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Digity Acquires NextMedia

Dean Goodman Goodradio.tv NextMedia Next Media KBAY KEZR WHBC WERO WKZQ Joliet San Jose Canton New Bern Myrtle Beach Dallas Chicago SaginawUpdate 10/28: The sale application for the NextMedia stations has been filed with the FCC.

Digity will pay $84,972,500 for the 33 stations owned by NextMedia, while an additional $5,527,500 will go to the Mile High Station Trust for WFXF and WZSR. The latter two will be owned by Matrix Broadcasting run by Peter Handy, CEO of media broker Star Media Group and majority owner of Cohan Radio Group, which owns five stations in Sebring, FL. The two stations will have a shared services agreement with Digity in which Digity will supply technical, promotional, back office management, and other services related to the operation of the two stations.

We also learned from the filing that Digity intends on completely folding GoodRadio.TV and Palm Beach Broadcasting into the new holding company.

Original Report 10/10: Dean Goodman’s Digity, LLC has announced the acquisition of Next Media’s radio properties. While no purchase price has been announced we hear the price is $91 Million.

Goodman currently owns four West Palm Beach market stations under the Palm Beach Broadcasting umbrella and twenty six unranked stations in Iowa and Missouri under the Goodradio.TV name. This sale will add thirty three stations in eight states.

An additional two suburban Chicago stations held by a divestiture trust will be transferred to Matrix Broadcasting. Those are Classic Rock “103.9 The Fox” WFXF Woodstock and Hot AC “Star 105.5” WZSR Crystal Lake, IL.

Rumors continue to circulate that Goodman will consolidate all his holdings with other privately held radio groups to create a new publicly traded station group.

The stations involved in the purchase are:

The press release from NextMedia follows:

NextMedia Group, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell its 33 radio stations to an affiliate of Digity, LLC. Digity, an affiliate of Palm Beach Broadcasting LLC, is a newly-formed media company headed by broadcast industry veteran Dean Goodman’s GoodCo Radio LLC in partnership with Garrison Investment Group LP.

Jim Donahoe, President/CEO of NextMedia Group, said, “Dean Goodman is a veteran broadcaster committed to the long-term future of radio and we are pleased that he will build upon our strategy to provide live and local programing to our respective communities. We thank and congratulate the market employees who have remained committed to our vision and helped grow and position our stations.”

Dean Goodman added, “The NextMedia stations have grown in challenging economic environments, which is a credit to Jim Donahoe and his excellent team of broadcast professionals. Our similar operational approach will super-serve local communities with compelling on-air products and innovative digital strategies.”

Since 2010, NextMedia has been majority owned and advised by funds of Strategic Value Partners, LLC (collectively, “SVP” or “Strategic Value Partners”) and Angelo, Gordon & Co. (“Angelo Gordon”). As NextMedia’s largest creditors, SVP and Angelo Gordon helped lead the restructuring of the business and subsequently gained equity ownership of the company when it emerged from Chapter 11. SVP and Angelo Gordon appointed and worked closely with management to improve the company’s operations. In late 2012, NextMedia sold its Outdoor Division to Lamar Advertising. The completion of the sale of the 33 radio stations will represent the successful conclusion of SVP and Angelo Gordon’s investment in NextMedia.

“Since acquiring control of NextMedia’s radio and outdoor advertising assets in early 2010,” said Donahoe, “Strategic Value Partners and Angelo Gordon have provided management with the tools and support to grow our core businesses and ultimately facilitate the sale of the company.”

Victor Khosla, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of SVP, said: “We are proud of our partnership with NextMedia’s management to improve and grow the company’s outdoor advertising and radio station assets. We are pleased with the agreement that has been reached with Dean Goodman and Digity and that they will become the radio stations’ new steward.”

The transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. NextMedia will continue to operate the 33 radio stations as usual until that time.

NextMedia was represented in the transaction by Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, Leibowitz & Associates, P.A. and Wilkinson Barker Nauer LLP. Digity was represented in the transaction by Dow Lohnes PLLC.

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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.

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