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Braddock radio station sold for $14.5K

| Thursday, May 9, 2013, 1:26 a.m.

A Braddock-licensed radio station caught up in its Connecticut owner's legal troubles was sold by a federal court receiver to the company that runs its Bloomfield studio.

Papers filed with the Federal Communications Commission said Michael Craven, receiver for WURP East Inc. and other Business TalkRadio assets, sold WLFP-1550 for $14,515 to AM Guys LLC.

“That is what we have offered and they've accepted it,” said Edward DeHart, a partner with Stephen Zelenko in AM Guys LLC.

“We can only confirm for you that we are under contract to sell WLFP,” BTR consulting operations officer Jeff Weber said.

Dehart said $14,515 was not his first offer:

“It was one dollar,” he said. “We actually were hoping someone else would buy it and lease the equipment off us, the same arrangement Business TalkRadio had. They came back with a counteroffer and that is what we settled on.”

DeHart said FCC approval may come in 45-75 days. AM Guys wants “more local, less satellite” programming.

“It is not going to be someone yelling about the president,” DeHart said. “And we are going to be open to music.”

It will continue to use its existing studios and a Braddock Hills tower shared with Wilkinsburg-licensed WAMO-660. WLFP runs on 1,000 watts by day and four watts at night.

DeHart said “a couple hundred thousand dollars” is needed for a directional array to boost the nighttime signal.

DeHart's association with AM 1550 dates back to the days of Pittsburgh Radio Werks. As PRW Dehart leased the former WURP-1550 from Urban Radio of Pennsylvania LLC and ran it as “The Edge,” with a variety of national talk shows.

His association with AM 1550 continued after Business TalkRadio bought WURP from Urban City in March 2007. It changed AM 1550's callsign to WLFP as in “Lifestyle for Pittsburgh,” BTR's Lifestyle TalkRadio Network.

“They leased the equipment off us,” DeHart said. “We actually did the feet-on-the-ground stuff for them in Pittsburgh.”

Craven is handling assets belonging to Blue Star Media, including Business TalkRadio Network in Greenwich, Conn.

“We benefited from the fact that no one else was making a valid offer and we were here and we could keep it on the air,” said DeHart, who also does business as aspStation, with various computer and phone services.

BTR once was headed by Michael Metter, who also was CEO of Spongetech Delivery Systems Inc. Metter faced charges of securities fraud because Spongetech allegedly faked 99 percent of its sales.

But after a federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., found problems with the prosecution in that case, Metter reached a plea agreement in January.

Metter admitted to one count of lying to regulators and faced a $100 fine and up to five years probation. He was the last of seven executives to plead guilty in that case.

WLFP was on the block for $225,000 but reportedly had an offer for $75,000. Late last year Metter denied the $75,000 report and wondered why anyone would buy a “cockamamie” station like WLFP.

WLFP dates back to the 1950s, when Matta Broadcasting ran it as daytime-only WLOA in a simulcast with WLOA-FM 96.9, now Steel City Media's WRRK-96.9.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967.

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