Home arrow Home arrow Forever Affirms First State Love With Delmarva Deal
Forever Affirms First State Love With Delmarva Deal
Forever Affirms First State Love With Delmarva Deal

BOCA RATON, FLA. — As first shared Tuesday evening via RBR+TVBR‘s Twitter feed, Forever Media — the radio broadcasting company owned by Kirby Confer (pictured) and Donald Alt, has grabbed a formidable group of stations across the First State and nearby environs.

We now know the price Forever paid to the seller, Steinman Communications’ Delmarva Broadcasting Company.

In an announcement distributed by locally based broker Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co., Forever Media has expanded in Delaware — and in a region of Maryland between Baltimore and Newark — by snagging the following stations:

  • Class B WDEL-AM in Wilmington; Class A WDEL-FM in Canton, N.J.; and Class B  WSTW-FM in Wilmington. WDEL-AM & FM simulcast as a News/Talk station, while WSTW has long been an Adult Top 40/Hot AC station with a signal reaching most of the Philadelphia DMA. Its streaming audio is handled by The E.W. Scripps Co.-owned Triton Digital.
  • Class B Country WXCY-FM 103.7 in Havre de Grace, Md., which boasts a signal that can be heard in Wilmington; in parts of Baltimore; and from Lancaster to Philadelphia’s Main Line communities
  • Class A Hot AC WAFL-FM “Eagle 97.7” in Milford, Del.; Class A Adult Hits WAVD-FM 97.1 “The Wave” in Ocean Pines, Md., serving the Delmarva Peninsula; Class A Classic Rock WNCL-FM “Cool 101.3” in Milford, home to veteran radio host Paula Sangeleer in middays; Class A News/Talk WXDE-FM 105.9 in Lewes, Del; and ESPN Radio affiliate WYUS-AM 730 and FM translator W271CX at 102.1 MHz in Milford.
  • Class D  WFAI-AM 1510 in Salem, N.J., airing a Gospel format targeting African-American audiences. It uses 4 towers for a 2.5kw daytime-only signal.

What’s the price Forever is paying to gain a foothold in the Delmarva region?

An asset purchase agreement posted Wednesday (2/6) by the FCC shows the price as $18.5 million.

A $500,000 escrow payment is being held.

Signing off on the deal for Forever is President/Manager Lynn Deppen.

Steinman is led by Robert Krasne and is the parent of LNP Media Group Inc., publisher of LNP, the daily newspaper serving Lancaster, Pa.

Interestingly, the APA includes language regarding all current employees of the Delmarva Broadcasting stations held by Steinman that are going to Forever. It states that Forever “will offer employment to substantially all employees” who are employed on the closing date.

This implies that job cuts could be made. Mention of severance payments is present, with Forever pitching in for 50% of any “reasonable severance payment” Steinman will offer, or one’s months pay for each employee — whichever amount is lesser.

The sale of Steinman’s radio stations signals the company’s desire to focus on the newspaper and LNP Media Group’s digital assets, including Lancaster Online. Additionally, the Lancaster market is geographically distinct from where Steinman’s radio properties are.

In Lancaster, Steinman competes against radio stations owned by iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media and privately held Hall Communications, and with Hearst-owned NBC affiliate WGAL-8, which covers the Harrisburg-York-Carlisle DMA.

The addition of the Delmarva Broadcasting stations from Steinman gives Forever added firepower in Delmarva, where it already has a “MidShore” presence by way of a pair of FMs it purchased in October 2016.

At that time, First Media Radio, led by COO Alex Kolobielski, sold Class B1 WCEI-FM 96.7 in Easton, Md., and Class A WINX-FM 94.3 in St. Michaels, Md., to Forever Media for $6.5 million. Larry Patrick of Patrick Communications served as the broker for First Media in each transaction; Bergner & Co. represented Forever.

As shown on the map above, Forever has a significant footprint across western and central Pennsylvania, in addition to western Maryland and nearby Wheeling, W. Va.

Serving as Steinman’s legal counsel in this transaction is Washington-based Melissa G. Repp, Esq.

The legal counsel representing Forever in this purchase is Montgomery County, Md.-based attorney Allan G. Moskowitz, Esq.