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NBC Agrees to Sell Five Radio Stations to Emmis Broadcasting

February 20, 1988 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ The National Broadcasting Co. said Friday it had tentatively agreed to sell five radio stations to Emmis Broadcasting Corp., a privately-held concern based in Indianapolis, for $121.5 million.

NBC had said previously it was looking for buyers for its seven radio stations, and reaffirmed that it hoped to sell the remaining stations.

The stations which would be sold to Emmis Broadcasting are WNBC-AM and WYNY-FM in New York, WJIB-FM in Boston, WKQX-FM in Chicago and KYUU-FM in San Francisco.

The sale is subject to a definitive agreement by the companies and approval by their respective boards of directors, the announcement from NBC said.

The sale would leave NBC, a subsidiary of General Electric Co., with radio stations WKYS in Washington, D.C., and KNBR in San Francisco. The company has said it hopes to sell the Washington station to a minority group.

Emmis Broadcasting, which was founded in 1980 and claims to be the largest privately-held radio broadcasting company in the United States, already owns seven radio stations, including two in New York City, WFAN-AM and WQHT-FM.

The announcement said Emmis would have to ″resolve ownership conflict in New York″ if the sale were completed. Federal regulations prohibit companies from owning more than one AM and one FM radio station in a single media market, according to a spokesman for NBC, Dom Giofre.

Robin Rene, an assistant to Emmis president Jeffrey Smulyan, said Smulyan was traveling to Indiana from New York and could not be reached immediately.

In addition to the two New York stations, Emmis owns KPWR-FM in Los Angeles; WAVA-FM in Washington, D.C.; KSHE-FM in St. Louis; WLOL-FM in Minneapolis; and WENS-FM in Indianapolis.

NBC is rooted in radio broadcasting. Radio Corp. of America formed NBC in 1926 when it purchased what is now WNBC-AM in New York.

RCA and NBC were acquired by GE in 1986 and NBC began reviewing its radio operations in mid-1987.

Last summer, it sold its radio network business, which supplies programming to independent stations, for $50 million to Westwood One Inc., a radio production and distribution company based in Los Angeles.

It has previously said it also agreed to sell its WMAQ-AM radio station in Chicago for $13 million.