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Local Media & Agencies

May 19 - Billy Morris sells radio stations owned by his Morris Communications to Alpha Media

Category: Local Media & Agencies

By Lou Phelps, Brunswick Business Journal

May 19, 2015 - Alpha Media of Portland, Oregon announced Monday they have entered into a definitive agreement to purchase radio stations from Morris Communications. Morris owns thirty-six radio stations in 8 markets including; Topeka & Salina, KS; Amarillo, TX; Palm Springs, CA; Anchorage & Wasilla, AK; Grays Harbor-Hoquiam and Wenatchee-Columbia River, WA.

When all pending deals are completed, it will bring the total number of stations owned or operated by Alpha Media to 135.

William S. Morris III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morris Communications Company, headquartered in Augusta, said, “We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Larry Wilson and his exceptional team. They are experienced operators that will maintain the ongoing success of these stations. We take comfort in knowing we have superior employees in each market that will continue to serve these wonderful communities.”

Mr. Morris is also the owner of 11 daily newspapers including the Savannah Morning News, Savannah, The Augusta Chronicle and the Jacksonville Times Union.  The Times Union publishes a Georgia edition in the Brunswick, GA. Metro area.

Now in his 70’s, media observers have also wondered if he will sell his print newspaper company in the short-term, as well.  Some of his daily newspapers are in markets where he is divesting his radio stations.

The FCC normally does not allow cross-ownership of a print daily newspaper and a TV or radio station, but many such situations were ‘grandfathered’ in prior to the FCC rules across the U.S.   In the mergers & acquisitions business, selling the radio stations could be a pre-cursor to preparation for sale for those dailies in conflicted situations. 

George Reed of Media Services Group of Jacksonville, FL was the broker for Alpha Media. He is a national radio and TV station broker/consultant, and co-founded Media Services Group in 1989.

Alpha Media just picked up 3 new Hispanic-targeted stations last month in Salt Lake City. The company bought regional Mexican “102.3 La Gran D” KDUT, Spanish CHR “Latino 106.1” KBMG, and Spanish adult hits “Juan AM 1600” KTUB from Adelante Media Group in April.

The full station list by market:

Topeka, KS Market: WIBW(AM), Topeka, KS; WIBW-FM, Topeka, KS

Salina, KS Market: KABI(AM), Abilene, KS; KBLS(FM), North Fort Riley, KS; KSAJ-FM, Abilene, KS; KSAL(AM), Salina, KS; KSAL-FM, Salina, KS; KYEZ(FM), Salina, KS

Amarillo, TX Market: KGNC(AM), Amarillo, TX; KGNC-FM, Amarillo, TX

Palm Springs, CA Market: KCLB-FM, Coachella, CA; KFSQ(AM), Thousand Palms, CA; KKUU(FM), Indio, CA; KNWQ(AM), Palm Springs, CA; KNWZ(AM), Coachella, CA; KCLZ (FM), Twenty-Nine Palms Base, CA; Victor Valley, CA, Market:  KDGL(FM), Yucca Valley, CA; KDGL-FM1, Palm Springs, CA; KNWH(AM), Yucca Valley, CA

Anchorage, AK Market: KBRJ(FM), Anchorage, AK; KEAG(FM), Anchorage, AK; KFQD(AM), Anchorage, AK; KHAR(AM), Anchorage, AK; KMXS(FM), Anchorage, AK; KWHL(FM), Anchorage, AK

Wasilla, AK Market: KAYO(FM), Wasilla, AK

Grays Harbor-Hoquiam, WA Market: KXRO(AM), Aberdeen, WA; KWOK(AM), Aberdeen, WA; KXXK(FM), Hoquiam, WA; KDUX-FM, Hoquiam, WA; Wenatchee-Columbia River, WA Market: KWIQ(AM), Moses Lake North, WA; KWIQ-FM, Moses Lake, WA; KKRV(FM), Wenatchee, WA; KKRT(AM), Wenatchee, WA; KWLN(FM), Wilson Creek, WA

Topeka, KS Market: KTPK(FM), Topeka, KS (“KTPK”)

Amarillo, TX Market: KXGL(FM), Amarillo, TX (“KXGL”)

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