Saturday, March 14, 2009

WWHK-FM sold to conservative columnist?

Updated: Radio & Records is reporting this week that WWHK 102.3 FM - the old WKXL-FM - has been sold to Andrew Sumereau.
According to R&R, Birch Broadcasting, Sumereau's new company, bought the station for "$950,000, stock sale for cash," from Vox Media Corp., which owns stations throughout the Northeast. R&R reports:
"Birch Broadcasting is buying the stock of Capitol Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of WWHK-FM/Concord, N.H., from Vox Media Corp. for $950,000, payable in cash at closing. $100,000 deposit. Birch Broadcasting is assuming Nassau Broadcasting's rights to purchase the company's stock."
The station was being run by Nassau Broadcasting Group via a LMA, or local market agreement, which allows one station owner to run a station until the buyer gets approval. However, the FCC determined last year that Nassau owned too many FM stations in the market and forced the company to release WWHK back to Vox in August 2008. We reported about that here: ["WKXL reportedly buying religious FM translator"].
For a couple of weeks, Vox was playing rock music on a loop but then let the station go dark.
A Google of "Andrew Sumereau" reveals a plethora of online columns with a conservative bent. Readers can sample them here, at ["Andrew Sumereau"]. I'm not sure if this is the guy or not but it is a pretty safe bet.
No word yet on what Sumereau plans on doing with the station but one can wonder. Is he going to put conservative satellite talk on the air? Will that sell in more-liberal-than-conservative Concord? Will he try and fill a niche, offering business talk or the new radio talk fad, female oriented conversation?
If he does put talk on the air, the city would then have access to five talk stations in some way, shape, or form: All right-wing talk and Manch/state news on WGIR-AM 610; News, information, with slight libertarian-bent talk and lots of sports on WTPL-FM 107.7 [which also broadcasts on 107.1]; hyper-local news and "community conversation" on WKXL-AM 1450; and NPR/NHPR on WEVO-FM.
The WWHK tower is located at the top of Rattlesnake Hill near Walker State Forest and covers metropolitan Concord. Wikipedia has a bit of history about the station here: ["WWHK"].
Back in the early 1990s, the station offered what would now be considered light alternative - Aztec Camera, INXS, that kinda thing - but advertisers weren't keen on the format and the station started simulcasting the AM signal.

Just for fun, I'm offering an online poll to readers to see what they would be interested in hearing at the new 102.3 FM. It's multiple choice, meaning you can pick more than one. As well, there is an Other category, so you can offer your own suggestion. Happy voting!

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