Alpha Media will pay $8.1 million for the Free-Lance Star stations in Fredericksburg.
Original Report 1/24: Alpha Media continues its rapid expansion with the acquisition of the former Free-Lance Star group in Fredericksburg, VA.
The sale adds four more stations to Alpha’s holdings: Country 93.3 WFLS Fredericksburg, Classic Rock “96.9 The Rock” WWUZ Bowling Green, Rhythmic CHR “99.3 The Vibe” WVBX Spotsylvania, and News/Talk 1350 WNTX/96.5 W243BS Fredericksburg. Sandton Partners, which purchased the Free-Lance Star newspaper and radio holdings out of bankruptcy was ordered by the FCC late last year to sell either the print or broadcast holdings as the bankruptcy sale ended the station’s grandfathered cross-ownership waiver.
No purchase price has been revealed yet and there will be no LMA prior to closing unlike Alpha’s other recent deals. The Free-Lance Star newspaper states that, Alpha has agreed to keep all current employees of the group and continue to operate from the current studio building on Amelia Street in Fredericksburg.
Alpha Media owns four FMs in the adjacent Richmond market.
Free Lance–Star Publishing LLC announced Friday that it is selling its four radio stations to Alpha Media of Portland, Ore.
Alpha has agreed to purchase WFLS–FM, WNTX–AM, WVBX–FM and WWUZ–FM, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sandton Partners, which purchased The Free Lance–Star in a bankruptcy auction in June, announced late last year that it would sell the Fredericksburg-area stations after being directed by the FCC to divest itself of either the newspaper or its Star Radio Group holdings. “We are proud to have been owners of the Free Lance-Star radio properties,” said Robert Orr, managing director for the company.
“The transaction with Alpha Media gives us great comfort in knowing that the stations will be in very capable hands, and that listeners in the Fredericksburg area will continue to benefit from the excellent entertainment and news programming that they have come to expect from us.” Free Lance–Star and Star Radio Group Chief Executive Officer Gene Carr said Alpha has agreed to keep all employees of the stations, which will continue to operate from the FLS building on Amelia Street. “The staff are an integral part of serving the listeners and advertisers of the Fredericksburg region; I am pleased that the entire staff will be offered employment with Alpha Media,” Carr said.
“We will continue to operate the Star Radio Group until FCC approvals have been finalized and we look forward to seeing the continued growth of these radio stations,” he added. “Alpha Media has an excellent reputation in the industry.”
When completed, the deal will give Alpha a total of 93 radio stations across the country.
“Fredericksburg is a thriving place that continues to grow. It will be a nice addition to our East Coast footprint,” said Alpha Media Chairman Larry Wilson. “I feel privileged to be able to get into that market and work with the great people there.”
In addition to the radio stations; Alpha Media owns the digital media and marketing company Xapsis in Peoria, Ill., and two performance venues, Bing Lounge in Portland, Ore., and Alamo Lounge in San Antonio, Texas.
George Reed of Media Services Group brokered the deal.