Equity Media Sells 5 Florida LPTVs to Company Officers

Two officers of cash-strapped Equity Media Holdings Corp. are relieving the company of five of its Spanish-language low-power and Class A television stations in southwest Florida.
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Two officers of cash-strapped Equity Media Holdings Corp. are relieving the company of five of its Spanish-language low-power and Class A television stations in southwest Florida.

The $8 million sale of the stations to Luken Communications LLC, owned by Equity Media boss Henry G. Luken III and station group CEO Thomas M. Arnost, complies with the asset sale requirements of Equity Media’s current loan, the company said.

April 8, the company announced it had hired Thomas Weisel Partners, a San Francisco-based investment bank, to review and evaluate the company’s strategic options. The company’s stock price, above $5 per share in April 2007, fell through $3 in February and March to just 60 cents per share April 4.

Owning television stations in 41 markets as well as Retro Television Network, Equity Media continues “to do business as normal while the company explores alternative financing,” it said in a statement.

The five stations, WUVF-CA, WLZE-LP, WBSP-CA, WEVU-CA and WTLE-LP, are TeleFutura or Univision affiliates. Univision Communications owns both networks as well 8 percent of Equity Media. Equity Media is the second-largest Univision and TeleFutura affiliate.