Tuesday, October 22, 2019

San Diego Radio: Changes Rumored At KFMB Stations

Big changes may be coming to news-talk KFMB 760 AM and 80s hits KFMB 100.7 FM as they split off from TV mothership Channel 8 and its owner Tegna, Inc., reports The San Diego Reader.

Virginia-based Tegna moved into San Diego in late 2017 when it purchased the four-station KFMB group (two TV, two radio) for $325-million from local, independent operator Midwest TV.

Local Tegna radio employees discovered last week that Tegna is in the process of spinning off its San Diego radio stations 760 AM and 100.7 FM.

Tepid ratings may signal an end to news-talk on 760 AM under new owners.

Since it took over, Tegna did not seem inclined to dedicate resources to KFMB 760 AM.  The Nielsen ratings for July/August/September, show KFMB 760 AM is in 18th place while KOGO’s is in 6th place, among all listeners.

Tegna was created in 2015 when it was carved out of the Gannett media empire. The Gannett company then focused on print (USA Today and other major print dailies) while the new Tegna, Inc. was made up of Gannett’s broadcast properties. Tegna continues to expand by buying up TV/radio groups. It now controls 62 TV stations in 51 markets including Houston, Dallas, Seattle, and Atlanta.

According to The Reader, investors looking to buy KFMB 760 AM and 100.7 KFMB-FM were told recently to submit their offers to Tegna which would announce a new owner by November 15. Tegna did not set minimum bidding guidelines, but insiders say the value of the two KFMB radio stations may be in the $8-to-$10-million range.

According to one insider, the two KFMB stations may be destined to be swallowed up by iHeartMedia. Should that happen, that would likely mean iHM’s local sports station KLSD would be moved from its limited 1360 signal and plopped onto 760 AM, completely replacing 760’s current news talk lineup.

Not only would the move to 760 help iHeart’s KLSD compete with sports competitor The Fan, but by removing the current KFMB-AM news-talk lineup from the airwaves, iHM’s KOGO would then have no direct competition.

But should iHeart in fact take over the two KFMB radio stations, it would then have to divest 1360 AM frequency and one FM frequency, based on market limits imposed by the FCC.

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