A California-based broadcaster has bid to purchase a Belleville radio station.
FCC records filed this week indicate that Caron Broadcasting Inc., a subsidiary of Christian and family-themed company Salem Media Group in Camarillo, Calif., has made an offer to buy WSDZ 1260 AM in Belleville, a local Radio Disney affiliate, for $275,000.
Radio Disney Vice President and General Manager Drew Korzeniewski said the Belleville radio station is one of the last five Radio Disney properties to be sold as the broadcaster is closing its properties. He said Caron Broadcasting is also purchasing former Radio Disney stations in Denver, Portland, Tampa and Minneapolis.
Although WSDZ is licensed in Belleville, Radio Disney had operated the station from a studio across the river in Overland, Mo. Korzeniewski said he believes the new owners will relocate the studio closer to Belleville, where the station is licensed.
“I don’t know where it will go, but from what I understand, they are getting closer to the city,” Korzeniewski said. “They have to be within a certain perimeter of the city license.”
Chris Henderson, general counsel for Salem Media Group, could not be reached for comment.
Radio Disney purchased the Belleville radio station in 1998. Metro-east radio historian Frank Absher said the station was originally established in 1947 as WIBV and went on the air on May 13 that year. Initially, the station operated at a 1060 AM frequency but soon changed its frequency to 1260 AM to attain a better pattern signal.
The WIBV call letters have since been owned by an FM radio station in Mt. Vernon. WIBV “Cardinal Country” 102.1 FM has been playing country music from Jefferson County for the past 10 years.
Absher said Salem Media Group is a substantial media company that is entering a market they have never been active in before.
“Salem is a very big company,” Absher said. “They own over 100 radio stations. This is the first time they have been in the St. Louis market. We’re not talking about small potatoes here.”
Korzeniewski said the FCC grant of license transfer would take 60 to 75 days, and another 30 to 45 days for a final order to be completed. He anticipates the sale would close sometime by mid-December or after Christmas.
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2526.