By CRAIG FREILICH
POTSDAM – Radio stations WPDM-am and WSNN-fm have been sold to Martz Communications, owner of four Malone-area stations.
Tim Martz of Martz Communications Group said Friday he has declared to the Federal Communications Commission his purchase of the Potsdam radio stations also known as “99 Hits-fm.”.
“I’ve owned radio stations in the North Country for 15 years now, so I know the market, and I like the market, and this opportunity came up,” said Martz after filing the paperwork on the transaction with the FCC.
Martz said his general manager, Mike Boldt, and his corporate program director, Drew Scott, who both work at radio stations in Malone that Martz owns, will be involved in the transition.
The AM and FM stations in Potsdam have been “simulcasting,” airing the same country music and sports programs on both stations at the same time, but Martz says that “we’re moving back to separate programming.”
The FM side will probably be a music channel, while the AM station will have “news, information and probably more sports. We’re still looking at options, which formats we’ll choose.”
Asked about possible personnel changes, Martz said “I suppose we will be adding to staff.
“The folks there seem to be doing a good job. We’ll be talking to everyone,” he said.
“My philosophy is to work with the staff there, and to invest in people to make it successful.
“They have a long history of news, information and sports, and we want to build on that. I plan on investing and growing them,” Martz said.
“There will be some synergies,” Martz said, with sharing of expertise and resources between the Malone and Potsdam stations.
Martz owns four Malone-area radio stations, WICY (102.7 FM and 1490 AM), WVNV (Wild Country 96.5), and WYUL (94.7 Hits FM). He previously owned three Massena-area stations, WMSA, WRCD, and WVLF, and three Ogdensburg-area stations, WNCQ, WYSX, and WPAC, which he sold to Stephens Media Group “almost exactly five years ago, late January 2008,” Martz said.
He also owned stations in the Detroit area, and still owns WAMO AM and FM in Pittsburgh.
The two Potsdam stations, have been owned for decades by St. Lawrence Radio, Inc., begun as a single 1000-watt AM station, WPDM, in 1955, started by science fiction writer David Kyle and his brother Arthur. The FM station, WSNN, was added around 1970.