Beasley Cuts Debt With Curtis Deal


By Adam R Jacobson

NAPLES, FLA. — In a move expressly designed to reduce debt tied to its merger acquisition of Greater Media‘s stations in 2016, Beasley Broadcast Group today agreed to sell five FMs and one AM in the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, N.C., market to Curtis Media Group subsidiary CMG Coastal Carolina for $11 million.

Following the closing of this deal, one of the stations — Class C 100kw Classic Hits WNCT-FM 107.9 in Greenville, N.C. — will be spun to Inner Banks Media, owner of Class C1 100kw Talker WTIB-FM 103.7 in Williamston, N.C.;  Class C1 100kw “Thunder Country” WRHT-FM 96.3; and Class C3 14kw WNBU-FM 94.1 in Morehead City, N.C.

Once the deal is complete, Curtis Media Group will own the following stations:

  • WNCT-AM 1070 in Greenville, N.C., a Class B facility with 4 daytime towers transmitting 50kw, and a nighttime output of 10kw from 5 towers.
  • Class C1 100kw Classic Rocker WSFL-FM 106.5 in New Bern
  • Class C1 100kw Urban WIKS-FM 101.9 in New Bern
  • Class C1 100kw Soft AC WMGV-FM 103.3 in Newport, N.C.
  • Class C2 Active Rock WXNR-FM 99.5 in Grifton, N.C.

All of the stations serve the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, N.C. market, ranked No. 87 by Nielsen Audio.

Beasley has a commanding audience share in the market. According to Fall 2016 ratings data, Beasley’s group 12+ share is a 29.5. Competitor Alpha Media’s group 12+ share is a 19.7.

In prepared comments, Beasley Broadcast Group CEO Caroline Beasley said, “Since the company’s founding in 1961, Beasley has established a long-term record of successfully optimizing its station portfolio through both strategic acquisitions and divestitures to drive returns for our shareholders. Last November we completed the accretive acquisition of Greater Media, adding 17 stations (net of divestitures) and four attractive new markets to our operating footprint. We are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we apply our proven strategies that focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to support ratings and market leadership. We are confident that the stations being divested will continue to offer listeners in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville great local programming.”

Curtis Media staff learned of the transaction via an internal memo distributed via e-mail.

The sale of the six Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017, and is subject to FCC approval and other customary closing conditions.

Michael Bergner of Bergner and Co. served as the broker in the transaction, representing Beasley.