iHeartMedia, the nation’s largest owner of AM and FM properties, released its Q3 results last week, and its consolidated revenue decreased $35.9 million or 3.6% during the three months ended September 30, 2023.
Analysts expected a higher amount, but the primary reason for the improvement was a one-time income injection: $45.3 million in cash proceeds from the sale of 122 tower sites, which were used to lower iHeart’s outstanding debt of $5.229 billion. Lease-back agreements were negotiated for the sites.
iHeart did not identify who acquired the structures, but it was likely Boca Raton, Florida-based Vertical Bridge.
In December 2014, iHeart announced a deal to sell an undisclosed group — approximately 400 towers, according to a Wireless Estimator source — of its radio towers to Vertical Bridge for up to $400 million. In April 2015, the first tranche of towers was sold for $369 million.
Vertical Bridge did not respond to a request for additional information.
Salem sees salvation in selling its AM tower site property
Christian and conservative-centric media company Salem Media’s Q3 showed that revenue decreased 5.0% to $63.5 million from $66.9 million. Total operating expenses increased 31.9% to $99.8 million from $75.6 million.
The broadcaster, who was one of the partners for the third Republican Presidential Primary Debate that was held on November 8 in Miami, has been selling assets to reduce its debt.
In September, it signed an agreement to sell an AM station and its companion FM translator in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida market to Solmart Media for $700,000.
Another Florida asset sale on the horizon is selling the property of its AM tower site in Sarasota for $9.5 million.
The sale of the approximately 30-acre tract that currently has the four-tower array of “930 The Answer,” WLSS Sarasota, is pending zoning approval for multi-family housing.
Salem Media’s stock (SALM) lost 21% of its value today, closing at $0.60. It is at risk of being delisted on the Nasdaq exchange after receiving a notice in June that it had 180 calendar days to get a minimum bid price of $1.00 per share for at least ten consecutive business days.