Editor’s Note: This article was updated at Noon Eastern on Nov. 28 to correct reports that the closing of these transactions had taken place last week. RBR + TVBR regrets the error.
A bigger Midwest is nearly done, thanks in part to Kalil & Co. and radio station owner Duke Wright.
Wright’s Midwest Communications last week received an initial grant from the FCC of its acquisition of five full-powered FM stations and three FM translators in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, in a deal where Kalil & Co. served as the exclusive broker.
Red Rock Radio Corp. is the seller, and the deal sees the company owned by Kathy Lau and Shawn Skramstad pair down its holdings in Minnesota.
Set to come under Midwest ownership are KQDS-FM/Duluth, WEVE-FM/Eveleth, KGPZ-FM/Coleraine, WXXZ-FM/Grand Marais and KAOD-FM/Babbitt—along with affiliated translators W252AN in Hibbing, W288AI in Ely and W221AU in Virginia.
KQDS-FM has a 100kw signal reaching the entire Duluth-Superior region. WEVE, serving rural Virginia, Minn.; and KGPZ, serving Grand Rapids, Minn.; are also 100kw facilities. WXXZ operates with 63kw and serves the Finland region of Minnesota; KAOD operates with 33kw to serve an area northeast of Duluth and uses W288AI, at 101.5 MHz, to reach rural Ely. KGPZ uses W252AN to reach Hibbing and WEVE uses W221AU to reach the Virginia, Minn. Area.
The deal was announced in August by Kalil & Co.
In order to make the transaction happen, Midwest in mid-September agreed to divest another Northern Minnesota property — Class C3 KMFG-FM 102.9 in Nashwauk, Minn.
Midwest agreed to sell the station, which serves the Hibbing, Minn., area, to nonprofit Refuge Media Group for $96,000, and that transaction also received an initial grant last week from the FCC.
KMFG aired a Classic Rock format under Midwest ownership; it is now airing Refuge’s Christian-themed programming and has shifted to noncommercial status.
An anticipated closing is set to occur before the end of 2016.