Seven Years After Deal Controversy, Mel Wheeler Sheds WLNI


In January 2013, longtime Roanoke-area radio station owner Mel Wheeler, Inc., led by Leonard Wheeler, agreed to purchase a Class A 6kw FM licensed to Lynchburg, Va., for $1,025,000.

The deal would have given the company six FMs and two AMs in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market, and competitor Gary Burns and his 3 Daughters Media tried to put a stop to it. It didn’t work, and in August 2013 Mel Wheeler was cleared by the Commission to proceed with the deal.

Now, Mel Wheeler Inc. is agreeing to part ways with the property.

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An Asset Purchase Agreement dated April 24 shows James River Media, led by William Edward King and Nell White King, is purchasing WLNI-FM 105.9 from Mel Wheeler Inc.

The transaction is valued at $785,000.

There is no broker or finder associated with this transaction.

Serving as Wheeler’s legal counsel is Coe Ramsey of Brooks Pierce; the legal counsel representing the buyer is John Trent of Putbrese, Hunsacker & Trent.

The deal marks the first media holding for James River Media, which sees the Kings holding 90% interest, divided 45/45 between William Edward King and Nell White King. A 5% minority interest is held by Rich Roth, host of WLNI’s “Sports Talk,” and former WIQO in Lynchburg morning host Mari White.



  1. It’s always pricey for out of town companies to come into Lynchburg and try to operate. I sold WLNI to another out of town company for $4,450,000. I am delighted to see the station return in part to owners and a family that live in the market.

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