Emmis Communications acquires two New York stations


Emmis Communications has acquired two New York radio stations in a move that will nearly double the company's station operating income.

The company announced the acquisitions of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM for $131 million in cash Tuesday evening. WBLS is the second-rated radio station in New York City and its sister station, WLIB, is the city's first African-American-targeted station, offering an urban gospel format.

"Today's announcement is indicative of our belief in the US radio industry and our desire to increase our footprint in the nation's largest market," said Jeff Smulyan, President & CEO of Emmis Communications. "Emmis has deep ties to the New York African-American community, and it is with great pride we take the helm of these iconic stations."

The $131 million purchase price will be paid in two installments by Emmis, with the first payment expected this summer after the FCC grants consent to assign the stations' licenses to Emmis. The second payment - for the remaining $76 million - is expected to be made next February.

Emmis already owns WQHT in New York City.