According to a report released by S&P Global Market Intelligence U.S. broadcast station mergers and acquisitions activity reached $657.8 million in the third quarter of 2018.
Much of the radio activity came from the after-effects of the Entercom/CBS Radio merger — notably eight radio stations in the San Francisco and Sacramento markets. These were scooped up in August by Bonneville International for $141 million.
In addition, Entercom sold WXTU(FM) in Philadelphia to Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. for $3 million and bought the much larger AC FM station WBEB, also in Philadelphia, from Jerry Lee Radio LLC for $57.5 million. SPG says that to date, those two transactions are the largest single-station radio deals of 2018.
E.W. Scripps “exiting” from the radio broadcast biz was responsible for the other large movement on the radio side. the other large That tagged $71 million for 29 stations, sold to three different buyers. The largest segment was the $47 million sale of 19 stations to SummitMedia LLC
On the television side, spinoffs ruled.
The follow-ups to the Gray Television acquisition of Raycom Media led the way. According to SPG, “in August nine Gray DTV stations were sold to four different buyers for a total of $235.5 million …” Three of the stations represented the largest deals of the quarter. TEGNA, Lockwood Broadcast Group and E.W. Scripps were the buyers.
There were also some acquisitions of stations by companies that already operated them under shared services or local marketing agreements. These included Raycom, Nexstar Media Group and Koplar Communications.