Emmis Pockets $60M For St. Louis Sell-Off


Nearly one month ago, Emmis Communications revealed that it is exiting one of its most profitable markets. On Thursday (2/22)RBR+TVBR independently confirmed that Becky Domyan will succeed John Sheehan as will formally hold the title of SVP/Market Manager for Entercom’s St. Louis stations.

It is now known how much Emmis will be pocketing from its departure from the Gateway City.

In dual Friday morning announcements from Emmis and Entercom, it was revealed that the Philadelphia-based company is acquiring News/Talk KFTK-FM 97.1 and CHR/Pop KNOU-FM 96.3 for $15 million.

This means that heritage Rocker KSHE-FM 94.7 and Alternative KPNT-FM 105.7 “The Point” in St. Louis are being dealt to Hubbard Radio for $45 million.

The male-friendly properties join Adult Hits WARH-FM 106.5 “The Arch,” Country WIL-FM 92.3 and ESPN Radio affiliate WXOS-FM 101.1 at Hubbard’s St. Louis operation on March 1, when the company will begin operating the stations via an LMA under market VP/GM John Kijowski.

At the same time, Entercom will begin operating KFTK and KNOU via an LMA on March 1, with the stations joining AC KEZK-FM 102.5, Hot AC KYKY-FM 98.1, and News/Talk KMOX-AM 1120.

Domyan is expected to begin in her new role on March 1.

“This is an exciting move to complement our strong portfolio in St. Louis,” said Entercom President/CEO David Field. “The transaction is part of our broader strategy to continue growing Entercom’s robust roster of brands across the country and to provide the best-in-class local marketing solutions at national scale that our advertising partners expect from us.”

The final transactions are expected to close in Emmis’ first fiscal quarter. Net proceeds, after deducting transaction-related costs and estimated tax payments, will be used to repay term loans outstanding.

In prepared comments, Emmis Chairman/CEO Jeff Smulyan said, “The St. Louis team has been an integral part of our Emmis family since 1984. We love our people in St. Louis and the team’s performance has been nothing short of remarkable. Hubbard and Entercom are both tremendous radio operators and they are adding great people and great brands to their St. Louis clusters.”

Emmis has enjoyed a 34-year presence in St. Louis, when it obtained KSHE from Century Broadcasting. In September 2000, Emmis grew its assets in St. Louis to five, as Sinclair Broadcasting agreed to sell KFTK-FM (then KXOK-FM), KPNT and KNOU (then KIHT-FM) to the Indianapolis-based company in a blockbuster transaction valued at $220 million; the transaction included the swap of WIL-FM, WRTH-AM (now KZQZ-AM), WKKX-FM (now WARH) & WVRV-FM (now WXOS) to Bonneville International Corp. in exchange of KZLA-FM 93.9 in Los Angeles. Included in that deal was WXTM-FM (104.1 THE MALL), which was sold for $20 million to Radio One and is today WHHL “Hot 104.1.”