WDEV and a group of sister stations known as the Radio Vermont Group will be sold to Steve Cormier, the sales director for Radio Vermont Group and the former radio show co-host of popular program “Corm and the Coach.”
Kenley Squier, the owner of the Radio Vermont Group, made the announcement late Friday afternoon.
The Radio Vermont Group includes four stations: WDEV FM and AM, 101 The One (WCVT on Mt. Mansfield at 101.7 and sister station WEXP FM 101.5 in Rutland), and WLVB FM 93.9 in Morrisville.
Cormier will take over operations immediately. General manager Eric Michaels, who served on the WDEV staff for 30 years, is leaving at the end of the month.
WDEV is a community radio station started by the Squier family 87 years ago. Politically, the station veers right and left with its eclectic programming. WDEV has carried liberal radio newswoman Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now program and True North Reports, a conservative show. The Saturday morning “Music to Go to the Dump By,” which Squier hosts in his captivatingly laconic and wry Yankee style, is the favorite of many listeners.
Squier, 82, put the stations up for sale in June, with the intent of finding a local buyer who could carry on his father Lloyd’s community vision for the station.
Squier, a legendary sportscaster, started his career at age 12 on WDEV and made a name for himself nationally as a commentator for NASCAR on CBS. In 1960, he opened the Thunder Road International SpeedBowl in Barre. Squier sold Thunder Road in April.
“We’ll be able to maintain the relevance of WDEV in the Vermont radio spectrum, which I find very exciting,” Squier said. “The station will continue with Vermonters running the operation, based on the good work of Eric Michaels for three decades. The hope had been from the beginning that a plan would come forward to maintain a Vermont news station.”
Cormier, is perhaps best known in Vermont for his award-winning radio program, Corm and the Coach, and as Program Director for WIZN from 1986-1997. Most recently he was the station and sales manager at WTSA FM and AM in Brattleboro.
“I am honored to work at a station where radio serves the public good, need and necessity as it has since the beginning in 1931,” Cormier said in a statement.
The new ownership must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. A formal transfer of ownership will be completed once approval has been obtained. Financial information about the sale will be available at that time. The approval is expected to take a few months.
Cormier will be supported by finance director Shannon Billings, operations director Charlotte Strasser and continuity director Kia Winchell.
The Squier family will remain involved in Radio Vermont Group going forward. Kenley Squier will serve as senior advisor to the Radio Vermont Group and his daughter, Ashley, will serve on the Radio Vermont Advisory Team.