Gamma Broadcasting to sell radio station

Gamma Broadcasting LLC confirmed on Thursday the upcoming sale of radio station Classic Country WSIG — Real Country 96.9 WSIG — in Mount Jackson to Saga Communications.

The closing date of the sale of WSIG and a second radio station, AC WBOP/Buffalo Gap in Harrisonburg, will take place in late summer for the combined price of $1,335,000, said Sam Bush, chief financial officer of Saga Communications.

“We think Gamma has done a great job in building the stations,” Bush said.

Pending approval of the sale by the Federal Communications Commission, he said the transfer is due to take place in late July. Until then, WSIG will broadcast as usual from its station at 639 N. Main St., Mt. Crawford.

The announcement comes about a month after Saga Communications also acquired five Harrisonburg radio stations owned by VerStandig Broadcasting. Saga plans to consolidate all seven stations into one broadcast location in Harrisonburg, Bush said.

WSIG originally signed on the air in 1953, when it broadcast on AM station 790, said Scott Richards, general manager of WSIG. It later moved to FM radio in 1987.

Gamma Broadcasting has owned WSIG for about nine years, said Bruce Danziger, president of Gamma Broadcasting.

“It has always been a country station under our ownership and for a significant period of time prior to our ownership,” he said.

Bush said Saga intends WSIG to remain a country station.

Asked how the location change will affect station employees, Bush said, “I can’t say that there won’t be any change in staff, but … [the] intention is to work with the people currently on board.”

WSIG and WBOP are very good stations, he said. “Obviously that’s due to the people that are there currently,” he said.

Praising the pending arrangement with Saga, Danziger called Saga a great company.

“Been in the radio business a long time, and I’ve known the top management of Saga a long time, and they’re going to be great owners of our radio station,” he said. “They really get what radio is.”

Saga owns Tidewater Communications LLC in Norfolk and Charlottesville Radio Group in Charlottesville, along with 20 other stations nationwide, two television networks in Missouri and Texas and a radio network in Chicago.

“We are a very community-oriented radio company,” Bush said, “and we’re just very excited to be able to have gotten the opportunity to be involved in the Harrisonburg market.”

“This is just a tremendous opportunity for us to move into one of the best markets in the state,” he said.

Contact WSIG FM at 540-432-1063 or www.969sig.com. Contact Saga Communications at http://sagacom.com. Contact Gamma Broadcasting at 540-432-1063.

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com