Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Opinions, comments, critiques, and what you hear is going on – post it, share it!
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:26 am

Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by fmantac27 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:43 am

Yeah, I know the hassles that will most certainly be involved, but does anyone have any opinions/experiences/rants about it? I have a good friend with Wall Street type of money and I know a ton of people in every area of radio. Everyone's weighed in but AA is filled with people who have tons of experience and I wanted to get opinions here. I'm thinking about something between Markets 50-100 but the parameters aren't set in stone. It's just something I've been kicking around for a while and think it might just work...or completely crash and burn on a level ususlly reserved for frogs falling from the sky..

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:27 pm

Re: Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by luther » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:26 am

Can you SELL? If you can, then go for it.

Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:27 am

Re: Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by Beef_Stew » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:27 pm

Hassles? Wall Street Money? Parameters aren't set in stone? Is it worthwhile to just buy a station? Seriously? Is it worthwhile to just buy an island, a 747, a hotel? I don't know. It depends. What does your legal team think?

Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:29 pm

Re: Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by danmac » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:08 pm

are you looking for a good investment? You have to ask yourself what kind of money can I return to my investors, that's all they want to know. I guy who said buy a puppy cause you love dogs is right. Don't buy radio cuase you love radio or have passion for radio. They say the only way to make money in radio is to own it. That depends on the buy-in factors. buy a cheap one and throw money hand over fist into the thing and hope for the econmey to recover. I would not buy a radio station, ever.

Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:26 am

Re: Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by fmantac27 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:14 pm

There are some angry, bitter little people here. By the way, thanks, Criptor. Not that I was looking for a pie-in-the-sky answer but at least you saw fit to be positive and not a snarky, menstruating sh*thead.

Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:32 am

Re: Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by fmdj1 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:28 pm

What a great question. If radio wasn't a worthwhile investment, you wouldn't see savvy businessmen and woman still buying into it. However, what they understand at the end of the day is, like any other business, it requires good planning and execution by the right team in order to succeed. I've worked for small stations that have played with the big boys in a top 50 market, but the owner was putting in 60+ hour weeks to do it. I've also worked for a station where the owner bought it as an investment, hired the right team to grow it, and then flipped it for millions in profit.
The real question is what do you want to put in and what do you want to get out? If your looking for high ROI, we are in an interesting environment. Stations are going for 1/2 to 1/3 of what they were 5 years ago, but the revenue pie is being quickly split between a new field of competitors. The FCC is enacting some rules that may help, but many that may not. I don't think quick flipping is quite as easy as it was a few years ago.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a longer-term investment, this may be a good time to get in. Prices are low for stations and overall listenership is still hanging in the same place it has for years. However, there are some important questions you may want to consider: 1. Do you know someone with enough knowledge of the radio business that you can trust to advise you without letting their personal interests interfere? 2. Are you willing to look at this as a business investment and put aside your personal format preferences (ie. can you own a station you may not regularly listen to for enjoyment)? 3. Are you willing to do the research to find the right market and the conditions? 4. Are you willing to assemble the team and give them the latitude needed to build a successful station? 5. Are you willing to put together and execute a sensible business plan?

Whatever you decide, I think there is opportunity out there, but it takes serious investment, both financially and personally. There are some naysayers out there, but there are plenty of us making a living in radio and looking towards a bright future.

Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:28 am

Re: Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by djhitman2 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:01 am

Hey Hey wait a second, What do you plan on doing with the station and whee do you plan on buying. I have been studying radio for many, many years. I have been hosting my own morning show for 3 years. Everyone thinks with the land of I-Pods & Satelite radio that FM is dead but its not. Radio has just been taken over by corporate America and suits who think they know radio, but they don't. Radio needs to return to its roots which is local, local, local! I work for the Army in Germany and people tune in baby. The reason Traffic, Weather and they want to know whats going on! I have listeners who listen to my show on average 2 and half hours. They want local news and they want to hear where I have gone so they can go. I mean I can get into my Mustang and just say Lady Gaga and its on but its not about that. They want more! I am tell you you get a jock who knows the town, goes to the restaurants, hits the clubs and can be entertaining then you have listeners. You have to use the music as the added bonus. A mix of Top 40 and just a few older songs is the way to go. The sales will come my friend! Its up to you but if I had the money I would do it!

Watch out for THE HITMAN

Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:26 am

Re: Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by fmantac27 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:31 am

Thank you all so much for the feedback. I know it's a ton more convoluted a process than I'm ready for but this info will help solidify the situation. I've been in radio on-and-off for years but never in management. It just seems, as some of you have said, that the time is ripe for some new blood (probably literally) in the game and if I can do something small but meaningful...

Thanks again!

Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:45 am

Re: Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by radiookc » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:15 pm

I left my "day job" in January to do this and the deal fell apart. It was an AM in a suburb of a Top 100 Market. After visiting with the owner a few times and looking at the books, it looked like My Wife and I were going to take the plunge. We had a consulting engineer that had directed us to a group that had a 250 Watt translator that could be moved and we would then have the AM on the FM dial in the city of license and the AM to cover the metro area. When the owner of the AM caught wind of the FM he doubled the price and would not budge. At that point the risk was too high for my blood. If you want to buy and you are prepared to step into a sales role, go for it. There is nothing better in life than doing what you love.

Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:27 pm

Re: Is it worthwhile to just buy a station?

Post by radioboss » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:42 pm

Investing in a radio station is indeed tricky. Been there and definitely done that!
However, you will need to divorce your spouse and marry this bride. Because it will take over your life and you will be saying "What Life?"
You can have fun with it and make money. Don't format the station to your likes; but, to your communities' needs with an assessment done in a 30 mile radius. You might be surprised at what you find out. Just because there is 3 country stations out there, doesn't mean that you couldn't do it better. Or, is there a format (such as Oldies) that isn't being done at all. Could you carve a niche and take your share of the pie.
But, you need to be cognizant of the ever-changing mediums out there and adapt to them in correlation to radio. Such as Mobile Apps, podcasting, etc. Incorporate those technologies and you will see added growth in the bottom line.
Research and evaluate the opportunity thoroughly. Then, do it again. Don't let emotions get in between the reality and the money and time invested.

Just a thought.

Post Reply