Emmis to Sell Austin Radio Stations
Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. has announced plans to sell its controlling interest in eight radio properties in Austin, Texas. The company says its partner, Virginia-based Sinclair Telecable Inc., will acquire the interest in a more than $39 million deal.
The radio cluster includes KLBJ-AM, KLBJ-FM, Bob FM, La Zeta, Star 93.3, 101X, Austin City Limits Radio, and Latino 102.7. The group will be rebranded as Waterloo Media.
"It’s been a fabulous run in Austin, operating in one of America’s best radio markets with such a special team and winning culture," Jeff Smulyan, chairman and chief executive officer of Emmis, said in a news release. "I’m thrilled to say we didn’t need to look far to find a committed, well-known buyer who feels the same way about the Austin team. The Sinclairs have been great partners and will undoubtedly take the operation to new heights.”
Emmis expects the net proceeds from the sale to total approximately $28 million, which will be used to repay outstanding debt and for general corporate purposes. Smulyan says the focus at Emmis will now be on transitioning to new areas of growth.
Sinclair Telecable is led by Bob and David Sinclair, who have owned radio stations in Austin since the mid 1990s. They also own and operate stations in Norfolk, Virginia and Sonoma County, California. The company is not affiliated with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) in Maryland.
The sale remains subject to approval from the Federal Communications Commission, as well as customary closing conditions.