Former Tribune CEO Randy Michaels Teams to Buy Into Three Radio Stations

The controversial executive and private equity firm GTCR are acquiring majority
 stakes in two stations in Chicago and one in New York from Emmis

NEW YORK - Former Tribune CEO Randy Michaels, who left the media company
 under controversy late last year amid reports that he had tarnished the 
company's image, has teamed with private equity firm GTCR to acquire majority stakes 
in three radio stations from broadcaster Emmis Communications.

Two of the stations - WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM - are in Chicago, while the third ,
WRXP-FM, is in New York. The stations will be held by a new entity that will 
be called Merlin Media.

Emmis said it would receive an amount ranging from $110 million to $130
 million in the deal plus $28 million to 47 million of "preferred interests" 
bearing 8 percent annual interest.

 Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker said she expects the total price tag of
the deal to be roughly $160 million.

"While we cannot extrapolate a multiple from this deal for the rest of the 
space, we do think it validates the terrestrial broadcast business model,"
 she said. Deal activity "is a good sign for the [broadcast] space," she 

Michaels is a former radio personality and used to run Jacor Communications 
as CEO before it was acquired by Clear Channel.


Twitter: @georgszalai