Radio Deal to Join 314 Stations

Article excerpt

SFX Broadcasting Inc., which operates six Jacksonville radio

stations, announced yesterday that it agreed to sell the company

to investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. for $2.1

billion.

Hicks Muse owns a radio company called Capstar Broadcasting,

which has 243 U.S. radio stations. When combined with SFX's 71

stations, the deal will create the largest U.S. radio company,

with 314 stations in 79 markets.

SFX has been rumored for weeks to be for sale. Mark Schwartz,

general manager of its six Jacksonville stations, doesn't expect

the sale to affect local operations.

"I don't anticipate any unusual changes in operations," he

said.

The companies also said in a statement yesterday that "no

changes of SFX station management, station personnel or station

format are currently contemplated as a result of the

transaction."

New York-based SFX owns WKQL (96.9 FM), WIVY (102.9 FM), WOKV

(690 AM) and WBWL (600 AM). It also operates WFYV (104.5 FM) and

WAPE (95.1 FM) under a local marketing agreement and has a

contract to buy those two stations, which are owned by

Chancellor Broadcasting.

Ironically, Hicks Muse owns 53 percent of Chancellor's stock.

But Schwartz does not expect the sale of SFX to affect WFYV and

WAPE. He expects SFX to complete its acquisition of those two

stations from Chancellor well before Hicks Muse finalizes the

deal to buy SFX.

"At this point, it's nothing more than a formality," Schwartz

said.

All six stations would then be sold to Hicks Muse as part of

the SFX sale, which is scheduled for completion in the second

quarter of 1998.

Dallas-based Hicks Muse has been one of the biggest buyers of

radio stations since the easing of federal limits on ownership

last year. …