New Maui radio station expands Hochman’s media presence
The FM radio station coming to Wailea-Makena on Maui will be built not by Jon E. Robinson of Kentucky, but by George Hochman, of Kauai.
Hochman Hawaii Publishing Inc. is buying the construction permit for the yet-unbuilt station for $600,000, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the closing of the financial transaction.
Robinson paid $322,000 for the permit in an FCC auction in March.
At the time the frequency, 96.7, was allocated by the FCC to Kailua-Kona, but Robinson's JER Licenses LLC won commission approval to move it to Wailea-Makena in September.
Since Robinson received a new-entrant bidding credit of 25 percent in the auction which stretched his bidding power, and since Hochman is not entitled to such a credit as a long-time broadcast owner, JER Licenses will have to reimburse the FCC the amount of the bidding credit. That condition is included in the FCC filing.
That Wailea-Makena is chock-full of high-end real estate occupied by a well-heeled demographic has not escaped Hochman. He is working to decide what type of format to beam into the area alongside his KONI-FM 104.7, which airs hits from the 1960s and 1970s and can also be heard there.
"It's definitely an upscale market," he said. His intention is to choose a format that is "complimentary and works well with the other station."
The station, for which call letters are pending, should be built and on the air "by summer at the latest," said Hochman.
He hopes to get another Oahu station, KRUD-AM 1130, on the air "by springtime of next year." It will not have a strong signal, at about 350 watts, but like the other Oahu stations in which Hochman owns an interest, it will be aimed at foreign-language audiences.
The other two are KORL-AM 1180 and KORL-FM 101.1.
KORL-FM, which signed on July 1, is a combination of Japanese pop music, smooth jazz and time-brokered programming, in which chunks of time are sold to people who put on their own shows.
The J-pop airs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday on the only FM station in America to air Japanese-language programming, according to Hochman.
Hochman, based on Kauai, is sole owner of KITH-FM 98.9 and KTOH-FM 99.9 and is a co-owner of KJMQ-FM 98.1, which underwent a call letter change from KAWV effective Oct. 4.
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