Radio station WEBB-AM (1360) has been sold by Baltimore businesswoman Dorothy E. Brunson to a newly created Vermont company.
Ms. Brunson sold WEBB -- an urban contemporary station she has owned for the last 10 years -- and Atlanta radio station WIGO-AM to Allied Media Inc. of Woodstock, Vt. for $3.6 million. She also sold a third station, WBMS-FM in Wilmington, N.C., to a businessman there for $168,000.
Allied President Roger Amato, who confirmed the sale yesterday, said he and a partner created the company to purchase the two stations from Ms. Brunson.
He said Allied plans to "keep the format the same" but that the company was going to "try and reach more people."
In the latest Arbitron ratings, 5,000-watt WEBB had a 0.4 share of Baltimore-area listeners age 12 and over, which tied the station for 29th place in the market.
By contrast, the top-rated station, WXYV-FM (V-103), which also has an urban contemporary format but operates at 50,000 watts, had a 9.5 audience share.
A single share point translates into an average of about 3,600 listeners in an average quarter hour.
Ms. Brunson, the first black woman in the country to own a radio station when she purchased WEBB for $485,000 from soul singer James Brown in 1979, could not be reached for comment. She told The Evening Sun yesterday that she sold the three stations for capital to put her company's Philadelphia television station back on the air.
The Federal Communications Commission awarded the broadcast license of WGTW-TV to Brunson Communications Inc. in the mid-1980s after the independent UHF station went off the air and its previous owner voluntarily gave up its license.
After an unsuccessful court challenge charging that she had been granted the license solely because of her race, Ms. Brunson was cleared to assume control of the station two years ago.