Emmis Sells ‘Power 106’ To Meruelo Group


LOS ANGELES — Confirming rumors that a deal was imminent, Emmis Communications has agreed to sell its CHR/Rhythmic KPWR-FM 105.9 “Power 106” in Los Angeles to an affiliate of the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million.

In a statement released this morning, Pacific time, Emmis Chairman/CEO Jeff Smulyan said, “Power 106 has been part of the Emmis family for more than 32 years, so this day is bittersweet. But, I am confident that the station and our team are in good hands. The Meruelo Group will be great owners of this historic brand, and take it to even greater heights.”

A Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) will begin promptly following the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

The Meruelo Group is the parent of Meruelo Media, which started acquiring media properties in 2011 when it obtained the oldest unaffiliated Spanish-language television station in the U.S, KWHY-22, from NBCUniversal.

It added radio stations KDAY-FM in Redondo Beach, Calif., and KDEY-FM in Ontario, Calif., in May 2014, acquiring them from Don McCoy’s Magic Broadcasting.

Meruelo is paying for Power 106 with a portion of its proceeds from the just-completed FCC spectrum auction.

As RBR + TVBR reported in April, Meruelo is set to receive $123,474,177 for KWHY-22, which has a channel-sharing arrangment in place.

KWHY will be soon joined by a second TV station serving Southern California, giving Meruelo a bigger play in the nation’s No. 2 market.

On May 1, in perhaps the first deal of its kind, a post-auction arrangement will see the transfer of Hero Licenseco’s channel-sharing agreement for KBEH-63 in Oxnard, Calif., which is signing off post-spectrum auction, to Meruelo for $10 million.

“The acquisition of Power 106 is a game-changer for our group and our media division,” Chairman/CEO Alex Meruelo said.  “As a fan and someone who has had a business relationship with this station for more than 30 years, I understand the importance of Power 106 to this community.  We are committed to bringing the resources, talent and passion necessary to make this legendary brand the No. 1 radio station in Los Angeles.”

Emmis purchased KPWR-FM from Century Broadcasting in May 1984, when it was still one of the first Hot AC stations in the U.S. — KMGG-FM “Magic 106.”

KPWR debuted on Jan. 11, 1986 as one of the nation’s first Hispanic-friendly Rhythmic Top 40 stations.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2017.