Monday, February 26, 2018

St. Louis Radio: Emmis Stock Jumps With Sale Of Four Stations

Emmis Communications has sealed what amounts to a $60 million deal wirth the sale of four stations in St. Louis.

Investors greeted the deals with two thumbs up. After briefly hitting a 52-week high of $4.17 a share, the stock price settled back at 3.93 – a 19% gain over Thursday's closing share price, reports InsideRadio.

Hubbard will pay $45 million for heritage rock KSHE 94.7 FM and modern rock KPNT 105.7 The Point, while Entercom will pick up News/Talk KFTK 97.1 FM and CHR  KNOU Now 96.3 FM for $15 million. Local Marketing Agreements of the stations will start March 1.

Emmis will use net proceeds from the sales to pay down debt.

“The St. Louis team has been an integral part of our Emmis family since 1984,” Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said. “We love our people in St. Louis and the team’s performance has been nothing short of remarkable. Hubbard and Entercom are both tremendous radio operators and they are adding great people and great brands to their St. Louis clusters.”

Hubbard is getting the highest rated stations of the Emmis cluster, which explains why it is paying three times as much as Entercom. KSHE, which marked its 50th year as a rock station in 2017, ranked second in Nielsen’s January book with a 6.9 share (6+). “The Point” was ninth with a 4.2. The two St. Louis rockers will join Hubbard’s “92.3 New Country” WIL-FM, adult hits “106.5 The Arch” WARH and sports “101 ESPN” WXOS in the market.

Entercom will add KFTK-FM and KNOU to the three-station cluster it acquired from CBS Radio in the companies’ November 2017 merger. That includes AC KEZK-FM (102.5), along with “News Talk 1120” KMOX and hot AC “Y-98” KYKY. The Emmis stations Entercom is buying, meanwhile, are both under-performers. KNOU was tied for 14th place in Nielsen’s January survey with a 3.6 share while KFTK-FM was 16th with a 3.3.

“This is an exciting move to complement our strong portfolio in St. Louis,” said David Field, Chairman, President and CEO of Entercom. “The transaction is part of our broader strategy to continue growing Entercom’s robust roster of brands across the country and to provide the best-in-class local marketing solutions at national scale that our advertising partners expect from us.”

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