Phoenix sold WFNX for $14.5 million, papers reveal

Phoenix Media/Communications Group, which publishes the Boston Phoenix, is selling alternative rock station WFNX 101.7 FM for $14.5 million, according to documents released Wednesday by the Federal Communications Commission, which must approve the sale.

Phoenix Media revealed last week that it is selling the station to the giant radio chain Clear Channel Communications, which is based in San Antonio, Tex.

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According to the filings, the purchase includes the station’s signal, but not the call letters and “intellectual property.” That means that the Phoenix could relaunch WFNX, possibly online—a route followed by the venerable Boston rock station WBCN, which left the airwaves in 2009.

Most WFNX staffers were laid off a week ago, when Stephen M. Mindich, Phoenix Media publisher and chief executive, revealed in a blog post that the station was being sold.

Seven of the station’s full-time employees were laid off, Phoenix Group executive editor Peter Kadzis said last week. Six part-time employees, many of whom worked on a single weekly shift or show, were let go. Three full-timers remain on the staff permanently.

WFNX, which is located in Lynn, also retained three full-timers and two part timers just until Clear Channel takes ownership.

Founded in 1983, WFNX was one of the last independent radio stations in the Boston market, catering to a new music niche.

In his statement announcing the sale, Mindich indicated that the station could no longer survive on its own. “For some time it has been difficult to sustain the station—especially since the start of the Great Recession,” he wrote. “And that is why the station is being sold.”

Phoenix Media runs weekly newspapers in Boston, Providence, and Portland, Mne., and Boston bi-weekly Stuff magazine, along with associated websites.

WFNX will remain on the air while the sale process runs its course. It was unclear what format the station will adopt under Clear Channel.

Phoenix Media did not immediately return a call for comment.