Upper Peninsula based Sovereign Communications has reached an agreement with KMB Broadcasting to purchase their Escanaba radio stations, WDBC-AM and WYKX-FM.
With this acquisition, Sovereign will own a total of 17 stations in the U.P. region, which includes stations in Sault Ste. Marie, Newberry, Marquette and Iron Mountain. President of Sovereign Communications Bill Curtis said the purchase price of the deal was just under $1 million.
Curtis told WLUC-TV that “We couldn’t be more excited about this purchase. We’ve wanted to own these heritage stations for a long time and I’m delighted (KMB Broadcasting President/CEO) Mr. Cooke decided to sell them to us. Having WYKX-FM ad WDBC-AM in our company will allow us to serve the local communities as well as our advertisers and listeners in even greater ways. I look forward to a smooth transition as we bring the Escanaba staff and operations into the Sovereign family.”
“We’re extremely fortunate to have some of the best people in the radio business on our team,” Curtis said. “They’re passionate radio professionals that are excited about our growth and are ready to take on additional responsibilities and play an even more important role in the larger company.”
“Personally, as a kid that grew up in the U.P. and started in the radio business at 15-years-old, seeing Sovereign Communications continue to grow is a real dream come true for me,” Curtis said.
President and CEO of KMB Broadcasting James Cooke was feeling mixed emotions over the deal.
“It’s with mixed emotions that we decided to sell WDBC and WYKX. We have owned the stations since 1978–longer than any other owners in their histories, dating all the way back to 1941 in the case of WDBC,” Cooke said.
“Over the years, our dedicated and talented staffs have enabled both stations to provide the highest quality broadcast service to listeners and advertisers in Delta County and the surrounding counties,” Cooke said. “The quality of that service has been recognized by both the National Association of Broadcasters (WDBC won its prestigious Crystal Award”) and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (WYKX won it’s Station of the Year award, two years in a row).”
“We must appreciate the service of those employees over the many years,” Cooke said. “However, my wife Betsy and I have both reached retirement age and are pleased to have reached an agreement to sell the stations to Sovereign Communications, a respected U.P. broadcaster who we fully expect will continue the station’s award-winning service to the central U.P.”
The sale is subject to FCC approval.