Thursday, June 13, 2019

Reading PA Radio: WEEU Status Remains Uncertain

The fate of WEEU 830 AM in Reading, PA is no less foggy after a deadline passed Monday to submit bids to buy the station's license.

According to The Reading Eagle, the firm that is assisting in the sale of the license, declined to comment when asked about the bids after the deadline. Reading Eagle Company President and CEO Peter D. Barbey was not available for comment. Dave Kline, WEEU president and general manager, said he had not received any information about potential bids.

Wyomissing businessman Hamid Chaudhry posted on Facebook on Monday, “Please wish us luck as I have made an official offer for the WEEU purchase and still 45 minutes spare before the dead line.”

Chaudhry, an advertiser on the station, said Monday evening: “WEEU played a critical role in turning around Wyomissing Family Restaurant & Bakery and the Shillington Farmers Market. I owe my career to the exposure I've gotten on WEEU.”

Hamid Chaudhry
When the sale of Reading Eagle Company to Media­News Group, a Denver, Colo.-based newspaper chain, was approved by a federal bankruptcy judge last month, WEEU was part of the sale. Or part of it was, at least.

Court documents said that since MediaNews Group did not purchase WEEU's license, the station would go off the air when the Reading Eagle Company sale closed. No closing date has been set, but the court set a deadline of July 31.

MediaNews Group said it would be open to leasing its newly purchased radio equipment to someone who bought the license from Reading Eagle Company for up to five years or until they sold them.

According to an FCC spokeswoman, once a buyer purchases the license, the sale must be approved by the FCC. After an application is submitted, there is a 30-day public notice period where people can submit challenges to the sale. After that, the spokeswoman said, the FCC tries to process the application within 45 days.

Reading Eagle Company filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection March 20, citing an untenable financial situation. The company went up for sale, and a bidding process resulted in just one qualified bid from Media­News Group for $5 million.

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