Bye-bye Cherry Creek Radio – Billings!

Connoisseur RadioCherry Creek Radio

— UPDATED 11/19/09 —

The deal to sell 3  of Cherry Creek Radio’s Billings stations to Connoisseur Media was announced as official yesterday (Nov 18, 09) . (See press release below.)  Cherry Creek operated 3 FM’s (94.1 KRKX, 96.3 KRZN, 93.3 KYYA) and 1 AM station (910 KBLG).  The sale to Connoisseur Media included KRKX, KRZN and KBLG, leaving the fate of Billings’ oldest FM station in question.  Some have said that the only real course of action for the station is to “go dark.”  This is due to FCC regulations allowing the ownership of a maximum of 4 FM and 2 AM stations in markets this size.  In this market, the only commercial radio broadcasting company that does not currently own the maximum allowed amount is Ellebaas Media, who operates KMZK-FM and KURL-AM.  Being one of the smallest broadcast companies in the area it is somewhat unlikely that Ellenbaas Media will pick up another FM signal, but in the world of commercial radio, anything is possible.

Today (Nov 19,2009) Connoisseur Media “trimmed the fat” and eliminated 5 programming positions: including Terry “The X Guy” Keys and Sam Talkington, both of KRKX;  Dave “Wood” Phelps of KRZN and KYYA; Toby “Chandler” Took of KRZN; and Ken Adelblue of KBLG.   Other full-time positions eliminated were that of engineer Bruce Faulkner and office manager Denise Stratton.  On a personal note, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to all of those who lost their jobs today.  You are all exceptional broadcasters and professionals of the highest degree.  Best of luck to you and may God bless you in your future endeavors.

Here is a copy of the November 18th press release as found at

“Consolidation in Billings, Montana: Cherry Creek Radio sells to Connoisseur

Cherry Creek owns three stations: classic rock KRKX (94.1), “Today’s New Rock/Zone 96.3” KRZN, and news/talk KBLG (910). While buyer Connoisseur Media has two FMs – CHR “Planet 106.7” KPLN and classic hits “My 105.9” KWMY (the former country/rock “Bar” KPBR). Connoisseur will start operating the Zone and KBLG on Friday (November 20) and then KRKX on December 1. That’s necessary because on November 30, Connoisseur is ending its LMA of Chaparral’s 92.5, where it’s been operating “My 92.5” for the past three years. Otherwise, Connoisseur would be over the FCC’s local-market limit for FMs, with five. No new format yet at 92.5, which the Billings Gazette says will be simulcasting with 105.9 through the end of November. Joe Schwartz of Cherry Creek Radio says “The Billings market needed a consolidation of ownership….we’re pleased that our good friends at Connoisseur had the interest and resources to take on our stations and to continue serving the community.” No price announced for the deal brokered by Kalil & Co.

Posted in Press Releases | November 18th, 2009″


Connoisseur Media announced today that they are purchasing 3 of the 4 Cherry Creek Radio-Billings stations, leaving Y93.3 (KYYA) as the sole CCR-Billings frequency.  At this point nothing else has been said about what will happen with KYYA or with the 15 or so employees of the stations.  As of the writing of this article the employees are in one-on-one meetings with the Cam Maxwell and another high-ranking official of Connoisseur Media in which their futures with the company is being decided.  My heart goes out to everyone at CCR-Billings – I wish you all the best!

Here is a copy of the press release as found at

“BILLINGS, MT – November 17, 2009 –   Connoisseur Media and Cherry Creek Radio have announced the signing of an Asset Purchase Agreement where Connoisseur Media, through a related party, will acquire KBLG-AM, KRKX-FM, and KRZN-FM.

KRZN-FM and KBLG-AM will be programmed by Connoisseur Media beginning November 20th and KRKX-FM will be programmed effective December 1, 2009.

“We are extremely excited to begin working with such heritage radio stations, and Connoisseur Media looks forward to bringing to them the same passion we have for My 105.9 and Planet 106.7”, said Cam Maxwell, Connoisseur Media General Manager.

“The Billings market needed a consolidation of ownership to reduce the amount of clusters in the market.  We’re pleased that our good friends at Connoisseur had the interest and resources to take on our stations and to continue serving the community. We wish them the best of luck in the future”, said Joe Schwartz, President/CEO of Cherry Creek Radio.

About Connoisseur Media:

Founded in 2004, Connoisseur Media has rapidly expanded through both acquisitions and new licenses granted by the FCC to over 22 stations in Billings, MT, Bloomington, IL, Erie, PA, Huntington, WV, Omaha, NE, Wichita, KS, Des Moines, IA, Rapid City, SD, and Bismarck ND.

About Cherry Creek Radio:

Cherry Creek Radio is a small market broadcaster that operations 65 stations in the Western United States in markets like Tri-Cities, WA, St. George, UT, and Great Falls, MT.  The company was founded in February, 2004 and is based in Denver.

Contact:          Jeffrey D. Warshaw, CEO


Cam Maxwell, GM


Posted in Press Releases | November 17th, 2009″

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