Brood of Big Isle broadcasters to broaden
Two broadcasters will debut in the Big Island radio market following a public auction and private deals.
The Federal Communications Commission's FM Auction 70 ended Monday with Kentucky-based JER Licenses LLC emerging as the provisional winning bidder for 96.7 FM in Kailua-Kona -- the only Hawaii frequency up for grabs.
JER won six permits with a bid total of $605,600 -- $322,000 of which is for the Hawaii permit.
Principal Jon E. Robinson, "can't believe it went for what it did," he said in an e-mail.
One Hawaii permit previously sold for $1.4 million.
JER's other stations will be in Colorado, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin, joining unbuilt siblings in California and Nevada.
JER received a 25 percent new-entrant bidding credit for the auction, as did Virginia-based Jackman Holding Co. LLC, which stretched the companies' dollars.
Along with Wyoming-based Kona Coast Radio LLC, the companies notified the FCC they had agreed before the auction that if any should win permits, the others would have the option of acquiring up to 32 percent of the equity in one of the high bidders' stations.
Jackman has no isle stations, but Kona Coast has three construction permits.
Separately, former Rocky Mountain media mogul Scott Parker, who sold Alpine Broadcasting LP in 2004, is buying back into the broadcast business.
Parker will pay $375,000 for the long-silent KHWI-FM 92.7 in Hilo, and will purchase an FM construction permit for 92.1 in Holualoa, on the Kona side.
KHWI seller Frank Hooton, now a Texas real estate executive, shut it down in September, citing financial reasons.
The Kona permit cost Maryland-based Marquee Broadcasting Inc. $317,850 in a 2004 FCC auction, but Parker's price was not proffered.
"When I'm ready to turn on the CP on the Kona side, I'm going to turn KHWI on at the same time," hopefully by summer, he said. The format, to be simulcast, is a secret.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com