Friday, March 9, 2007

Chaparral set to merge with Denver company

Blue Point Media buying stations throughout West

Express Staff Writer

Blue Point Media is set to merge with Chaparral Broadcasting Inc., owner of local radio stations KECH 95.3, KSKI 103.7 and KYZK 107.5, as well as four stations in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Blue Point Media President and CEO Skip Weller, a 51-year-old businessman based in Denver, said his new company is in the process of acquiring 50 to 100 radio stations in the next year.

"We are a company basically buying several radio stations in the West: Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota and Iowa," Weller said. "The stations we want to purchase are in great growth markets. We are looking at small towns and resort towns, where we think there is the potential for fabulous growth over the next 30 years."

Weller said he believes "30 to 40" contracts have thus far been submitted to the Federal Communications Commission for approval.

A 30-year veteran of the broadcasting business, Weller said most recently he was president of Next Media, which owned 70 radio stations. Previous to that he was vice president of Chancellor Media, which sold to Clear Channel in 1999.

Weller said he and his partners, Chris Devine and Bruce Buzil, approached Chaparral Broadcasting owner Jerry Lundquist about purchasing his stations, but instead of selling, Lundquist wanted to come on board in the venture.

"Jerry's stations will bring him into the fold and he will partner with us," Weller said. "We're in the process of signing everything as we speak."

Weller said he does not anticipate any immediate changes at the local Wood River Valley radio stations, but lots of "fun" is on the horizon.

"It's really exciting," he said. "My partners and I are really enthusiastic folks and we like to have fun in this business."

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