Turning the channel
Banner Elk man buys MTN TV
By Scott Nicholson
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A local television station has a new owner, and he’s close to home.
Steve and Tammy Rondinaro announced they are in the process of selling Mountain Television Network to Terry Smith of Banner Elk.
“Absentee ownership has been very difficult for us,” Steve Rondinaro said in a note to station advertisers and contacts.
“Our thanks to two of the finest employees you could ever ask for: Bill Fisher and Sarah Fetterolf for their faithful work throughout. Newer employees Diane Wynn and Kimberly Tyler have also stepped up.”
Steve Rondinaro, who is now a television news anchor in Wilmington, put the station up for sale more than a year ago. At one point, it was advertised on the Internet auction site eBay for $495,000.
MTN was started in the mid-1990s by Tim Baxter and Bob Flanagan.
The Rondinaros purchased MTN in the fall of 2004, having previously owned and operated several local radio stations, including WECR FM, which Rondinaro Broadcasting built from the ground up.
The station broadcasts on cable channel 18 in Watauga and Avery counties and 15 in Ashe County.
Via antenna, it broadcasts on UHF channel 24. Smith was unavailable for comment before press time.