Family Radio Acquires 950 WPEN Philadelphia

950 ESPN WPEN Philadelphia WKDN Family Radio 106.9 Harold Camping 97.5 The Fanatic WPEN-FMUpdate 12/19: Conspicuously timed to take place on the day that another group predicts the world will end, Family Radio will return to Philadelphia on Friday, December 21 at 6:00pm when 950 WPEN drops its simulcast of Sports “97.5 The Fanatic” WPEN-FM and brings the WKDN calls back to the market.

Original Report 9/21: Harold Camping’s Family Radio will return to Philadelphia as the group has acquired 950 WPEN Philadelphia from Greater Media for $8.5 Million.

Family Radio has been heard on 106.9 WKDN until that station was sold to Merlin Media late last year and has since become Conservative Talk “IQ 106.9” WWIQ. 950 WPEN will continue to simulcast Sports “97.5 The Fanatic” WPEN-FM until the sale is complete. Greater Media will retain the WPEN call letters for 97.5.

The Press Release follows:
Family Stations, Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase Greater Media Philadelphia’s station WPEN-AM, licensed to Philadelphia, PA. WPEN-AM is a Class B station that transmits on 950 kHz with daytime power of 43,000 watts and nighttime power of 21,000 watts. Greater Media will retain the WPEN call letters for its FM Sports station, 97.5 The Fanatic. The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory and other approvals, and WPEN-AM will continue to air its current line-up of sports programming while the closing is pending.

Media Venture Partners, LLC represented Family Stations in the transaction.

Tom Evans, Vice President of Family Stations commented, “We at Family Radio are grateful to again have the opportunity to provide God’s Word to our long-time listeners in the greater Philadelphia area. We thank Greater Media for their cooperation and professionalism.”

“Family Stations has been a pleasure to work with,” said Greater Media Philadelphia Vice President and Market Manager John Fullam. “Greater Media looks forward to focusing on the growth of 97.5 The Fanatic, the best sports talk station serving the market and the new home to Sixers and Flyers play by play.”

About Family Stations, Inc.
Family Stations, Inc., operating as Family Radio, is a nondenominational, noncommercial, nonprofit, listener-supported, 24-hour, Christian ministry based in Oakland, CA.

About Media Venture Partners, LLC
Media Venture Partners (MVP) Provides strategic counsel and financial services, mergers/acquisitions, private equity/debt raises, financial, valuations and appraisals, Media Venture Partners has completed over $15 billion in transactions and focuses on clients in the media, telecom, renewables, technology and datacenter industries. Founded in 1987, MVP has offices in San Francisco, Boston, Boulder and Kansas City.

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  1. MattParker says

    I guess they’ve decided the world isn’t ending any time soon, after all.
    Here again, multi-station owners are dumping AM stations and preachers are gobbling them up. This is just another nail in AM radio’s coffin.

  2. homerjay says

    That will make things interesting on nights when, at some far distant point, the Sixers and Flyers conflict. Who gets saddled with the overflow?

    1. Charles Everett says

      Right now the Flyers are benched by the NHL lockout.

      Philadelphia sports isn’t just pro teams — WPEN has Villanova football and men’s basketball. Greater Media would use WMMR and/or WMGK for any “spillover” situations.

      1. Homer Jay says

        Regarding the Flyers, that was the “distant” qualifier. Somehow using WMMR or WMGK, or even Ben, for, let’s say, a college basketball game seems utterly absurd. A pro game…eh, maybe. But college, not so much.

  3. Joseph says

    I am shocked!

    I thought Family Radio was on it’s way out and would exit the radio station business entirely.

    Maybe the next deal will be CBS and Family making a swap for 1010 and 94.7 in New York!

    1. Lance Venta says

      In EVERY market Family has sold a commercial FM they have acquired or retained an AM serving the market.

      In the early 90’s they sold off 93.3 San Diego & 100.5 Sacramento a few years after acquiring 910 and 1210 respectively. They traded 106.9 San Francisco for 610 in 2005 and had acquired 750 and 860 in Baltimore years before selling 107.9 Annapolis. The only thing different with this one is that it happened after they already had left the market.

      While we don’t know the amount Family paid for 950 yet, I can assure you it was far less than the $22.5 Million Merlin paid for 106.9. And yes, when they do sell 94.7 in New York they will want an AM to replace it and conveniently if CBS wants 94.7 they do need to sell an AM to make it happen.

      1. MattParker says

        Makes sense. Although “94-7 WINS” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
        IMHO: CBS, GM et al, might see overflow sports as an opportunity to build the market for HD Radio. Put the “overflow” games on sub-channels – even those non-market post season games Julius likes so much. This might give a lot of sports fans the push they need to buy HD receivers – just as sports gave them they incentive to get cable or satellite TV a generation ago.

  4. Alan Stone says

    My September 2004 Prediction about 950 AM in Phladelphia has come true. I told them that day in time religious programming would be on the Frequency. They never should have dropped the adult standards format. I feel that I could have continued with moderate success.

    1. MattParker says

      In the words of former channel 10 weather broadcaster Ed McMahon, “You are correct, sir!” They would have even done OK with the real oldies format that followed it. At one time, sports talk was the only format the last successful format on AM and now it’s deserting the ship for FM. Managements claim they can’t sell standards but PEN jocks went to weaker stations and sold time themselves on brokered shows.

  5. Tom Moran says

    May I apply to be Pastor Tom,,,and make millions????????????? P.S. I have experience talking and music and BSing

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