Eure Communications to be Sold

According to a press release issued by media conglomerate Saga Communications, they have agreed to buy Charlottesville’s Eure Communications’ three stations, 3WV, WINA, and Z95 . Eure is, of course, locally-owned by Brad Eure, and the presence of the three stations in a market of this size, along with stations like WTJU and WNRN, have long meant that Charlottesville has had an unusually-high number of locally owned stations. The purchase of the stations by Saga, the nation’s #12 largest owner of radio stations (63 total, right behind Radio One and ABC), makes local stations a minority in town. The company owns stations around the nation, including three in Norfolk, their only Virginia stations thus far. Saga provides assurance in their press release that they intend to retain local staff, but whether they’ll want to work for anybody but Eure remains to be seen. The whole enchilada awaits FCC approval, which is likely, and should go through early next year. Thanks to jimwinthrope for the news. Update: Radio & Records has some more information, including that Brad Eure will remain on as GM. 10/14 Update: Braxton Williams has the story in today’s Progress.

2 Responses to “Eure Communications to be Sold”

  • What a shame.

    When telling people about Charlottesville, one of the points that I often work in is about our unusually-high number of local stations, something that (thanks to Clear Channel, Saga and their ilk) is fast-vanishing. Radio is turning into a vast, bland sea, in which the tastes in California are assumed to be the same as those in Texas, Wisconsin, Maine, and Virginia, and if they aren’t, they become the same after the same payola songs are drilled into our skulls for a few weeks. Local DJs are gone, with instead a single DJ in a windowless room in New York providing a series of clips to be whisked digitally around the nation, a deregulation-era "how are you feeling tonight, Cleveland?" that saves the stations the trouble of operating a radio station in any rational sense of the word. Instead, the stations are cube farms of advertising staff. They couldn’t get a message onto the radio if they had to; the equipment is a thousand miles away.

    Presumably, Brad wants to move on and do something else, and that’s his business. He need not be a martyr to the local economy or remain one of the few dissenting voices against Clear Channel. But it’s too bad that somebody else, somebody local, couldn’t step forward and ensure that the public airwaves continue to be used in the public interest.

    I worked for Eure Communications a little over a decade ago, as an engineer. Any station that would willingly employ a dopey screw-up like me (and I *was* a dopey screw-up) has got to be a good employer. I’m significantly less than confident that Saga will extend the same courtesy.

  • but come on…3WV is just as bad as (if not worse than) any clear channel station when it comes to programming. you hear the same 10 songs by the same 3 bands ad nauseum. the only difference is that on eure stations, at least you know where biker cop is 24/7/365.

    i disagree with you that FM radio is turning into a vast, bland sea. it already has turned into a vast, bland sea. that’s why i subscribed to XM radio two years ago. i used to listen to 91.9, but just because your playlist is "ecclectic" doesn’t mean it’s good. depending on the DJ, they sure could play some real crap on that station. i should know, i used to work there.

    it’s definitely worth my $16/month (my wife has XM too) to not have to put up with "local" radio. if i want to know what the weather’s going to be like, i’ll check before i hop in the car and fire up my roady!

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