Lebanon County’s oldest radio station is getting new owners for the second time in a little over three years, but personnel and format changes, if any, haven’t been revealed.
Radio industry website Radio Insight reported on Oct. 12 that local AM/FM station WLBR/WQIC is among 34 radio stations being sold by Holidaysburg-based Forever Media to State College-based Seven Mountains Media.
The transfer is expected to be completed on Jan. 3.
WLBR AM 1270 took to the airwaves in 1946, added FM in 1948, and was owned by the Etter family’s Lebanon Broadcasting Co. until it was sold to Forever in 2019.
- WLBR and WQIC will be sold to Holidaysburg-based Forever Media
- WLBR 1270 suddenly changes to “Classic Hits” format, drops talk shows
- WLBR to return to talk-heavy format after two years of satellite music
Station manager Tim Ritchie told LebTown this week that he could not discuss specifics of the deal, such as possible format and personnel changes or whether locally-produced programming will be increased.
Instead, Ritchie provided a press release in which Seven Mountains CEO Kristin Cantrell said, “It’s a dream come true to welcome these markets to our company. These Pennsylvania communities are near and dear to our hearts and we look forward to serving our listeners for many years to come.“
The release adds, “In conjunction with a long-standing 7MM Human Resources policy, all Forever employees, both full time and part-time, will be offered employment with Seven Mountains Media” when the sale is completed.
Programming at WLBR, the AM station, is dominated by nationally syndicated, right-leaning talk shows, except for Laura LeBeau’s locally produced weekday morning variety show and some religious programming on weekends.
On the FM side, WQIC has a country music format, with weekday morning and afternoon shows hosted by local in-studio announcers Steve Todd and Chris Shuey, whose on-air name is “Bullfrog.” The mid-day announcing shift is handled “Lily Pad,” who Ritchie said is based at a Forever Media station in York.
Between them, the sister stations also carry Philadelphia Phillies baseball, Hershey Bears hockey, Penn State football, and local high school sports.
Seven Mountains owns 25 stations in Pennsylvania and New York, none of which appears to feature a talk format. It touts its local connections and programming, saying on its website that “[w]e seek out the best local talent that care about their community. That’s right! Real, live people are on the air ALL DAY, talking about the things their listeners care about.”
Other radio stations currently transmitting from Lebanon County are WWSM 1510 AM, which has a “News, Bluegrass, & Legendary Country Music” format, and WADV 940 AM, which plays religious music.
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