Randy Michaels is back in radio. Emmis Communications has announced a deal to sell WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM Chicago and WRXP-FM New York to Merlin Media Inc. The controlling interest will be owned by GTRC, a Chicago-based private equity firm, and former Tribune Company CEO Randy Michaels, with Emmis retaining a minority stake.
Emmis will receive between $110 million and $130 million, depending on how much of a stake it retains – from 35% to 20%. Financial data filed by Emmis shows that the three stations as a group had negative cash flow in the company’s 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, but turned barely positive in fiscal 2011, which ended February 28, 2011.