Indianapolis…Emmis Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: EMMS) today announced that the Company has completed the sale of WKCF-TV (WB 18) to Hearst-Argyle Television for $217.5 million. The Company expects to use the net proceeds of the sale, approximately $206 million, to repay outstanding indebtedness.
Emmis, which announced the transaction May 8, continues to own 50 percent of “The Daily Buzz,” a syndicated weekday news program produced in the WKCF studios, with partner ACME Communications, and will retain the WKCF building.
Emmis purchased WKCF in October 1999 from Press Communications, LLC. In May 2005, Emmis announced its intention to explore strategic alternatives for its 16-station television division. Since that time and including today’s announcement, 14 Emmis television stations have found buyers. The television stations remaining in the Emmis portfolio are New Orleans’ WVUE-TV (Fox 8) and Honolulu’s KGMB-TV (CBS 9).
Emmis Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan commented on the closing, saying, “The employees of WKCF are some of the best in the business, and I’m grateful for everything they’ve accomplished. Emmis had a great team working on this deal, and their efforts in maximizing the value of our portfolio is an example of the kind of job our people do every day. Now that the activities surrounding last spring’s privatization offer are firmly behind us, the company is showing renewed focus. We’re committed to creating shareholder value as we apply our trademark innovation and energy to the challenges ahead.”
Emmis Communications – Great Media, Great People, Great Service®
Emmis is an Indianapolis-based diversified media firm with radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and magazine publishing operations. Emmis owns 21 FM and 2 AM domestic radio stations serving the nation’s largest markets of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as St. Louis, Austin, Indianapolis and Terre Haute, Ind. In May 2005, Emmis announced its intent to seek strategic alternatives for its 16 television stations, and the Company has sold 14 of them. Emmis owns a radio network, international radio stations, regional and specialty magazines and ancillary businesses in broadcast sales.