Arts & Entertainment, Lakeshore, and Small Business & Startups

Lakeshore TV station broadcasts it's for sale

February 18, 2013
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Lakeshore TV station broadcasts it's for sale
WMKG-CA TV operates out of a 1,900-square-foot facility in Norton Shores. Courtesy Hadden & Assoc.

WMKG-CA — a class A TV station at the Lakeshore — is up for sale.

The station currently airs original and network programming 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Content includes local talk shows, local sports, family programs, local church services, satellite movies and programs from affiliated networks, including Warner Brothers Network, America One, World Harvest Network and The Sportsman Channel.

The station’s signal reaches audiences in Muskegon, Ottawa, Oceana and Kent counties and could be enhanced to reach at least 90 percent of Kent.

Station owner Bud Kelley said he's selling WMKG, because he's ready to move into retirement with his wife.

Kelley has owned the station since 1990, and at its peak, the station produced its own Muskegon news program. The news program ran with a full news staff, including three on-air anchors, a sales team, reporters and camera crew.

Kelley said that several of those individuals have gone on to other broadcasting stations after honing their skills at WMKG.

Kelley suggested that churches, local businesses or a college might be most interested in purchasing the TV station.

“This is a great opportunity for somebody that wants to move forward a political aspect or a product out to the public, whether it be a church or a business,” Kelley said. “The opportunity is tremendous there. If you wanted to run a full-time site like Channel 13 or somebody else, you could do that, too.”

Kelley said that 50 percent of his business comes from leasing time to churches, and his only staff is himself and his wife.

WMKG has a price tag of $300,000, and national media broker Hadden & Associates is handling the sale.

Ryan Hadden, vice president of Hadden & Associates, said there are several examples of how organizations are using TV stations across the country.

He mentioned that a $6-million donation by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California recently spurred the start of the nation’s first 24 hour Native American TV channel.

“The channel is a groundbreaking media initiative, emphasizing the factual history, culture and current events of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives," Hadden said. "This one-of-a-kind channel will tell the stories of indigenous North American peoples and is the result of an ongoing partnership between KVCR and San Manuel.”

Hadden also said that churches have long been taking advantage of TV stations, and recently, the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles snapped up a station for broadcasting its message.

Gannett Co. Inc., LIN Television, owned by HM Capital, and Sinclair Broadcast Group all are major dual purpose broadcasting companies in the Grand Rapids market, according to Hadden.

“Bud's station could be used in a similar way by a college, church, tribe or business to run programming that is tailored to what their specific goals are,” Hadden said.

WMKG is housed in a 1,900-square-foot facility on a half acre of land in Norton Shores. The purchase includes all inventory and equipment on the premises. The station has all the equipment necessary to tape, edit and broadcast original shows, plus a library of stock footage, public domain and other programs.

Not included in the sale is the transmitter site, which includes a transmitter building and a 200-foot tower. It is located at 58 Milliron Road in Muskegon. A long-term lease can be negotiated. The transmission equipment is less than two years old.

The station operates on channel 38 and can be seen on channel 397 on Comcast’s expanded digital tier in the Muskegon area.

“The opportunities are unlimited — what you could do with it,” Kelley said.

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