US broadcast station mergers and acquisitions (M&A) volume reached $4.31 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, as tracked by Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.
In the largest deal of the quarter and year, Nexstar Media Group announced on December 3rd that it would acquire all of Tribune Media’s assets for $46.50 per share. Kagan estimates the broadcast assets to be worth $3.51 billion.
Ranking second in deal value for the year was the $3.44 billion merger of Gray Television and Raycom Media from the second quarter. The top radio deal of the fourth quarter was the Hubbard Radio’s $88 million purchase of Alpha Media. It also ranked as the second-largest radio deal of 2018, topped only by Bonneville International Corp.’s $141 million purchase of eight radio stations from Entercom Communications in August.
In total, 2018 closed with an $8.87 billion deal volume for US broadcast station M&A, representing an increase of 8 per cent compared to 2017.
Other leading TV station M&A in the fourth quarter:
The only significant radio deal in the fourth quarter was Hubbard Radio’s $88 million purchase of Alpha Media’s largest cluster by revenue, comprising six stations in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla. market. The quarter featured eight other radio deals worth over one million dollars each, the largest being Saga Communications Inc.’s purchase of four FM stations in the Gainesville-Ocala, Fla., market from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation LLC for $9.3 million.