Cumulus Media has announced it has agreed to acquire Alternative 101.1 WKQX Chicago and the intellectual property of WLUP from Merlin Media for $18 million.
Cumulus walked away from its $50 million acquisition of 97.9 WLUP and WKQX in January as part of its bankruptcy restructuring. Merlin then sold WLUP to Educational Media Foundation for $21 million who flipped the station to Christian AC “K-Love” WCKL. Cumulus had been operating both station under LMA since January 2014.
Merlin parked the WLUP call letters on Randy Michaels’ 97.9 in Au Sable NY but they will be returning to Cumulus to be placed an a station to be determined.
Cumulus Media Inc. (PINK:CMLSQ) (the “Company,” “Cumulus,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Merlin Media (“Merlin”) to acquire the Chicago-area alternative rock station, WKQX-FM, as well as the WLUP-FM call signal and all related intellectual property.
The long-running alternative rock station WKQX-FM 101.1 has served the greater Chicago metropolitan area since 1977, offering, over the years, a range of modern, alternative, hard and classic rock from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Today, the station not only provides Chicagoans the best alternative rock programming but it also brings fans closer to the music through unique and innovative experiences, ranging from exclusive, up-close performances in the Sound Lounge to the “Bad Ass 48” – a once in a lifetime opportunity for a fan to spend 48 hours straight with their favorite artist.
“After operating the station for the past four years, we are delighted to be able to bring this beloved station under Cumulus’s ownership on economic terms that make sense for our business,” said Mary G. Berner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus Media Inc. “We look forward to continuing to deliver the best alternative rock programming to our devoted listeners in the Chicago area for years to come.”
“I am truly pleased that we have reached an agreement to bring WKQX into the Cumulus family and fully focus on driving growth in the Chicago market,” said Marv Nyren, Vice President and Market Manager of Cumulus Chicago. “We have lots of great programming planned for WKQX and our other stations in the Chicago market, and we look forward to growing these legendary stations and providing great content to our listeners and effective marketing strategies for our advertisers in and around Chicago.”
Cumulus will continue to program WKQX under a Local Marketing Agreement until the closing, which is subject to customary conditions such as regulatory and court approval, occurs.