Thursday, May 9, 2013

Indiana Radio: WoofBoom Radio Buys 6 Stations

J Chapman
Jerry J Chapman is headed back into the Indiana radio business with a deal to buy six radio stations in Muncie and three nearby cities.

According to, Chapman and three partners have agreed to buy the six stations from Barry Drake's Backyard Broadcasting of Jacksonville, Fla.

The stations include WLBC in Muncie, which broadcasts Ball State University basketball and football games.

Other stations are WERK and WXFN, also in Muncie; WHBU in Anderson; WMXQ in Hartford City; and WMQX in Alexandria. Four are FM stations and two are on the AM dial.

The stations employ about 31 people, said Chapman, 51, a former radio executive with Indianapolis-based media company Emmis Communications Corp. who now works at Maverick Media of Rockford, Ill.

Chapman said he will leave his job with Maverick to become the operating partner for the newly formed Woof Boom Radio. The new company will operate the six stations starting June 1 and establish its offices in Muncie, Chapman said.

“There are no designs on changing anything. Our biggest mission is making sure we are doing great local broadcasting,” he said. “Over time we will be looking at a lot of things.”

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Meanwhile in Elmira, NY, Backyard Broadcasting has agreed to sell its cluster of stations to Bruce Mittman’s Community Broadcasters LLC, backed by Northwood Ventures LLC.

The selling price is reported to be $3.6M and is subject to FCC approval. The stations involved are WNKI, WNGZ, WPGI, WRCE and WWLZ in Elmira/Corning, NY and WHDL and WPIG in Olean, NY.

Mittman and his partners are also considering making a big for The Boston Globe which the NYTimes Co. is trying to sell.

The Globe and its sister paper in Worcester, the Telegram & Gazette, could fetch as much as $100 million or more.

Commenting on the Elmira buys, Mittman says “What we like about the upstate (New York) is that these are self-contained markets,” Mittman says. “They don’t have nearly as many media options so radio becomes an even more important player in those communities.”

When the deals close Backyard will be left with six stations in Williamsport, PA.  So one must wonder, if they too are on-the-block.

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