Radio stations' operations taken over by creditor

K.t. McKee

WASILLA -- The operations of Valley Radio and KBYR radio in Anchorage have been taken over by a creditor of the station owner.

Spirit of Alaska Broadcasting Inc., which owns the stations, is in receivership by Gladstone Capital Corp., a Virginia company that took over the company's Wells Fargo loans of $2.1 million in 2005 and of $200,000 in 2006, according to documents filed in federal court in Anchorage.

John Klapperich, who owns Spirit of Alaska with his wife, Joan, called the development "an unbelievable situation."

"The truth is, my wife cleaned the potties on Sundays and we did everything we could for the station and the community. I thought the storm was behind me because we were finally showing a $10,000 profit in June and with all the political advertising coming in with the upcoming elections, I thought we'd be OK."

Court documents also reveal that the Klapperichs fell behind on paying their payroll taxes.

Matt Claman, Gladstone's lawyer in Anchorage, explained Monday that the receiver, Bob Woodward of Virginia, has a history of radio management. The court gave him permission to take control of the company to make it solvent enough to be able to pay off as much of its debt as possible within the next two years, he said.