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Spanish Broadcasting to Sell 2 Southland Stations

August 18, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Spanish Broadcasting System Inc., a Latino-controlled radio broadcaster, said Tuesday that it had agreed to sell two Southern California radio stations to Styles Media Group for $120 million in cash to pay down debt.

The sale of radio stations KZAB-FM and KZBA-FM is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and is expected to close in the fourth quarter, Spanish Broadcasting said.

Raul Alarcon, president and chief executive of Spanish Broadcasting, said the sale of the two stations was consistent with the company's strategic plan to dispose of non-core stations and increase cash flow -- "capitalizing on the explosive growth of the U.S. Hispanic market."

Since September, Spanish Broadcasting has announced plans to sell six other stations in Chicago, San Francisco and San Antonio. The company plans to use the cash to redeem all or part of its outstanding 9.625% senior subordinated notes callable after Nov. 1.

The company still owns KLAX-FM (97.9) in Los Angeles, a Spanish-language station that boasts host Renan Almendarez Coello, who as of last month was still the reigning king of the market's morning shows.

Last month, KLAX saw dramatic results in the spring ratings survey, which covers April 1 to June 23. The station rose to a 4.7% share of the audience in the spring from 3% in the winter, shooting from 10th to second place overall.

"Renan lifted the station," said Bill Tanner, executive vice president of programming at Spanish Broadcasting, which is based in Coconut Grove, Fla.

Spanish Broadcasting shares fell 2 cents to $8.08 on Nasdaq.

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Bloomberg News was used in compiling this report.

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