• Hugh McPherson

Scripps Sells Boise and Tucson Clusters To Lotus For $8 Million.

Re-posted from Inside Radio

The E.W. Scripps Company’s radio sell-off picked up steam Tuesday with a two-market $8 million sale. The Cincinnati-based broadcaster says it has cut a deal to sell a total of eight radio stations in Boise and Tucson to Lotus Communications for $8 million. The deal marks the third cluster sale for Scripps with five more markets to go.

The Tucson stations included in the deal are AC “94.9 Mix FM” KMXZ-FM, sports “ESPN Tucson” KFFN (1490), news/talk KQTH (104.1), rhythmic AC “106.3 The Groove” KTGV and the Tucson-licensed translator K285DL at 104.9, which rebroadcasts KFFN.

In Boise, Lotus is picking up classic rock “J105” KJOT (105.1), rock “The X” KQXR (100.3), adult alternative “94.9 The River” KRVB (94.9) and classic hits “107.1 K-Hits” KTHI.

Lotus already operates four radio stations in Tucson. To conform with the FCC’s local ownership caps, Lotus says it will immediately sell KQTH and KTGV.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The sale is the third in a series of radio divestitures for Scripps since it announced plans in January to sell its entire portfolio of 34 radio stations in eight markets. The sell-off got underway in June with the sale of its five radio station cluster in Tulsa to Oklahoma-based Griffin Communications for $12.5 million. That was followed on July 27 with word that Craig Karmazin’s Wisconsin-based Good Karma Brands would buy the largest market Scripps stations – news/talk powerhouse WTMJ (620, 103.3) and country WKTI (94.5) in Milwaukee for $16 million.

“Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Boise and Tucson stations,” Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson said. “This deal sets up the stations for continued success.”

Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Lotus owns 34 radio stations in Arizona, California and Nevada. “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations,” Lotus president Jim Kalmenson said. “Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.”

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