Saturday, June 6, 2015

Radio Disney is selling its Boston station

Salem Media Group is buying Boston's WMKI 1260 for $500,000 from Radio Disney. In an application filed Friday with the Federal Communications Commission, Radio Disney sought to assign the 5,000-watt station to California-based Salem, which also owns WEZE/The Word 590, WROL 950/The Spirit and WWDJ/Radio Luz 1150 in the Boston market. Salem Boston's operations are based in Quincy.

Last August, Radio Disney said it would sell WMKI and 22 other stations out of 24 in its broadcast network(BRW 8/18/14). It retained a station in Los Angeles. WMKI's local staffers were all let go last September and the station has been running in the automated mode since then. Ironically, Salem owned AM 1260 from 1978 until 1997 when it sold it for $5 million. The station converted to the outgoing Radio Disney format on November 21, 1997.

Salem owns about a 100 stations around the country. It's widely expected that the latest Salem's local addition will result  in another news/talk station in Boston and possibly become Rush Limbaugh's new local affiliate after he ends his run on WRKO 680 on July 3rd. Another Quincy-based station, WMEX 1510, which relaunched its new talk lineup this past Tuesday, declined to carry Rush locally. However, as of this week, WMEX's midday 12-3pm slot is still airing tape-delayed Glenn Beck show. Utica-based host Bill Keeler was supposed to do have a new show in that time slot but is yet to debut.

Salem's radio portfolio currently includes its “The Answer” conservative talk brand which is carried on about two dozen of its stations. The national lineup  includes several Salem Radio Network hosts, including Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt all of whom were previously heard locally on Salem's AM 1150(currently Radio Luz 1150) signal from 2003 to 2008.


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