WEST BEND -
It will cost Magnum Communications Inc. $2.25 million to buy the
four radio stations in West Bend and Racine from Bliss
Communications Inc., radio trade industry media sources
The sale was announced last week without disclosing the sale
RadioInk, a radio management and marketing trade magazine, and
other online radio industry news outlets reported the $2.25
million based on the contract attached to the parties’
application to the Federal Communications Commission. FCC
approval is needed before the sale of Bliss Communications’
Racine Broadcasting Inc. and West Bend Broadcasting Inc.
subsidiaries can be completed. The FCC has up to 120 days to
make a decision.
According to the contract, Magnum must deposit $100,000 in
earnest money and $12,500 in escrow up front. Bliss will
continue to operate the stations until FCC approval is obtained.
That approval should not take long, said Ken Scott, the general
manager for WBKV_AM and WBWI-FM in West Bend. He added, “We
anticipate this should go very smoothly. We don’t see any obstacles in the way of this sale.”
Scott said the sale should be completed
early in fall if not sooner. “That’s not a guarantee.”
West Bend Broadcasting has 16 employees,
both full and part-timers, Scott said. WBKV has a news-talk
format while WBWI offers country music.
While it remains up to Tomah-based
Magnum Communications’ owner, Dave Magnum, to decide, Scott
said he believed the West Bend stations likely will remain
unchanged after the sale.
“The stations are very successful. We’re
making money. I can only assume he’ll keep it as is,” Scott
said. “Dave (Magnum) is a very fine Wisconsin broadcaster.
I’m sure he’ll do a fine job running the stations.”
Last week, Dave Magnum told the Daily
News it was too early to speculate on possible changes at
the stations. “We’re just taking it all in,” he said in a
telephone interview. “We’ve got time before we have to make
any decisions like that.”
Also included in the sale are radio
stations WRJN-AM (news-talk), WEZY-FM (light adult
contemporary) in Racine. Bliss Communications, Janesville,
has owned the West Bend stations since 1970. After the deal,
Bliss Communications will own two radio stations in
Janesville and continue to publish The Janesville Gazette.
Run by the Bliss family for more than
100 years, Bliss Communications owns and operates
newspapers, radio stations and websites in Wisconsin and
The Bliss family makes a point of
finding an established Wisconsin radio broadcasting company
to sell its station to, Scott said.
Station staffs were notified of the
pending sale June 25.
When the sale is completed, Magnum will
operate 16 radio stations, one Class A TV station and two
lowpower TV stations, all in Wisconsin.