Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Magic 106.7, WROR to change hands as part of $240 million radio deal

Five Boston radio stations are part of a deal announced Tuesday evening in which Naples, Fla.-based Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. will buy Braintree-based Greater Media Inc. in transaction valued at $240 million.
Beasley gets 21 Greater Media stations including Boston's adult contemporary rock station WMJX 106.7, classic hits WROR 105.7, alternative rocker WBOS/Alt 92.9, country WKLB/New Hit Country 102.5 and rhythmic adult contemporary WBQT/Hot 96.9.

In the most recent Nielsen Audio rankings for June, WROR 105.7 had the largest weekly listenership in Greater Boston, while WMJX/Magic 106.7 was second. WKLB/Country 102.5 ranked 6th, WBQT/Hot 96.9 was 9th and WBOS/Alt 92.9 was 14th.. Magic 106.7 was also #1 station with advertisers' dream demographic - adults 25-54. WBQT/Hot 96-9 ranked second among younger adults 18 to 34.

The deal is expected to close in late fall. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which remains subject to FCC approval No immediate changes to management, staffing, or format are expected for the five local Boston stations before the deal closes.

Beasley currently owns one station in the Boston market - WRCA 1330 has its studios in Cambridge's Central Square and features paid-time ethnic and religious format. Beasley acquired. WRCA in 2000.

Greater Media's  has owned WMJX since 1981. Over the years the company added four more FM signals and consolidated its local cluster under one roof at its current Dorchester studios in 1998.

Beasley, which was founded in 1961, comes to the deal with 51 stations in 12 markets. It intends to pay $100 million cash for Greater Media, and pay $25 million in stock to Greater Media shareholders. It also will refinance $80 million in Greater Media debt, and sell tower assets it estimates to be worth $20 million. Greater Media investors will received the proceeds of the equipment sale.

Beasley said it has planned to sell stations in Charlotte, where it competes with Greater Media, to meet federal regulatory scrutiny of the deal. It has seven stations in Charlotte, and Greater Media has two. One interesting side note, Beasley's conservative talk station in Charlotte has familiar Boston call letters - WBCN/America's Pulse 1660. 

Beasley had net income of $6.3 million last year on $106 million in revenue, and it said it expects the Greater Media deal to add $141 million in revenue.

It wasn’t immediately clear what would become of Greater Media’s 10 weekly newspapers it owns in New Jersey.

Greater Media was founded in 1956, and it has stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets. Its Boston market is run by Mary Menna.

Once the deal is finalized, Beasley said its shareholders will own 81 percent of the company stock, and Greater Media shareholders the remainder. In addition, Greater Media shareholders will have the right to appoint one member to the Beasley board of directors, which will add a ninth seat, Beasley said.

BRW Notebook :

'GBH joins VuHaus : Boston’s WGBH 89.7 has joined VuHaus and is now live on VuHaus, the music discovery video platform for public media, is a growing network of public media organizations who share a common mission to support emerging and local artists, and to introduce their music to new audiences. VuHaus content originates from the country’s most trusted radio tastemakers: WFUV in New York City, KCRW in Los Angeles, KXT in Dallas, WXPN in Philadelphia, KEXP in Seattle, opbmusic in Portland, KTBG The Bridge in Kansas City, KUTX in Austin, Mountain Stage of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, KDHX in St. Louis, and Live From the Fort of Vermont Public Broadcasting

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