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WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

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Radio Sucks
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WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by Radio Sucks » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:30 pm

Application filed. No assets other than license and tower lease. All cash. Going non-com upon approval.
THE PARTIES WILL FILE AN APPLICATION TO MODIFY THE LICENSE OF WFCX(FM) TO SPECIFY NONCOMMERCIAL OPERATION UPON CONSUMMATION OF THIS TRANSACTION.
https://licensing.fcc.gov/cdbs/CDBS_Att ... &exhcnum=1



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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by MWmetalhead » Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:28 pm

$500,000 seems like a fair market price for WFCX.

How CRAZY that WFCX sold for fair market value whereas WKLT only attracted a fire sale-type price! :eek


Lori Bennett and Bob Walker have turned WLAV from an iconic classic rock station into a ratings boondoggle. Sad.

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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by Ben Zonia » Wed Dec 25, 2019 9:55 pm

Why didn't they buy the transmitter and antenna? It does have a directional antenna, and sometimes the patterns are less than ideal. They apparently want a facility that blasts the terrain hole from the ridge West of Traverse City. WKLT is close to 20 miles from the far parts of Traverse City, and the path is not ideal.


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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by MWmetalhead » Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:37 am

97.5 WKLT has more people within its protected service contour. True, WFCX has a much stronger signal in Traverse City proper.

94.3's directional pattern underperforms relative to the FCC's plotted contours. Signal strength to the south & southeast, for example, is miserable. 94.3 is virtually unlistenable in Cadillac, for instance, whereas WKLT delivers a great signal for in-car listening and even a decent signal for indoor listening.

WKLT also reaches the I-75 corridor from Houghton Lake to about Vanderbilt with ease.


Lori Bennett and Bob Walker have turned WLAV from an iconic classic rock station into a ratings boondoggle. Sad.

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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by EdWalker » Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:12 am

Radio Sucks wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:30 pm
Application filed. No assets other than license and tower lease. All cash. Going non-com upon approval.
I gotta believe that the transaction includes the transmitter, transmission line and antenna. Most likely referenced in Section 1, Paragraph (b), referring to personal property "used exclusively in the operation of the Station, including the transmitter building located at the Station’s transmission site, all as listed in Schedule 1(b) hereto, together with any replacements thereof made between the date of this Agreement and the Closing Date (the “Tangible Assets”)."

We just don't get to see the list of equipment in Schedule 1(b). See Exhibit 5 of the FCC transfer application.

https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.ex ... _num=49575



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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by Radio Sucks » Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:31 am

Of course it includes the transmitter etc. My bad. What it does NOT include is any studio, office or other equipment. And since NBI sold the tower sites, no real estate.



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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by Radio Sucks » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:45 pm

a fair market price
In radio today, what is a fair market price? Radio stations are usually priced using two distinctly different methods:

As a business, with some multiple of gross revenue, profit or "free cash flow" (similar to EBTID but not accepted by accounting standards) or

At a "stick" value for the actual license along with coverage area. That's how EMF prices stations when they buy them and turn them non-com for K Love and Air 1 formats.

WCMU's simulcast on the 95.1 translator is spotty at best, and nearly impossible in office buildings. 94.3 is one of three FM signals that can penetrate buildings and has pretty much blanket coverage of Grand Traverse County. (Want proof: What station was number one in At Work Listening in 2007, granted it sounded much better than it does now?) I would anticipate the disposal of that frequency and translator (who would buy it I wonder? Is WTCM-AM on a translator yet?) and get full market coverage on 94.3

WKLT is a different animal. Extracting one station from a cluster is not cheap. It looks like they are going to move studios (based on my reading of the asset purchase agreement) to downtown TC (which will cost some cash) as well as a new path for the STL. This can't truly be a multiple of any sort in this price. And if Midwestern gets client files, I would rate the $450,000 as money well spent.



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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by MWmetalhead » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:18 pm

It's definitely money very well spent for Midwestern! Like I said earlier - they are getting KLT at a bargain price.

As for CMU, they are paying about $3 per head for WFCX. Certainly not a discount price and probably not an unreasonably high price as far as the open market is concerned. I do think it'll take Central Michigan a good 8 to 10 years to get back what they paid (and that's before giving any effect to opportunity cost, time value of money, etc).

94.3/103.9 will never be more than the third place Public Radio station in the region.


Lori Bennett and Bob Walker have turned WLAV from an iconic classic rock station into a ratings boondoggle. Sad.

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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by Radio Sucks » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:20 pm

I’ll post the references tomorrow but think about this -

About 10% of NPR listeners donate. About 2% of them fork over $1,000 or more per year. With a few quick calculations we can show that the addition of the TC full signal might bring in $150k in new donations per annum. What’s it cost to run that transmitter per year?



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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by TC Talks » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:40 pm

But,

Since WCMU is already available in the region with two signals, AND the region already has two local NPR affiliated stations, that listener data isn't accurate.

I bet they gain $75,000 annually.

However, being a non-profit, donating the tower lease can be worked into a very respectable donation.


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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:58 am

But,

Since WCMU is already available in the region with two signals, AND the region already has two local NPR affiliated stations, that listener data isn't accurate.

I bet they gain $75,000 annually.
I'm coming up with a range of $75,000 to $100,000 for the top line (i.e. incremental annual donations).

From there, you have to back off the power bill, tower rent, and some minor expenses for insurance, filing fees and professional fees.

Annual free cash flow on a normalized basis will probably be in the $50,000 to $75,000 range, I suspect.


Lori Bennett and Bob Walker have turned WLAV from an iconic classic rock station into a ratings boondoggle. Sad.

Radio Sucks
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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by Radio Sucks » Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:48 pm

A 10% annual return on a $500,000 investment would seem to be worthwhile.



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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by Radio Sucks » Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:58 pm

Here's how bad the Gokey family wanted out of the radio business - An AM/FM combo in Hillsdale MI (with a 60 dBu coverage map of NOONE) just sold for $675,000.

https://licensing.fcc.gov/cdbs/CDBS_Att ... &exhcnum=1



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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by CK-722 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:26 am

MWmetalhead wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:37 am

94.3's directional pattern underperforms relative to the FCC's plotted contours. Signal strength to the south & southeast, for example, is miserable. 94.3 is virtually unlistenable in Cadillac, for instance, whereas WKLT delivers a great signal for in-car listening and even a decent signal for indoor listening.
They might do better as a Class C3 with 10 kW from 157 meters HAAT nondirectional, and optimize the antenna toward Traverse City and points Southeast. They could also reduce operating expenses with less TPO. I'm always uncomfortable with a DA that has any kind of null over the COL or intended service area, unless maybe it uses a panel antenna with a lobe toward the COL or intended service area instead of a null. But with the Leland COL, unless Longley Rice showed 70 dBu over Leland, you might not be able to do that, except with a panel antenna as a C2.


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Re: WFCX to Central Michigan for $500,000

Post by WC8KCY » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:11 am

Assuming CMU will own the tower, I can't help but wonder if there would be added value for them if they launched a CMU Public TV translator from the WFCX site.

True, they cashed out Flint's WCMZ-TV in the spectrum auction and didn't bother upgrading the W69AV and W46AD translators to DTV. But, still...at least a few cord-cutters would donate, and the percentage of cord-cutter households nationwide is expected to approach 25% by 2022. Trying to watch PBS online is a PITA.


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