Magnum Communications Inc. has purchased three local radio stations from NRG Media LLC, realizing a lifelong dream of its owner.
Based in Tomah, Magnum closed Monday on the purchase of WFAW-AM and WSJY-FM in Fort Atkinson and WKCH-FM in Whitewater from NRG, an Iowa-based company headed by Mary Quass.
When the potential purchase was announced in December 2019, Quass said NRG has “been fortunate to have worked with the great people at the stations in Fort Atkinson for many years. The dedicated broadcasters at the stations will continue to provide the Fort Atkinson community with great local radio, and know they will contribute to the success of Magnum Communications going forward.”
Magnum Communications is headed by Dave Magnum.
He noted that his maternal grandmother grew up on a Fort Atkinson farm, and his mother and her remaining siblings get together at Lake Ripley each summer in her honor.
“My first radio job was in my hometown at WNNO in Wisconsin Dells, which, back then, was on 107.1 (now 106.9),” Magnum said. “The first adjacent station was 107.3 WSJY, so we were very aware of that powerhouse emanating from the south. My mom’s family is from Chicago. When we’d drive there, I marveled at how we could listen to WSJY from the Dells to way beyond Rockford.
“So, at age 16, I started keeping an ear on that big 107.3 signal thinking, ‘if my crazy dream of putting together a chain of stations ever came true, I’d sure want WSJY to be part of it,’” he continued.
“Now 40 years later, my two sons, Reid and Ty, and our co-workers are privileged to have that opportunity,” Magnum said. “We’re pinching ourselves because if we had been able to create a signal from scratch to finish connecting our stations across Wisconsin, we couldn’t have drawn up a better one than WSJY.
“We’re also delighted that WKCH-FM, WFAW-AM and an unbuilt FM translator are all part of this acquisition from NRG,” he added.
This is not the first NRG acquisition Magnum has undertaken. In the 1990s, Magnum’s wife, Lynn, now deceased, had the opportunity to speak with Quass several times at conventions, and she considered Quass a role model.
“In 2007, five years after Lynn passed, I acquired three stations from NRG. That transaction went as smooth as silk,” Magnum said in December.
WFAW-AM operates at 940 kHz, with 0.5 kW day and 0.55 kW night. WSJY-FM operates at 107.3 MHz, with 26.0 kW at 676’ HAAT. WKCH-FM operates at 106.5 MHz, with 6.0 kW at 200’ HAAT.
Klil & Co. Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.
NRG Media is based in Iowa and owns radio stations in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Magnum owns stations across Wisconsin.