Woof Boom to acquire 6 area radio stations

A longtime local radio broadcaster and executive plans to pilot six radio stations in central Indiana in an acquisition expected to close in August.

Jerry “J.” Chapman, a former sales executive with Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp., is heading a group of investors who will buy three stations in Muncie and three others nearby. The group is named Woof Boom Radio, in a nod to longtime Indiana radio and TV broadcaster WFBM, which is now defunct.

With 51-year-old Chapman as manager, Woof Boom will take over operations at the stations on June 1, according to a release from the group. The Muncie stations are WLBC-FM 104.1, WERK-FM 104.9 and WXFN-AM 1430. The remaining three are Anderson’s WHBU-AM 1240, WMQX-FM 96.7 in Alexandria, and WMXQ-FM 93.5 in Hartford City.

“The stations we’re acquiring are vital links between listeners and the local community,” Chapman said in a statement. “We intend to utilize those radio resources to help grow our customer’s businesses and to improve the quality of entertainment and information in our new communities.”

The estimated combined reach of the six stations is nearly 90,000 weekly listeners, according to the ownership group.

Woof Boom investors expect the acquisition of the stations from Backyard Broadcasting in Jacksonville, Fla., to close in August, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The ownership team also includes Indianapolis-area executives Ray Kennedy, founder of Conormara Investments; Jason Farmer, managing director of venture capital firm WestBridge Investments; and Aaron Reitz.

Chapman has worked as on-air talent in Indianapolis, South Bend, and Scranton, Pa., and was part of the team that launched Indianapolis Fox TV affiliate WPDS (now WXIN Fox 59) in 1984. Joining Emmis in the late 1980s, Chapman managed various sales teams and eventually led the Indianapolis radio sales organization.

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