Placid, Tupper radio stations merge as ‘Mix’
North Country Radio and Border Media have announced that, starting July 1, 93.3 WSLP-FM and 102.1 WRGR — known as Lake FM — will merge. The stations will be rebranded as “The Mix.”
North Country Radio, based in Lake Placid, will take over the day-to-day operations of the Tupper Lake-based Lake FM and simulcast the current WSLP programming on both frequencies.
A mix of popular music hits of the last few decades has been the main content format for both stations.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us and our ability to serve a significantly larger area in the Tri-Lakes,” North Country Radio owner Jonathan Becker said in a press release. “The combined signals of both stations will not only reach Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, but will now be heard as far away as Long Lake, Star Lake and Cranberry Lake!”
Border Media launched Lake FM online in early 2018 and moved it onto public airwaves this past fall, making history in the process. Its owners were the first European citizens to be 100% owners of an American radio station license approved by the Federal Communications Commission. United Kingdom native Ricki Lee Shorthose, who goes by just Ricki Lee professionally, and his wife Hanna Kaleta of Poland purchased WRGR from Ted Morgan in February 2018. They have lived in the U.S. full-time since 2015 and have E-2 Treaty Investor visas, but the Communications Act of 1934 prohibited non-citizens from owning more than a portion of a radio station’s stock. They petitioned the FCC to waive the restriction, and in August 2018 it granted their broadcasting license.
“When Jon approached me with the idea of combining our efforts, it was a no brainier for us,” Lee, the president of Border Media, said in the press release. “I’m super excited to see the future growth of the new combined radio station.”
North Country Radio’s WSLP began broadcasting from Lake Placid in 2007 and later acquired two more frequencies after Morgan’s Mountain Communications went out of business: 105.5 FM in Lake Placid and 1240 AM in Saranac Lake. It launched a classic rock station called Adirondack 105 on the former frequency last year.
Wing Wars, WSLP’s annual fundraising event for North Country Life Flight, was recognized in May with a Serving New York Award by the New York State Broadcasters Association.
“With our expanded coverage area we will become a much more regional operation,” Vice President and General Sales Manager Jim Williams said in the release. “With the addition of WRGR and the launch of Adirondack 105 in May of 2018, we now have two stations on five different places on the dial and great, local radio for our residents and visitors to the area.”
“There’s an important role that a hometown radio station plays in communities like ours,” said Program Director Ethan Gawel. “We take pride in what we’ve accomplished so far and are looking forward to what lies ahead.”
The broadcasters also announced a new web address, www.themixadk.com, and social media handle, @themixadk. (Correction: An earlier version of this article said the social media handle and website were not operational Tuesday, but the social media accounts were up and running, although the Enterprise wasn’t able to find them online Tuesday. The website is up but with just a home screen that says “Coming soon.”)