By Jeanne Sager
MONTICELLO December 17, 2004 Bill Reynolds wants his listeners to know one thing hes not retiring.
In three months time, Reynolds plans to sell his radio station to some of the principals in Empire Resorts.
Pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), WSUL, 98.3 FM, will be sold to Robert Berman and Scott Keniewski in March.
The station will remain independently owned and operated, run by the newly formed Watermark Communications.
Although Reynolds will be leaving his post as general manager a position that will be filled by current sales head Helena Manzione he will stay on as a consultant and continue with other ventures in the county.
Reynolds will retain ownership of the tower in Monticello, of which WSUL will be a tenant, and hes currently working with Narrowsburg businessman Rick Lander to construct a radio tower in the Town of Tusten to enhance reception in the western area of the county.
"Im not saying goodbye yet," he said Wednesday afternoon. "Bill Reynolds is not retiring."
Originally from Maryland, Reynolds traveled the country working for Westinghouse before making the decision to go into the radio business.
He visited stations up and down the East Coast in the mid-80s and found Monticellos WSUL to be a perfect fit.
He made an offer and bought the company in 1986, moving his entire family to Sullivan County.
"It was a great decision," Reynolds said. "We love it here my children have all been raised here.
"Ive always said Sullivan County is a great place to live, work and raise a family and thats certainly been true for the Reynolds family."
Reynolds said the impending sale will be a good thing for the station the new owners plan to keep staff and programming intact and remain independent.
"All the great things that made WSUL a number one radio station will still be here," he said.
Berman and Keniewski have their eyes on the future of the county, Reynolds added, and the station as a part of that.
"They believe that Sullivan County is going to grow dramatically; they believe that this radio station is a well-run business," Reynolds said. "Theyre continuing their investment in the growth of Sullivan County, and I think thats a great thing."
In a press release issued this week, Berman said, We believe WSUL has a winning combination of great employees and a very successful blend of local news and the best variety music from the 80s, 90s and now.
Our objective will be to continue with that combination, he added.
We believe in the future of Sullivan County, Keniewski added. We believe the economic and population growth will continue which will make WSUL even more successful than it is today.
An application has been made to the FCC regarding the changing of the guard, and its still subject to public comment. If the process runs smoothly, closing on the station will likely happen in late March.
Reynolds said the station will hold its 27th annual Heart-a-thon this winter regardless.