Red Zebra Broadcasting announced July 31 that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Hampton, Va., radio station WLRT 1490 AM from Hampton Radio Inc. The acquisition is subject to the approval of the Federal Communications Commission.
Red Zebra has also entered into a Local Marketing Agreement with the current owners of WLRT, which will allow them to begin broadcasting on WLRT while FCC approval is pending.
Red Zebra intends to simulcast its sports talk radio format, currently heard on 102.1 FM The Game (WXTG-FM) in Norfolk.
The programming includes Washington Redskins games, the John Riggins show, and the locally produced John Castleberry program. The simulcast on WLRT will begin Aug. 1, adding a second broadcast outlet in Virginia's vibrant southern coastal area.
"We have been working on this acquisition for some time and are extremely pleased we were able to complete it prior to the start of the Washington Redskins season," said Bruce Gilbert, CEO of Red Zebra Broadcasting. "It was vitally important for us to make certain every Redskins fan in Hampton Roads would get clear reception of the Redskins games and all ancillary Redskins programming."
John Castleberry, a veteran local broadcaster and current station manager, added, "102.1 the Game is already receiving very positive feedback from listeners and advertisers. Making our signal available to those on the Peninsula via 1490am will give us incredible full-market coverage and allow us to more effectively serve our clients and fans."
Red Zebra Broadcasting currently owns Triple X ESPN Radio in the Washington, DC, area (WWXT-FM, WWXX-FM, WXTR-AM), WXGI/ESPN Radio 950 in Richmond, VA, and WXTG/102.1 THE GAME, in Norfolk.
The stations are all part of the Washington Redskins Radio Network and air a 24-hour sports talk format.
"We're a nascent broadcast company with ambitious intentions to further expand our footprint," Gilbert said. "We are active buyers examining many possibilities for future broadcasting growth."