Are CD101 Columbus’ Days Numbered?
Update 11/17: The Other Paper reports that the ownership structure of CD101 has been changed in order to preserve the station. Randy Malloy, the GM of the station, has formed a new company WWCD Ltd. to purchase the intellectual property of CD101 from Roger Vaughn’s Fun With Radio. Vaughn will retain a minority share of the new company. The group is finalizing an new lease agreement with Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting.
The final line sums up everything that has happened over the past month. The old ownership structure clearly did something that caused the owners of 102.5 to seek out alternative sources of programming and got close enough for FMTalk1025.com to go live. We’re happy to see that Malloy was able to put something together to save the unique CD101 format and programming.
Update 11/8: CD101 GM Randy Malloy issues a statement to the station’s Facebook page regarding the status of the station. While he states that they are “committed to continuing all these things at our home of 102.5 FM. We have a good working relationship with Southeastern Ohio Broadcast Systems and will continue to be for many years to come. We are not going anywhere”, the fact of the matter is that Salem was sure enough that they would be programming 102.5 to have a website built and ready to go live. How did it get to this point? Something had to happen to cause the owners of 102.5 to look for an alternate programming source. The Facebook message to me read like something to calm listeners and advertisers down in the short term, while whatever issue there may be is resolved.
Update 11/7: Is the next shoe in this strange saga about to drop? The website for FMTalk1025.com is currently active and appears to be 80 to 90 percent complete.
The site using Salem’s current News/Talk template, features the local Columbus headlines and in its current form the live streaming links include WWCD in the URL although the stream redirects to Salem’s 560 WIND Chicago. Should the site be taken down, which we fully expect to happen we have attached a screenshot below.
While CD101 told The Other Paper that this is merely a contract dispute between the programmers and the owners of the frequency, it looks more and more as though the end result will be Salem taking over the operations of 102.5 with its Conservative Talk lineup.
Update 11/3: A local Columbus newspaper, The Other Paper has investigated our report with further details.
We have an LMA in place with Southeast Ohio Broadcasting, which we have been operating under since WWCD started broadcasting from 102.5. A sale of the station would not affect the LMA, and WWCD looks forward to continuing to provide independent radio to central Ohio listeners for years to come.
Instant Insight: What is telling about the statement is that CD101 acknowledges a sale of the station could be taking place. I hope for their sake there is no way for Salem or any other future owner to break the lease, as these domain registrations make it clear someone in Salem’s management structure is already making future plans for the station.
Based on a pair of domain registrations it appears the station may soon come under the control of Salem Media.
Ryan Moran, Operations Manager of Salem’s Christian Talk 880 WRFD registered 1025TheFish.com and FMTalk1025.com on behalf of Salem Media of Ohio, the licensee of WRFD. The former would seem to indicate Salem’s Christian AC brand, the latter a Conservative Talk mix using the usual array of Salem’s in-house syndication and other syndicated hosts not currently cleared in the market.
The question now becomes will Salem be purchasing 102.5 outright or replacing CD101 as leased operator of the station. Will CD101 move to another frequency in the market, or is it at the end of its journey?