Black Diamond Broadcast Holdings, LLC has entered into an agreement to acquire eight radio stations from Northern Michigan based Northern Star Broadcasting.
The eight station transaction includes multiple signals in the Traverse City-Petoskey Nielsen rated radio market. The stations include 1240 WCBY-AM Cheboygan, 105.1 WGFM-FM Cheboygan, 97.7 WCHY-FM Cheboygan, 98.1 WGFN-FM Glen Arbor, 102.9 WMKC-FM Indian River, 106.3 WOEZ-FM Onaway, 95.5 WQEZ-FM Glen Arbor, and 100.7 FM (translator) W264CF St. Ignace.
Black Diamond, owned by long-time broadcast executives and life-long Michigan residents, Mike Chires and Norm McKee, currently own WUPS-FM Harrison and WTWS-FM Houghton Lake, both purchased in 2015.
Northern Star Broadcasting’s President Del Reynolds says of the deal, “These radio stations are huge technical facilities reaching from Cadillac to Canada and Traverse City to Alpena. I believe that Black Diamond is the radio group to continue the tradition of being committed local broadcasters and will be honorable trustees of these FCC licenses. Our staff and our clients are the best in the country and we know that they are in good hands with Black Diamond. They have shown with their previous acquisition of WUPS and WTWS that they know how to serve the local community and we are at ease knowing these groups will continue to grow and thrive with them as we transition into what is next for us.”
Black Diamond Partner and CEO Mike Chires stated, “Del and Mary have done a tremendous job of building powerhouse stations that serve their communities extremely well. They have strong relationships with their clients, and the respect of broadcasters throughout the industry, especially in Michigan, which is the ultimate compliment. We look forward to continuing the legacy and the relationships they’ve built with their clients and communities these great stations serve.”
Norm McKee, Black Diamond Partner and COO/CFO added, “The Northern Star properties permit us to establish a group of ten radio stations serving all of central and northern Michigan with quality broadcasting, sports, and community coverage. We can now serve listeners and clients from the Zilwaukee bridge to north of the Mackinac bridge, and from Ludington to Oscoda (Bridge to Bridge, Coast to Coast).”
In addition to the stations acquired by Black Diamond, Northern Star has sold WCKC-FM in Cadillac to Up North Radio, LLC, owned by Jennifer Theodore, who also owns WCDY-FM in Cadillac.
Transfer of the licenses for the radio stations is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, which is anticipated to occur early this fall.