The E.W. Scripps Company completed its broadcast radio exit today, closing an $8 million sale of eight stations in two markets to Jim Kalmenson’s Lotus Communications. The Lotus deal was the last of four transactions in the divestiture of Scripps’ radio division, which began in January 2018 and brought in total proceeds of $83.5 million. Scripps says net proceeds were about $55 million after taxes.
In the Tucson, AZ market Lotus acquires AC “94.9 Mix FM” KMXZ-FM, sports “ESPN Tucson” KFFN (1490), news/talk KQTH (104.1), rhythmic AC “106.3 The Groove” KTGV and the Tucson-licensed translator K285DL at 104.9 FM which rebroadcasts KFFN. Lotus already owns four stations in the Tucson market, including classic rock KLPX (96.1), alternative “Rock 102” KFMA, regional Mexican “La Caliente” KCMT (92.1), and Spanish adult hits “La Buena 94.3” KTKT. In order to comply with FCC ownership limits, Lotus has announced plans to spin-off two FMs. Bustos Media has agreed to buy KTGV for $1 million and Family Life Broadcasting is buying KQTH for $800,000.
In the Boise, ID market, Lotus buys classic rock “J105” KJOT (105.1), rock “100.3 The X” KQXR, adult alternative “94.9 The River” KRVB (94.9) and classic hits “107.1 K-Hits” KTHI.
Scripps announced plans to sell off its 34 radio properties in January 2018, and focus on building its TV properties. Its AM/FM assets moved at a steady pace, with 19 stations in four markets sold to SummitMedia for $47 million; news/talk powerhouse WTMJ (620, 103.3) and country WKTI (94.5) in Milwaukee to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands for $16 million; a five station cluster in Tulsa to Oklahoma-based Griffin Communications for $12.5 million and now eight stations in Boise and Tucson to Lotus for $8 million.