Thursday, June 16, 2016


 Life is Wonderful in Happy Valley
State College is one of the ultimate college towns. The city of 100,000 in central Pennsylvania got its nickname – Happy Valley – during the 1930s.  Unlike most places in America at that time, State College was a place with jobs, schools and fun because it was (and still is) the home of Penn State University (PSU).

Today Happy Valley is still heaven on earth with a rich mix of education, arts, funky businesses and endless parties.  If you are in the radio biz, Happy Valley is now calling you.


The advertisement in a broadcast broker’s newsletter offers an amazing, unique opportunity to live, work and play in Happy Valley.  The cost is a mere $450,000, cash only please.

Lets look a little closer…

The station is most likely WRXV 89.1 RevFM, the anchor of The REV Radio Network [link], a DIY Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) station owned by Invisible Allies Ministries, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

RevFM pushes 4,400 watts of power from a transmitter that is 1,100 feet above the Happy Valley. It signed on in June 2004.  That is the happy part of the story.

The sadder part of the story is that the station has proven to be unsustainable.  In fact, RevFM appears to be broke.


Perhaps State College, Pennsylvania has too many radio stations. Because of its remote location the market has seen many move-ins and new stations all over the FM dial. Keep in mind that a city of 100,000 can only support a limited number of commercial and noncom stations. According to Radio-Locator, over 40 stations put competitive signals into the market.

The noncom dial in State College is challenging.  In addition to NPR News on Penn State’s WPSU and PSU’s awesome student station WKPS The Lion, there are four other religious noncoms all doing basically the same thing as RevFM: CCM music.

The other CCM players are repeaters of K-LOVE and WAY-FM, long-time local CCM voice WMMH 91.9 and the rapture-loving WJSA, owned by the Institute for Creation Research.  How much God is Too Much God?

The financials for the licensee, Invisible Allies Ministries, are pretty grim.  According to its 2014 IRS 990 filing, RevFM’s total revenue was just over $87,000. The filing says the station operates totally with volunteers. The transmitter site costs $7,000 per year. Invisible Allies Ministries biggest assets are the perceived value of the network’s FCC licenses.

RevFM has no streaming audio and the last entry on their website was made in 2014.

And, the RevFM Radio Network? It consists of three stations, all located in the State College area.

So, you decide. Is this Happy Valley opportunity worth $450,000? If you want to take the risk, I’ll give you the broker’s contact information.

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