According to estimates from Kagan, the biggest radio deal of the second quarter of 2017 was the $82.8 million sale of hip-hop FM station KPWR-Los Angeles from Emmis to Meruelo Media. The transaction was the largest single radio-station sale since 2012 and represents nearly 34% of the quarter’s $245.0 million radio deal total. The second-largest radio deal was the radio portion of Sinclair’s Tribune Media acquisition. Kagan put a value of $58.4 million on Chicago’s WGN-AM and the programming of one additional FM station. A Saga deal came in third.
In the third-largest full-power TV transaction, Saga Communications Inc. left the TV industry, selling its six remaining owned-and-operated stations and three LMAs to Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million. At the same time, Saga expanded its radio business with the third-largest radio deal of the quarter, paying $23.0 million to Apex Media Corp. for seven FM stations, one AM, and four translators.
The total Q2 station M&A volume was nearly $4.5 billion, due primarily to large TV deals. The fourth-largest TV deal of the century accounts for 85% of Q2 broadcast M&A volume. The TV segment contributed $4.22 billion of the total, with $3.82 billion coming from just one deal.
On May 8, Sinclair announced a successful bid for Tribune Media Company. The $43.50-per-share price represents $3.94 billion in cash and equity and the assumption of approximately $2.70 billion in net debt. In addition to the mega-deal, the TV deal market registered transactions worth $403.0 million. The second-largest TV deal of the quarter again involved Sinclair, which on April 21 announced the acquisition of Bonten Media Group and its 17 full-power and five low-power TV stations, including five LMAs, for $240.0 million. In the largest deal by number of licenses since 2011, Edge Spectrum acquired the licenses for 196 low-power TV stations and construction permits to meet the spectrum requirements for its planned nationwide IP broadcasting network. Edge Spectrum paid a total of $72.0 million to several subsidiaries of EICB TV LLC and to Grace Worship Center Inc.
In the first half of 2017, the broadcast deal market registered a total volume of $7.24 billion, with $4.39 billion coming from the TV sector and $2.84 billion stemming from the radio market.