A ‘Loud’ Move For Foreign Licensees and a Saratoga Pair


British and Polish citizens, respectively, who emerged as the buyers of an Upstate New York FM left for dead by its previous licensee in May 2019 formed a partnership with another husband-and-wife operator of radio stations in the region.

Now, the two couples have united in licensee matrimony, as their individual companies have been merged into a single entity.

Border Media, created by Ricki Lee and his wife Hanna Maria Kaleta, was born with the purchase of WRGR-FM in Tupper Lake, N.Y. It then entered into a 50/50 LLC arrangement with Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based Aaron and Jessica Ishmael, who operate as A&J Radio.

Under the partnership, previously known as Saratoga Radio LLC, they acquired WAIX-AM 1160 in Mechanicville, N.Y., and FM translator W227DW at 93.3 MHz in Saratoga Springs from Empire Broadcasting Corp., the entity led by former NYSBA leader Joe Reilly.

Now, Saratoga Radio LLC has been rebranded as Loud Media, and it will see the full merger of Border Media and A&J Radio.

With the combination of the licensees comes a deal that has yet to be posted by the FCC: Loud Media is agreeing to purchase Class A WNYV-FM 94.1 in Whitehall, N.Y., which serves Glens Falls and the eastern shore of Lake George; WVNR-AM 1340 in Poultney, Vt., and FM translator W242DF in Poultney.

The stations presently operate as “Lakes Region Radio.” A locally focused Classic Hits format airs on the stations.

The seller is Pine Broadcasting Company, owned by Michael Leech and operated by his sister, Lakes Region Radio GM Judith Leech.

Serving as the broker in this transaction, representing Loud Radio, is Bob Mahlman.

A Summer 2020 closing is expected, subject to FCC approval.

Loud Media is already operating Lakes Region Radio via an immediate Local Marketing Agreement.

“Our new name and brand gives us the foundation and focus we need for our combined efforts and future growth plans,” Lee said. “I’m also excited to welcome ‘Lakes Region Radio’ to our radio family, We look forward to working on the future success of WNYV and WVNR.”