Leasing a station

    • 1 posts
    December 31, 2019 11:13 AM PST

    Any stations out there for lease?

    Hey Folks,

    Where would you go to find a list of stations for lease?

    A winner would be nice, but Im actually looking for a loser. A station or cluster having a hard time getting over the hump, in need of a fresh set of sales and marketing direction. Even better would be a station that needed someone with drive and vision but had a number of other pieces already.



    • 132 posts
    January 10, 2020 7:26 AM PST

    From my experience, leases are usually handled by brokers who are also selling stations. That would mean there is no universal lease list. When I was leasing a top 10 market AM I managed, I learned it was a weakness if a company 'needed' a station just like it was a weakness for a station to 'need' a client. The idea being a client that was top notch had stations chasing them and a station that is top notch has demand for their airtime to the point they don't have to say they need a client. The best deals are still made through introductions.

    It is possible to find stations that will lease by the month on contract, do a LMA or a lease to purchase. I suggest lease to purchase with an option to buy anytime.

    Under most circumstances, you are the whole radio station. Leasing means you're buying the signal not the programming, staff, sales, etc. Chances are you have your own office, studio and can get that product to the leased station's tower site.

    Depending on what you want, it is a good time to lease or buy. In small markets, many owners are getting close to retirement and might even welcome someone to do a somewhat 'comfy' lease where the owner's staff and format stay and the owner still has an office. 

    I have suggested to many looking at larger markets to lease first. My thought is a track record makes it lots easier for a financial institution to loan money and anyway the lease payment would be a bit less than if you were taking on the note as well.

    By the way, that station was in Houston. Houston has so many time brokered stations demand does not exceed available stations. There's generally 2 or 3 AM stations available. I know of an AM daytimer. It covers Houston and the metro very well. No translator. They need $25,000 a month. There's no studio or office. You provide everything but the airwaves that you are leasing. They'd perhaps do a lease to purchase. This would be good for a niche format, ethnic or religious format. You might be able to do oldies but you had better market it well. Most direct buys are smaller 1 location businesses. You have to have enough listeners in their primary trade area to produce results for them to renew. I don't work for this station and I'm not representing the station. It's just a real life example of what is out there.

    This post was edited by Bill Turner at January 10, 2020 7:40 AM PST
    • 84 posts
    January 13, 2020 2:02 PM PST

    I know of a station in Kentucky (contact me for more details)

    We are currently providing programming assistance for an absent owner. I would love to continue to do that, but I also understand that a new owner may have their "own ideas" for programming. Not sure where you are in the country... but if KY is close to where you want to be... connect with me. I will try to help you secure a good deal with him. (he's a great dude)


    John Small