Capitol Broadcasting Company (“CBC”), Curtis Media (“Curtis”) and McClatchey Broadcasting (“McClatchey”) on August 10, 2009, announced a transaction in principle to exchange certain broadcasting assets that will allow CBC to expand its sports coverage in the Triangle across the AM and FM dials, allow Curtis to expand its statewide news operations, and see McClatchey exit the broadcast business via a divestiture of its principle assets.
Pending Federal Communications Commission approval, Curtis Media will acquire WRBZ (850 AM) from McClatchey and convert it to a music format. It will also acquire the North Carolina News Network from CBC. In turn, CBC will acquire from Curtis WDNC (620 AM) and the rights to the existing 850 The Buzz sports programming, which it will integrate within the newly acquired WDNC and its two-year-old 99.9 The Fan sports talk radio station. In essence, there will be sports programming on both CBC’s 620 AM and 99.9 FM The Fan.
To that end, David Glenn will move from 850 The Buzz to 99.9 The Fan and host a regular noon to 3 p.m. show, while Adam Gold and Joe Ovies will move from 850 The Buzz to the newly renamed 620 The Buzz hosting a drive-time morning show.
In addition, CBC will acquire from Curtis WCLY (1550 AM) and will change the station format to the popular Hispanic-focused ESPN Deportes.
All three stations will be managed by veteran 850 The Buzz General Manager Brian Maloney, who will report to CBC Vice President George Habel. The three sports radio stations and their employees will be housed in new broadcast studios under construction at the Highwooods office complex off Capital Boulevard in Raleigh.
“We like the idea of giving sports fans different programming options up and down the radio dial,” said Capitol Broadcasting President & CEO Jim Goodmon. “This adds to our web, television and radio sports platform for listeners, viewers and advertisers. Also, I’m pleased that we’ve developed an opportunity to serve the growing Hispanic community. Interest in sports is a strong and common thread in the Triangle.”
“The North Carolina News Network is a good strategic fit for Curtis Media,” said Curtis Media founder and CEO Don Curtis. “Already, WPTF has the largest radio newsroom in the state, originates State Government Radio and the Southern Farm Network. The North Carolina News Network extends our service to seventy-five stations reaching 1.6 million listeners.”
“The Buzz was the Triangle’s first sports station,” noted Billy McClatchey, President of McClatchey Broadcasting. “We built a strong brand over the past decade – entertaining and effective for advertisers. It’s gratifying that it will be carried on at Capitol.”
Thanks to CS’ George Habel for this capcom story.