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Sandusky Sells to Hubbard

Deal worth $85.5 million means Sandusky leaves radio ownership, Hubbard enters Seattle, Phoenix markets

Today, one family-owned and privately-held broadcaster is selling all of its radio stations to another such broadcaster.

Hubbard Radio has agreed to buy 10 stations from Sandusky Radio for $85.5 million. Other terms were not disclosed.

The deal gets Hubbard into two top 20 markets, Seattle and Phoenix. Hubbard has a total of 20 stations in Chicago, Washington, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati. It will own 30 radio stations once the deal receives regulatory approval and closes.

However, the sale also means Sandusky owner Norman Rau leaves radio ownership after 36 years, freeing him to focus on “the continuing digital transformation” of his local print and online newspaper and marketing franchises. Noting that nine family members are involved in the Hubbard holdings, Rau said the “significantly larger” Hubbard can potentially grow the Sandusky stations more than his company could have on its own.

The five Seattle stations involved in the transaction are: KIXI(AM) on 880 kHz; KQMV(FM) on 92.5 MHz; KKNW(AM) on 1150 kHz; KRWM(FM) on 106.9 MHz; and KLCK(FM) on 98.9 MHz. The five Phoenix stations are: KSLX(FM) on 100.7 MHz; KUPD(FM) on 97.9 MHz; KDKB(FM) on 93.3 MHz; KAZG(AM) on 1440 kHz; and KDUS(AM) on 1060 kHz.

Hubbard will add 65 to 70 full time Sandusky employees in each of the two markets and Hubbard Radio President/CEO Bruce Reese expects no programming or personnel changes as a result of the acquisition, saying “Sandusky runs very successful radio stations, and we plan on continuing that precedent. We look forward to working with our new colleagues.”

Hubbard Radio Board Chair Ginny Morris said her family has known and respected the Rau/White family for years and admires what they have accomplished.

Morgan Stanley advised Hubbard on the sale and has committed to providing debt financing for the transaction.