Friday, June 8, 2018

Bozeman Radio: Reier Stations Couldn't Pay Building Lease

Country KBOZ 99.9 FM and four sister stations owned by Reier Broadcasting Co. went off the air last Friday.

Owner Bill Reier Sr., 78, wouldn't talk with the reporter for the Bozeman Chronicle.  Contacted twice Reier responded he was in the "middle of something and to call back later". However, The Chronicle reports further attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

Ed Donohue, operations manager until last week, said Wednesday that he had worked for Bill Reier on and off for 28 years and had been associated with KBOZ since 1994.

“It’s sad,” Donohue said. “I’m out of a job and so are others. As a broadcaster, it’s sad to see a longtime local owner turn off his stations.”

The Reier stations are KBOZ-FM, N/T KBOZ 1090 AM, Oldies KOBB 93.7 FM, Sports KOBB 1230 AM and Classic Rock KOZB 97.5 FM.

Donohue said attorneys for the owners notified the station in early May that they had 30 days to vacate. There had been an issue with lease payments, he said.

Last Friday (6/1/18), the owners’ attorneys took possession of the building, land and equipment, he said, though Reier Broadcasting retains the FCC radio operating licenses.

Donohue said Reier first put KBOZ on the air on Dec. 16, 1975, and owned it for a long time. The station hired many well-known local on-air personalities, including Dave Visscher and Dean Alexander, “the voice of the Bobcats.” Reier sold the stations, but bought them back in 1994.

Gallatin Country District Court records show that Reier and his broadcasting company have had issues paying bills, including $1,175 in back taxes owed to the state of Montana in April 2018; $11,085 owed to the state in 2016; $4,433 owed to the state for unemployment insurance in 2017; and $70,480 owed to Broadcast Music Inc. of New York in 2014.

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