Northern Broadcast Inc. is selling its six stations and two translators in Northern Michigan to Sheryl and Jerry Coyne’s Blarney Stone Broadcasting.
Blarney Stone will add Rock “KLT” 97.5 WKLT Kalkaska/98.9 WKLZ-FM Petoskey, Classic Hits “Fox” 94.3 WFCX Leland/92.5 WFDX Atlanta/100.5 W263CD Boyne City, Sports “ESPN Up North” 105.5 WSRJ Honor/106.7 WSRT Gaylord and the Construction Permit for 98.3 W252DA Petoskey for an undisclosed price. The Coyne’s currently own Rock “Q100.3” WQON Grayling, Sports “Y101.1” WGRY Roscommon, and Catholic 1230 WMQU Grayling. 106.7 WSRT will be spun-off to Catholic operator Baraga Radio. Baraga currently brokers 1230 WMQU from Blarney Stone. Neither deal has yet been filed with the FCC.
Blarney Stone will make some format changes when it closes on the purchase. WQON will begin to simulcast with WKLT/WKLZ-FM with what the owners describe will be a “larger music library focused on listener requests”. Interlochen Public Radio also reports that WFCX/WFDX will be relaunched as “The Trail” with a mix of pop, classic rock and country music.
Blarney Stone Broadcasting, Inc. and Northern Broadcast, Inc. have entered into a purchase agreement that will enable Blarney Stone to significantly increase reach and coverage throughout Northern Michigan.
Founded in 2012 by Jerry and Sheryl Coyne, residents of Gaylord, Blarney Stone Broadcasting owns and operates WQON (FM), licensed to Grayling; WGRY (FM), licensed to Roscommon; WMQU (AM), licensed to Grayling.
Northern Broadcast has agreed to sell assets including WKLT (FM), licensed to Kalkaska; WKLZ (FM), licensed to Petoskey; WFCX (FM), licensed to Leland; WFDX (FM), licensed to Atlanta; WSRT (FM), licensed to Gaylord; WSRJ (FM), licensed to Honor, Michigan. The agreement also includes FM translator station W263CD, licensed to Boyne City; FM translator station W252DA, licensed to Petoskey, and all broadcast assets of Northern Broadcast, including its six dominant transmitting towers.
“We are thrilled beyond words for the opportunity to expand our coverage throughout Northern Michigan with the acquisition of these heritage properties,” said Sheryl Coyne, President and Co-Owner of Blarney Stone Broadcasting. “It has always been our commitment and privilege to improve the lives of our listeners and the communities we serve by offering engaging musical, sports and entertainment content with an emphasis on support for the local communities. We now look forward to expanding that commitment to all of Northern Michigan from Traverse City to Alpena and Saint Ignace to Clare.”
“We are proud of our contribution to economic growth in the region including the creation of jobs by adding 12 full time and 16 part time employees since opening our doors in October 2012. We are committed to hiring home-grown talent with a focus on local programming.” said Coyne. “Through the support of our incredible sponsors, we’ve been able to spend our dollars locally and provide a platform and voice for local issues. We look forward to expanding our contribution to the social, economic, and educational development of all the communities in Northern Michigan.”
Traverse City-Petoskey-Cadillac is the 160th largest radio market in the country with a Metro 12+ Population of 297,300 according to Nielsen Media Research. The region is a destination to more than one million visitors each year.
In a separate move, Baraga Broadcasting will purchase WSRT (FM), licensed to Gaylord, from Blarney Stone Broadcasting. This deal is scheduled to close pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.