West Bend radio stations sold

Daily News Staff

June 27, 2014

WEST BEND - Both radio stations in West Bend are being sold to a communication company in Tomah.

Bliss Communications Inc., Janesville, announced Wednesday that WBKV-AM and WVWI-FM were part of a four-station agreement to sell to Magnum Communications Inc., Tomah. The other two stations involved are WRJN-AM and WEZYFM in Racine.

Station staffs were notified of the sale Wednesday, a WBKV spokesperson said. General Manager Ken Scott was not available for comment Thursday.

Bliss has owned the West Bend stations since 1970.

"With this acquisition, my co-workers and I will program radio signals connecting from Milwaukee to La Crosse," Magnum President Dave Magnum said in a written statement.

The Federal Communications Commission must approve the transfer of the radio stations before the sale can be completed. This can take up to three months.

Bliss Communications will continue to operate the four radio stations until FCC approval is obtained. After the deal, Bliss Communications will own two radio stations in Janesville.

"(Wednesday) was actually the first day I was ever in the building," Dave Magnum said of his visit to the West Bend stations.

Asked if there were any changes planned for formats or staff, Magnum said, "We’re just taking it all in. We’re got time before we have to make any decisions like that."

When the sale is completed, Magnum will operate 16 radio stations, one Class A TV station and two LPTV stations, all in Wisconsin.

"This sale represented an opportunity for me to pass the ownership of these great radio stations on to another Wisconsin broadcasting family, Bliss President Sidney H. "Skip" Bliss said in the announcement.

The price of the sale was not disclosed.

"When my late wife, Lyn, and I started from scratch 23 years ago, we wanted to grow across Wisconsin," Dave Magnum said. "I’m blessed to work with so many talented and loyal individuals, many of whom have been on board since the early ’90s."

Bliss Communications publishes The Janesville Gazette and is the parent company of Racine Broadcasting LLC and West Bend Broadcasting Inc. Owned by the Bliss family for more than 100 years, Bliss Communications owns and operates newspapers, radio stations and websites in Wisconsin and Illinois.

"These stations have been an important part of Bliss Communication for 17 years in Racine and 43 years in West Bend," Skip Bliss said. "We have enjoyed our relationship with the communities and all of our terrific employees."

WRJN-AM 1400, Racine, signed on in 1926, WBKVAM 1470, West Bend, signed on in 1950. The FM stations, WBWI 92.5 in West Bend and WEZY 92.1 in Racine, are two of Wisconsin’s heritage FM signals, according to Bliss.

"The staffs of the Racine and West Bend stations have served a large number of listeners and advertisers for many years. We sincerely appreciate the dedication and commitment of this outstanding group of associates," Skip Bliss said.

Bob Heymannn, director of the Chicago office of Media Services Group, Inc. is the broker for the transaction.