Scripps 375

E.W. Scripps Co. has closed on the first in a series of four deals to spin off its 34-station radio division to focus more on growing its TV business. In a $12.5 million deal, Griffin Communications has acquired five stations from Scripps in Tulsa. Griffin began operating the stations under an LMA on July 30.

Stations included in the deal are country KVOO-FM (98.5), CHR “K-Hits 106.9” KHTT, classic hits “92.9 The Drive” KBEZ, classic country “Big Country 99.5” KXBL, and “Talk Radio 1170” KFAQ. Griffin Communications doesn’t own any other radio stations but it already owns KOTV-TV and KQCW-TV in the Tulsa market and in a market that size a company with two TV stations is allowed to own up to six radio stations.

The Oklahoma-based media company sees a strong upside to owning radio and TV stations in the same market. “The beautiful thing about the radio and TV businesses is they are both platforms that deliver important information, whether that’s entertainment, weather or news and information,” Griffin Communications VP of Marketing Houston Hunt told Inside Radio when the deal was announced in late June. “Our job is to look at the ways that together we can provide content to keep Oklahomans safe, informed and entertained.”

Scripps still has three more deals to bring to the closing table. Lotus Communications is buying eight radio stations in Boise and Tucson for $8 million. An investment group led by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands is paying $16 million for Scripps’ largest market radio cluster – news/talk powerhouse WTMJ (620, 103.3) and country WKTI (94.5) in Milwaukee. And SummitMedia is picking up 19 radio stations in four markets from Scripps for $47 million.