It’s kind of a big deal. And it could be yours, depending how the auction goes.
374 S. Butler Road will be auctioned starting Friday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. and ending Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 11:10 a.m.
The starting bid is $150,000. The future for the building is unclear, but its past remains visible to us, albeit slightly grainy.
The station began originally as WLBR-TV in 1946. In 1955, Triangle Publications bought out the license from Lebanon Broadcasting Co. (WLBR’s owners) and Lebanon News Publishing Company (The Lebanon Daily News’ owners) and switched its affiliation from ABC to CBS.
Triangle would go on to sell the station as part of a broadcast divestiture in the 1970s, while company executive Gerry Lenfest was about to make the biggest bet of his life on acquiring a local cable TV company that the station had partly owned.
At its peak, Channel 15 had a full-fledged news operation based out of its West Cornwall Township studios, where a 1,064-foot tower with 60-mile signal radius was installed in the ’70s. The current studio building was built around the same time as well.
Now the 10-acre-property is being auctioned off, with the remaining parcel neutered of much of its commercial heritage.
Current owners Rocket Dog LLC negotiated a 100-year lease and permanent easement for the broadcast towers that won’t be affected by the property sale. The company had bought the property from Sinclair Communications for just under $372,000 last year.
The auction description also notes that remaining broadcast and media equipment at the site is not included in the sale.
More information about the sale can be found at AshlandAuction.com.
Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.
Do you support local news?
If you believe that Lebanon County needs independent, high-quality journalism, consider joining LebTown as a member. Your support will go directly towards stories like this and you will be helping ensure that our community has a reliable news source for years to come.
Learn more about membership and join now here.