A five station cluster is being abandoned twice simultaneously in Meridian MS, and blending in to a competing in-market four station cluster that will result in spins of four stations to three different licensees. The wheeling and dealing all starts with Clear Channel with Clay Holladay in the middle.
Holladay’s Mississippi Broadcasters LLC is getting the Clear Channel quints for $1.1M. MB won’t be taking over the operation of the stations directly from Clear Channel, however, since they are being operated under terms of an LMA by URBan Radio.
The three other buyers include New South Communications Inc., headed by Frank E. Holladay, frequent station buyer Educational Media Foundation, and Meridian Community College Foundation.
Here’s how it all shakes out.
MB starts with WOKK-FM Meridian MS (C1 on 97.1);WJXM-FM De Kalb MS (C2 on 105.7);WKZB-FM Stonewall MS (A on 106.9);and WMLV-FM Butler AL (C2 on 93.5).
For its $1.1M, due at closing in cash, it gets WYHL-AM(C on 1450) and WMSO-FM (C1 on 101.3), both Meridian MS; WHTU-FM Newton MS (C3 on 97.9); WJDQ-FM Marion MS (C2 on 95.1) and WZKS-FM Union MS (C2 on 104.1).
MB is passing through two of the Clear Channel stations to New South for $350K cash. New South will be WJDQ-FM and WHTU-FM. It already has an AM-FM combo in town, WALT-AM (B on 910) and WALT-FM (A on 102.1).
WMLV-FM is going to EMF for $175K, $120K of which will be paid pursuant to terms of a promissory note.
WKZB-FM is essentially being donated to the community college – the contract calls for the payment of a nominal $1.
In the end, MB will be paying out $1.1M and collecting $525K, meaning its total cash outlay once the EMF note is cleared will amount to $575K.
For this, it will get a useful AM station and will replace a Class C2 and Class A FM with a high-rated Class C2 in WZKS-FM (the contract says that Clear Channel/URBan can do whatever they want with their stations prior to closing except the format of this Urban AC market kingpin in any way) and a 100 kW Class C1 (WMSO-FM).
The number of commercial stations in the market will be reduced by two, and among the remaining stations, nine will be owned and operated by somebody named Holladay.
Clear Channel and URBan received brokerage assistance from George Reed of Media Services Group.