Court to Stop 26 Riverbend: Refinance or Sell

Radio and Records Online reports that it’s decision time for Stop 26 Riverbend, which owns 5 Ohio stations, including WRBP/101.9 Hubbard, WGFT/1330 Campbell and WASN/1500 Youngstown, in the Youngstown/Warren market.

The report says that a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Ohio has ordered Stop 26 Riverbend to either refinance the stations (including Columbus’ WVKO-AM/FM) or sell them. To that end, the company is reportedly retaining two firms to look into those options…though it’s widely believed that the only viable option is putting the stations on the block.

OMW wonders if the financial firms have put an urgent call into Harold Glunt. He’d certainly be a likely buyer, at least in Youngstown…if not in Columbus. All three facilities are somewhat better than nearly all of Glunt’s current stations. And OMW has reported before that Glunt has been kicking the tires of stations in markets like Columbus and Pittsburgh, though we’re wondering what other companies would be looking at 1580 and 103.1 in the Columbus market.

We don’t know how much more money Mr. Glunt is willing to shovel into his Beacon Broadcasting, which now owns 5 stations in the Youngstown/Warren market and the nearby counties of western Pennsylvania. But a move of the Christian rock format on “Freq 107” from Greenville PA’s 107.1 to 101.9 would certainly make it a more viable Youngstown market signal, and 1330 and/or 1500 could certainly replace at very least daytimer WRTK/1540 Niles in the Glunt AM arsenal. The only sticking point OMW sees…the full-market 101.9 Hubbard signal would likely draw more moneyed bidders than even Mr. Glunt. If he wants them and has the money for them, 1330/1500 would likely be easy pickings for him.

Since this item moved us into Glunt World, a side note: A drive into the Youngstown market today confirmed that WRTK/1540 is still doing its urban format, even under the new ownership of Mr. Glunt. But it might be gone soon…as we heard a “thank you for your support” message directed at listeners and advertisers. The only problem there: the message was voiced by Lynn Tolliver Jr., the former manager of the station (and ex-Cleveland radio “bad boy”), who left some time ago to take a slot at Tampa FL urban combo WTMP-AM/FM…so we’re not sure if the message was current.

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