July 28, 2011

Legendary Urban Radio and Pioneering Black Radio Company, Inner City Broadcasting bought by Yucaipa Companies

Inner City Broadcasting (I.C.B.C.) Holdings, founded by now deceased chairman Percy Sutton, include: WBLS and WLIB in New York; KBLX in the SF Bay Area, and "The Big DM 101" WWDM in Columbia, S.C.

Source: Target News (July 28, 2011) The industry newsletter, Inside Radio, is reporting that Inner City Broadcasting, one of the largest black-owned chain of radio stations, is in the process of being acquired by two privately-held investment firms. The new largest shareholder will be Yucaipa Companies, a private equity firm owned by billionaire Ron Burkle.

Yucaipa had earlier acquired Inner City's long standing debt from its creditors. The other owner is Fortress Capital, which received its shares from acquiring the debt of GE Capital.

Burkle has teamed up with Earvin "Magic" Johnson most recently to acquire minority media companies. Most recently, they bought majority stakes in Vibe Holdings, which included Vibe and Uptown magazines, and rights to the Soul Train TV show, its name and archives.

Inside Radio reports that Pierre "Pepe" Sutton, ICBC chairman and son of founder Percy Sutton, will remain on the payroll in an unspecified capacity. Inner City owns 18 radio stations in seven markets, including its flagships, WBLS-FM and WLIB in New York.

Pictured here is the legendary disc jockey and program director Frankie Crocker, who vaulted WBLS to the #1 rated station in New York City in the mid 1970's after Sutton's purchase of the station in 1972.

1 comment:

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