It has been a while since I have visited these pages, so I thought now as a good time to make an appearance and update you on the latest with J. M. Tillery & Associates, P. A. and media station trading in general.
With the down economy, media trading appears to be holding steady, at least in a few rare instances. Most recently Randy Michaels formed Merlin Media which acquired three FM stations from Emmis, which included WKQX and WLUP Chicago and WRXP New York, flipping WKQX and WRXP to FM News. Merlin also acquired religious WKDN-FM 106.9 Camden New Jersey (Philadelphia) for $22.5 million from Family Stations, Inc. creating news-talk IQ 106.9.
As most of you already know, the New York station was a dismal failure as an all news outlet, unable to effectively compete with heritage stations WINS and WCBS. Two weeks ago it was announced WRXP is being sold to CBS, slated to become sports formatted WFAN-FM. ESPN has entered into a similar situation when it leased Emmis' WRKS, now WEPN-FM.
Even Harold Camping's Family Stations, Inc. is getting into the action, having sold its commercially licensed WFME-FM 94.7 Newark, New Jersey, the last remaining commercially licensed FM facility owned by FSI, to Cumulus Media for a reported $40 million plus a station trade from Cumulus.
In addition to WFME, WRXP and WRKS, Clear Channel Communications acquired Heritage WOR-AM 710 from Buckley Broadcasting for a reported $35 million to secure clearance in New York for its Premeiere Radio network programs, namely Rush Limbaugh and Coast to Coast AM, giving more direct competition against WABC-AM 770. The sale from Buckley included the WOR Radio Network. More recently things seem to be moving forward in New York where available commericial FM stations are very rare.
While on the surface this is "old" news, I am acknowledging that radio trading is still active among many companies in several select markets, and more sales, mergers and acquisitions are on the horizon.
I'll be back again soon.
Jeffrey M. 'Mark' Tillery, Senior Named Partner
J. M. Tillery & Associates, P. A.