Black-Owned Broadcast Co. Expands

Friday, February 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CINCINNATI (AP) — Radio One, the nation's largest black-owned radio group, has acquired Blue Chip Broadcasting and 15 of its 19 radio stations for $190 million in cash and stock.

The deal, announced Thursday, gives Lanham, Md.-based Radio One 63 stations.

Blue Chip founder and president Ross Love said the sale was a good fit for the Cincinnati company.

``It was extremely good for our employees. It will avoid the related job losses that often occur with a merger,'' Love said. ``The Blue Chip team in each market will become the Radio One team.''

Fifteen Blue Chip stations are headed to Radio One, with two other sales planned to an undisclosed, other company later this year, Love said. He plans to keep a Cincinnati station, WDBZ-AM, which will be operated by Radio One.

Love was vice president of advertising at Procter & Gamble Co. when he left the company to lead a group of investors that bought WIZF-FM — ``The Wiz'' — of Cincinnati in 1995.

Radio One ranked 29th in a recent Black Enterprise magazine list of the 100 largest black-owned industrial and service companies.

``It's a pretty strong cluster of strategic markets. The No. 1 urban radio company bought the No. 3 company,'' said Robert K. Riggsbee, president of Inside Media, a Cincinnati-based multimedia management firm. ``It's going to be a very, very long time before any urban broadcaster can catch up, if they can ever catch up.''

Radio One's estimated 2000 revenue is $235.7 million. Blue Chip had projected $28.2 million in revenue.

``It looks to be a very logical and a good deal for Radio One and gives them a chance to expand and flesh out their market,'' said Jim Boyle, who follows media companies as managing director at First Union Securities, based in Charlotte, N.C.