Announcer and program manager Charles H. Crutchfield permanently became general manager when the sale was completed. He had been with the station since 1933.

History | CBS Sells WBT

Charlotte Observer
Aug. 22, 1945

Radio Station WBT Sale Is Approved
Purchase Price $1,505,000

The Observer Bureau
1230 Nt'l Press Bldg. By Leased Wire.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21.—With approval today by the Federal Communications Commission the Southeastern Broadcasting company, subsidiary of the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance company of Greensboro, N. C., became the owner of radio station WBT in Charlotte and relay stations WEHI and WCBE. The purchase price was $1,505,000.

At a meeting of the commission this morning the FCC granted consent to voluntary assignment of the license of WBT to the Jefferson Standard organization with Chairman Paul A. Porter not participating and with Commissioner Clifford A. Durr voting that a hearing be held on the application.

In its application the Columbia Broadcasting company stated that the reason for assigning the license is for the purpose of complying with commission Rule 3.106 which provides that "no license shall be granted to a network organization for any standard broadcast station in any locality where the existing broadcast stations are so few or of such unequal desirability that competition would be restrained by such licensing."

The negotiations culminating in the sale were handled for Jefferson Standard by J. M. Bryan, vice president of the company and Major Edney Ridge, manager of WBIG, Columbia network affiliate in Greensboro. Columbia broadcasting company was represented by Frank Stanton, vice president, and Frank K. White, vice president and treasurer.

[It was stipulated] that the Southeastern Broadcasting company will be the owner of the station and will have and maintain absolute control of the station, ' equipment, operations and programs. The hours and types of programs, including CBS network shows, will be continued and improved whenever possible. The license also includes the licenses for relay stations WCBE and WEHI.

CBS included in its sale all its contracts for time, talent and the like, affecting WBT. On the other hand, the Southeastern Broadcasting company agreed to employ all persons employed upon the closing date, though without a promise of permanent position.

Men in the armed service formerly employed by WBT are assured reinstatement when their military service expires under an agreement whereby Southeastern assumes all the obligations under the selective service act as it applies to the reinstatement of workers in the armed forces.

Records filed with the FCC show that Jefferson Standard told the FCC that it acquired WBT as an investment. It was also revealed that the principal figures in the deal are also interested in WBIG, Greensboro.
However, it is claimed that the two outlets will overlap only slightly in the range of their daytime programs and none at all at night.

Of the 1,330 shares of stock in Southeastern the Jefferson Standard company owns 1,327, or 99.778 per cent, the three remaining shares being held as directors qualifying shares by J. M. Bryan, president; Edney Ridge, secretary; and Julius C. Smith, director, with beneficial interest going to Jefferson Standard.

It was revealed in the application filed with the FCC that after Jefferson Standard has recouped its investment with interest out of the net earnings of WBT, that Ridge is to get a 10 per cent unqualified ownership interest in the broadcasting company in recognition of his services in the transaction.
Ridge is vice president and secretary of the North Carolina Broadcasting company and has 250 shares or one-third of its stock.

Bryan, president of the North Carolina Broadcasting company, has a 50 percent interest as a partner in the Spartanburg Broadcasting company of Spartanburg, S. C., and is vice president, director, and member of the executive and finance committee.

Charlotte News
September 22, 1945

Radio Station WBT Ownership
Change Due Soon

Ownership and operation of Radio Station WBT is scheduled to pass from the Columbia Broadcasting System to the Southeastern Broadcasting Co., a subsidiary of the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., in the next few days, The News learned today.

The time of the transfer of ownership depends upon the completion of "routine details" which were being worked out yesterday and today in New York, J. M. Bryan, president of the Southeastern Broadcasting Co., told The News by telephone.

Mr. Bryan said it was impossible to set the exact time of the transfer, but that he hoped it would be during this week-end.

The sale of WBT for $1,505,000 was announced by CBS in New York several weeks ago. It was described at that time by Dr. Frank Stanton, CBS vice-president as a "forced sale" to comply with a ruling of the Federal Communications Commission.

It is believed locally that Charles Crutchfield, acting general manager of the station, will become  general manager immediately upon completion of the transfer. He has been serving in that position since A. D. (Jess) Willard left WBT recently to become executive director of the National Association of Broadcasters.

Mr. Crutchfield has a wide background of radio experience which began in Spartanburg when he was a student at Wofford University. For the past 12 years he has been at WBT, for the first two years as announcer and for the past ten years program director.

He is married to Jacqueline Williams of Savannah and Miami, and! they have two children, Richard Dale, 10, and Leslie Alice, 8. The Crutchfields live at 2331 Mecklenburg Ave.     




J. M. Bryan, vice president of the Jefferson Standard, said last night in Greensboro that there will be no immediate personnel changes at WBT. That means that Charles H. Crutchfield will become acting general manager on September 1. He was appointed to that position last Monday by the Columbia Broadcasting company to succeed A. D. Willard who on October 1 becomes vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington. He will relinquish, his duties here September 1. Mr. Bryan said that he expects to come to Charlotte in the next few days, but added that it may be several weeks before details in connection with the transfer of WBT are completed.

Clippings and photos courtesy Jim Scancarelli