(pictured: Marvin Sapp and his wife)
I can’t say I blame Robert Womack at all, I would let the station die before I would enter a deal like this. Can you say mom and pop, total control and train wreck? What is Marvin Sapp thinking? I love it when black people are not greedy and make the RIGHT decision. Read the rest of this story and laugh with me. Radio personality Robert S. Womack has given back $150,000 to gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp, who committed the money last week to help save the city’s only urban station WJNZ-AM (1140).
Womack said he and three other investors dug deeper into their pockets to make up the difference. Last week, Marvin Sapp and his wife, MaLinda, announced their investment and outlined their vision to give the radio station a more family friendly format. Womack said Sapp also wanted to move the station to the grounds of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, where he is a pastor. (Marvin and his wife need to buy their OWN station, who can’t see the writing on this wall.)
“We don’t believe that we should be talking about the format unless we win in court,” said Womack, adding that other investors felt Sapp’s comments could hurt their court case. Womack said another sticking point is that the Sapps wanted a 75 percent stake in the radio for their 50 percent investment. Womack said his attorneys recommended against the deal. The Sapps couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon. Womack said he and the Sapps remain on good terms.
The financial split between Womack and Sapp is the latest twist in a legal saga to preserve the 31-year-old urban station, which went into receivership after the previous owner defaulted on a bank loan. Womack contends there were irregularities in the bidding process that resulted in the station’s pending sale to Holy Family Radio, of Lowell. A hearing on that issue before Kent County Circuit Judge Christopher Yates has been pushed back to Oct. 19. Yates required Womack to place in escrow $315,000 — $5,000 more than Catholic group’s winning bid — in the event the court hearing resulted in Holy Family backing out of the deal.
The court delay was at the request of all parties’ attorneys and had nothing with his investor issues, Womack said. He said he remains optimistic the issues can be resolved outside court. “We want to help Holy Family Radio and the Sapps find their own signals on the radio,” Womack said. Holy Family Radio broadcasts Catholic programs on three stations: WMJH-AM (810), WPRR-AM (1680) and WTKG-AM (1230). Womack said his group also would consider acquiring another AM station — or a more expensive FM station that has a stronger broadcast signal. But the latter would require him to raise three to four times what he has in hand to purchase WJNZ, he said.
“We can only afford half of the $1.2 million but could make some payment arrangement,” Womack said.