Thursday, March 26, 2020

ME Radio: Gleason Radio Cluster Scheduled To Sign-Off

Gleason Radio Group announced that its five stations will go off the air at 7 p.m. Sunday. They include Norway, Paris, Rumford, Mexico and Auburn, Maine,

The Sun-Journal reports Kathy Gleason has run the business with WOXO station manager Vic Hodgkins in the year since her husband, founder and former Auburn Mayor Dick Gleason, died.

“I feel that I tried very hard to keep it going and at the same time have it be for sale,” Gleason said. “It didn’t sell, it may sell. The coronavirus was kind of like the last straw as far as finances go.”

Hodgkins said a combination of low receivables and slow payments, combined with a projected drop in advertising because of COVID-19, has resulted in the need to close the stations.

The group owns seven signals and five stations best known as WOXO 92.7/100.7; Maine’s Big Z – WEZR 105.5/96.9 and WTME AM 780.

According to his obituary, Dick Gleason started working at WTOS in 1973 and began researching stations for sale, first landing on WNWY, now WOXO, in Norway in 1975. He built his radio group from there, eventually broadcasting from Kennebunk to Rangeley.

He was named the Maine Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcaster of the Year in 2003.

The Gleason stations were known for high school sports, NASCAR, country music and, for over 35 years, the Country Corner Show, a chance to buy, sell, swap or give a shout-out to a neighbor.

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