July 18, 2005

$80 Million Puts KEZR, KBAY In NextMedia Portfolio

A bulletin from Radio Business Report moments ago notes that NextMedia Group of Englewood, Colo., will acquire KEZR/106.5 and KBAY/94.5 from CBS/Infinity for $80-million.

NextMediaAccording to their website, NextMedia "operates 65 stations in 15 rated and suburban markets around the country," with outlets in Delaware, Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. The acquisition of KEZR and KBAY marks the company's first foray into California.

UPDATE: The official press release on the sale, distributed this afternoon, notes that NextMedia expects to begin operating KEZR and KBAY under a local marketing agreement (LMA) "on or before August 1, 2005, subject to regulatory approval." The sale is expected to close in early 2006.

In the press release, NextMedia President and CEO Steven Dinetz said, "This is an ideal transaction that will enable us to enter our first top-ten metropolitan market. The capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose is a rapidly growing city with exceptional demographics, including a population with the highest median household income in the nation. KEZR and KBAY are two well-established music stations serving the 18 to 54 year-old demographic, which are audiences that advertisers covet. ... We look forward to working with the local team that Infinity has assembled to integrate these stations into our portfolio and further increase the value of these assets."

NextMedia announced the sale of eight of its stations — four each in Lubbock, Texas, and Reno, Nev. — in May for $34-million.

· Will (or should) Infinity move the Mix 106.5 Adult Contemporary format to one of its other Bay Area stations?