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Journal Broadcast Group to acquire KTTS, KLTQ

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by Abigail Beggerly

SBJ Staff

Employees at three local radio stations are preparing for change. Not in management, music formats or themselves, but in ownership. By the end of the year, KTTS FM and AM along with KLTQ, known as The Max, will be owned by a communications conglomerate based in Milwaukee, Wis.

Great Empire of Wichita, Kan., is the current owner of 13 stations in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma now awaiting the acquisition by Journal Broadcast Group, one of seven operating companies of the employee-owned communications and media company, Journal Communications Inc.

KTTS and The Max's general sales manager, George DeMarco, said that changes are not expected to would affect employees or station formats.

He added that the only difference will be reporting to new headquarters.

Journal Broadcast Group owns numerous media outlets throughout the country, including radio stations, television stations and newspapers. KTTS and The Max will be the first media outlets in Missouri for Journal Communications, DeMarco said.

He added that the details of the acquisition will remain vague until approval by federal regulators.

The owners of Great Empire were looking to semi-retire, DeMarco said. He added that the acquisition of the stations was based on their success within the Springfield market and the revenues generated by the stations.

Doug Kiel, president of Journal Broadcast Group and vice president of Journal Communications, said the acquisition of Great Empire is "a perfect fit of market and people."

So far the news has been well-received by employees of the local stations, DeMarco said. "We don't expect any major changes at all," he added. "The employees have been supportive, and the mood is upbeat; they all seemed pretty happy about it."

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