Friday, June 15, 2007

Carl Pohlad Purchases Hip-Hop Radio Station

Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad has bought a local hip-hop radio station and is contemplating buying more broadcast outlets, according to the chief executive of his new broadcast group. Pohlad's new company, Northern Lights Broadcasting LLC, will pay $28 million to buy KTTB-FM, also known as B96, from Radio One Inc., based in Lanham, Md., which describes itself as the country's largest radio broadcasting company that primarily targets black and urban listeners. The billionaire bought KTTB "just to get into the industry," Steve Woodbury, president and chief executive of Northern Lights, said Wednesday. "My charge is to find other radio stations and possibly TV and build a little media group."
What up bitches?
Woodbury, who's also vice president and general manager of KTTB, said he began searching for local investors in late 2005 after Radio One executives told him they wanted to sell the station. He said the old owners felt that the Twin Cities area did not have a large enough black population to support the format. Woodbury said he pitched the station to Pohlad, who spent the better part of the last year analyzing the business. Woodbury wouldn't disclose specifics but said the station is "very profitable." KTTB will retain its format and staff, including its on-air personalities, he said. "I've grown up in the radio business and I believe local broadcast ownership is important," Woodbury said. Besides the Twins, Pohlad and his three sons also have holdings in financial services, soft drinks and jewelry. Woodbury said the station purchase is part of the continuing diversification of their holdings.