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May 16 2007

WWVA, other CC stations sold

(A quick aside for editorial commentary: Pat’s column, not online, says the deal was “quashed by an FCC condition that Cornerstone limit religious programs” as a condition of running a non-commercial station, but that’s not exactly how we remember it. We recall the FCC didn’t have a problem with religious programming per se, but it wanted WPCB to limit its interminable telethons and to justify its religious programming on educational or cultural grounds, which meant a limit to outright proselytizing and attempts to convert people to Christianity. The joke was on us, however, since WQED got permission to convert 16’s license to a commercial one and now leases it out for home shopping. And that really serves the public interest, right? We digress.)


OK, so we missed this one when it happened last week. Well, we’re better late than … ahem … anyway, Pat Cloonan of the McKeesport Daily News points out the recent sale of WWVA (1170) Wheeling and 186 other Clear Channel stations (mostly in smaller markets) to GoodRadio.TV of West Palm Beach, Fla., which is owned by Dean Goodman. Five other CC stations in the Wheeling area are part of the deal, including WBBD, WEGW-FM, WKWK-FM, WOVK-FM and WVKF-FM.

The Mighty Blog of Fun ™ known as Ohio Media Watch reported last week that Clear Channel stations in Lima, Findlay, Tiffin, Sandusky, Chillicothe and Marion, Ohio, are also going to GoodRadio. Cloonan notes Goodman had been CEO of Paxson Communications Corp. during the ill-fated attempt to swap WQEX-TV (16) for WPCB-TV (40).

There’s more in the Wheeling News-Register/Intelligencer and Radio and Records.

In a related story, the Capitol Music Hall, once home to the WWVA Jamboree and previously owned by Clear Channel, is closing because of fire code violations (the radio stations, which are based in the music hall, are not affected). The Post-Gazette and the News-Register/Intelligencer report that city leaders and community groups are trying to purchase and reopen the hall.