Clear Channel to sell TV stations

The nation’s largest radio broadcaster — public ally traded Clear Channel Communications of San Antonio —agreed last week to go into private ownership after its pending purchase by two Boston investment firms. The deal is said to be worth approximately $26.7 billion, which includes $8 billion in debt.

As part of the deal, Clear Channel will sell its 42-station TV group and 448 of its 1150 radio stations. The TV stations are located in 24 small and mid-sized markets throughout the country, including Memphis, TN; Minneapolis; Wichita, KS; Mobile, AL; Jacksonville, MS; and Tulsa, OK.

All of the broadcast stations are located outside the top 100 U.S. media markets. Collectively, according to Clear Channel, these properties contributed less than 10 percent of the company’s revenues last year.

The sale of the broadcast assets is not contingent on the closing of the company’s merger agreement. The firm is keeping its lucrative billboard advertising division, which accounted for 40 percent of its revenue in 2005.