Friday, August 25, 2006

KTSA 550 AM plans sale to new market

S.A. Radio Personalities Nervous after planned Sale
Posted on WOAI by Randy Beamer
The planned sale of San Antonio radio station KTSA to a mostly Spanish-language radio company targeting Hispanics has some radio personalities nervous and listeners wondering about the station's future.

Randy Beamer talked exclusively with the new owner's top man. Tom Castro, President and CEO of Houston-based Border Media Partners, says he has no plans to change the formats of either KTSA 550-AM or KJXK-FM when the sale is finalized in the next few months.

The CBS Corporation has agreed to sell the two stations to Borders as part of its plan to get rid of radio stations in ten different markets. Castro told News 4 WOAI-TV he considers San Antonio the most important market for his company, while CBS considered it way down their list. He says the stations suffered from a "lack of love" under CBS and he plans to aggressively promote them both.

Castro says he loves the "niches" of both KTSA and KJXK. KTSA is a news/talk station that historically has competed with News Radio 1200 WOAI-AM, a sister station of WOAI-TV. (Both WOAI-AM and WOAI-TV are owned by S.A.-based Clear Channel Communications)
KJXK, also known as JACK-FM, 102.7, plays a mix of hits from the 70's through today, a genre sometimes called "random radio."

Asked about KTSA specifically, Castro called it a good solid station with a treasure trove of personalities. That should make some of those personalities breathe easier.
KTSA has been on the block for some time and we're told on-air and off-air employees have been nervous about who the new owner would be and whether they would change formats and cut staff.

With a new owner that targets Hispanics, using mostly Spanish-language formats, the uncertainty continues. But Castro tells News 4 he expects things at both stations to be "pretty much business as usual."
The acquisitions will give Border Media Partners 8 stations in San Antonio, 9 if you add in 103.1-FM in Karnes City.

Castro says he's uncertain about just how the company might consolidate operations and studios or where, but that is part of the longer-term plans.
KTSA and JACK-FM are currently run out of a building on San Antonio's Austin Highway next to several radio towers.

Castro says Borders Media Partners is planning a grand opening celebration for a new headquarters of its other San Antonio stations in the Loop 410-Interstate-10 area.
He says it's possible KTSA and JACK-FM could move there, but no decision would be made until after the deal is closed and approved by the FCC. That is expected to take several months.

Castro plans to meet with employees of the company's new San Antonio stations Thursday morning, August 24th to talk with them about his plans.

(Source: WOAI, San Antoonio, Texas)

GVH: This truly is a surprise and disappointment. KTSA 550 AM, has been been a part of the San Antonio radio scene for many decades, and in recent years has been an news/talk format. When KTSA was a Pop-40 format, many of us grew up hearing the personalities of Ricky Ware, George Lester and Bruce Hathaway. Bruce will be inducted in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in late fall 2006, and rightly so for his many years of radio service. This truly is the end of an era for S.A.