Station change: Clear Channel leaves town
This morning, newly formed Monticello Media LLC announced its intention to buy all six stations and continue to operate each of them under the same call letters and format– at least for now.
The stations purchased: WCYK-FM 99.7, WCJZ-FM 107.5, WSUH-FM 94.1 and 102.3, WHTE-FM 101.9 and AM stations WCHV 1260 and WKAV 1400.
George Reed, the CEO of the newly formed LLC and a media broker who helped Clear Channel negotiate the purchase of the Charlottesville stations back in 1998, says he didn't expect to be buying a station– much less six– but the Charlottesville market was too good to pass up.
"The main thing that's appealing to me is that it's very strong economically," says Reed. "It's a great market in that it's far enough away from Richmond and D.C., that you don't have those signals coming in."
Though the deal hasn't yet closed, Monticello Media has taken over station operations and hired its staff. While some have moved into the area for the new jobs, others have history with the stations. Dennis Mockler, a 30-year-local radio veteran (pictured above) who served as vice president and general manager of Saga's Charlottesville Radio Group for two years before leaving in 2007, will regain those titles for Monticello Media.
Mockler says the fact that Monticello Media is a small, privately-held company holds
"Despite what anybody says, you truly can be local," he says. "We don't have to worry about answering to Wall Street or analysts every quarter; we just focus on doing what's best for the community."
According the FCC filing, Monticello Media will pay $7.75 million for the six s
tations. Reed expects the deal to close sometime in the next month after the FCC completes the license transfers.
The original version of this article contained errors regarding Dennis Mockler's previous employment. –ed.