Ohana Broadcast Company drops local radio news and advertising

| July 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

Ohana Broadcast Company (OBC), owner of Molokai’s only radio station KMKK (102.3 FM), has decided that it will no longer broadcast Molokai news or offer advertising to Molokai businesses.

When asked about local advertising, OBC’s Regional Vice President Trip Reeb wrote last week, “At this point, we are actually embarking on a different sales strategy and are not going to be running local ads on the station in the near future.”

Last week a decision was handed down to no longer broadcast daily Molokai news. Local news originating from the radio station’s studio in Kaunakakai had been broadcast at least three times a day, five days a week since KMKK started four years ago. A Molokai community calendar broadcast twice a day was also dropped.

OBC launched a commercial-free Hawaiian music format on KMKK April 2 with the slogan “Hawaii’s Na Mele 1023.” The radio station was taken over by OBC as the result of a court battle that broke up the partners of Visionary Related Entertainment (VRE).

The long-standing conflict between John Detz of VRE and Jason Wolff’s Frontier Radio Investors was resolved in November of 2009. Detz retained Maui radio stations KAOI (AM and FM), KNUQ-FM, KHEI-FM, four radio translators and a boost for KNUQ-FM. He also received $70,000 to cover deferred payments.

The court case gave Wolff the rest of the company’s stations and a promissory note from VRE for $500,000 over 10 years. VRE will also get $123,000 for reimbursement and expenses.

KMKK-FM broadcasts its signal from a transmission tower in Maunaloa in West Molokai on land rented from Molokai Ranch.

The strength of the radio signal in reaching east and windward Oahu has shifted OBC’s attention to this area. Although no official statement has been released, employees of OBC have suggested that the company may attempt to sell advertising on Oahu.

As a result of the court-ordered split of the two radio groups, Wolff’s company received Talk KQNG-AM, Top 40 KQNG-FM (KONG), AC KUAI-AM, AC KSRF (THE SURF 95.9), Classic Rock KSHK (SHAKA 103), Sports KUMU-A (THE TEAM), AC KUMU-F, Classic Hits KPOI (105.9 THE RIDE), Top 40 KQMQ (93.1 THE ZONE), AC KMKK, Top 40/Rhythmic KDDB (102.7 DA BOMB), and KTBH/HILO.

Inquiries about the future of KMKK-FM can be made to Trip Reeb at tripreeb@ohanabroadcast.com or Director of Programming Rick Thomas at rickthomas@ohanabroadcast.com.

Category: News

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  1. Erika Engle says:

    Good read! I forwarded it to several radio industry publications with your link.

  2. Palolo Joe says:

    Wow you guys are getting the royal screw without the petorlium jelly.

    In an effort to put another commercial signal into Honolulu they are ignoring their city of license.

    I’ll bet they don’t meet all the FCC requirements under “City of license”.

    Real pono dez guys.

    • molokainews says:

      After reading the Wikipedia entry about “city of license” requirements of the FCC, I think you’re right. There is a nominal main studio requirement which is not being met. They also are required to maintain a public inspection file. The existing public file in Dr. Dan McGuire’s office (open for public inspection) hasn’t been updated since OBC took over KMKK.
      Company management denies its abandonment of Molokai in spite of the evidence that can be heard at 102.3 FM every day. I still love the music they play, but I have yet to hear a single local ad or news item since I was dismissed as news director.

  3. Kainoa Kamaka says:

    Love this station. Don’t miss the news, it was poorly done anyway.

    • molokainews says:

      Aloha Kainoa,
      Sorry you didn’t like the radio news. I feel it was well done and clearly presented. It was written in the same manner as this blog — informative, direct, accurate and always local. Of course, I’m slightly biased since I produced the news.
      Thanks for the feedback.

  4. gelatin says:

    yeah because you did the news. I love the station how it is now. The people of Molokai love it too. Get over yourself

    • molokainews says:

      This was never about me, it was about Molokai receiving daily news on the radio. I too love the station, I just wish Ohana Broadcasting would hire someone to report local news.

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