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? Communications.

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

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai