Cumulus Media has put the land under its four-tower array for WMAL(AM), Washington, on the block.
The 75-acre tract in Bethesda, Md., is in a residential area and could be worth “hundreds of millions,” according to a representative of the real estate broker quoted by the Montgomery County Sentinel.
Cumulus Media took over the 90-year-old station in 2011 when it purchased Citadel Broadcasting for $2.2 billion. In addition to the AM signal, Cumulus also simulcasts WMAL’s programming on the former WVRX(FM), Woodbridge, Va., on 105.9 MHz; The directional Class B WMAL(FM) is licensed for hybrid HD Radio broadcasting, according to the FCC database.
The AM signal is 10 kW day/5 kW night, according to the FCC’s database; the station is also licensed to deliver a hybrid HD Radio signal.
WMAL’s towers, satellite dishes and a transmitter building are on the site to be sold. It’s not yet clear what would happen to those.
Broker CBRE Group hasn’t listed a price for the land. CBRE describes the tract as an “extremely rare in-fill development opportunity” in the listing because the tract sits near the Capital Beltway and 1-270.
The site, which is zoned residential, is surrounded by homes with an average value of $666,105 to $731,109, respectively.
CBRE is accepting developer offers for the WMAL site until March 12.
In another case of the tower site of a heritage AM being put up for sale as real estate prices exceed the value of the station, Cumulus Media accepted a $125 million offer last year for the tower site of KABC(AM), Los Angeles and hopes to finalize that deal this year.