Juneau Radio Stations Bought by Out-of-State Owner
All six commercial radio stations in Juneau are changing hands to an out-of-state owner, an acquaintance of the current owners, Frontier Media.
$1.3 Million Deal
Cliff Dumas, a morning host in Bakersfield, California, is buying KINY, KJNO, KTKU, KSUP, KXXJ, and Hawk 107.9, as well as two stations each in Sitka (KSBZ and KIFW) and Ketchikan (KTKN and KGTW). The $1.3 million deal also includes Frontier Media’s six-station cluster in Texarkana, Texas and a seventh station owned by a joint venture, Jo-Al Broadcasting.
Dumas previously co-hosted a syndicated show with Frontier Media co-owner Sharon Burns. She and her husband Richard, both from Australia, became the first foreigners to own US broadcast licenses in 2017 when they acquired Juneau Alaska Communications.
In an interview this summer, Richard Burns said he was still grateful to the Federal Communications Commission for allowing foreign ownership. “It was a big deal then, and it’s a big deal even today,” Burns said. “We’re enormously thankful to America for giving us the opportunity to be able to do that because it’s not something that we could’ve done in our birth country.”
Burns added that obtaining ownership of a US broadcast license was easier for an Australian than becoming a naturalized citizen, which is why he and his wife did not go that route.
The Burnses came to Juneau sixteen years ago. At the time, Juneau Alaska Communications and Alaska Broadcast Communications were under corporate ownership. Richard Burns says it took a lot of effort to convert the operation to family ownership. Notably, Frontier Media did not buy the radio assets piecemeal but served as a holding company for the existing ownership structure, which dates to the ‘80s.
The new owner, BTC USA Holdings Management, is a joint venture of Dumas’ Broadcast 2 Podcast Inc., which owns 80 percent of the new company, and Toronto-based Local First Media Group, led by Bryan Woodruff. Dumas was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 as a broadcaster.