Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Radio station deals announced

We have recently announced several radio deals, a further indication of the improving station trading market:

Waterloo, IA

Beverly B. Poston, President and CEO, of Bahakel Communications, Inc., and Tom Yunt, President and CEO of Woodward Communications, Inc., jointly announced that Bahakel would sell their four station radio cluster in Waterloo, Iowa to Woodward Communications, Inc., subject to FCC approval.

Jody McCoy of our Colorado Springs office is the exclusive broker for the transaction and represents the seller.

The transfer of the licenses will increase Woodward’s broadcast holdings to 11 stations in the region with their other radio station cluster located in the Green Bay, Appleton/Oshkosh, Wisconsin markets. Woodward Communications, Inc., headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa, has six operating divisions: daily newspaper, weekly publications, commercial printing, niche magazines, radio and full-service advertising agencies.

In announcing their intent to purchase the Waterloo group, Yunt said “we are very excited about this opportunity to add these outstanding stations to our group and we look forward to the opportunity of serving the greater Waterloo/Cedar Falls communities. The stations are well positioned with their heritages and formats and have a wonderful track record in serving their listeners and advertisers.”

Greg Bell, Woodward’s Executive Vice President of Broadcasting, said “we are impressed with the staff as well as the facilities. We believe that there is very good upside potential and we look forward to working with the Waterloo team in growing with the market.”

Poston said that “it is with highly mixed emotions that we have decided to sell the stations but that the decision was made easier because of the quality company that Woodward is, the fact that it is employee-owned and their commitment to provide such excellent services to the various communities in which they operate.”

She further added “that we (Bahakel) have recently purchased an additional television station in Montgomery, AL, as well as an additional radio station for our Chattanooga cluster so this is being done as some realignment of our properties. We leave Waterloo very reluctantly but are comforted in knowing that our stations and employees will be in such wonderful hands.”

Bahakel also owns and operates six radio stations in Colorado Springs, CO and Chattanooga, TN and six television stations in Montgomery, AL (two stations); Jackson, TN; Columbia, SC, Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC, and their flagship station, WCCB-TV in Charlotte, NC. The Press Release is HERE.

Wilmington, NC

Turning to the southeast, Davis Media LLC has entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire the Sea-Comm cluster serving Wilmington, NC. The stations (all in North Carolina) include:

WBNE(FM), Wrightsville Beach
WLTT(FM), Bolvia
WSFM(FM), Carolina Beach
WNTB(AM), Topsail Beach
WUIN(FM), Oak Island
W240AS, Wilmington

An LMA started immediately.

Davis Media also owns stations serving Williamsburg, VA (WBQK-FM and WTYD-FM). The seller has no remaining broadcast interests.

According to Rick Jorgensen, owner of Sea-Comm, “After 46 years in the radio business, and almost 24 years in Wilmington, I have decided it is time to sail off into the sunset.”

The buyer, Tom Davis, adds, “Davis Media is delighted about sustaining the Sea-Comm heritage in Wilmington, as well as implementing our digital/radio model, Hometown Driver, which has produced double digit growth for two years and running. With Jake Russell as our local owner-operator, we look to replicate our pilot market in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Wilmington is the perfect market to continue the expansion of our model and radio's future as the driver of the local media company.”

I served as the exclusive broker in the transaction. The Press Release is HERE.

Big Island, HI

And jumping WAY west, Chaparral Broadcasting, Inc. has purchased out of bankruptcy court the assets of 3 Big Island, Hawaii radio stations for $350,000 (subject to FCC approval). Radio stations KHBC-FM and KIPA-AM are licensed to Hilo, Hawaii and KHWI-FM is licensed to Holualoa on the Kona side of the island. The stations were previously owned by Parrott Broadcasting Limited Partnership but were placed in Chapter 7 US Bankruptcy Court, District of Idaho with Gary Rainsdon of Twin Falls, Idaho appointed Trustee.

Media Services Group, Inc was appointed court-appointed broker and in auction Chaparral Broadcasting was the high bidder for the stations. All 3 stations are currently off the air. Chaparral Broadcasting president Jerry Lundquist owns stations in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana as well as a station in Makawao (Maui),Hawaii.

My partners, Greg Merrill and Tom McKinley, represented the parties in the sale. The Press Release is HERE.

Last, but not least, best wishes to all for a safe Thanksgiving holiday!

Media Services Group