Escanaba radio station has new owner

ESCANABA — Anf Escanaba radio station will be purchased by Sovereign Communications, the Upper Peninsula-based radio broadcasting company announced in a press release.

The stations in question are WYKX-FM and WDBC-AM, which Sovereign has agreed to buy from KMB Broadcasting. With this acquisition, Sovereign will own a total of 17 stations in the U.P., including stations in Sault Ste. Marie, Newberry, Marquette, and Iron Mountain.

Sovereign Communications President Bill Curtis said he is pleased with this purchase agreement.

“We couldn’t be more excited about this purchase,” Curtis said in a statement quoted in Sovereign’s press release. “We’ve wanted to own these heritage stations for a long time and I’m delighted Mr. Cooke decided to sell them to us.”

Curtis said he expects the transition in ownership to be a smooth one.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have some of the best people in the radio business on our team. They’re passionate radio professionals that are excited about our growth and are ready to take on additional responsibilities and play an even more important role in the larger company,” he said.

In another statement included in the press release, KMB Broadcasting President James Cooke expressed a sense of bittersweetness about the sale agreement. Part of the reason he agreed to sell the stations was that he and his wife Betsy have both reached retirement age.

“It’s with mixed emotions that we decided to sell WDBC and WYKX,” Cooke commented. “We have owned the stations since 1978 — longer than any other owners in their histories, dating all the way back to 1941 in the case of WDBC.”

However, Cooke said he is confident that Sovereign Communications will maintain the legacies of WDBC and WYKX.