Who said one needs deep pockets to own a television station? WMKG-LP, Channel 38, a UHF station in Western Michigan, can be yours for only $550,000 — or less.
WMKG-LP currently shows a mix of live talk shows and family and outdoor sports programming, and is “priced to sell” by its owner, Bud Kelley. If $550,000 is too much, Kelley indicated he’s open to a lower price.
The station — including the license and equipment, but not the broadcast tower — was initially offered on eBay for $1 million before the price was dropped. He told the “New York Times” last week that he would be happy with a $500,000 cash sale. Most of the people who have inquired so far have been “tire-kickers,” he said.
“It’s a real station, not a toy,” said Kelley, 67, who has run the 24-hour station since it went on the air in April 1990. “It’s just retirement time for me.”
The station, in Muskegon, MI, is profitable despite the fact that it has not yet made the transition from analog to digital television. A new owner would have to spend about $100,000 or more to add a digital transmitter and other necessary transmission equipment.
The station used to have a half-dozen people to help produce a local news show, but financial pressure in recent years took it out of the news business. Kelley still carries a camera around, though, because “it’s hard to take the newsroom out of the boy.”