• Register

The C.R.M. Message Board

Chicagoland's greatest and longest-running media-themed message board!

Before the summer is over, WCGO-AM will have a new owner...

WCGO Being Purchased By William Pollack
Responses (4)
  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, May 11 2017, 04:56 PM - #permalink
    My how the markets have fallen and stayed down. A little as a 5 years ago, they were asking and getting interested people at $8M. Now only $3M.

    Looking out west, Emmis got only $87M for KWPR, which in 2007 would have netted $200+M. And CBS as a group should have been valued well north of $4B. Heck, in 2006, the Chicago cluster alone would have netted something close to $1B alone. David Field is getting a bargain.

    Simply amazing how deeply tanked the market went and still has yet to recover. No wonder why Iheart and Cumulus are on the verge of bankruptcy. What's not known are scores of other highly leveraged mid-sized groups are facing the same financial guillotine.

    And people with little debt and dry powder in their bank accounts are poised to pounce....like Mr. Pollack did with WCGO.

    Next up, WGN....

    The reply is currently minimized Show
  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, May 11 2017, 08:07 PM - #permalink
    Why would anyone want a stand-alone AM (WGN) that bills less than half of what it did in the late 2000s, whose expenses are high... and what's even higher is the age of the average listener??

    As far as WCGO, even at $3.0M today, it's still a lousy investment. It will be worth less than half of that in a year.

    It's over.
    The reply is currently minimized Show
  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, May 12 2017, 07:04 AM - #permalink
    Most everyone's billings, save for a select few stations, are in the tank and have been flat for years (as are the stick multiples.) The roaring early 2000's where stick multiples exceed 12 are gone...and for good. WGN isn't alone by any stretch in that regards. And more over, a good part of their revenue in their heyday was tied to the Cubs. But so were their expenses (rights fees, production costs, promotion et. al.).

    With that said, I don't look at total billing as a station's true tell tale. The measuring stick is trailing cash flow after all expenses. Aside from real estate/assets, trailing cash flow is the metric which the vast majority of station values are based. So if ditching the Cubs increased their raw or percentage cash flow, then it was a good financial decision.

    I refrained from commenting on the value of WCGO's value as I was at one time approached by the Kovas family, who I have distantly known for 20+ years--including the crusty old man himself, about the station. Connie was/is a sweatheart of a lady who was thrust into this role after Ken Kovas was tossed on his ear for embezzlement. Which he deserved. Joe and me talked on and off and it wasn't the right fit.

    Maybe Mr. Pollack will realize Frank's 25KW goal. But before that, they need to better position the day signal so nearly half of the marketable signal does't go over Lake Michigan.

    The reply is currently minimized Show
  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, May 12 2017, 10:09 AM - #permalink
    The Kovas station has a limited potential due to it's night signal, which barely covers anywhere south of Chicago's loop. The existing 10Kw daytime signal covers the city rather nicely, so the idea of a 25Kw daytime signal may not bring a good ROI. I'd say, anything to improve the night coverage would be a wise investment.

    Regardless what the coverage is...without a the proper niche programming the station would flounder. They tried a "conservative talk" direction a year or two back and that didn't get any traction in predominantly Democratic Chicago. Which isn't surprising as others who have done conservative talk programming in Chicago have failed as well.

    It seems to me that a good foreign language format is the best approach for them...We shall see as the new owners take over.
    The reply is currently minimized Show
Your Reply

The CHICAGOLAND RADIO & MEDIA website is the #1 resource for news, information, discussions and celebrations of all things related to Chicago radio, television, newspapers and more. Please help support the website by clicking on the "Donate" button below! THANK YOU for your backing!

CRM Website Information

The Chicagoland Radio & Media website (abbreviated as CRM) is a celebration of all things relating to Chicago-area media matters. CRM is a news source, a location for fans to voice their opinions, and an online museum of Chicago media's past and present, with a hopeful eye to its future. For the visitors, readers, and fans of the website, CRM is a both a resource and a release, both educational and an escape, and both factual and fun.

If it has a connection to Chicago area radio, television, print, and/or other forms of media -- information on it can be found here at ChicagolandRadioAndMedia.com!