Stephens Media Group has closed its $21 million purchase of 37 stations from Mapleton Communications in a transaction that will double its size. More than half of the stations being acquired are in California. The sale was the second largest radio transaction in an otherwise quiet third quarter deal market that saw the lowest quarterly M&A volume in more than three years, according to Kagan.
Stephens Media Group is picking up 18 California stations: six in Merced, five in Monterey and seven in Redding. Also included are six stations in Medford, OR; six in Spokane, WA; and seven in Louisiana – three in Alexandria and four in Monroe. Stephens Media Group began operating the stations under a local marketing agreement in early July when the transaction was first announced.
The sale suggests Jim Shea’s California-based Mapleton Communications is exiting radio. Mapleton also has a pending $400,000 deal to sell its Chico, CA stations to Bustos Media. Once the two deals close it will leave Mapleton with just one station: ethnic KSFN (1510) in San Francisco.
Headed by David Stephens, Oklahoma-based Stephens Media Group owns stations in Tulsa and Ardmore, OK; Watertown, Ogdensburg, Massena and Rochester, NY; and Yakima and the Tri-Cities, WA.
“These seven markets fit nicely within our company,” David Stephens said when the deal was first announced. “This acquisition doubles our size, and I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Included in the purchase are rhythmic CHR “Hot 104.7” KHTN and “96.3 Kubb Country” KUBB Merced, CA, which Mapleton recently acquired from Alpha Media in a $2.5 million deal.