Skip to main content

A radio station in Ely, Minnesota is set to continue running after it was bought by a Wisconsin media company.

The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, which has owned WELY radio since 2005, has sold the rights to northwestern Wisconsin-based Zoe Communications, Inc. The company will officially take over in early 2023, according to a release.

The current owners initially announced in May that the radio station would shut down, citing financial losses of nearly $2 million in 17 years owning the signals.

It was kept running in the hope a new buyer would come forward, and it now appears to have been saved from closure.

The station will go silent on Thursday, pending the FCC's approval of the sale. Zoe Communications General Manager Mike Oberg said the FCC transfer typically "takes about 90 days."

A press release states that the Shell Lake, Wis. communications company purchased the radio station for $130,000. It includes all of WELY's equipment, the tower and licensing. Zoe Communications also owns 11 other FM and AM radio stations in northwestern Wisconsin.

The station will move out of its current location at 133 E. Chapman St., with the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa keeping the building, according to a release. The new location has not yet been determined as of Thursday.

“Although Bois Forte regrets not being able to continue ownership, we are grateful a buyer emerged to keep WELY—End of the Road radio on the air for years to come,” said business development CEO Mayan Beltran.

Oberg noted that WELY has a lot of history he is wanting to preserve.

"We believe radio is still very important to a local community, and we hope to continue the tradition of keeping the local feel of Ely radio alive,” said Oberg.

WELY-AM debuted in 1954, followed by WELY-FM in 1992.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Protest for Tyre Nichols to be held outside MN Governor’s Mansion

Activists groups say they’ll call on Gov. Tim Walz and the Legislature to implement police reforms.

Pool

Minnesota pool contractor banned from industry, must pay $2 million-plus

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed suit against Charles Workman and his company, MN Crete Pools, LLC, in August.

Minneapolis police

St. Paul man identified as victim of north Minneapolis homicide

The shooting occurred on the 2200 block of Emerson Avenue North on Wednesday.

ambulance

Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Related

Twin Cities radio station BUZ'N is now 102.9 'The Wolf'

The station also announced its new morning show team.

96.3, Air1

Former Pohlad-owned radio stations officially flip formats

Educational Media Foundation operates the K-Love brand, which has a presence already in the Twin Cities.

Go Radio

Radio stations 96.3, 95.3 expected to switch to Christian formats in April

The stations were sold to the Christian music broadcaster late last year.

radio

New sports talk radio show to debut in Twin Cities Jan. 4

The show will air during the afternoon drive Monday-Friday, and at noon Saturdays.