ABC 32, WBMM and WAKA Merge, Changes to Come
Many changes are coming to ABC 32 WNCF and our sister station, WBMM, Montgomery's CW.
Beverly Bahakel Poston, President and CEO of Bahakel Communications, Ltd., announced Thursday that the company has signed an agreement with SagamoreHill Broadcasting for the purchase of WBMM, the CW affiliate owned by SagamoreHill in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Bahakel also announced that it has entered into time sales and shared services agreements with SagamoreHill’s ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Alabama, WNCF, Channel 32, under which Bahakel will provide sales and administrative services as well as production and technical services to SagamoreHill’s station.
Bahakel, which owns and operates WAKA, Channel 8, the CBS Affiliate, stated that the services agreements would begin immediately, although the production of some local news programming likely will be delayed for several months.
Poston said that the consolidated operations will move next year into newly expanded and fully HD facilities at the current home of both WBMM and WNCF on Harrison Road.
The new facilities will provide an “opportunity to increase news and community programming for both WAKA, WBMM and WNCF,” Poston said.
Under the terms of the agreements, SagamoreHill will retain responsibility for WNCF’s programming, personnel, and finances. Louis Wall, President and CEO of SagamoreHill, said that both the sale of WBMM and the other agreements pertaining to WNCF “are in the best interests of Montgomery viewers and the other communities in the region. Bahakel is a quality broadcaster and has served the market extremely well for nearly 30 years. We look forward to working with Bahakel and developing outstanding local news and information programming in the coming months and years.”
The purchase of WBMM will require FCC approval, but in the meantime Bahakel will provide services similar to those provided to WNCF. During this interim period, SagamoreHill will retain responsibility for WBMM’s programming, personnel, and finances.
Bahakel is headquartered in Charlotte, NC, and also owns and operates ABC affiliates in Jackson, TN, and Columbia, SC; Fox affiliates in Myrtle Beach, SC and its flagship station, WCCB-TV in Charlotte, NC. The company also owns 10 radio stations in Colorado Springs, CO; Waterloo, IA; and Chattanooga, TN.
Augusta, Georgia is the home of SagamoreHill Broadcasting. Along with Montgomery, SagamoreHill is the primary operator and owner of network affiliated stations in Columbus, GA; Laredo, TX and Cheyenne, WY.