| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1997
TDD (202) 514-1888
WASHINGTON, D.C. The Department of Justice today cleared Connoisseur Communications' $13.5 million acquisition of two Youngstown area radio stations from the Lincoln Group L.P., after Connoisseur sold two other Youngstown area radio stations.
Connoisseur Communications sold WBBG-FM and WRTK-AM to Bain Capital Inc., after the Department's Antitrust Division and the Ohio Attorney General expressed concerns that the Connoisseur/Lincoln transaction would lessen competition in the Youngstown market.
Without the sale to Bain, Connoisseur's acquisition of WQXX-FM and WSOM-AM from the Lincoln Group, would have given Connoisseur eight radio stations, which last year accounted for more than 55 percent of the radio advertising revenues in Youngstown.
"Connoisseur's sale of the two stations to Bain, which is buying three additional Youngstown radio stations, establishes an effective new competitor in Youngstown," said Joel I. Klein, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division. "The sale to Bain keeps Connoisseur's share of radio advertising revenues where it would have been had it not completed the Lincoln Group acquisition. The sale also preserves the choices available to Youngstown advertisers, making it unnecessary for the Department and the Ohio AG to initiate an enforcement action," Klein added.
With the sale of WBBG-FM and WRTK-AM, Connoisseur's acquisition of the Lincoln Group stations will not materially increase its share of Youngstown radio revenues.
In addition to the purchase of WBBG-FM and WRTK-AM, Bain also will acquire Youngstown-area stations WICT-FM, WWSY-FM and WPAO-AM from Zapis Communications. When the transactions are complete, Bain will own five Youngstown radio stations, which last year accounted for about 20 percent of Youngstown's radio advertising revenues.
Connoisseur, headquartered in Westport, Connecticut, owns 28 radio stations in seven U.S. cities. Its 1996 revenues were approximately $30 million.
The Lincoln Group is headquartered in Syracuse, New York, and had revenues of approximately $3.8 million in 1996.