Butler Radio Network sold again
Radio industry veteran Frank Iorio, who came out of retirement in August to buy the Butler Radio Network, is now selling the network to St. Barnabas Broadcasting.
J.D. Turco, senior vice president and chief financial officer at St. Barnabas, said Wednesday, Nov. 23, the two parties have a sales agreement for $2.55 million.
Butler Radio Network broadcasts on WISR 680, WBUT 1050 and WLER 97.7. Its office is on Pillow Street.
Vicki Hinterberger, who bought the radio network in 1998 with three others, sold the network to Iorio for $1.8 million.
Hinterberger’s group sold the network so its members could retire.
Attorneys for St. Barnabas filed an application for the sale on Monday with the Federal Communications Commission, which must approve the sale of all broadcasting entities.
Turco said there are no plans to change the programming, formats or talent at the network’s three radio stations.
He said listeners will hear more St. Barnabas advertisements and information, but other than that, things will remain the same.
“We will certainly get our message out, but those stations are fantastic,” Turco said. “They do so much in the community. We would love to continue all that support and those traditions.”
St. Barnabas Broadcasting, which operates under St. Barnabas Health System in Gibsonia, bought WJAS in Allegheny County from Iorio in January 2021.
St. Barnabas Broadcasting also bought two stations in Beaver County.
While all three of those stations have a conservative talk radio format, the two Beaver County stations and WJAS offer local programming from 6 a.m. to noon.
All three are simulcast and have FM translators, Turco said.
He said if the FCC approves the sale of the Butler Radio Network to St. Barnabas Broadcasting, that will mean the company owns broadcasting outlets in all three counties it serves as a health system.
“We are really excited about it,” Turco said. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for St. Barnabas, and we are happy to be involved.
“I think the employees will enjoy working in our environment.”
He hopes to close the deal by mid-January.
“We have a lot of employees coming from Butler County, traveling down Route 8, so it will be a good acquisition for us,” Turco said.
Iorio was not available for comment Wednesday.