Thursday, April 16, 2009

WOAC Sold To Religious Operator

Canton-licensed infomerical outlet WOAC/67 is being sold to a new owner.

TV Business Report
and TVNewsday both report that WOAC is being sold by the trustee for broadcaster Arthur Liu's Multicultural Television Broadcasting to religious operator Radiant Life Ministries. The deal hasn't yet hit the FCC database, and no price is yet being reported by broker Kalil and Company, which represented the seller.

Quoting TVBR:

The seller is trustee Lee Shubert on behalf of MTB Cleveland Operator. MTB refers to Multicultural Television Broadcasting. Multicultural picked up the station in a deal in which it acquired several E.W. Scripps Shop at Home television stations, but ran into difficulty keeping the group in the black.

It's no surprise that a group named Radiant Life Ministries will mount a religious format on WOAC, but what is Radiant Life Ministries?

It turns out to be an arm of mainly regional religious TV operator TCT (originally "Tri-State Christian Television"). TCT is run out of Marion IL by Garth and Tina Coonce, and their "About us" page says the operation began with a Cincinnati-based station...though we don't know which station.

The operation enjoys nationwide clearance via both DirecTV and Dish Network.

TCT/Radiant Life owns Jamestown NY religious outlet WNYB/26, on the southern edge of the Buffalo market - just down I-86 from Erie PA. The Coonces are also on-air as hosts of their network's "TCT Today".

WOAC's facilities, at this point, are all-digital...with the shutdown of analog channel 67 on February 17. (Just as an aside, Trinity Broadcasting O&O WDLI/17, the other full-power Canton-licensed station, plans to shut down analog 17 late tonight.)

Thanks to a Friend of OMW for delivering us this nugget!


oldcrooner said...

That's all we need..another outlet for the religious hucksters and bigots. :( Channel 67 would have made a great independent station for the area.

n-dizzle said...

Wow, suddenly infomercials are starting to look like a better format at WOAC. How long until we start saying "the good old days" of 24/7 infomercials?

If anything was coming to WOAC, I would have liked to have seen the Retro Television Network. Something worth watching...

Andrew said...

Well I can't say I'm surprised that the current owner of WOAC has tossed in the towel. I don't think their digital signal covers as well as their analog did (even though it's suppose to cover a greater area). I can't aim the antenna more than about 20 degrees either side of Brimfield Township without losing the signal; the analog was another story.

WTOV in Steubenville went all digital this afternoon (analog sign-off at 12:30 and Digital sign-on about 12:35). I get a signal on the s-meter, but it's not enough for the DTV box to decode. Their analog signal came in fairly good here in central Geauga County, so I was surprised to lose it when they switched to digital. This was my best shot at getting RTN:( I've thought about sending them an e-mail because they want those who are having reception problems to do so. I'm about 100 miles away from Steubenville, so I don't think they would really care about my reception loss.

emery_r said...

From the sparse clues available about the Coonces, I'm pretty sure their Cincinnati area connection is WKOI-43, the religious station currently operated by Trinity Broadcasting. Some info I found claimed they began a station to serve the Cincinnati/Dayton/Richmond market (the latter city is in Indiana, of course). This fits WKOI exactly. However, it went on the air in 1982, while the same sparse info on the Coonces implies they'd begun broadcasting before that -- so I can't say for sure.

Speaking of WKOI, they were supposed to transition to digital today (April 16), but as of 11:30 PM, their analog signal is still on the air.

The last 30 minutes of watching WKOI marks the most viewing time I've devoted to them in recent history -- I hope OMW appreciates my sacrifice!

emery_r said...

Well, WKOI ended its analog signal at EXACTLY 11:59 PM tonight, April 16. That makes two stations whose analog demise I've been privileged to watch "live" -- first WSTR-64 in Cincinnati back in February, and now WKOI-43 tonight.

Further digging into a possible Coonce-WKOI connection seems to confirm that it's the station they founded, then turned over to TBN:

firebird said...

So, now both of Canton's TV stations are irrelevant.

With all of their financial problems, how soon before Univision throws in the towel on Channel 61? At least that station won't go religious as Gannett would grab it for a duopoly.

n-dizzle said...

I like WQHS channel 61 in its current format. At least it shows relevant programming that viewers watch. Much better than the days when Cleveland/Akron/Canton market had two OTA home shopping channels.

oldcrooner said...

WTOV-DT is now stronger here in Canton since they went to ch 9...improved from 70% to 85% on Panasonic TV meter. According to their newscasts yesterday, they are "working with FCC" to increase power to improve reception in problem areas, so they may raise their power a bit yet.

emery_r said...

oldcrooner, I *hope* such improvements can be expected for most, if not all, stations sometime after the final DTV transition. In southwest Ohio, only one station in Dayton and one in Cincinnati are known to be preparing to move permanent digital antennas into new and better tower positions after June 12. Don't know if those are the only ones whose digital signals can then be expected to improve, but I certainly would love to see more of Dayton's stations do just that!