Thursday, May 14, 2015


Last week we reported how noncom broadcaster the Educational Media Foundation (“EMF”) is working with commercial group owner iHeartMedia to create a new INSTANT FM station in the Twin Cities [LINK]. Here is the way it works: iHeartMedia creates an HD2 station and it is rebroadcast on an FM translator owned by EMF. iHeartMedia leases the translator from EMF for an undisclosed amount. Presto!  A new FM station appears without the cost of filing for a new FM station with the FCC.

A quick search of the FCC database shows five other similar arrangements since January 1, 2015. EMF and iHeartMedia appear to be creating new INSTANT FM stations in Charlotte, Detroit, Cleveland, Albany and Salinas.

Now EMF is moving into LA by purchasing an FM station and several FM translators.


The translators purchased by EMF include K220HC 91.9 FM, licensed to Studio City.  The current transmission site for K220HC is just above Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills just off Mulholland. Tell me how much you pay to lease this FM translator that covers this area:

Prior to the sale, K220HC was owned by Life On the Way Communications.  We featured Life On… back in February [LINK] when they were advertising another translator in Wealthy Phoenix (their words) for $150,000. [Would it be cheaper if its located in Normal Phoenix?]

Life On… appears to be acquiring FM translators for the purpose of selling them.  Whether this is true is difficult to determine because the IRS considers Life On… a church, meaning it doesn’t disclose its financial information.


EMF says its primary business is radio broadcasting in the name of the Lord.  But a big part of their core business appears to be buying, selling and leasing of broadcast frequencies.

Between January 1 and May 8, 2015 EMF spent almost $24,000,000 to acquire new FM licenses and translators. According to filings with the IRS, EMF had revenue over $141,000,000 in 2013. EMF does not disclose how much of the revenue comes from leasing their frequencies.  Their leasing revenue from iHeart Media alone is likely substantial.

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