(Shenandoah) -- After 94 years, the ownership of KMA AM and FM in Shenandoah is changing hands.
KMA Broadcasting President Ed May Jr. announced Tuesday that he is selling the station to a local group of investors. In a letter to the station's advertisers--and in a "state of the station" discussion with staff members Monday afternoon--May says that as he turns 65 this month, he wants to spend more time traveling and enjoying his family. May added that none of his three children are interested in the business--thus the decision to sell the station.
May told staff members Monday that it was important that local individuals bought the station, rather than a major broadcasting conglomerate. In his letter, May states, "we have worked hard over the years to be of service to our rural communities which we call KMAland. Whoever we would sell to needs to understand this relationship, and how our part of the country lives and works. Fortunately, we have been able to connect with a local group of investors who fully understand these important issues." He adds that the new owners have assured him and the station's employees that going forward, it will be business as usual, with no major changes in the way the station operates, or in relationships with advertisers.
May added that he wanted to thank, "the great listeners and advertisers that have partnered with us for years, and also the wonderful employees we currently have, and the many outstanding people that have worked with KMA over the years. We feel blessed to have been associated with all of you."
KMA's sale marks an end of an era in broadcasting, as it was one of the few remaining stations in the country owned by the same family. Founded by Earl May in 1925, the station's ownership transferred to Ed May Sr., then eventually Ed May Jr.
The sale is subject to FCC approval, which is expected by the end of November.
On Wednesday morning, the investment group purchasing KMA released this statement: