Lotus Grabs Scripps’ Stations In Two Markets


Rumors have become reality.

After weeks of speculation, Lotus Communications has acquired The E.W. Scripps Company‘s radio stations in the Tucson and Boise, Idaho markets.

What hasn’t been known among insiders was the price the company led by Jim Kalmenson would pay.

All has now been revealed.

Lotus Communications has agreed to buy the nine facilities for a bargain price of $8 million.

California-based Lotus is purchasing KMXZ (94.9 FM), KFFN (1490 AM) and FM translator K285DL (104.9 FM), KQTH (104.1 FM) and KTGV (106.3 FM) in Tucson; and KJOT (105.1 FM), KQXR (100.3 FM), KRVB (94.9 FM) and KTHI (107.1 FM) in Boise.

Lotus already operates four radio stations in the Tucson market. As such, it will immediately divest KQTH and KTGV in order to meet the FCC rules that cap station ownership in single markets.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The sale is the third in a series of radio sale transactions for Scripps. In June, it announced the sale of five radio stations in Tulsa to Griffin Communications, followed by a July announcement that it will sell its two Milwaukee radio stations to Good Karma Brands.

Scripps announced in January its intent to sell its portfolio of 34 radio stations in eight markets.

“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,” said Scripps President/CEO Adam Symson. “This deal sets up the stations for continued success.”

However, the valuation of the two clusters may be seen as a fire sale to some market observers.

Thus, it is a good buy for Lotus, as the Scripps stations will join its portfolio of 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,” said Kalmenson, who serves as president of Lotus. “Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.”

Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.