ONEIDA -- The sale of, as they legal ID themselves, "WMCR AM 1600 and FM 106.3 in Oneida, New York" is a done deal. After about 40 years of ownership, Vivian Warren has retired from the radio ownership game, nearly a million dollars richer.
We first told you about the pending sale back in March; word of the sale closing comes this morning by way of Tom Taylor's daily e-newsletter from radio-info.com.
New this morning, Taylor has the sale price -- $950,000. Not a bad "retirement incentive" for Warren -- who, with her late husband Bill, purchased the station back in 1969.
The Leatherstocking Media Group, headed by James Johnson, is the new owner. Johnson, who formerly owned a cluster of stations in Oneonta, told the local press in March he had no immediate major changes in store for WMCR, other than technological upgrades for the studio.
We wonder if that might include automation to keep the station going overnight; for many years, WMCR has signed off daily between the hours of 10pm and 6am.
WMCR is a diamond in the rough. What a great opportunity to change the AM station to really serve the local adult audience. The music has been a mish-mash of everything. No flow what so ever. It needs to be stabilized. Young people won't listen to it the way its been programmed, and the older people don't want CHR. The production elements are from the 1970's and need to be updated with a fresh sound. The jingle package was purchased in 1978 and was never used properly. A new jingle package would give WMCR a welcomed uplift. I finally heard a legal ID this morning after years of "AM 1600 and FM 106.3 in " improperly placed between the calls and location. And why, for years, did people have to listen to the fact that Oneida is in New York.. We know its in New York, and the signal would never reach Canada, Vermont or Pennsylvania. Cart machines? They're great and some stations still use them very effectively. The local elements should remain to serve the community. FM should be split from AM and present a format that isn't already available from Syracuse or Utica. What a great chance to make a sleeper something special.