When the news was, for lack of a better term, LEAKED on Thursday that WJAS had been sold, I couldn’t get around why it was the only station of the two remaining Renda properties (WSHH 99.7 being the other) being sold. After all, the move leaves Renda with a stand alone FM in a major market and Iorio with a stand alone AM in a major market. That’s not something you see much of nowadays. But as we’ve learned more information – such as the WJAS staff not learning of the sale until Friday – the move makes sense.
When Renda Broadcasting donated WMNY (1360 McKeesport) to Pentecostal Temple last year, Renda retained ownership of the station’s daytime tower site. Renda’s real estate subsidiary is known as The Springhill Group. Pentecostal Temple pays a monthly rent to The Springhill Group for use of the tower site for 1360. Reading Pat Cloonan’s column from Saturday shows that a similar thing will happen once Iorio takes over operation of WJAS. The tower site in Highland Park will be rented for $4500.00 per month with a 3% increase happening every 30 months.
What makes me wonder if this has been in the works for some time is that Iorio sold his Beaver County properties in December. Although that came with a no-compete within 25 miles clause, the clause apparently did not include Pittsburgh licensed stations. Could the sale of WBVP and WMBA been the first step to purchase WJAS? Things to ponder although we may never see an answer.
Still no official word on whether the format or the staff will change, although I would expect there to be some difference in the overall operation of the station. No studio location has been announced either. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, speaking of official words…
All radio and television companies show know by now that just about anything can be found on the Internet – including their filings with the FCC. PBRTV picked up the news of the sale through Lance Venta’s RadioInsight and AllAccess.com late Thursday morning. We’ve long maintained that we only publish facts (with a hint of confirmed and reaffirmed rumor sprinkled in) here at PBRTV, but this time it seemed we knew more than the ‘JAS staffers. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to report. Or maybe owners should alert their staffs a little faster.