Inside Radio: Scripps Completes Radio Sell-Off With $47M SummitMedia Deal.

The E.W. Scripps Co. has cut a deal to sell its last group of 19 radio stations in four markets to SummitMedia for $47 million. The transaction, expected to close in fourth quarter, is the fourth and final deal in the sale of Scripps’ radio division. SummitMedia will acquire Scripps clusters in Wichita, KS; Springfield, MO; Omaha, NE; and Knoxville, TN.  

Here are the stations involved in the deal:

Wichita: country KFDI-FM (101.3), rock “T-95” KICT-FM (95.1), classic rock “The Fox” KFXJ (104.5), regional Mexican “Radio Lobo 106.5” KYQQ and “Classic Country 1070” KFTI

Springfield: country KTTS-FM (94.7), rhythmic CHR “Power 96.5” KSPW, news/talk KSGF-AM & FM (1260, 104.1) and adult hits “106.7 The River” KRVI

Omaha: rock “Z-92” KEZO-FM (92.3), hot AC “Star 104.5” KSRZ, rhythmic CHR “Channel 94.1” KQCH, classic rock “CD 105.9” KKCD and sports “AM 590 ESPN Radio” KXSP

Knoxville: CHR “Star 102.1” WWST, country “Q 100.3” WCYQ, rhythmic CHR “Hot 104.5” WKHT and “Classic Hits 93.1” WNOX

The deal comes one week after Scripps said it would sell eight radio stations in Boise and Tucson to Lotus Communications for $8 million. On July 27, the Cincinnati-based media company announced a $16 million deal to sell its largest market radio cluster – news/talk powerhouse WTMJ (620, 103.3) and country WKTI (94.5) in Milwaukee – to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands for $16 million. Scripps got the piecemeal sell-off of its radio division rolling in late June with a deal to sell its five radio station cluster in Tulsa to Oklahoma-based Griffin Communications for $12.5 million.

The four separate deals total $83.5 million. Scripps says its 2017 radio segment profit was $11.6 million. Scripps announced plans to exit radio and focus on building its TV business in January.

“SummitMedia’s focus on growth in the radio industry makes it a good home for these stations,” Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson said in a press release. “With Summit, these stations will be able to fully live out their mission of informing and entertaining local audiences.”

With the sale of the remaining 19 stations to SummitMedia, Scripps puts the wraps on its radio exit. “This is a significant milestone toward executing our strategy to divest of non-core assets, improve near-term operating performance and focus on the growth ahead,” Symson said.

The Scripps stations will join Birmingham, AL-based SummitMedia’s portfolio of 31 radio stations in Alabama, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia.

“We are very excited to welcome the Scripps teams in Wichita, Springfield, Omaha and Knoxville into the SummitMedia family,” said SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer. “Together, we are very confident we can inspire our audiences, serve each of our individual communities and create value for our clients.”

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