Summit Surprise: A Scripps Deal


Of all of the potential buyers for the 19 remaining radio stations that The E.W. Scripps Company sought a buyer for, this one may have caught market observers off-guard.

Scripps​​ has reached an agreement to sell its last group of radio properties, located in four markets, to the Carl Parmer-led SummitMedia.

In a $47 million transaction that sees Kalil & Co. as the exclusive broker, Birmingham, Ala.-based SummitMedia is acquiring the following stations:

  • KFTI-AM 1070, KFDI-FM 101.3, KICT-FM 95.1, KFXJ-FM 104.5, and KYQQ-FM 106.5 in Wichita
  • KSGF-AM 1260 & 104.1 FM; KSPW-FM 96.5; KTTS-FM 94.7 and KRVI-FM 106.7 in Springfield, Mo.
  • KEZO-FM 92.3, KSRZ-FM 104.5, KQCH-FM 94.1, KKCD-FM 105.9 and ESPN Radio affiliate KXSP-AM 590 in Omaha.
  • WWST-FM 102.1, WCYQ-FM 100.3, WKHT-FM 104.5 and WNOX-FM 93.1 in Knoxville.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter. This is the fourth and final transaction in the sale of Scripps’ radio assets.

The sales of Scripps’ radio stations total $83.5 million, and the group’s 2017 segment profit was $11.6 million.

With the sale to Summit, Scripps will now refocus its efforts on digital media and TV properties.

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

The first deal announced was on June 28, when five radio stations in Tulsa were sold to Griffin Communications for $12.5 million.

Along with News/Talk KFAQ-AM 1170, Oklahoma City-based Griffin is getting Muskogee-licensed CHR/Pop KHTT-FM 106.9 “KHits,” Country siblings KVOO-FM 98.5 and KXBL-FM 99.5 and Adult Hits KBEZ-FM 92.9 “Bob FM.”

Then, in late July, the Craig Karmazin-led Good Karma Brands snagged two of the crown jewels of the company Scripps merged with in April 2015, Journal Communications: WKTI-FM and WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee.

On August 7, as had been widely rumored, Lotus Communications Corp. acquired The E.W. Scripps Company‘s radio stations in the Tucson and Boise, Idaho markets for $8 million.

Speaking of the $47 million, 19-station deal, Scripps President/CEO Adam Symson said, “SummitMedia’s focus on growth in the radio industry make it a good home for these stations. With Summit, these stations will be able to fully live out their mission of informing and entertaining local audiences.”

Symson added that the sale, which completes the divestment of all radio industry properties, “is a significant milestone toward executing our strategy to divest of non-core assets, improve near-term operating performance and focus on the growth ahead.”

Meanwhile, Parmer, who serves as SummitMedia Chairman/CEO, said, “We are very excited to welcome the Scripps teams in Wichita, Springfield, Omaha and Knoxville into the SummitMedia family. Together, we are very confident we can inspire our audiences, serve each of our individual communities and create value for our clients.”

SummitMedia will now be the owner of 50 radio stations, once the deal closes. Its portfolio includes 31 radio stations in Alabama, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia.