Kzok-Fm Sold To Virginia Company

Classic-rock station KZOK-FM (102.5) is being sold for $19.75 million, apparently a record price for a single Seattle-Tacoma radio property.

EZ Communications Inc. of Fairfax, Va., is buying the station from CLG Media of Seattle Inc., a subsidiary of Chrysler Lending Group, which assumed control of the station a few years ago.

EZ already owns top-rated country radio station KMPS-FM-AM (94.1, 1300) in Seattle. KZOK was ranked seventh in the Seattle-Tacoma market in the most recent Arbitron ratings, tied with KOMO-AM among all listeners 12 or older.

The deal is the latest "duopoly" in town, placing more than two stations under the same ownership.

A 1992 Federal Communications Commission rule change permits the same owner to hold up to two stations each on the AM and FM bands in the same city. That "duopoly" provision was designed to allow broadcast owners to consolidate overhead costs and broaden marketing potential in an increasingly difficult marketplace. Previously, an owner could have one station on each band.

KZOK will move into a building next door to the KMPS operation on Dexter Avenue North near Denny Way, said program director Dave Richards, and some functions will be consolidated. No format change is planned.

Meanwhile, KZOK-AM (1590) is being sold for $500,000 to Salem Broadcasting of Camarillo, Calif., which owns a chain of religious stations in big markets, Richards said. The AM station lately has been "simulcasting" the FM programming.

No changes can be made in the KZOK operation until the FCC approves the transfer of ownership, which typically happens within three months of the filing of paperwork.