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Hubbard Acquires Sandusky Radio

Hubbard Radio Sandusky Newspapers Seattle Phoenix KQMV KLCK KRWM KUPD KSLX KDKBHubbard Radio has agreed to acquired the properties of Sandusky Radio for $85.5 Million.

The ten station deal includes five stations each in Seattle and Phoenix. The stations are:

The two new markets add to Hubbard’s existing holdings in Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Washington DC. With the sale Sandusky will depart the radio industry after 36 years. The company still retains its newspaper holdings in four states.

The Press Release follows:
Hubbard Radio, LLC announced today that the company has entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire 10 radio stations from privately held Sandusky Radio. The acquisition expands Hubbard Radio by adding five radio stations in Seattle and five in Phoenix.

“This is an exciting opportunity to expand Hubbard Radio into two top 20 markets,” said Virginia (Ginny) Morris, board chair of Hubbard Radio, LLC. “We have known and respected the Rau/White family, Sandusky’s owners, for many years. We admire what they have accomplished and we are honored that they would agree to sell us these established stations. We are committed to maintaining the dedication to excellence and to community that Sandusky has made such an important part of their radio operations.”

According to the latest Arbitron Radio Market Rankings, the Seattle-Tacoma area ranked as the 13th largest among all U.S. radio markets, with Phoenix ranked as the 14th largest.

The five Seattle stations involved in the transaction are: KIXI-AM 880; 92.5 KQMV-FM; 1150 KKNW-AM; 106.9 KRWM-FM; and 98.9 KLCK-FM. The five Phoenix stations are: 100.7 KSLX-FM; 97.9 KUPD-FM; 93.3 KDKB-FM; 1440 KAZG-AM; and 1060 KDUS-AM.

Bruce Reese, president and chief executive officer of Hubbard Radio, stated: “Hubbard is excited about the chance to add these great stations to our existing operations in Chicago, Washington, DC, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati. Sandusky runs very successful radio stations, and we plan on continuing that precedent. We look forward to working with our new colleagues.”

Through the acquisition, Hubbard Radio will add 65 to 70 full time employees in each of the two markets. Reese said he expects no programming or personnel changes for any of the acquired stations. Hubbard Radio currently employs approximately 600 full-time employees.

Commented Norman D. Rau, president of Sandusky Radio: “Hubbard Radio, a private family-owned business, holds very similar values as our business. Hubbard has nine family members directly involved in the Hubbard companies. We believe the future of our listeners, employees and our customers could not be in better hands. As a significantly larger broadcasting company, Hubbard can give the Sandusky stations a potential for growth and scale that Sandusky on its own just could not give them.”

The sale will end Sandusky’s 36-year history as a radio broadcaster and allow it to concentrate on the continuing digital transformation of its local print and online newspaper and marketing franchises.

Morgan Stanley is acting as financial advisors to Hubbard Radio in connection with the transaction and has issued commitments to provide debt financing for the acquisition. Under the terms of the asset purchase agreement, Hubbard Radio will acquire the radio stations for approximately $85.5 million. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The sale is expected to be finalized upon FCC approval and other customary closing conditions.

About Sandusky Radio: Sandusky Newspapers, Inc. operates Sandusky Radio, which has radio stations in Seattle and Phoenix, as well as The Sandusky Newspaper Group, which owns 12 newspapers and related digital products in Utah, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Sandusky is a privately held company.

About Hubbard Radio, LLC: Hubbard Radio, LLC operates 20 radio stations in Chicago, Washington DC, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati.

Hubbard Radio is part of Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc., an American television and radio broadcasting corporation based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota that was started in 1923 by Stanley E. Hubbard. The company also operates 12 television stations in Minnesota, New York and New Mexico. Other Hubbard Broadcasting companies include the satellite and cable networks ReelzChannel (launched in 2006) and Ovation TV, F&F Productions, and the Hubbard Radio Network, which is used to distribute KSTP-AM’s local talk shows to subscribing radio stations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Hubbard Broadcasting is a family-run and -operated business.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

2 Comments

  1. Profile photo of johndavis


    Interesting. This puts Hubbard up against Bonneville in both markets.

    • Profile photo of danbaisden


      I don’t know if it will put them in “competition” or if its setting them up to acquire Bonneville at some point. Bonneville has been rumored to leave Phoenix and Seattle for quite a while, maybe this is the strategy.

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