WCHL Sold In Bankruptcy Auction

1360 97.9 WCHL Chapel Hill Chapelboro Vilcom Leslie RuddVilcom Interactive Media News/Talk 1360 WCHL/97.9 W250BP Chapel Hill, NC was sold today in a bankruptcy auction to the Leslie Rudd Investment Company.

Rudd does not have any other broadcast properties as his portfolio includes real estate, publishing, wineries, and restaurants. He is described as a former Chapel Hill resident and property owner. Previous owner Jim Heavner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year in order to restructure and stave off a hostile takeover of his University Directories holdings. The sale requires approval by the bankruptcy court next Tuesday before being filed with the FCC.

Heavner released the following statement regarding the sale:

My goal has been to sell the station to someone who will carry on WCHL’s community service and local programming. I believe Leslie Rudd will do that. There have been many who wanted to buy WCHL, but not many who we felt met the qualifications of a next owner. We were not successful in finding a Chapel Hill owner with the credentials to carry it on. The final bid went to a prospective owner who doesn’t live here but has close Chapel Hill ties.

Acting GM Jan Bolick wrote:

Leslie Rudd has lived in Chapel Hill, owned property here, and is still a frequent visitor. He loves this community and has many friends here; he also loves this radio station and wants to see it survive and flourish. His intention is to build the best local co-ownership and operations team to ensure the legacy of Jim Heavner and Sandy McClamroch, and move into the future with the most unique community radio station in this country.

Leslie’s plan is to continue with the outstanding community programming, news and sports that WCHL offers and the local coverage Chapelboro.com provides, plus maintain the advertising opportunities for businesses that can reach more people more frequently than any other local medium, building on all of this with innovative technology and new ideas that he hopes will be generated in part by the community itself.

I am happy to share this news with our thousands of listeners and readers and assure them they will still be able to wake up with Ron Stutts and be with Aaron in the afternoon, and read and hear all their other favorites including Carolina sports. We look forward to everyone getting the chance to meet and know Leslie Rudd when he visits Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

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