Friday, June 28, 2013

Another FAQ: What is MSG’s online due diligence room?

Q:  "What is MSG’s online due diligence room?"


A:  MSG uses a password-protected, online, due diligence room. You will be provided with a username and password after signing the appropriate NDA.  ALL OF OUR TRANSACTIONS ARE CONFIDENTIAL unless notified to the contrary. No one at the client or station level is to be contacted without permission. Each site typically contains a Descriptive Memorandum as well as more detailed information on real estate, financial information, employees, etc.

George
Media Services Group

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Preparing your radio or TV station for sale

"New carpet and fresh paint" may work in real estate transactions, but more is required to effectively sell radio and television stations.

We have prepared a white paper entitled, "Preparing Your Broadcast Property For Sale."  It is available (free of charge) for download by clicking HERE (email registration required).

I hope that you find it useful.

George
Media Services Group

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Another FAQ: Has the spectrum auction impacted the value of my television station?

Q:  "Has the spectrum auction impacted the value of my television station?"


A:  If your TV station is located in the top 35 DMA’s, there is a good chance that the “stick” value of your property has increased. New risk capital has been invested in TV stations with the expected payoff to come from spectrum auction proceeds.

George
Media Services Group

Monday, June 24, 2013

Large group on hand for the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters convention

Almost 300 people are on hand at the Grandover resort in Greensboro for the NCAB annual convention.  Here is a shot from tonight's award presentation dinner.

George


Another FAQ: Why are so many broadcasters selling their tower assets?

Q:  "Why are so many broadcasters selling their tower assets?"


A:  There are several valid reasons. The trading multiples on tower cash flow are significantly higher than the BCF multiples for radio and TV stations. Selling your tower allows you to monetize a valuable asset without hindering your station operation. Many owners use the funds to retire debt. It also shifts to tower upkeep, expense and burden from the broadcaster to a tower company.

Since a tower sale does not require FCC approval, cash can be raised quickly.

George
Media Services Group

Friday, June 21, 2013

NAB's Gordon Smith addresses Virginia broadcasters

NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith addressed a packed meeting room this morning at the Virginia Association of Broadcasters summer convention.  He delivered a well received message entitled, "Working in Unity to Lead Broadcasting to a Strong and Vibrant Future."

George
Media Services Group

Another FAQ: How do I get my station(s) ready for a sale?

Q:  "How do I get my station(s) ready for a sale?"


A:  It pays to get your house in order.  All buyers will need to review certain key documents at some point in the sale process. They tend to fall in these general categories:

• Contracts and leases
• Financial
• Real Estate
• Employees

Compile a list of all station contracts and leases (including tower leases, programming and talent agreements, maintenance, ratings, software, etc.).  Include start and end dates, monthly costs, and cancelation terms

Financial statements play a key role in the sale process; they are the foundation supporting the value of the business. They must be accurate and comprehensive.  Prepare a three year history of Income Statements. If non-operating expenses are contained in the expense line items, they should be identified for each year.

Summarize your real estate holdings in a spreadsheet (use, acreage, location, and property tax). Locate your most recent property tax bill and surveys.

Prepare an update employee list, including job title and compensation.

Review your Public File to ensure full FCC compliance.

George
Media Services Group

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Off to the VAB and the NCAB




Another FAQ: How do I select an FCC attorney?

Q:  "How do I select an FCC attorney?"


A:  Get referrals. And look for an attorney with extensive experience with station transactions. Media Services Group is happy to provide you a list of FCC attorneys with a track record of completing deals.

The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) is a volunteer organization of FCC attorneys.   A directory of members is available from the FCBA.

George
Media Services Group

Monday, June 17, 2013

Another FAQ: How do I hire a media broker?

Q:  "How do I hire a media broker?"


A:  Look for integrity, honesty, discretion, and experience.  Choose a professional who has completed a lot of deals. Refer to “Hiring a Media Broker” for an in-depth discussion.

Avoid brokers who promise a purchase price which defies logic. Many potential sale processes have gone awry when the seller hires a broker who promises a “sky high” price after ignoring broker prospects who presented honest expectations.

Whether or not you choose Media Services Group, it is a good idea to work with a firm belonging to the National Association of Media Brokers (NAMB).

George
Media Services Group

Friday, June 14, 2013

Puerto Rico Radio Show a success

The Puerto Rico Radio Show is taking place this weekend in San Juan, and the broadcasters are out in force.  Many stations are even doing remotes from the event.  Kudos to Association President (and President of UNO Radio) Luis Soto (seen here warming up the Friday luncheon crowd),
and Executive Director Jose Ribas.

George
Media Services Group

Another FAQ: Does Media Services Group represent buyers?

Q:  "Does Media Services Group represent buyers?"


A:  Only occasionally. Like real estate brokers, media brokers tend to work for the sellers. Media Services Group represents sellers on an “exclusive right to sell” basis in most cases.

George
Media Services Group

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Another FAQ: What are appropriate “add-backs” to Broadcast Cash Flow?

Q:  "What are appropriate “add-backs” to BCF?"


A:  Interest, depreciation, amortization, and taxes should be added back to operating profit to determine BCF.

Buyers and sellers often differ on what additional expenses may be added back to BCF. Usually they are:
1) one-time-only expenses not normally seen in the ordinary course, and

2) owner-related charges which a new buyer would not expect to incur.

George
Media Services Group

Monday, June 10, 2013

Another FAQ: What exactly is BCF?

Q:  "What exactly is BCF?"


A:  Broadcast Cash Flow (“BCF”) is operating income, excluding interest, depreciation, amortization, taxes, and extraordinary items. Essentially it is the cash “left over” to service debt, pay for capital expenditures, pay taxes, or return to the owner(s).

George
Media Services Group

Friday, June 7, 2013

More FAQ's: Does Media Services Group sell other types of businesses?

Q:  "Does Media Services Group sell other types of businesses?"


A:  We only sell radio stations, television stations, wireless towers, and “new media” businesses.

George
Media Services Group

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another FAQ: What about arranging financing?

Q:  "How do I arrange financing to buy a radio station, TV station, or tower?"

A:  Download a copy of "Financing 101" HERE (registration required).

Unless you have a gold-plated resume with a solid management track record, you are probably not going to get the attention of institutional private equity investors. Your best bet to raise equity may be “angel” investors.

Know the difference between debt and equity.  Debt is a loan, usually secured by assets and often with personal guarantees. The money is less expensive than equity. Pricing is generally based on a negotiated number of basis points over LIBOR or the Prime Rate. Terms are usually five to seven years.  Banks generally preferred making loans greater than $10 million, though "home town" banks sometimes look at smaller deals.  SBA guaranteed loans may be an option. But documentation and red tape make them cumbersome.

Equity is ownership. Equity is riskier than debt, so equity investors expect a higher return on their money. In the event of a liquidation, the debt holders generally get their money first; anything left over (sometimes nothing) goes to the equity holders. Pricing reflects this inherent risk. Most equity wants to “cash in” within five years.

Seller financing is sometimes an option.  Typically seen most often in smaller deals, the seller functions as the bank. The buyer puts up a down payment (which must be enough for the seller to pay off his lender if there is one) and gives the seller a note for the balance. Terms are negotiable.

Media Services Group's Providence office is experienced in consulting clients on sourcing the capital markets.

George
Media Services Group

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Townsquare buys AOL Music: Radio Ink Magazine

Click HERE.

FAQ's about radio and television station trading

Over the course of the next few weeks, I plan to post some of our most frequently asked questions (along with our most frequent responses!).  Please feel free to add to the conversation with your own questions. 

Q:  "I’m new to this. Where can I get pointers on buying my first radio station?"


A:  Consider attending the NAB Radio Show. You might also take a look at the books in the NAB Store. Refer also to this white paper (registration required). I address first-time-buyers on occasion in this blog, so you may want to consider subscribing.  You can check out a post HERE ("Buying Your First Station") from a few years ago which is still relevant today.

George
Media Services Group

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Income producing towers available for sale

We have income producing towers for sale in FL, AL, OK and TX.  If you are interested, please contact me.

George
Media Services Group