UTICA-ROME -- The sale of 100.7 WRCK appears to be getting closer and closer to completion. This afternoon, current owner EMF started looping a message telling listeners of the syndicated "Air1" network to change their station preset buttons to nearby Air1 affiliate 93.5 WOKR.
The sale was first announced in November, and the FCC approved the sale in January. Utica-based Roser Communucations is paying $425,000 to acquire the station from California-based Educational Media Foundation. Although a 24-page contract filed with the FCC in November stated the sale would close within 10 days of the FCC's approval, it's now been more than a month -- so the two sides had apparently revised their terms since then.
Operations Manager Dave Silvers recently told CNYRadio.com that the sale should be closed "by the middle of [this] month." He did not provide any further details about the sale's progress.
The announcements airing on WRCK consist of an announcer over various songs, telling listeners:
Thanks for listening to the positive alternative, Air 1, 100.7 WRCK Utica. We hope you're enjoying the music and we have some news for you! Soon, 100.7 will go off the air, so set a new preset now. 93.5 FM. You'll keep hearing all the music you love on Air 1, artists like Toby Mac, Thousand Foot Crutch and Skillet. Thanks for following us to 93.5FM, don't forget to set that preset to 93.5FM and thanks for listening to the positive alternative, Air 1.
Yes, you read that right -- the announcement actually says, "Soon, 100.7 will go off the air." (Although Roser Communications has been pretty tight-lipped about plans for WRCK, we're guessing it's a safe bet they didn't spend all that money just to shut it down and walk away. We'll be interested to see if this announcement is somehow revised in the coming days.)
After the announcement ends, there's about a second of silence and plays again. One CNYRadio.com reader tells us the loop started at 1:00 this afternoon. (And thanks to you for writing in!)
EMF is known for its two nationally-syndicated Christian music formats, K-Love and Air1. For the past few years, EMF has owned three stations in the Utica-Rome market. Originally, 93.5 WOKR was being leased out to "God's Country Network," and the startup had an option to eventually buy the station. Instead, GCN folded in 2010, leaving EMF with one more station in the market than it has networks to feed those stations. EMF filled the WOKR vacancy with Air1, even though it had already been airing on WRCK.