New York firm buying five local radio stations

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 4:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 4:10 p.m.

A Long Island radio broadcast company has an agreement to buy five FM radio stations in the Gainesville/Ocala market owned by Asterisk Communications of Fort Lauderdale.

JVC Media of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., is buying all of Asterisk's stations for $3.5 million, according to John Caracciolo, CEO of JVC.

The local stations are: WTRS 102.3 Thunder Country and WMFQ 92.9 92Q, both based in Ocala; and Gainesville-based WXJZ 100.9 Smooth FM, WBXY 99.5 The Star and WYGC 104.9 105 The Game.

JVC has an agreement to start operating the stations on June 1 but the deal will not close until it is approved by the Federal Communications Commission, Caracciolo said.

He said JVC plans to invest in staffing and marketing and will add 15 employees over the next couple months in promotions, programming, DJs, sales and the business office. The five stations currently have 35 full-time and part-time employees.

Caracciolo said JVC is looking at a couple different properties downtown to move the Gainesville stations, which will have public views of the studios. The stations are currently at 4424 NW 13th St.

He said they will also research whether to keep the current station formats or make changes.

JVC Media owns four FM stations on Long Island, N.Y., and manages the Pennysaver Amphitheater. Caracciolo and Victor Canales formed the company with backing from Northwood Ventures, according to a news release.

Caracciolo said JVC has been looking to expand for awhile and has employees from the Gainesville/Ocala area.

Asterisk President Fred Ingham was not available for comment Wednesday. The family company started with the purchase of WTRS in 1983 and has also owned radio stations in Panama City and the Tampa/Clearwater areas.

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