April 20, 2019

8 Maine radio stations bought

BANGOR — The general manager of eight Maine radio stations knew that one day they would be purchased by a larger conglomerate. That day has come, and he’s “delighted.”

Citadel Broadcasting Co. of Las Vegas, a subsidiary of Citadel Communications Corp., late last month announced it was buying 36 radio stations in 11 markets for about $190 million. The stations are owned by Broadcasting Partners Holdings LP, with which Maine-based Pilot Communications is affiliated.

“We knew this was coming, sooner or later,” said Pilot Communications General Manager Kevin Schmersal last week. “I’m delighted about it.”

The Maine stations are WMME-FM, WEZW-AM, WEBB-FM and WTBL-AM in Augusta and Waterville; WCRQ in Dennysville-Calais; WOZI-FM, WBPW-FM and WHQR-FM in the Presque Isle-Caribou areas.

Other stations purchased are in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Louisiana.

Schmersal said he does not expect any changes in the stations’ formats or staff. “Citadel is not known for making changes,” Schmersal said, particularly to “the number one and number two stations in a market.”

But change could happen, he said. “What is in the future, geez, I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you that,” he said.

Broadcasting Partners is owned by VS&A Communications Partners II LP, a private equity affiliated with Veronis, Suhler and Associates Inc.

The deal, which is pending FCC approval, is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of next year.

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