Local R&B Radio Station Star 94.7 Is Sold

YOUNGSTOWN – Radio station Star 94.7 has been sold by owner Skip Bednarczyk to Bloom Broadcasting for $255,000.

The sale ends Bednarczyk’s long career in Mahoning Valley radio, although he will stay on for a year as a consultant to the new owner.

Bednarczyk, who now lives in Florida with his wife, Helen, launched Star 94.7 – which has a Contemporary Adult R&B format – in 2014.

The new owner plans to continue the format, Bednarczyk said. The sale will become final in 30 days, pending FCC approval.

Skip Bednarczyk

The sale entails WGFT-AM 1330 in Campbell and its FM translator, which is at 94.7. A translator station simulcasts an existing AM station on an FM frequency. The technology was enacted by the FCC to help AM stations remain financially viable, Bednarczyk said.

Star 94.7 has a transmitter on the east side of Youngstown, and its studio is in Liberty Township.

It is one of a handful of stations in the Mahoning Valley that are not owned by one of the two national radio chains, iHeart and Cumulus.

The new owner, Karl Bloom of the Youngstown area, is a broadcasting enthusiast and a veteran employee of local radio and television stations.

Bednarczyk, 73, said the time was right for him to retire.

“I had a bout with prostate cancer this year, and I’ve had too many of my friends pass away in the past year,” he said. “Besides, there’s lots I want to do, and I figure I should do it while I’m still able to. There’s a time when you know it’s time to hang up the headset, and now is that time.”

Bednarczyk said his station took a huge hit in revenue during the pandemic but has since recovered.

But the recovery was followed by an unexpected eviction notice to vacate its prior studio in the 20 Federal Place building, downtown. All tenants of the building were evicted two years ago by the city, which owns the building, so that asbestos remediation could begin.

The relocation cost Bednarczyk over $35,000.

“It was a very unexpected blow that took a lot of wind out of our sails,” Bednarczyk said. “Moving a radio station is no small thing, and besides the financial expenditure, it took a lot of focus away from everyday business.”

Bednarczyk also cited the difficulty of finding qualified people to hire in the past few years.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.