The only two locally owned commercial radio companies in the Bryan-College Station area will merge within weeks.

Bryan Broadcasting Corp. has purchased the Christian family station KAGC AM 1510 from Divcon Associates Inc. The $1.44 million deal is expected to go through by April, pending Federal Communications Commission approval.

KAGC will remain on the air, joining Bryan Broadcasting's local lineup of stations - KNDE 95.1 FM, WTAW 1620 AM and The Zone Sports Radio KZNE 1150 AM.

Ben Downs, general manager of Bryan Broadcasting, said the format of KAGC has always been attractive for his company and the timing finally was right to buy the station.

"Hopefully we will reach more people and a market we haven't reached before," he said.

Bob Bell of KAGC and Downs agreed that keeping the station under local ownership was a priority.

"We felt comfortable making a transaction with another local owner and operator," Bell said. "It's a win, win, win."

The basic format of KAGC will remain the same, with some elements of WTAW's local news reports added throughout the day, Downs said. Several of the station's popular programs, including "How to Manage Your Money" and "Dead Doctors Don't Lie," are expected to remain on the air.

As a result of the sale, KAGC studios will relocate from the current location on Carson Street in Bryan to Bryan Broadcasting's headquarters at Crystal Park Plaza in College Station. The station's two employees also will transfer positions when the move is made.

Bell and his wife, Judy, first put KAGC on the air as a Christian family radio station May 1, 1987. The station moved in 1997 from Manor East Mall to studios at 202 Carson St.

Throughout the years, the husband and wife have overseen the 24-hour station, which broadcasts everything from Christian pop and gospel music to syndicated family-themed talk shows.

Bell said he and his wife will miss being part of the station but have plans to continue working with their other business ventures, which include operating a local rental car business and distributing and lecturing about nutritional products.

"There is a time and a season for all things," Bob Bell said. "Our time and season as Christian broadcasters has come to an end."

• Laura Hensley's e-mail address is laura.hensley@theeagle.com.

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