We know it's been kicked around before, but the newly privatized Clear Channel is now officially listing one of the company's big FM signals in Cleveland to be sold due to regulatory concerns.
As expected, top 40 WAKS/96.5 Akron "Kiss FM" is on the list being moved into the Aloha Station Trust, where it and over 50 other stations nationwide will be set up for sale or trade.
WAKS was listed many months back by trade magazines as being a likely target for sale, figuring out that the privatization of Clear Channel would require the company to slim down in the Cleveland market by one station. The problem, of course, is that the ownership change of Clear Channel wiped out previously grandfathered and allowed stations above local market cap limits.
And of course, though WAKS is licensed to Akron, still, its presence in the Cleveland market is the problem...with an improved signal that covers all but the far fringes of the Cleveland market after "Kiss FM" moved off Lorain's 104.9, and 96.5 thus landed at Oak Tree.
We found the complete list on the Radio Ink website here.
And also listed are a handful of Clear Channel's Ohio stations...Dayton's top 40/rhythmic WDKF/94.5 Englewood "Channel 94.5" (the former "Kiss FM") and smooth jazz rimshot WDSJ/106.5 Greenville, along with Lima market classic rock WBUK/106.3 Ottawa "The Fox", the former oldies "Big Buck" that now carries the format formerly on ex-Clear Channel outlet WPFX/107.7 North Baltimore/Findlay.
Not on the list, because they won't be going into the Aloha trust and will be sold directly, are the previously reported WNNF/94.1 and WOFX/92.5 in the Cincinnati market.
So, here's where we are in the Cleveland radio market: as many as five large signal FM radio stations could be up for sale, with this move and with CBS Radio's presumed likely exit from Cleveland.
There are so many chess pieces moving around the market right now, we don't think even a chess Grand Master could keep track of them.
We're not going to speculate much here, except to remind folks...the news doesn't necessarily mean that the top 40 "Kiss FM" format is exiting Oak Tree. It only means that the 96.5 signal is headed out.
Though we have no information to suggest anything is underway to this regard, Clear Channel could well shuffle around the five FM formats and displace another station with "Kiss FM". It's still too early to hear those rumblings, though, so we're just pointing out that it's a possibility...