Emmis in Final Discussions to Sell Orlando’s WKCF-TV

Apr 18, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Emmis Communications Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said Tuesday that his company is in “final discussions” to sell its WB affiliate WKCF-TV in Orlando, Fla., and could make an announcement by the end of the second quarter.

Mr. Smulyan said the company is also holding discussions to sell two other television stations: WVUE-TV, a Fox affiliate in New Orleans, and KGMB-TV, a CBS affiliate in Honolulu. He said the company expects to wrap up the entire sale of its TV assets by year-end.

The sale of WKCF has drawn a lot of attention in the industry because the station is considered the best-performing WB affiliate in the country and is located in a fast-growing market. However, some observers have expressed surprise that it has been among the last stations to be sold by Emmis.

The three stations are the last of 16 outlets that Emmis put up for sale last year after deciding to get out of the television business and focus on its core radio business.

Emmis has raised more than $1 billion in proceeds so far from the sale of its stations and has given many in the broadcasting industry something to cheer about given the relatively high cash flow multiples at which the Emmis stations have sold. Emmis stations have sold at multiples in the mid-teens at a time when many were expecting multiples of high single digits.

Emmis completed the sale of four TV stations in January to Montecito Broadcast Group, an affiliate of the Blackstone Group, for $259 million. That sale included KOIN-TV, a CBS affiliate in Portland, Ore.; KHON-TV, a Fox affiliate in Honolulu; KSNW-TV, an NBC affiliate in Wichita, Kan.; and KSNT-TV, an NBC affiliate in Topeka, Kan.