Friday, April 6, 2018

WMJL under new ownership, rebranded

The local radio airwaves are now directed by a new company.

Stratemeyer Media of Paducah has purchased Magic 102.7 WMJL FM radio in Marion and rebranded it as River Country 102.7, changing the format from oldies to county songs.

Jason Crockett, spokesman for Statemeyer Media, said the new ownership will locally oriented and involved in the community.

Crockett is also an on-air personality with “The Brew Crew with Reed & JC” morning show on Rock 98.3 WJLI in Paducah.

“I’d like to put everyone’s mind at ease; there will inevitably be changes, even if inadvertent, but we intend to be excellent community partners,” he said. “Although we are from up the road a piece, we intend to be a good neighbor. If anyone has ideas of ways for us to improve, we welcome those.”

Counting WMJL, Statemeyer has nine radio stations with WJLI as its flagship station. The company is headquartered at Kentucky Oaks Mall and owns other stations in Poplar Bluff, Mo., Cairo, Ill., and Mount Vernon, Ill.

 The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, approved the transfer of WMJL’s radio frequencies last month.

Stratemeyer Media is owned by Samuel Stratemyer of Metropolis, Ill. Crockett said Stratemeyer’s holdings are diverse and one of his primary businesses is farming in southern Illinois. He has also run unsuccessfully for state office a couple of times in southern Illinois on the Republican ticket.

Ultimately, Crockett said, the radio station in Marion belongs to the people of the community and serving them will be the company’s goal moving forward.

“We intend to be heavily focused on Rockets athletics and what’s going on in the community. We want to super serve the community,” he said.

Joe and Barbara Myers, who have owned the radio station since 1994, will concentrate on their other local business – Myers Funeral Home.

“We truly appreciate the many listeners who have tuned in over the years, whether in their homes, cars or at sporting events,” said Barbara Myers, who has been the station manager. “It has been a pleasure serving our community and our loyal advertisers have made this possible. Change is inevitable and as we turn over the keys to WMJL, we are confident that new technology and innovative ideas will continue to make radio a valuable resource. We will be listening!”

Crockett said the current staff at WMJL will be retained and there will likely be a new person or two join the local station. He will serve as station manager for the time being.

The radio station was started here in 1968.