In all likelihood, the 34 Scripps stations will be sold off in many pieces. Speaking to brokers and financial experts on Thursday, all were in agreement that it’s unlikely there’s a single buyer that will want the seven Scripps markets as a package. So, if not one buyer, how many, and who? Let’s take a closer look.
A couple of companies we know for sure will be kicking some of the Scripps tires include Neuhoff Media and Midwest Communications. Both Neuhoff CEO Beth Neuhoff and Midwest CEO Duke Write said they plan to take a look. It certainly makes sense for both companies.
Neuhoff appears to be in growth mode with a focus on small and medium markets. The company has clusters in Danville, Decatur and Springfield, Illinois, and Lafayette, Indiana.
Midwest has 77 radio properties located in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee. In Tennessee, in addition to having three stations in Nashville, Midwest also owns three stations in Knoxville, where Scripps has four FMs up for sale. Midwest was spending money just last year, adding Classic Rock KQDS in Duluth, MN, AC WEVE and Classic Country KGPZ (now WDKE) in Hibbing MN, and Country WTHI in Terre Haute.
In Tucson (market 62), a possible buyer might be Lotus Communications. Lotus has three FMs and one AM in that market, and competes against iHeart (four FMs and three AMs) and Cumulus (three FMs and two AMs) who are unlikely buyers. Scripps owns four FMs and one AM in Tucson.