DECATUR - A cluster of Decatur-based radio stations have their fourth owner in four years.
Tom Joyner (not the African-American radio talk show host) has sold Decatur stations WSOY-AM (1340), WSOY-FM (102.9), WDZ (1050 AM) and WDZQ (95.1 FM) and Monticello station WCZQ (105.5 FM) to Jupiter, Fla.-based Neuhoff Communications Inc.
Joyner purchased the stations from Archway Broadcasting in October 2007. Archway purchased the stations from NextMedia in 2006.
Neuhoff Communications owns four radio stations in Springfield (WFMB-AM/FM, WCVS-FM, WXAJ-FM), three in Danville and three television stations in Twin Falls, Idaho.
President and CEO Geoffrey Neuhoff said, "I know there has been a period of transition of ownership in the past few years for the Decatur stations, but I can assure you this will be the last sale for a very long time. We've been in Central Illinois for more than 40 years, and we have no intention of leaving anytime soon.
"I have to give credit to the employees for being able to hang in there. I applaud them. I know it's been a rough three or four years."
Neuhoff lived in Springfield in the mid-1980s and said, "When I was there, I was a big fan of the Decatur stations. I thought Decatur was a good market."
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Neuhoff has no immediate plans to change anything about the stations and says Mark Hanson, the general manager at Decatur, remains in charge.
"People ask me what format we have, and I say, 'Whatever works,' " Neuhoff said. "I think what they're doing is working. I have some ideas about making them better. I don't see that there are any needs for any kinds of changes to be made."