Urban One’s radio business operates under the Radio One brand, which is displayed at the company’s Indianapolis offices at 21 E. St. Joseph St. (IBJ Photo/Dave Lindquist)
Anthems are set to replace hip-hop on an Indianapolis radio dial frequency.
Maryland-based media company Urban One Inc. has agreed to sell WHHH-FM 96.3 to Charlotte, North Carolina, Bible Broadcasting Network for $3.2 million, under an asset purchase agreement filed with the Federal Communications Commission.
Urban One sells the 96.3 frequency to meet rules based on the number of radio stations a company can own in a single city. Pending FCC approval, Urban One is buying Indianapolis radio stations from Emmis Communications, a deal that would push Urban One beyond the limit of five local FM stations.
Carl Redemann, executive director of Bible Broadcasting Network, said his company continues to expand in the Midwest. In Indiana, the network already operates radio stations in Wakarusa, Jasper and Washington.
Defined as a non-commercial and educational broadcasting company, the Bible Broadcasting Network operates more than 50 radio stations in 23 states.
“The Lord has opened this door in Indianapolis, for which we are grateful,” Redemann said in an email interview. “BBN has seen great response from our other outreaches in Indiana, and we look forward to serving those in the Indianapolis area.”
Reddemann said his company plans to use WYHK call letters at 96.3.
Urban One will retain the WHHH call letters and hip-hop music format associated with “Hot 96.3”. Music now heard on the 96.3 frequency could migrate to the 100.9 FM frequency, where Urban One plans to discontinue its “Radio Now” pop music format and sell the intellectual property rights to a third party. Attempts to reach Urban One representatives for comment were unsuccessful.
If the Emmis transaction is approved, the projected list of Indianapolis FM stations owned by Urban One will be WTLC-FM 106.7, WIBC-FM 93.1, WYXB-FM 105.7, WLHK-FM 97.1 and the format to be announced at 100.9. WIBC, WYXB and WLHK are currently owned by Emmis.
Emmis-to-Urban One stations WFNI-FM 93.5 and 105.5, both known as The Fan, are broadcast via translators W228CX and W298BB, and translator stations are not counted as FM stations for purposes of the FCC multiple ownership rule.