Tag Archives: WLIB

Emmis Buys WBLS and WLIB for $131 Million in Cash

BLSEmmis 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.

Al Sharpton Keeping it Real on WLIB


(l to r) Gary Bernstein, Skip Dillard, Al Sharpton, Chales Warfield, Pres./COO, YMF Media, Deon Levingston, VP/GM,YMF Media.

Reverend Al Sharpton has taken his weekday syndicated radio show to WLIB 1190 AM. Keeping it Real will be heard live from 1 to 3 p.m. The program focuses on current topics, news, and issues affecting African American communities.

Skip Dillard, operations manager for WBLS/WLIB, states “Reverend Al’s weekday show is a perfect fit for WLIB, a station with a history of both inspiration and information. Rev. Sharpton has a long history with WBLS and WLIB.  We’re super-excited to now have him at work with WLIB listeners each weekday!”

Gary Bernstein, Vice President of Programming for Reach Media Inc., attests, “We appreciated the tremendous support from our former affiliation with WWRL, but the opportunity of a live clearance on WLIB from 1p to 3p in the biggest radio market in the country was the motivation for us to make the switch. We are also enhancing what has been a special relationship with our friends at YMF Media and WBLS/WLIB.”

Few political figures have been more visible during the last two decades than Sharpton, the head of the National Action Network. His daily radio show, Keepin’ it Real with Rev. Al Sharpton broadcasts in syndication in more than 40 U.S. markets.