In a novel mix of entertainment and law, five partners in a Towson law firm have purchased an AM radio station that will air an eclectic mix of "nostalgia" music and legal and financial advice.
The partners, who practice at the firm of Hodes, Ulman, Pessin & Katz, completed on Thursday evening the $675,000 purchase of 1360-AM, whose soon-to-be-changed call letters are now WHLP, according to attorney Michael Hodes.
"We're probably the first law firm in the country to go out and buy a media source," Mr. Hodes said. The lawyer group is operating the station under a lease agreement, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
Mr. Hodes is among a half-dozen professionals who will be hosts for weekend talk shows with topics ranging from senior citizens issues, real estate, taxes, insurance and even chiropractic services. Nestor Aparicio's sports talk program will continue weekday evenings, according to Mr. Hodes,who has been host for a talk show called "Financial Focus" Saturday mornings on WCBM radio for about a decade.
Mr. Hodes and partners Louis Ulman, David Pessin, Gerald Katz and Joseph Kempler, operating as Houlpeka Broadcasting Ltd., bought the station from Allied Media of Maryland Inc., owned by Roger Amato of Vermont.
"Most of the time it'll be big band," Mr. Hodes said, and more contemporary "nostalgia" music, as station manager Jim Ward called it. The new music format began last month, and the talk shows are due to begin next weekend.
This isn't the first time Mr. Hodes has shown an interest in the radio business. Last January, he and five others invested $250,000 to launch a 24-hour, all-talk radio network called the United Talk Radio Network. However, the venture fizzled after several months, Mr. Hodes said.
Mr. Hodes acknowledged that 1360-AM will be a marketing vehicle for the services of its talk-show hosts, but he dismissed any concerns about using the station merely to advertise his law firm.