Radio Station

With station facing bankruptcy, future of WHYL unknown to staff, listeners

2013-09-18T22:23:00Z 2013-09-19T10:30:46Z With station facing bankruptcy, future of WHYL unknown to staff, listenersBy Samantha Madison, The Sentinel The Sentinel
September 18, 2013 10:23 pm  • 

CARLISLE — With the departure of Ben Barber from Nice 960 WHYL AM, there have been questions about the future of the station.

The station has been having financial troubles for more than a year now, according to United States Bankruptcy Court documents that show the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 13, 2012, under the name of Trustworthy Radio LLC. A motion to convert the case to Chapter 7 bankruptcy was granted on July 18, 2013, according to the documents. Court documents say WHYL has claimed that it owes its creditors at least $82,880.22.

Wayne Gracey, the attorney representing the station as well as general manager Bruce Collier, said Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually means that a business must close its doors and stop all operations. But in this case, WHYL remains on the air by the use of automation. Gracey said the trustee allowed the business to stay open to better find a buyer.

“(WHYL was) trying to reorganize and get out of some of their debt,” he said. “At the time, they were particularly being pursued by the IRS for back taxes. … (After Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed) the trustee becomes in charge and kind of responsible if they continue to operate. So we had a meeting with the trustee and convinced him that the value of the radio station would go way down if they had to go dark, so he agreed to let them continue to operate while they pursued finding a buyer to buy the property.”

While Gracey said he has no knowledge of the station closing at this time, Barber said he understood that at the end of the business day on Wednesday, it would be closed down and taken off the air. However, as of 8 p.m., the station had yet to go silent. The station’s Facebook page was taken down after 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

“The radio station is apparently still on the air,” Barber said. “But I don’t think it’s going to stay on the air for long because it’s up for grabs ... the station is for sale through the bankruptcy court.”

Dennis Gerkin, Barber’s co-host, said to the best of his knowledge, the station has laid off its entire staff, temporarily. Barber and Gracey believed there were a few people still at the station.

“I am temporarily laid off, that’s the terminology,” Gerkin said. “But the idea was just for a short period of time, until things could be reworked, then we would

be called back. It was supposed to be short, but I don’t know, a week, or two weeks. I don’t know what the plans are specifically.”

Barber said WHYL owed rent, and as a result, WHYL was being foreclosed upon and was asked to leave the building by the close of the business day on Wednesday. He said the information was the last he heard about the situation before leaving the station on Tuesday after his final show.

“The hard part about it is that this radio station is a standard here in Carlisle,” Barber said. “It went on the air in 1948 and to see it run into the ground the way it has (been), at (Bruce Collier’s) hands, I don’t have a whole lot of nice things to say.”

Collier was not available for comment.

Copyright 2015 The Sentinel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. The_Chemist
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    The_Chemist - October 08, 2013 10:26 am
    Now I know why the 960 frequency is silent. I loved listening to WHYL AM 960! Most of the music they play reminds me of what I used to listen to on WFEC AM 1400 in Harrisburg when I was a kid. WHYL AM 960 just kept getting better and better with their programming. WHYL did everything tastefully well. WHYL didn't scream at you in-between songs like all the FM stations in the Harrisburg marketing area do! WHYL was so good. Hope they get back on with the EXACT same format!

    Sent from my iPad
  2. The_Chemist
    Report Abuse
    The_Chemist - October 08, 2013 6:55 am
    Now I know why 960 has been dead air. I really hope this radio station can return to the air with the EXACTt same format. I remember listening to most of this same music on WFEC 1400 in Harrisburg when I was a kid.

    WHYL 960 played GREAT music tastefully without screaming at you in-between songs like all of the Harrisburg market FM stations do. It was a pleasure to listen to WHYL. In addition, you got news and events done tastefully as well. FM Stations in the Harrisburg area are unbearable!
  3. radioman
    Report Abuse
    radioman - October 04, 2013 1:02 am
    Ben said it would be off 2 weeks ago,and yet the oldies keep on comin'! Don't write her off just yet. The owner is stubborn and dedicated. A change is gonna come. With or without BB, the show must go on.
  4. Raeravine
    Report Abuse
    Raeravine - September 21, 2013 6:10 pm
    My goodness, Mr Barber is very unappreciative all that Mr Collier has done for him. Has he forgotten that he had been off the air for 10 years when Mr. Collier hired him? Not only did get get back on the air, but was grossly overpaid for what WHYL billed. Then, when the economy went bad, Mr. Collier never asked Ben to take a pay or commission cut, choosing instead to absorb the pain himself. Mr. Collier also paid him for all of his medical leave, some 8 weeks and counting. Keep it classy Ben!
  5. Doug St Clair Weary
    Report Abuse
    Doug St Clair Weary - September 20, 2013 1:48 pm
    Well, this explains why I haven't been able to listen on line for some time now. Ben and Dennis WERE the station, without them it'll just disappear.
    If I won the lottery I'd buy it, come back and run it myself with those guys, I do love the station that much. Ben's right: it is an institution. It'd be a crime for it to go dark. I can remember only great things about this station, learning from the WHYL SMILE guys, winning contests, using Helping Hand, working there. Doug Dooley St. Clair Weary
  6. cabinfever
    Report Abuse
    cabinfever - September 19, 2013 11:15 pm
    I listened to WHYL every morning while driving our son to school...because of Ben Barber (and Dennis). So sad to hear this news, and I will no longer tune in unless these guys are back on the air. In my opinion...they WERE the radio station!
  7. eels2010
    Report Abuse
    eels2010 - September 19, 2013 2:35 pm
    That's sad news. I didn't listen to it, but it is a local institution. Hopefully somebody local buys it and does something positive with the station.
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