Monday, July 1, 2019
NYC Radio: Emmis Spins WBLS, WQHT To Mediaco
Emmis Communications Corporation today announced that it has signed an agreement to form a new public company, Mediaco Holding, with New York investment firm Standard General. Mediaco Holding will purchase from Emmis two of its New York radio properties, WBLS 107.5 FM and WQHT HOT 97.
Closing of the transaction is subject to FCC approval and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to occur later this year.
Emmis will remain active in the management of WBLS and HOT 97 and provide certain corporate services to Mediaco pursuant to a management agreement between the parties. Jeff Smulyan will be the Chief Executive Officer of Mediaco and will continue to serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emmis, which will remain a public company. Standard General will appoint a majority of the board of directors of Mediaco and Soohyung Kim, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Standard General L.P., will be Chairman of Mediaco.
“Our team is excited about partnering with Jeff and the Emmis management team in forming Mediaco Holding,” said Soo Kim. “We’re thrilled to acquire two of New York’s legendary radio brands in HOT 97 and WBLS and work with Emmis to build on each brand’s success. These stations will form the foundation for a new public company that will invest in media assets and build on our successful track record of media investments.”
No personnel changes are planned. All New York employees will continue to be Emmis employees with Emmis benefits as part of an Employee Leasing Agreement with Mediaco.
After this transaction and the previously announced sale of our partnership interest in Austin, Emmis will operate New York’s WLIB and WEPN (through an LMA with ESPN Radio), four radio stations in Indianapolis, Indianapolis Monthly, and Digonex, a dynamic pricing company. Emmis also owns its headquarters at 40 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, and a valuable tower site in Whitestown, Indiana.
Emmis retains Gospel WLIB 1190 AM and the license WEPN 98.7 FM, which is leased to Disney.
Posted 9:59:00 AM