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Radio station for sale

CROWN POINT - Talks are under way that could revive WIPS radio, but the station's owner is not optimistic. "We're talking to two other companies who are possibly interested in taking it over," said Gregg Trask, WIPS president. "I don't know what will happen; I do't know how serious they are. "We just can't support it any more," Trask said. "If we could find a way (financially) I would love to go back on the air." The 1,000-watt AM broadcaster went off the air Feb. 29, blaming financial difficulties. Owned by BisiBlue LLC, a division of Crown Point Network Technologies, WIPS first went on the air in the 1950s. Although licensed to Ticonderoga, with a broadcast tower on Fort Ticonderoga Ferry Road, the station moved its studios to Crown Point when BisiBlue purchased it in 2001. Trask said the station needs to generate $3,000 a month in advertising revenue to break even. That hasn't happened. "Our listeners have been really great," Trask said. "I've gotten cards, letters, phone calls from many people who would like us to go back on the air, but there's just not enough ad sales to justify it." When BisiBlue purchased WIPS, it started out with six employees. Those jobs were eliminated as financial pressures grew and about a year ago WIPS switched from a local format to network programming supplied by ABC Radio. "We tried different things, but we never generated the ad sales needed. "This is a tremendous loss to the community, but we just can't afford to operate it," he said. Trask still has hopes the station can be saved - if not by another company perhaps by a local group. "If there is a community group out there that has an idea on how to make this work, I'd like to hear from them," he said. "I'd love to go back on the air." If the station is silent for 30 days, its broadcast license must be turned in to the Federal Communications Commission. After a year of inactivity, the license would be voided and the 1250 kHz frequency pulled from availability in southern Essex County.

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