The Perry-Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting event Thursday at KDLS radio in Perry to mark the station’s new broadcasts in the FM mode.
“We’re very excited,” said KDLS General Manager John McGee. The station’s AM content will now be duplicated on the FM dial.
“It’s a wonderful day,” said Bob Wilson, executive director of the Perry-Area Chamber of Commerce. Wilson described the close relationship between the Chamber and the radio station, stretching over many years and many changes in Perry’s commercial environment.
About a dozen Chamber members and other well wishers attended the ribbon cutting, which was staged on air. The cost to acquire to FM broadcast license was about $100,000, McGee said.
The KDLS radio station was for many years owned locally by the Whitehead family of Perry, who also owned the Perry Daily Chief, now a weekly paper. More recently, Tom Quinlan of Perry, longtime news anchor at KDLS, was also a part-owner of the station with the Whiteheads.
Quinlan and the Whiteheads sold the radio station in 2005 to Knoxville, Iowa-based Coon Valley Communications Inc., which in turn sold the station in 2012 to M&M Broadcasting Inc. Both Coon Valley Communications and M&M Broadcasting are subsidiaries of M&H Broadcasting Inc., owned by Mel and Holly Suhr of Knoxville.
The Whiteheads sold their newspaper in 2013 to Arkansas-based Stephens Media, which in turn sold it in February 2015 to New York-based media conglomerate New Media Investment Group. GateHouse Media, a division of New Media Investment Group, now operates the paper.
“The more media, the better. That’s my philosophy,” said ThePerryNews.com Publisher Jim Caufield. “Whether the media’s locally owned, like ThePerryNews.com, or owned and operated by out of towners, like our friends at the radio station and newspaper, a rich and diverse range of options is good for the Perry community. Free choice is what we’re about at ThePerryNews.com.”
ThePerryNews.com photos by Mark Summerson
Video courtesy PEGASUS TV 12 volunteer Doug Wood