Emmis Communications has agreed to sell Urban “Power 106” 105.9 KPWR Los Angeles to an affiliate of the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million.
Meruelo owns Classic Hip-Hop 93.5 KDAY Rendondo Beach and Rhythmic CHR “Wild 93.5” KDEY-FM Ontario. The company recently netted $123.5 million in the FCC TV spectrum auction to move KWHY-TV to a VHF channel. It is also acquiring the license to KBEH Oxnard for $10 million which will channel share with KWHY following the TV repack.
Emmis announced last month a deal with its lenders to seek $80 million worth of divestments by January 2018 to amend its credit agreement. The sale of KPWR will achieve that goal. Following closing of the sale, Emmis will retain its 18 stations in New York, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Austin.
Emmis had purchased then KMGG from Century Broadcasting in 1984. The station was relaunched as Dance CHR “Power 106” KPWR in January 1986 and evolved to its Urban format in the early 1990s.
Meruelo will begin operating KPWR via LMA following the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
Emmis Communications (Nasdaq: EMMS) has announced an agreement to sell KPWR-FM Power 106 in Los Angeles to an affiliate of the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million, subject to closing adjustments and prorations, pending FCC and other regulatory approvals.
“Power 106 has been part of the Emmis family for more than 32 years, so this day is bittersweet, but I am confident that the station and our team are in good hands,” said Jeff Smulyan, Chairman and CEO of Emmis Communications. “The Meruelo Group will be great owners of this historic brand, and take it to even greater heights.”
A Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) will begin promptly following the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
The Meruelo Group, whose Meruelo Media affiliate acquired Los Angeles TV station KWHY-22 in 2011 and radio station KDAY-FM in 2014, is the largest minority owned media group in California. Following its participation in the FCC TV spectrum auction earlier this year, Meruelo Media is now re-investing a portion of the auction proceeds to expanding its media holdings with the acquisition of heritage station KPWR-FM. Closing of the KPWR-FM sale is subject to FCC approval of the assignment of the KPWR-FM FCC license, as well as receipt of the incentive auction proceeds.
“The acquisition of Power 106 is a game changer for our group and our media division,” stated Alex Meruelo, Chairman and CEO. “As a fan and someone who has had a business relationship with this station for more than 30 years, I understand the importance of Power 106 to this community. We are committed to bringing the resources, talent and passion necessary to make this legendary brand the #1 radio station in Los Angeles.”
Emmis purchased KPWR-FM from Century Broadcasting in May 1984. The transaction is expected to close in the back half of 2017.