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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Programming Vet Steve Kingston Sells WRNR Annapolis For $1.5 Million. – Inside Radio

Radio programmer turned owner Steve Kingston has cut a deal to sell adult alternative WRNR (103.1) Annapolis, MD to a Christian broadcast company. The Peter and John Fellowship has filed a $1.54 million deal to buy the 6,000-watt Class A licensed to Grasonville, MD from Kingston’s Empire Broadcasting System. The sale includes the station and frequency, with EBS retaining the intellectual property, including the format and call letters.
The Peter and John Radio Fellowship already owns contemporary Christian “Bright FM” WRBS (95.1) in the Baltimore market and a format flip is almost certain, signaling the end of one of the few remaining independently owned commercial adult alternative stations in the country.
Larry Patrick and Greg Guy of Patrick Communications brokered the deal.
“After 25 years in one of the most incredible cities in America, it’s time for us to sail on and search for our next opportunity,” Kingston told Inside Radio. “Though we have sold the station and frequency, we own the intellectual property including the format and the call letters and are exploring other opportunities for WRNR on the FM dial and through digital distribution. The sale of 103.1 FM is the end of a wonderfully rewarding chapter in my life and career, and the beginning of the next. Stay tuned!”
Kingston is best known for his New York programming history. He served as Assistant PD at CHR “Z100” WHTZ under Scott Shannon and was upped to Program Director in late 1988 when Shannon left to launch “Pirate Radio” KQLZ Los Angeles. During an eight-year stretch as “Z100” PD, Kingston steered the station in an alternative direction, filling a market void just as Grunge was taking off. “We found the music that resonated with 20–30-year-old females that resided in Jersey and on Long Island,” Kingston told Billboard for a Z100 anniversary special. “We scrubbed Michael Bolton and other titles and artists that top 40 shared with AC and created an exclusive musical position we could own, without sacrificing hit content or the top 40 legacy that was Z100.”
In October 1996, Kingston crossed the street to program a pure alternative format at Infinity Broadcasting’s “K-Rock” WXRK (92.3) until March 2006 when he joined SiriusXM as a Senior VP, shortly after it became the new home of K-Rock’s former morning man, Howard Stern.
Kingston’s EBS bought WRNR in 1997. The station was nearly sold in 2009 to Grasonville Broadcasting but the deal collapsed.

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