Gray to Offload South Bend, Lafayette Radio Stations

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Georgia-based Gray Television Inc. (NYSE: GTN), which announced the acquisition of radio and television stations in September from Mishawaka-based Schurz Communications Inc., has announced deals to sell those radio stations. Most of the radio assets are in Lafayette and South Bend. Gray says it plans to use the anticipated $16 million in proceeds from three separate radio transactions to reduce what's owed to Schurz for the acquisition of WSBT-TV in the South Bend market.

Gray owns WNDU-TV in South Bend and, at the time of the deal, said Federal Communications Commission rules would force it to offload WSBT-TV.

The Indiana radio stations included in the deal are:

  • WNSN 101.5FM in South Bend
  • WSBT 960AM/96.1FM in South Bend
  • WHFB 99.9FM in South Bend
  • WZOC 94.3FM in South Bend
  • WKHY 93.5FM in Lafayette
  • WKOA 105.3FM in Lafayette
  • WASK 98.7FM in Lafayette
  • WXXB 102.9Fm in Lafayette
  • WASK 1450AM in Lafayette

Five radio stations in South Dakota are also involved.

Gray says the South Bend stations will go to Mid-West Family Broadcasting Group, which has stations in Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois and Michigan; the Lafayette assets will become property of Florida-based Neuhoff Communications, which has stations in Illinois and Iowa; and the South Dakota stations will be sold to The HomeSlice Group, which is based in the Plains State.

Gray Senior Vice President for Business Affairs Kevin Latek says "we originally intended to acquire and operate the Schurz radio stations for the long-term. In recent weeks, it became clear that experienced radio broadcasters could better lead these successful radio stations into the future than we could hope to accomplish. We are delighted to have found three stellar family-owned companies to acquire the Schurz radio stations. Each of the buyers already operates similar high-quality radio stations in nearby markets. More importantly, each of the buyers shares the passion and vision of the Schurz organization, which ensures that these radio stations continue to serve their audience and employees as well as any broadcast stations in the country."

The radio deals are expected to close along with the Gray/Schurz deal by the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

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