Late Tuesday, The E.W. Scripps Co. moved forward with further divestment of its radio stations by agreeing to sell a total of 9 properties, including an FM translator in Tucson, to Lotus Communications for $8 million.
The deal gives Lotus an AM to go with that translator and three FMs. But, that presented a bit of a problem, as Lotus already operates four radio stations in the Tucson market. As such, it agreed to immediately divest two FMs to meet the FCC rules that cap station ownership in single markets, using broker Kalil & Co.
Lotus was true to its word, and is filing Form 314s with the Commission on Monday.
Thanks to its deal with Scripps, Lotus is poised to add KFFN-AM 1490 and FM translator K285DL at 104.9 MHz; KMXZ-FM 94.9; KQTH-FM 104.1 and KTGV-FM 106.3.
These stations would join a station group that includes KLPX-FM 96.1, KFMA-FM 102.1, KCMT-FM and KTKT-AM (with FM translator K232FD).
What stations would Lotus end up spinning? Two that it is getting from Scripps, once owned by now-defunct Journal Broadcast Group.
And, there are two different buyers.
In the first transaction, for an undisclosed price, KTGV is going to Bustos Media — the purveyor of stations largely targeting Hispanic audiences owned by Amador Bustos.
The deal gives Bustos a combo in Tucson.
“We are pleased to add ‘The Groove’ (KTGV) to our recently acquired News/Talk station, KVOI,” Bustos said. “Tucson is a happening university town and The Groove will continue to be part of the good vibe in this diverse community.”
This erases concerns that “Tucson’s Old School” and KTGV’s Rhythmic Oldies format would disappear with the sale of the station. The future of KVOI, a conservative Talk station, is more in doubt.
KTGV has a Class C2 facility and a city of license of Oracle, Ariz., with a tower high above Tucson from the north.
In the second Lotus deal, Family Life Broadcasting is acquiring Class A KQTH-FM 104.1, a Tucson-licensed facility currently airing a News/Talk format.
Family Life Broadcasting is an Arizona not-for-profit corporation headed by Dr. Randy Carlson. IT also owns radio stations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
A format change is expected, although not guaranteed. KQTH’s lineup currently features such syndicated talk hosts as Dave Ramsey and Laura Ingraham.