Thursday, January 22, 2009

Toledo Sale

It appears that the folks at Toledo's Cornerstone Church may be getting out of the broadcasting business.

AllAccess reports that the church's two radio stations - WNKL/96.9 Wauseon and WNWT/1520 Rossford - are being sold to California-based Educational Media Foundation for $2.8 million.

EMF, of course, programs the satellite Christian contemporary music format "K-Love" from suburban Sacramento, and has been operating with that format on WNKL via a local marketing agreement since late 2004. The 96.9 Toledo rimshot had been dance WXQQ after Cornerstone brought it on the air.

WNWT recently flipped from Christian music/gospel WDMN "Dominion 1520" to news/talk programming, carrying a wide variety of secular talk shows - mostly conservative, but WNWT has also been an affiliate of the show hosted by Dial Global liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller.

OMW hears that Cornerstone is also selling its other media holding in Toledo - MyNetwork TV affiliate WMNT-CA/48. We hear it's headed for non-church secular ownership.

Since it's being bought by the K-Love "mothership", we assume that WNKL/96.9 will continue to operate with that format.

What happens to WNWT/1520's secular talk format under that company's ownership?

We don't know. But we did uncover this from the sales agreement (PDF format) posted on the FCC's website:

Seller hereby consents and agrees to cooperate with Buyer in connection with the filing of a request by Buyer for a waiver of the FCC's "main studio" rules and where necessary a request to convert WNWT to noncommercial status, such waiver and noncommercial change to be effective on or after the Closing Date.

We'll make the assumption that a change to noncommercial status would doom WNWT's current commercial talk format. Our guess is that WNWT will, when this is all done, simulcast WNKL's K-Love feed - to act as a fill for areas WNKL's rimshot signal has trouble reaching.

Just a guess, again. We're just not aware of any AM-dominant formats in EMF's stable...and we find it hard to believe that "Air1" will be destined for the AM side...

1 comment:

Matt said...

I think EMF would likely put Klove on the AM station,they did this once in Memphis TN where they owned an AM and FM..