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Re: rumor: is Salem buying?

I believe that Seattle-Tacoma is Salem's biggest market as far as number of
stations goes. Salem owns powerhouse KGNW 820 (great signal), KKOL 1300,
KKMO 1360 (Tacoma), a station on 1590 (I can't remember the calls; there
have been so many over the years), and an ex-band station that may or may
not yet be on the air. Salem holds CPs to increase the power of at least
KKOL, but I think also one of the others. (This is tied in with land takings
by the Port of Seattle and has turned into a l-o-o-n-g drawn-out affair. I
believe that KKOL is currently operating with temporary facilities.) I doubt
that Salem's most lucrative format--preaching and teaching--can support so
many signals. But Salem does run other formats on its properties elsewhere
and probably also does so in Seattle-Tacoma. Salem has an ultra-right-wing
talk network that Ollie North used to anchor, and a news network that keeps
changing its name to try to get away from the image of a religious-based
service. (Replacing some of the religious "news" content would probably help
more.) Salem usually stays away from praise-and-worship music and
contemporary Christian music, because those formats tend to steal listeners
from the preaching and teaching. When the listeners gravitate to other
signals, the preachers don't get such great responses from their appeals for
money. And when the preachers can't bring in the bucks, they can't afford to
buy the time--at least not at the premium rates that Salem's stations
usually command.

If you recall, Salem used to have two Boston properties, WEZE 590 and what
had been WEZE on 1260 before Salem's purchase of 590. Salem sold 1260 to
Radio Disney's stalking horse, Hibernia, apparently because the offer was
good and 1260 became an underperforming property once most of the
programming moved to 590. I could see Salem in play for WROL, but there will
be other bidders. Salem has been known to pay top dollar, but they know what
a station is worth to them, and they don't often overpay. As for a Spanish
religious station, I suspect that that would be WKOX. I doubt that, under
Salem ownership, the station would continue programming in Spanish. I don't
think Salem owns any foreign-language stations or religious stations with a
non-Protestant orientation. (Both Mssrs Atsinger and Epperson are alumni of
Bob Jones University, and you may remember from "W" Bush's visit there
earlier this year what the Jones folks think about Catholics.)  However, if
Salem is again interested in WKOX (they wanted it before they bought 590),
the idea might well involve buying WESX and taking it dark to permit a move
of WKOX's TX to WEZE's Wellington circle site, where it would become a major
Boston signal--albeit with some pretty severe nighttime coverage problems in
the western suburbs.


Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@worldnet.att.net
Phone: 1-617-558-4205, eFax: 1-707-215-6367

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Chonak <rac@gabriel.cambridge.ma.us>
To: boston-radio-interest@khavrinen.lcs.mit.edu
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000 10:23 PM
Subject: rumor: is Salem buying?

>I see that Salem Broadcasting likes to own more than one frequency in
>some markets: two in Philly, two in New York, three in Denver.
>As it happens, I heard some talk a few days ago about Salem taking an
>interest in buying some stations from another religious broadcaster in
>Boston.  Perhaps Carter Broadcasting's properties?   Perhaps a Spanish
>religious station?