Radio station WEXP-FM, “The Fox,” is changing hands once again.
The Rutland station is being sold to the Radio Vermont Group, the company that owns WDEV, its 82-year-old flagship station in Waterbury.
Radio Vermont Group spokesman Tom Beardsley said Wednesday the company is operating the Rutland station on a lease arrangement until the Federal Communications Commission approves the sale, which should be in early March.
Beardsley, vice president of group sales for Radio Vermont, said no major changes are planned. “Obviously, new owners, there will be some changes along the way,” he said. “But as far as the format is concerned, our plan is to keep the classic rock format.”
Radio Vermont owns talk-news station WDEV-AM and FM, WCVT-FM, Stowe, the state’s only commercial classical music station, and country music station WLVB-FM in Morrisville.
Beardsley said as a Vermont-based company, adding the Rutland station was a natural fit with potential.
“Our whole business is being here in Vermont,” said Beardsley, who at one time worked for WHWB in Rutland. “In other words, we wouldn’t be buying a station in Manchester, New Hampshire, for example, or Portland, Maine.”
Radio Vermont Group is owned by Ken Squirer; Eric Michaels, a former program director at WSYB in Rutland, is the radio group’s general manager.
Beardsley could not provide further specifics on the sale.
WEXP was part of the Nassau Broadcasting Partners group of stations when the company went through bankruptcy last year.
The stations were auctioned at bankruptcy with New Hampshire businessman Bill Binnie buying 30 stations in New England. Binnie in turn sold 13 stations, including WEXP and WWOD in White River Junction, to Jeff Shapiro.
But Shapiro, who already owned stations in the Rutland-White River Junction area, was required to sell the two stations to remain within the FCC ownership limit on stations in the same market.
According to an online trade publication, Shapiro in June sold the stations to a company owned by William and Gail Goddard of Glastonbury, Conn.
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