Radio-One Sells 98.9 WJKR Columbus To Salem; Flips To Talk

98.9 The Answer Jack JackFM WJKR Columbus Mike Gallagher Michael Medved Dennis Prager Salem Radio-OneUpdate 11/1: WJKR made the flip to Talk at midnight tonight. The station’s lineup features Bill Bennett 6-9am, Mike Gallagher 9am-12pm, Dennis Prager 12-3pm, Michael Medved 3-6pm, Hugh Hewitt 6-9pm, Dennis Miller 9pm-12am, and Lars Larson 12-3am. All but Miller and Larson are syndicated in-house by Salem.

Update 10/28: When Salem takes control of 98.9 WJKR on Thursday, it will flip the station to Conservative Talk as “98.9 The Answer“. The website is currently alternating between the logo seen here and the site that was to be used last year for “FMTalk 102.5” had Salem gained control of WWCD.

Original Report 10/23: Radio-One has agreed to sell Variety Hits “98.9 Jack-FM” WJKR Columbus to Salem Communications for an undisclosed amount.

Salem will begin to operate the station via LMA on November 1 where it will join Christian Talk 880 WRFD in its local portfolio. Salem has been looking for an additional signal in Columbus for quite some time as we chronicled the saga last year as the company attempted to take over 102.5 WWCD. At that time Salem was planning on placing its Conservative Talk lineup on FM in Columbus. We still expect that to be the outcome now although no announcement has been made yet.

Following the sale, Radio-One will retain ownership of Urban AC “Magic 106.3” WXMG and Urban “Power 107.5” WCKX in the Columbus market.

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  1. MattParker says

    The brand name “The Answer” sounds like they might take the station in the direction of Christian Talk – still conservative but emphasizing social conservatism – with Salem hosts like Janet Mefferd and Steve Deace who blend politics and religion. That doesn’t exclude Salem’s conservative political talk hosts from the line-up.

    1. Lance Venta says

      “The Answer” is Salem’s new brand for their Conservative Talk stations already in use at 970 WNYM New York, 870 KIEV Los Angeles, and 590 KTIE San Bernardino. Expectation is they will gradually expand it to many of their Talkers.

      1. MattParker says

        I under estimated the extent of wing-nut arrogance. First they brand stations to claim a monopoly on patriotism. Now they claim a monopoly on answers. It is essential to restore the fairness doctrine.

        1. Lance Venta says

          It’s just branding. No political statements to be garnered from it.

  2. MattParker says

    Sorry, I can’t agree. Worlds like “intelligent,” “best,” or “hot” are branding.
    But words like “patriot,” “liberty,” “freedom,” “defender,” “truth” and “the answer” go way beyond branding. In this context, they are offensive. For a station to say “just branding” is as big a lie as saying airing right-wing talk “is just about money.”

    1. Lance Venta says

      Is it any different from a CHR that brands itself as “All The Hits” but may not play a song or two currently charting?

      I’m more offended by Talk stations that brand themselves as News stations such as the new “K-News” in Reno.

      1. MattParker says

        That news thing pits my peaches, too. I worked for a station that called itself “all news” although more than half the schedule was talk shows. Some people seem to think talking about news is the same as reporting news – even when you talk about news from one narrow ideological position.

        What bothers me about the various flag-waving, tea party brandings for right-wing talk is the implication that “we’re right; they’re wrong” – “we’re loyal Americans; they’re not,” “we represent truth, justice and the American way; they’re communists.” It’s warmed over McCarthyism, not garden-variety hype.

        My favorite hype is all the variations on “heard it here first.” Of course, if you listen to this station you heard it here – even if a station you don’t listen to had it on the air first. Not that this matters to regular people out in the real world but newsies get off on being a few seconds ahead.

  3. Kevin says

    I’m struck by some people only have name calling instead of logical thought.

  4. Laurence Glavin says

    Salem’s stable of right-wing talk show hosts have garnered miserable ratings just about everywhere they’ve been broadcast. Salem eventually cancelled these shows in Boston, but has kept them on elsewhere without regard to ratings or revenue, even though it’s a publicly-traded Company. Bennett, Gallagher, Praeger, Medved and Hewitt are almost certainly opposed to tenure for public-school teachers, and possibly even college professors, but they themselves have virtual tenure because Salem just won’t replace them

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