Update 9/27: Educational Media Foundation will pay $57.75 million for the three stations.
Part of the deal includes an environmental assessment of the station properties and a clause that should a Remediation Assessment of the 95.9 WGGI facilities exceed $50,000, than EMF can remove that station from the deal by subtracting $275,000 from the purchase price.
Both KSWD and WGGI will join EMF’s Christian AC “K-Love” network, while 92.1 KSOQ will join Christian CHR “Air 1“. All three stations have applied to convert to non-commercial status and main studio waivers. No LMA’s are included in the deal, which will not close until after the CBS Radio/Entercom merger is completed.
Original Report 9/26: Educational Media Foundation will acquire three stations from Entercom as part of that companies required spin-offs from its upcoming merger with CBS Radio.
EMF will acquire Classic Rock “100.3 The Sound” KSWD Los Angeles as well as 92.1 KSOQ Escondido CA (Simulcasts Country http://www.froggy101.com/“>97.3 KSON San Diego) and 95.9 WGGI Berwick PA (Simulcasts Country “Froggy 101” WGGY Wilkes-Barre). EMF will use KSWD to debut the Christian AC “K-Love” network in Los Angeles, however that will also require an agreement with Univision as that company’s Spanish AC “107.5 K-Love” KLVE predates EMF and local usage. No word on the status of the soon to be former Sound staff, or if the Intellectual Property could shift to one of the current CBS Radio stations in the market. The impending demise of KSWD would leave Cumulus’ 95.5 KLOS as the only Classic Rocker in Los Angles.
Those three stations had been expected to be among the stations to be divested since the announcement of the CBS Radio/Entercom merger. KSWD was a standalone next to CBS Radio’s maxed out group of FM’s in Los Angeles, while KSOQ and WGGI were formerly grandfathered signals used to simulcast and boost coverage of a nearby Country station.
Entercom is still required to dives 2 FMs in Boston, 3 FMs in Sacramento, 4 FMs in San Francisco, 2 FMs in Seattle, and whatever else is imposed on it by the Department of Justice or FCC to clear the merger.
Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE: ETM), a leading media and entertainment company, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to divest three stations to Educational Media Foundation (EMF), including KSWD-FM 100.3 The Sound in Los Angeles, KSOQ-FM 92.1 in San Diego and WGGI-FM 95.9 in Wilkes-Barre. This transaction marks the first required divestitures related to Entercom’s pending merger with CBS Radio.
“We have made great progress towards the completion of our merger with CBS Radio and this agreement with EMF brings us one step closer to the finish line,” said David Field, President and Chief Executive Officer, Entercom. “We remain on track to close the CBS Radio transaction later this year and confident in the value-creating opportunities presented by this transformational combination.”
Based in Rocklin, California, EMF is a non-profit organization that operates radio networks specializing in adult contemporary Christian music, including K-LOVE and Air1. As of September 26, 2017, EMF owns and operates some 770 FM stations and translators.
With EMF adding to its footprint in Los Angeles, San Diego and Wilkes-Barre, EMF CEO Mike Novak commented, “We are particularly excited to see what God has in store for the people of Los Angeles, through our new station, Positive & Encouraging K-LOVE at 100.3 FM. The people at Entercom have been a joy making this purchase possible.”
On February 2, 2017, Entercom announced an agreement to combine with CBS Radio Inc. in an all-stock transaction which is expected to be tax-free to CBS and its shareholders. The merger will make Entercom a leading local media and entertainment company with a nationwide footprint of 240 stations, with strong positions in virtually all of the top 50 markets, as well as robust digital capabilities and a growing events platform.
MVP Capital, LLC acted as a financial adviser to Entercom for this transaction.