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Immaculate Heart Radio Acquires KHJ

La Ranchera 930 KHJ Los Angeles Immaculate Heart Radio CatholicLiberman Broadcasting has filed to sell Regional Mexican “La Ranchera 930” KHJ Los Angeles to Immaculate Heart Radio.

The $9,250,000 purchase will give IHR its second pending acquisition in Los Angeles following the April deal to acquire 1460 KTYM Inglewood. Like all of its stations, Immaculate Heart Radio intends to convert KHJ to non-commercial status airing its Catholic programming.

Liberman has owned the former Los Angeles Top 40 powerhouse since 1989. Following the sale it will continue to own 1 AM, 5 FMs, and a TV station in the market.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

18 Comments

  1. Profile photo of K.M. Richards


    Boy, are they overpaying for that signal.

    But then, they’re paying more than KTYM is worth, too.

  2. Profile photo of Scott Fybush


    At least they’ll keep the calls. IHR is pretty good about maintaining heritage calls when it buys stations, as witness KWG in Stockton.

    • Profile photo of Michael Hagerty


      Scott: Maybe. They didn’t keep KYA in San Francisco , KQLO in Reno or KNUU in Las Vegas. They’re actually inconsistent when it comes to keeping calls.

  3. Profile photo of Dr. Akbar


    Guess when the Boss Line rings, you’d darn well better take it! IHR also owns the former Boss of the Bay (KYA…now KSFB) in SF.

    • Profile photo of charles57


      That was then — this is now.

      Apparently, IHR has decided to not purchase KTYM. The network’s website has a Los Angeles page that says IHR will be heard on KHJ beginning in October.

      • Profile photo of johndavis


        Not necessarily. A notice of non-consummation has not been filed for KTYM and the application for KHJ states:

        “MULTIPLE OWNERSHIP RULE COMPLIANCE

        LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA IS THE PRINCIPAL CITY OF THE NIELSEN/ ARBITRON-DEFINED LOS ANGELES RADIO METRO MARKET.

        IHR EDUCATIONAL BROADCASTING DOES NOT OWN ANY BROADCAST STATIONS IN ANY SERVICE IN THE LOS ANGELES RADIO METRO MARKET AS OF THE DATE HEREOF. IT IS A PARTY TO A PENDING FORM 315 APPLICATION FOR FCC CONSENT TO ACQUIRE TRANS AMERICA BROADCASTING CORP., LICENSEE OF AM BROADCAST STATION KTYM, INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA, FIN 67519, FILE NO. BTC-20140403ABP.

        INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA IS CONTIGUOUS TO THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA AND IS A PART OF THE NIELSEN/ARBITRON- DEFINED LOS ANGELES RADIO METRO MARKET.

        IN ADDITION TO KHJ, THERE ARE ELEVEN AM STATIONS LICENSED TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (SEE ATTACHED).

        THEREFORE, AS IHR WOULD OWN NO MORE THAN TWO AM STATIONS IN THE RELEVANT MARKET, IHR WOULD BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE FCC’S MULTIPLE OWNERSHIP RULE, 47 CFR SEC. 73.3555.”

        While there still is time for the KTYM deal to be scrapped, it’s not officially dead yet.

        • Profile photo of Dr. Akbar


          That deal looks like chopped liver right now… not too appealing compared to Ninety Three Kay H Jay. Full court press by IHR to acquire the former Boss Radio: http://ihradio.com/losangeles/ Not sure why they need another El Lay AM signal, but there are certainly plenty of Southland sinners to go around! btw – great price for KHJ compared to what IHR paid for the Boss of the Bay, KYA 12~Sixty, a few years back.

          • Profile photo of johndavis


            The way I see it, this could head down two different roads: one where they back out of buying KTYM and one where they use KTYM to crank out the Mass en Espanol. Either option makes sense. It all depends upon how much money is in their pockets.

  4. Profile photo of Dr. Akbar


    How many Masses en Espanol do they need? Unless the price for KTYM is renegotiated, why would IHR wanna pay that kind of dinero for a station that doesn’t reach as much of Boss Angeles as 93/KHJ?

    • Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


      It probably wouldn’t be easy to program a full Spanish-language Catholic format, either. In addition to Radio Maria (which is part of a global organization), it looks like Guadalupe/La Promesa has the format in some markets. However, I’m not sure whether that format is based on EWTN-produced content; even though EWTN does have Spanish-language programs, they may not be on terrestrial radio. (Both IHR and Guadalupe/La Promesa are English-language EWTN affiliates.) Also, while I personally can’t confirm it, the Guadalupe/La Promesa site says that it’s “the only Catholic radio organization establishing Catholic radio stations in both English and Spanish in the same markets.”

      • Profile photo of davideduardo


        It’s very easy to do Spanish language Catholic programming. I’ve done it twice, once at WEUC in Puerto Rico and then again at Radio Omega in Lima, Perú.

        And the ICR folks could probably get some of the fairly good programming being done in Mexico at Catholic stations.

        • Profile photo of Michael Hagerty


          The Diocese of Sacramento is running Catholic en Espanol on the former KROY(another former Top 40 giant). Can’t be that hard or that expensive.

  5. Profile photo of StogieGuy


    In a perfect world, I’d love to see KHJ purchased by someone who would program a ‘true oldies’ format on that signal. That would be pretty awesome.

    As it stands now, we’re looking at another throw-away format that nobody will actually listen to. Yes, I understand the realities of the radio business in 2014 – and it’s unfortunate.

    • Profile photo of Michael Hagerty


      That’s essentially what KHJ did from 1986-1989 as “Smokin’ Oldies” KRTH-AM. It didn’t do all that well. Nor did running “True Oldies” on WLS-AM in Chicago more recently…or on KFRC-AM (1550…the old KOBY, a Top 40 factor back in the late 50s).

      And I’m not sure that religion is a “throw-away format”. Certainly not for the faithful. IHR has expanded at a rate the past 15 years that suggests someone’s listening. And given that most religious programming is of the fundamentalist Christian variety, it can even be argued that IHR brings some diversity to that genre.

      • Profile photo of StogieGuy


        True oldies was never run on WLS-AM, though WLS-FM ran the service until going local 4 or so years ago. They actually did quite well with it, attaining the 94.7 frequency’s best ratings in decades.

        Not familiar with 930’s “oldies” days in the 80’s, though it wouldn’t seem that KRTH-AM calls played to the Boss Radio/KHJ heritage. I do recall that KRLA did okay with oldies for a time during the 90s. Again, I said ‘in a perfect world’ this is what I’d love to see – and given the dearth of actual 60s oldies on the radio, there might be a niche for it.

        Yes, religious formats such as IHR are indeed niche/throw-away. Especially when you consider that EMF has already taken the oxygen out of the room with Salem using the rest. And hearing the rosary with 100 Hail Mary’s in a row (in English or Spanish) doesn’t make for good or popular radio. No insult intended, it’s just true.

  6. Profile photo of Michael Hagerty


    The references to Mass, the Rosary and 100 Hail Marys suggest that not many people in the thread have actually listened to IHR. I’m not Catholic, but I gave it a listen and, for the most part, it’s talk radio dealing with contemporary life issues for adults and how to deal with them morally, scripturally and doctrinally (in that order). What I’ve heard is well-produced and professional.

    • Profile photo of johndavis


      IHR leans heavily on EWTN Radio for its content, and yes, there is a daily Mass and rosary from EWTN in the lineup.

      And yes, EWTN has a Spanish radio network already up on the bird.

      There are 4 Catholic radio groups in the country: IHR, EWTN (Mother Angelica), Ave Maria (financed by the founder of Domino’s Pizza), and Relevant Radio (Starboard Media Foundation). IHR and Ave Maria borrow a lot from EWTN (and EWTN takes 2 shows from Ave Maria). Relevant Radio creates its own content.

      • Profile photo of Michael Hagerty


        But John, let’s keep it in perspective…there’s a half-hour Rosary at 2:30 a.m, 6:30 a.m.. and 8:30 p.m. (basing this on the Sacramento schedule)…and a one-hour mass at 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. That’s not anywhere near the bulk of the programming.

        Again, most of their broadcast day is generally well-produced talk programming with a moral/scriptural/doctrinal point of view. I have a hard time saying that’s a bad thing. And again, I’m not Catholic.

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