Emmis is adding to its New York stockpile. The Indianapolis-based media company has agreed to acquire Urban A/C WBLS, the number two station in New York, and Urban Gospel sister station WLIB-AM from YMF Media.
The price tag is $131 million in cash to be paid in two installments, approximately $55 million after the FCC grants the licenses, expected in the summer. The second amount–$76 million–will be paid in February 2015.
The transaction once again would give Emmis three stations in New York, joining WHQT/Hot 97.
“Today’s announcement is indicative of our belief in the US radio industry and our desire to increase our footprint in the nation’s largest market,” Jeff Smulyan, President & CEO of Emmis Communications, said in a statement. “Emmis has deep ties to the New York African-American community, and it is with great pride we take the helm of these iconic stations.”
Last year, WBLS and WLIB reported approximately $32 million of net revenues and more than $16 million of station operating expenses..
The WBLS/WLIB operations and studios have been co-located with HOT 97 since 2012.
Reportedly, Deon Levingston, CEO of YMF Media and General Manager of WBLS/WLIB, will become GM of Emmis’ New York cluster when the Local Marketing Agreement commences.
YMF took control of WBLS/WLIB in October 2012 after parent company Inner City Broadcasting filed for bankruptcy.