Change of Heart Leads To Seller Swap For Lotus


In 2021, Philip Falcone took the helm of Sovryn Holdings, a newly created entity that started signing off on asset purchase agreements for low-powered television stations across the U.S.

Questions regarding the non-consummation of one of those proposed deals surfaced in early March. It can now be confirmed that a July 2021 transaction that would have seen Sovryn add a Lotus Communications property in the Valley of the Sun has been erased.

Falcone changed his mind, and opted not to buy the property, he tells RBR+TVBR.

And, Lotus has already secured a new buyer for the digital LPTV property with five subchannels with a transmitter atop Phoenix’s famed South Mountain.

With Patrick Communications serving as Lotus’ broker of record once again, the company under the direction of First Vice President Jim Kalmenson has agreed to sell KPHE-LD 44, licensed to Phoenix, to Gray Television.

Technically, licensee “Gray Media Group” is the buyer; it is within the Gray Television collection of licensees. And, it is purchasing KPHE-LD for $1.75 million.

The entire purchase price will be wired to Lotus at closing.

The filing of the Gray APA follows the February 24 submission of a non-consummation notice by Lotus regarding the first, now erased, proposed sale of KPHE.

Had Sovryn completed its purchase, Lotus would have earned an additional $250,000, as a $2 million selling price was agreed upon between the parties.

The Kalmenson-family owned Lotus Communications is largely known for its radio stations. However, low-power TV stations in Phoenix and in Houston, respectively, were also among its media assets through the first half of 2021. In a separate transaction, Lotus in June 2021 agreed to sell the Houston property —  KHLM-LD 43 — to Christian TV Network, for $1.1 million. Greg Guy of Patrick Communications represented Lotus in that transaction.