UTICA-ROME -- Locally-owned Roser Communications Network is poised to purchase radio station WRCK from the California-based Educational Media Foundation. The sale, with its $425,000 price tag, was "accepted for filing" by the FCC today, as first reported this morning by AllAccess.com. No word yet on what Roser plans to do with WRCK, but one thing's for certain -- we won't be seeing a revival of the "Rock 107" branding Uticans remember from WRCK prior to 2007.
That's not to say that WRCK will never play rock -- it just won't be called "Rock 107" because WRCK is no longer at 107.3FM. Nearly a year ago, EMF swapped the call letters between WRCK and WKVU. So, Roser's getting 100.7FM, where EMF has been carrying its syndicated "Air1" service, featuring contemporary Christian music. The 107.3 frequency carries EMF's "K-Love" programming, another syndicated religious music format.
CNYRadio.com contacted a representative at Roser Communications to inquire about its plans for WRCK once the sale closes, but we have not yet received a response. We'll update the story if we receive a response.
The FCC Form 314 application to transfer the WRCK license from EMF to Roser is accompanied by a 24-page sales contract where the $425,000 purchase price is mentioned. According to that contract, Roser has already placed $20,000 in escrow towards the total purchase price. The entire deal is contingent on the FCC's final approval of the sale, which includes changing WRCK's non-commercial status to commercial status.
The contract doesn't include sale of the WRCK tower on Higby Road in Frankfort; it says Roser will pay $500/month to rent the existing tower and transmitter facility from Roser for the next five years. There's an option to continue the rental for additional five year increments, though the monthly rate would increase annually.
Even if RCN declines to release the plans for WRCK for now, it won't be long before we find out --as mentioned earlier the deal is already "accepted for filing," which is the FCC's way of saying it finds no "red flags" with the deal -- and assuming no objections are filed before a standard waiting period is complete, the deal should receive final approval. As per the sales contract, the sale must close within 10 business days of that approval.
RCN's existing Utica-Rome stations include Bug Country (WBGK), B95.5 (WUTQ/WADR/W238CA) and Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU).