The Urban One, Emmis Deal Details


    Urban One will be buying the entire Indianapolis Emmis cluster of stations. We should know the dollar amount Alfred Liggins is paying for the stations once the deal hits The FCC. Here are the stations that will max out the Urban One cluster in Indy.

    Urban One will pick up WYXB (B105.7FM), WLHK (97.1FM), WIBC (93.1FM), translators W228CX and W298BB (The Fan 93.5FM and 107.5FM), and Network Indiana. to avoid going over the allowable ownership limit, Urban One will sell its WHHH station along with the intellectual property related to WNOW to a third party. The deals are expected to close in the third quarter.

    Emmis will continue to operate its stations and Urban One will continue to operate WHHH until the transaction closes.

    Liggins said, “These are terrific general market formats (Best Variety, Country, News and Sports) and will be a great addition to Urban One in a transaction that is accretive and deleveraging.”

    Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan said, “When Emmis launched our first station, WENS now HANK FM, in 1981, I never could have envisioned the journey we would go on. Indianapolis is my hometown, and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish – we’ve become an invaluable contributor to the Indianapolis community, a leader of radio industry initiative and innovation, and a trusted resource for Central Indiana listeners and businesses.”

    Emmis CEO Jeff SMulyan

    Smulyan noted that Urban One has deep media experience, including lengthy experience as an Indianapolis radio and television operator, significant resources, and a commitment to local radio.

    Emmis purchased WIBC (formerly 1070 now 93.1 FM) in 1994 from Horizon Broadcast Group. WIBC is Indianapolis’ news talk leader. The frequency moved to 93.1 FM in 2007.

    HANK FM (97.1 FM) was formerly WENS, the first station owned by Emmis. Purchased in 1979, the signal was moved to Indianapolis, and launched in 1981 with an adult contemporary format. The station switched formats in March 2005 to its current country format.

    Indianapolis’ sports talker The Fan is home of the Indianapolis Colts, the Indiana Pacers and the Indy 500. It currently operates at 93.5 and 107.5. It was launched in 2007 on the former 1070 signal (when WIBC moved to 93.1 FM) and moved to 107.5 in 2017, and added 93.5 in 2019.

    WYXB, known as B105.7, launched in 2001. Emmis had purchased the frequency (but not the intellectual property) from WTLC, and it airs an adult contemporary format.

    Network Indiana provides news, talk and sports programming to more than 70 radio stations serving the state of Indiana. Emmis purchased Network Indiana in 1998 from the Hulman Family.

    In recent years, Emmis has sold many of its media assets and redeployed capital into new ventures which emphasize its sales and marketing experience including: Lencore Acoustics, a leader in high-quality sound masking solutions for commercial applications; Sound That BRANDS, the Los Angeles-based podcasting studio specializing in branded audio content for national advertisers; and Digonex, a leading provider of dynamic pricing solutions for attractions and live entertainment industries. Emmis also operates Indianapolis Monthly magazine and owns two radio station licenses in New York (1190AM and 98.7FM).



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