Radio One dials KKBT, 11 others

Clear-ance sale puts b'caster in 7 markets

As the Clear Channel divestiture derby continues, minority-owned Radio One has picked up 12 stations in seven markets for a big $1.3 billion.

The sale includes KKBT (“The Beat”) Los Angeles, generally considered the crown jewel among stations being spun off by Clear Channel.

Clear Channel has been announcing the divestiture of about 125 stations in order to meet FCC requirements regarding its proposed merger with AMFM. Minority broadcasters such as Radio One have been receiving a big chunk of the divested stations.

Emmis, which owns cross-town rival KPWR (“Power 106”), had been interested in acquiring KKBT– but Radio One was a clear front-runner to land the station.

In a highly publicized move, Clear Channel had decided to sell the Beat’s format but pair it with the 100.3 FM frequency.

Current 100.3 inhabitant KCMG (“Mega 100”) will migrate to the Beat’s 92.3 frequency once the sale is finalized sometime this summer.

“100.3 is a very strong signal,” said the Beat general manager Nancy Leichter. “It’s got as strong a signal as KIIS, as KROQ, as Star 98.7. We don’t anticipate any problems.”

Leichter said she didn’t expect any major changes at the Beat, which has consistently been a strong biller among urban stations but saw some disappointing declines in the fall Arbitron ratings.

Besides KKBT, Radio One will purchase two stations in Houston, two in Cleveland, one in Miami, four in Raleigh, N.C., and one in Greenville, S.C.

The Lanham, Md.-based company also plans to buy three stations from Shirk Inc. for $40 million in cash and stock and six stations from Davis Broadcasting for $20.4 million in cash and stock.

Once all three deals are closed –subject to FCC approval — Radio One will own and/or operate 48 stations in 19 markets, making it the nation’s largest African-American broadcaster and one of the biggest owners of urban-formatted stations.

“This is, without a doubt, a transforming event for Radio One,” said president and CEO Alfred Liggins. “This acquisition (along with the Shirk and Davis deals) positions Radio One, going forward, to become the premiere media company targeting African-American and urban audiences.”

According to Liggins, the Clear Channel deal is expected to be accretive to 2000 and 2001 after-tax and free cash flow.

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