblings that Salem is selling its other station in Milwaukee, CCM outlet WFZH/105.3 "The Fish", to the folks at Educational Media Foundation ("K-Love").

That would answer a question we had - why would Salem sell a station with its core format, Christian teaching/talk? The answer: assuming the news about its FM outlet is true, Salem sees Milwaukee as an underperforming market, and is getting out entirely.

And the Journal-Sentinel article has another tidbit of information about Craig Karmazin's plans for what has become a two station Milwaukee cluster:

He notes that he's had a number of calls in recent days from folks interested in buying the station (WAUK). But it's not on the market.

"Like any asset in the world, I'm sure there's a price," he says. "But it's not something I'm looking to sell."

Right now, potential formats for WAUK run the gamut from liberal talk to Spanish-language sports, to brokered programming - that is, airtime purchased by individuals or groups, like churches.

"Anything would be a possibility," he says.

We're kinda shaking our heads at that potential format list - which we assume was drawn up by Tim Cuprisin on his own, without help from Mr. Karmazin.

If we had to bet a spare $10 bill, we'd put it on Craig doing with WAUK what he's done with his original daytime station here in Cleveland, positioning it as a second, mainly syndicated sports talk outlet to his new primary station in Milwaukee - "ESPN 540". Perhaps it becomes "ESPN 1510"?

This news affects what we've talked about here in two places.

First, now that we know Salem is selling out of Milwaukee ("EVERYTHING MUST GO!"), a similar scenario here - where Good Karma would buy the former home of WKNR, AM 1220 - wouldn't likely happen unless Salem sold out of Cleveland as a whole.

With its three core formats fully represented here, and just having taken money from Mr. Karmazin for its second best signal in the market, we doubt that's happening.

Second, well, Educational Media Foundation is on the prowl, looking to add another market to its reach by taking advantage of Salem's apparent exit from Milwaukee to add a full-market signal for its "K-Love" format.

That would tend to make us wonder about its role in the future of Clear Channel country WCKY-FM/103.7 "103-7 CKY" in Tiffin, which was the one station left out of the announced sale of CC's Findlay/Tiffin and Sandusky stations to BAS Broadcasting.

Is EMF looking to fill a signal hole in Toledo, where it owns western rimshot K-Love outlet WNKL/96.9 Wauseon?

And would it pay to move 103.7 up closer to Toledo? There's really not a LOT of room to do so, if any, and an outfit like EMF may be OK even with the current rimshot signal from the south - which does a "decent enough" job on car radios in areas where 96.9 has problems.

There are also rumblings that other local owners may be looking at 103.7, though we don't know who would fit that bill...

1 comment:

ohiobiz said...

Article in Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune about WTTF changing hands: