IBJNews

Emmis selling three major radio stations

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Emmis Communications Corp. has reached an agreement to sell three big-market radio stations to a partnership involving a private equity firm and a prominent media executive, the company disclosed Tuesday morning.

Indianapolis-based Emmis said it will receive between $110 million and $130 million in upfront cash for Chicago stations WLUP-FM 97.9 and WKQX-FM 101.1, and New York station WRXP-FM 101.9.

The buyer is GTCR Merlin Holdings LLC, a partnership between Chicago-based equity firm GTCR LLC and Randy Michaels, the former CEO of media giants the Tribune Co. and Clear Channel Communications Inc.

Additionally, Emmis said it will receive a preferred stock interest in the partnership worth between $28 million and $47 million as well as common equity in the partnership.

The sale is subject to regulatory approvals.

“We believe this transaction will create significant value for our shareholders," said Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan in a prepared statement. "As a minority holder in Merlin Media, we look forward to continuing to provide innovative programming to our audiences in Chicago and New York.

Emmis shares were up 14 percent, or 15 cents per share, Tuesday morning, to $1.20 each.

Michaels resigned from the Tribune Co. last year amid media reports of a frat-house corporate culture in the firm's executive offices.

According to Emmis regulatory filing, the three stations accounted for $25.3 million in revenue in fiscal year 2011, which ended Feb. 28, and a profit of $1.4 million.

As a company, Emmis had $185.2 million in revenue from radio operations during the same time frame and lost $25.2 million. Emmis owns 23 radio stations in seven U.S. markets.

The two Chicago stations in the deal have been radio mainstays in the market for decades. WLUP, better known as "The Loop," has been a classic rock giant in Chicago since the 1970s. Emmis acquired the station from Bonneville International Corp. in 2004.

WKQX, known as Q101, plays modern rock. It was acquired by Emmis in 1988 from NBC.

WRXP in New York changed call letters when it switched from a smooth jazz format to alternative rock in 2008. Emmis bought the station from the Tribune Co. in 1997 when it used the call letters WQCD.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.

ADVERTISEMENT