A headline in yesterday's Washington Post incorrectly indicated that WOL-AM had been transferred to Viacom International. Other broadcasting properties owned by Sonderling Broadcasting Co. were a part of the transfer, but WOL is expected to be sold to Almic Broadcasting, a group of minority investors.
WOL-AM, the local rhythm and blues station that has been the target of a Federal Communications Commission payola probe, appears to be about to change hands.
The Fcc has approved, by a 6-0 vote, the sale of eight other radio stations OWNED BY WOL's management, Sonderling Broadcasting Co., to Viacom International, as part of a merger transaction.
Sonderling has told the FCC that it plans to sell the station to a group of local black investors under the commission's "distress sale" policy which is designed to encourage black ownership of media outlets.
If the sale goes as Sonderling officials expect, it would end FCC hearing procedures involving the station's license, which, in an unusual procedure related to the payola probe, was designated for a hearing in May.
Under the hearing procedure, many of the previously secret payola charges would have had a public airing, although if the sale goes through, the results of the completed investigation could remain secret.
Radio producer Dewer Hughes will be the majority stockholder in the proposed sale of WOL to Almic Broadcasting. The sale price is expected to be $950,000.
The FCC investigation into practices at the station revolves around allegations of payola and plugola involving station employes and charges of the submission of false documents of the FCC.