Blind Advocacy Group Acquires 92.3 KFTI Wichita
Update 10/16: The FCC filing indicates Envision Broadcast Network will pay Journal $1.55 million for 92.3 KFTI.
Excluded from the sale are the KFTI call letters and the current intellectual property of the station.
Original Report 10/10: Journal Broadcast Group has found a buyer for its necessitated divestiture of Classic Country 92.3 KFTI Newton/Wichita, KS.
Envision Broadcast Network, LLC will acquire KFTI for an undisclosed amount. Envision describes itself as “a not-for-profit organization that promotes nationwide advocacy and independence for those who are blind or visually impaired”. Journal was required to divest one Wichita station as part of its pending merger with Scripps.
Journal Broadcast Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Journal Communications, Inc. JRN, has announced an agreement to sell radio station KFTI-FM (92.3) in Wichita to Envision Broadcast Network, LLC, which is affiliated with Envision, Inc.
Envision (www.envisionus.com) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes nationwide advocacy and independence for those who are blind or visually impaired. Envision plans to use the station to broadcast blind and visually impaired (BVI) messaging while sharing its initiatives in a traditional radio station format including a morning show and other mainstream segments. In addition, Envision plans to provide support to other not-for-profit organizations in the region by sharing their messages with the community.
“We’re pleased to have found such a quality buyer in Envision, and commend their efforts to use the station to improve lives in their community,” said Andre Fernandez, President & COO of Journal Communications.
“I am so impressed with the work Envision does in the Wichita community, and am gratified that this station will enable them to further their important mission,” agreed Steve Wexler, EVP/Radio for Journal Broadcast Group.
“We are very excited to be adding a new dimension to our organization as we enter the world of broadcast communications,” said Michael Monteferrante, CEO/President of Envision. “KFTI represents our latest success in diversifying our operations and strengthening our resources. We’re gaining a new revenue stream for funding our programs, new job opportunities for those we serve and a valuable communications vehicle through which we and other organizations can reach audiences. We look forward to making this new venture a key asset to Envision’s community and the Wichita community at large.”
Journal Broadcast Group is required to divest one FM station in its Wichita cluster as a result of the announced transaction between Journal Communications and The E.W. Scripps Company, in order to comply with the FCC’s ownership limits. As part of that transaction, Journal Broadcast Group’s TV and radio stations will become part of Scripps, and both companies’ newspaper operations will be spun off and then merge to form a new public company called Journal Media Group. The transaction is expected to close in 2015.
The sale of KFTI is contingent on FCC approval.