OMW is hearing strong rumblings that Piedmont CBS/FOX combo WKBN/27 – WYFX/17-62 “FOX 17/62” Youngstown either has been sold, or will be sold in the very near future.

The station’s been up on the market for some time. In fact, it appears to have constantly been on the market even going back to the days when GoCom Investments owned it – and a number of Youngstown radio stations which are now mostly owned by Clear Channel.

The station has seen the usual “parade” of potential buyers over the past two years. Either that, or a suit convention decided to make WKBN/WYFX a stop on their tour of Youngstown…

Who’s the buyer? We hear that two names could be in the running:

* VestStar, a private equity investment firm out of Denver. Despite the name similarity, this is apparently NOT “NexStar”, the well-known small market TV operator which runs two TV stations in the nearby Erie PA market. VestStar doesn’t have a high profile, and we’re unable to find mention of them being involved in TV station purchases.

* Raycom Media, the parent company of Cleveland CBS/UPN combo WOIO/19-WUAB/43.

The latter would certainly make sense as a candidate, as it would allow some sharing of resources (particularly news) between Cleveland, Youngstown and Toledo, where the company just picked up CBS affiliate WTOL/11 and is selling off NBC affiliate WNWO/24. Raycom’s stations are mostly sub-top 50 market outlets…Cleveland is by far its largest market at number 16.

There may not be an announcement of the sale for a while, and we hear Piedmont will continue to run it likely through the end of the year. It’ll certainly take a few months for the sale to be approved and finalized, at any rate…

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