Confirming rumors that circulated around Santa Barbara for weeks, Clear Channel officially announced Wednesday that it will be selling its local stations to Rincon Broadcasting, LLC for $17.3 million.
Owned by Ventura-based Point Broadcasting, Rincon will assume control of KTYD (99.9 FM), KSBL (101.7 FM), KIST (107.7 FM), and KSPE (94.5 FM), KTMS (990 AM), and KBKO (1490 AM) on Jan. 16, pending approval of the Federal Communications Commission. Point Broadcasting is owned by the Malibu-based Gold Coast Broadcasting, LLC, which also owns stations in Fresno, Kernville and Mojave.
In a press release, Gold Coast Broadcasting president John Hearne said that “this acquisition represents a wonderful opportunity for us to expand into new markets along the Central Coast of California. We are committed to providing the best in local news, entertainment and public service to Santa Barbara County, and we are excited to be in a position to serve its wonderful communities.”
While employees of these radio stations had been aware of the impending sale, many were left in the dark as to whether the changing of the ownership would mean losing their jobs. Matt McAllister, host of KTYD’s morning show (whose crew is pictured), said he believed that the majority of staff would remain. “I’m psyched,” McAllister said about the change. “First off, I’m happy to be separated from the Clear Channel name. It has a negative stigma and a lot of people have a negative reaction when they hear it.” McAllister said he was also pleased that Rincon Broadcasting would be locally based and that he and his colleagues would have potentially better access to their superiors. He elaborated that although he had not met the corporate bosses of KTYD’s two previous owners — the San Antonio, Texas-based Clear Channel, and before that JCore, which purchased the station in the early 90s — he had already met Hearne and judged him to be a boss that seemed committed to strengthening Santa Barbara radio.
“On a personal note, I have surfed the Central Coast for 45 years, and have a great love for Santa Barbara County and its magnificent coastline,” Hearn said in the press release.