Tuesday, March 24, 2015


FM translators continue to bring in big money for sellers of public licenses. Since the FCC allowed some AM stations to have a voice on the FM dial, and then did the same for HD Radio stations, every market has gained new FM stations via translators. AM and HD Radio signals are cheap and easy studio-to-transmitter links.

The highest price I’ve seen paid for an FM translator is $3.5 million.  That amount was almost beat recently in Chicago.  Integrity Radio Communications walked away from the purchase of 100.7 FM – W264BF – in Chicago for $4,600,000.  The reason is unclear.


100.7 FM – W264BF shows what a 10-watt translator can do. W264BF’s antenna broadcasts from Willis Tower, the prime tower site in Chicago:


W264BF is owned by Calvary Radio Network, a 501c3 organization based in Valparaiso, Indiana. Calvary Radio Network is operated by James Motshagen, an entrepreneur pastor with enterprises in Indiana, Florida and California. Motshagen has been involved with several station and translator license sales or purchases in the past several years.

In its most recent (2012) IRS 990 tax filing, Calvary Radio Network’s annual revenue was just over $1 million dollars.  $4.6 million from the sale of W264BF would be godsend (no pun intended).


In the meantime, it is fundraising as usual at Calvary Radio Network. On their website, I saw this appeal for Chicago listeners to Save 100.7:

100.7 FM, W264BF in Chicago, we need your help! In November we completed an upgrade to this station bringing it from 2 watts to 10 watts in a directional pattern. There have been some complaints of interferance [sic] with another station that opposed the upgrade. This will cost a lot in legal fees, however, the down side is we could lose tis station. So far the legal expense have been astronomical to say the least. we are asking those in the Chicago area to help us out. Please prayerfully consider donating to Calvary Radio, please mark Chicago or 100.7 in the memo portion of the check.

Seriously, they want every dollar from the faithful before they sell.

I think it is likely the $4.6 million dollar fell through because somebody is offering Motshagen more money. I bet W264BF sells for more than $5 million.  I’ll let you know what happens.

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