Emmis Forms New Public Company with Standard General
|RADIO ONLINE | Monday, July 1, 2019|
Emmis Communications has signed an agreement to form a new public company, Mediaco Holdings, with New York investment firm Standard General. Under the deal, Mediaco Holdings will acquire 4.2kW Urban AC WBLS-FM and 6.7kW Rhythmic CHR WQHT-FM (Hot 97) in New York for $91.5 million in cash, a $5 million note receivable and 23.72% of the common equity of Mediaco. Emmis will distribute this common equity of Mediaco pro rata to its shareholders in a taxable dividend. Mediaco will be a public company expected to be listed on NASDAQ, and Emmis will remain a separate public company, as well.
Emmis will remain active in the management of WBLS and HOT 97 and provide certain corporate services to Mediaco under a management agreement. Jeff Smulyan will be the Chief Executive Officer of Mediaco and will continue to serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emmis, which will remain a public company. Standard General will appoint a majority of the board of directors of Mediaco and Standard General L.P. CEO/Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer Soohyung Kim will be Chairman of Mediaco.
This is a landmark day in the forty year history of Emmis, said Jeff Smulyan. "We look forward to continuing to manage two of the worlds most iconic radio brands in HOT 97 and WBLS and employ our award-winning New York team as we partner with Soo Kim and Standard General to form a new public company to invest in media opportunities. The transaction provides Emmis significant capital to pursue new business opportunities that align with our entrepreneurial spirit and management skills. We are also excited to work with Soo and Standard General to grow Mediaco Holdings."
"Our team is excited about partnering with Jeff and the Emmis management team in forming Mediaco Holdings," said Kim. "Were thrilled to acquire two of New Yorks legendary radio brands in Hot 97 and WBLS and work with Emmis to build on each brands success. These stations will form the foundation for a new public company that will invest in media assets and build on our successful track record of media investments."
No personnel changes are planned. All New York employees will continue to be Emmis employees with Emmis benefits as part of an Employee Leasing Agreement with Mediaco.
Following this transaction and the previously announced sale of our partnership interest in Austin, Emmis will operate New York's WLIB and WEPN (through an LMA with ESPN Radio), four radio stations in Indianapolis, Indianapolis Monthly, and Digonex, a pricing company. Emmis also owns its headquarters at 40 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, and a tower site in Whitestown, Indiana.
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