Kauai broadcaster moving Maui station to Oahu
Oahu will gain an FM radio station in a swap between broadcasters based on Maui and Kauai that has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission.
The deal involves two frequencies, three islands and $520,000 -- but much more cash than that will be expended before the dust settles.
Maui-based Pacific Radio Group Inc.
is swapping its KLHI-FM 101.1 in Lahaina for the not-yet-built KORL-FM 92.5, Kahului, owned by Kauai-based Hochman Hawaii-Three Inc.
The latter will also pay Pacific Radio Group $520,000 over a six-year period.
The financial transaction is expected to close within 60 days, said George Hochman, president of Hochman Hawaii-Three.
Each company will keep its call letters, so KHLI-FM will switch to 92.5 on Maui, but "we have to shut theirs off and move (101.1 FM) to Oahu," he said. "It's going to be a big job of coordinating."
Hochman will build KORL-FM 101.1 facilities alongside KORL-AM 1180's studios in Pioneer Plaza. The station will transmit from an antenna on Palehua Ridge, shared with KAIM-FM 95.5 and KQMQ-FM 93.1.
"Hopefully we'll have it on the air by summertime," said Hochman. The frequency is the last full-power, 100,000-watt FM allotment for Oahu, he said.
KLHI has been on the air since 1984 and went to an alternative rock format in the mid-1990s.* The format will remain the same following the frequency move to 92.5, Pacific Radio President Chuck Bergson told TheBuzz.
The format for the new KORL-FM is not cast in stone, but Hochman said "we're going to do something like try to service the ethnic communities on FM ... it's not being done except with the Hawaiian stuff."
The mainstream formats that can be successful on Oahu are pretty much taken, but Hochman plans to maintain a "small operation. Perry and Price don't have to worry," he laughed.
Friday, March 23, 2007
» Maui radio station KLHI-FM 101.1 has had an alternative rock format since the mid-1990s. A column on Page C1 Wednesday incorrectly said it had that format since it began broadcasting in 1984.
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