Univision Unloads Its Albuquerque Radio Cluster

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Univision is a little less enchanted with the Land of Enchantment.


Nearly fifteen years after Univision Communications predecessor Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. completed its acquisition of five Simmons Media stations in the Albuquerque, N. Mex., market — giving it entry into one of the nation’s top Hispanic DMAs, it is selling the four stations it still owns to a major regional player.

For an undisclosed price, American General Media is acquiring the following properties from Univision:

  • Class C CHR/Rhythmic KKSS-FM 97.3 in Santa Fe, which covers nearly all of Albuquerque
  • Class C Classic Rocker KIOT-FM 102.5 “Coyote” in Las Lunas, N. Mex., which covers both Albuquerque and Santa Fe
  • Class A Regional Mexican KJFA-FM 101.3 “La Jefa” in Albuquerque
  • Class A classic hip-hop KKRG-FM “YO! 105.1” in Santa Fe, which reaches the Albuquerque market.

The fifth station in the November 2002 deal, valued at $22.5 million, was the facility now licensed as KQTM-FM 101.7. This facility was acquired by current owner Team Communications from Univision in May 2008.

The deal marks Univision’s ownership exit from New Mexico. KLUZ-41, the Albuquerque-based Univision network station serving New Mexico, is owned by Entravision. UniMás-affiliated KTFQ-14 is owned by Univision but operated by Entravision through a Joint Sales Agreement; KTFQ is co-located with KLUZ.

Acquiring the Univision FM quartet would put AGM over the FCC’s ownership subcaps, as family-owned AGM owns KABG-FM “Big 98.5,” KLVO-FM 97.7 “Radio Lobo,” KAGM-FM 106.7 “The River,” KDLW-FM “Z106.3,” and KARS-AM 840, which uses translator K275AO at 102.9 MHz from atop Sandia Crest (pictured) to reach Albuquerque.

‘THE RIVER’ WON’T FLOW IN THE ABQ 

Concurrent to the Univision acquisitions, AGM will spin Class C0 KAGM-FM to VCY America Inc. This will result in the end of Hot AC “The River” and the installation of VCY America Radio, which features Bible teaching programs, live call-in programs on issues of concern to the Christian community, news and commentary, programs reaching children with the Gospel, and Christian worship music.

Additionally, AGM is spinning Class C1 KDLW to BB Broadcasting; RBR+TVBR has learned that BB will retain the CHR/Pop format upon acquiring KDLW.

Finally, AGM is selling KJFA to Vanguard Media LLC. Vanguard is the operator of “The Oasis,” a Smooth Jazz-formatted station based at Class D KOAZ-AM 1510 in suburban Isleta, N. Mex., that uses translator K279BP at 103.7 MHz to cover Albuquerque and K40EC at 95.9 MHz to reach Santa Fe.

Vanguard is expect to expand the reach of “The Oasis” with KJFA. Meanwhile, sources tell RBR+TVBR that “La Jefa” may be moved to another AGM signal in the market.

As reported by RBR+TVBR on May 5, Classical KHFM-FM 95.5 is shifting from commercial to noncommercial status in an effort to preserve its long-running Classical format. The  American General Media Foundation will now operate KHFM.

Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker in this transaction.


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