Sheridan's Triple-Station Sale Stuns PIttsburgh
May 18, 2009 at 3:38 PM (PT)
SHERIDAN BROADCASTING has sold all three of its stations, Urban WAMO-FM, Urban AC WAMO-A and Black Gospel WPGR-A to ST, JOSEPH MISSIONS for $8.9 million. In a story first reported here last FRIDAY (NET NEWS, 5/15), this means a likely format change as well as unemployment for most of the company’s 35 full-time and part-time employees. ALL ACCESS has learned that some WAMO employees will retain their positions during the transition period.
WAMO has been part of the PITTSBURGH radio landscape since 1954. The FM went on the air in 1960. The company acquired WPGR-A in 2001. The company still owns stations in ATLANTA, BIRMINGHAM and BUFFALO. SHERIDAN is also the principal owners of AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS (AURN) and the SHERIDAN GOSPEL NETWORK (SBN).
According the latest Winter ARBITRON ratings, WAMO-FM tied for seventh, 12+, in a city which only has a 8% African-American population. Amid dwindling sales and growing concerns about what ARBITRON’s PPM methodology will bring, there is some speculation that combination may have part of what fueled the sale. The larger question remains: Will another station step up to fill the hip-hop void or will one of the Top-40 or Rhythmic stations suddenly "lean" Urban?