By GUY D’ASTOLFO
The Mahoning Valley’s urban-music station and its urban-talk station both will fade into history on New Year’s Day.
Jamz 101.9 (WRBP), which was consistently one of the area’s top stations in ratings, was sold a year ago by Bernard Ohio LLC to Educational Media Foundation, said station manager Skip Bednarczyk.
The sale was announced in June, and it will close in January.
As a result, Dec. 30 will be the last day on the air for Jamz 101.9.
Starting Jan. 1, a new Christian-based format will debut under the new ownership.
Jamz DJs have begun to tell listeners about the coming change.
“We’re saying goodbye on the air now, letting folks know we are going away,” said Bednarczyk. “Most of our listeners knew about the sale but assumed nothing would change.”
As a result of the sale, Jamz 101.9’s sister station, WASN-AM 1500, will go off the air.
Jamz was the radio group’s money-maker, and it kept WASN afloat, according to Bednarczyk.
Without Jamz, there was no choice but to shut down WASN.
“WASN was where the black community expressed its concerns and issues and had a dialog,” said Bednarczyk.
Educational Media Foundation, the new owner of WRBP, is a fast-growing company based in Omaha, Neb. EMF owns hundreds of stations nationwide and delivers common programming to all of them, according to its website.