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Broadcaster - Stations to 'evolve'

May 26, 2005|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HAGERSTOWN

Philadelphia-based Main Line Broadcasting President Dan Savadove said in an interview Wednesday he does not anticipate any programming or staffing changes at the five Dame Broadcasting stations in the Tri-State area he acquired for $22.5 million on May 19.

"This will be an evolution, not a revolution," Savadove said. "We're starting this radio group, this is our first acquisition. We think this is a great initial acquisition because, as you know, it's in a growth market."

About eight months ago, Savadove signed an agreement with Arlington Capital Partners to acquire new stations under Main Line Broadcasting. He became familiar with Dame while managing WNNK 104 in Harrisburg, Pa., and worked through Dame's broker to buy the stations.

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"(Station Founder Al Dame), he's got a great staff that has been there for a long time and we really liked the situation," Savadove said. "We don't anticipate any program changes as far as I can see. The stations have a strong history ... and the staff, as far as I can see, is a pretty-seasoned staff."

Dame said after running the stations for six decades he felt it was time to step out of the picture, though he is confident his stations will continue to flourish under Savadove.

"I've been in the radio business 60 years now ... it's time to get out," Dame said. "We did very well in Hagerstown-Chambersburg and the reason we did is because of (general manager) Rich Bateman. He's an extremely competent manager and he's made it easy to do very good."

Bateman said the stations will continue to stress local content.

"The reality is the marketplace sort of dictates that," he said. "Our point of differentiation is the stuff between the music. We have always had our eye on the localism aspect."

Bateman said Dane's 20-member staff was notified a week before the proposed transaction and greeted the news with optimism.

It could take two to three months for the Federal Communications Commission to review and sanction the sale, Bateman said.

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