The Montana Radio Company is boosting its presence in the Helena, MT market by snapping up a five-station cluster in a swap with Cherry Creek Radio. In exchange, Cherry Creek will receive a currently silent FM in the Butte, MT area, as well as three Great Falls, MT-licensed FM translators and cash.
The Cherry Creek stations in Helena being dealt to the Montana Radio Company include classic rock “Z-101” KZMT, country “99.5 The Bull” KBLL-FM, hot AC “B-104” KBMI-FM, adult hits “98.5 Dave FM” KHGC, and “News Radio 950” KCAP. Montana Radio already owns six stations in the market so it will be required to spin off four FMs in order to comply with FCC ownership limits.
In exchange for the stations it is swapping away, Cherry Creek will receive the currently silent KMTZ (107.7) in the Butte, MT area, as well as three Great Falls, MT-licensed FM translators, including K298BL at 107.5 FM, K280GG at 103.9 FM, and K260AU at 99.9 FM. Cherry Creek already owns a five-station cluster in the Great Falls market. Under the terms of the deal, the Montana Radio Company will also write a check to Cherry Creek for a currently undisclosed amount.
“We’re proud of all that our team in Helena achieved,” Cherry Creek CEO Jonathan Brewster said in a news release. “While it was a difficult decision to part with the stations, we’re looking forward to strengthening our existing clusters in Great Falls and Butte to better serve their communities.”
Montana Radio Company CEO Kevin Terry called the swap “bittersweet for both companies as we entrust each other with people and stations that mean a great deal to us. The opportunity, however, for commercial radio in Helena to be owned by two independent local operators is a rarity these days that could not be overlooked.”