KGY AM 1240 sold to Catholic broadcasting company

Staff writerJune 30, 2014 

KGY AM 1240 has been bought by a Catholic broadcasting company. The station’s building will continue to be home to KGY FM and KAYO FM.

COURTESY PHOTO

It’s the end of an era for KGY AM 1240.

The longtime owners of the station announced Monday that it has been sold for $250,000 to Sacred Heart Radio, a Catholic broadcasting company based in the Seattle area.

The sale is subject to review by the Federal Communications Commission, which is expected to take 45 days.

Once approved, it will end the Kerry family’s ties to the historic station.

Nick Kerry, whose great-grandfather, Tom Olsen, bought the station in 1939, said the sale is bittersweet “because of the history and legacy behind the station.”

“But I’m pleased it’s going to continue to be part of the community,” he added.

Kerry currently is business manager for KGY 95.3 FM and KAYO 96.9 FM, two stations that will remain part of KGY Inc., and that will remain in the historic building that is perched on port peninsula property that overlooks Budd Inlet.

Nick’s aunt, Jennifer Kerry, is president of the business.

She said in a statement that the changing media landscape makes this the right time to put the company’s emphasis on the two FM stations.

“The sale will expand the radio offerings in Olympia from a very well respected religious broadcaster,” she said.

Sacred Heart Radio has operated a nonprofit radio station -- KBLE 1050 AM -- in the Seattle area for more than 13 years.

President Ron Belter said Sacred Heart is always looking for opportunities to expand. By re-broadcasting in the Olympia market it will enhance its coverage at night and indoors. KBLE can picked up in a car from Centralia to Bellingham, he said, but indoors the signal isn’t as strong.

“It will enhance the coverage where it is weaker,” he said about the acquisition.

KBLE broadcasts eight to 10 hours of live call-in programming, as well as devotionals and live programming from the Vatican during Easter and Christmas, he said.

KGY’s origins date to the early 20th century when it was a radio station at Saint Martin’s College. It later was officially licensed as KGY in 1922, Nick Kerry said. It was at 1210 AM, with operating power of 100 watts, in 1939. After the Second World War, the station moved up the dial to 1240 AM. It currently is licensed at 1,000 watts.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com @rolf_boone

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