Taft Sells Its Share Of The Phillies

Posted: December 09, 1986

Taft Broadcasting Co. announced yesterday it had reached an agreement to sell its 47.3 percent interest in the Philadelphia Phillies to the baseball team's other owners for $24.1 million.

A Phillies spokesman could not be reached to learn which of the team's owners purchased shares from Taft, a Cincinnati-based communications and entertainment company.

Jenny Young, a Taft spokeswoman, said the firm decided to sell its interest in the Phillies because the company also has reached an agreement to sell WTAF, Channel 29, the television station that broadcasts the team's games,to TVX Broadcasting, a West Virginia company.

"It was a logical association. If we owned the station that broadcast Phillies games, then we felt we should also own part of the team. Now that we are selling the station, we feel we should sell our interest in the team," Young said.

Charles S. Mecham Jr., Taft's chairman, said it was a necessary business decision that he regretted.

"While the decision to sell our Phillies' partnership interest makes obvious financial sense, it also ends one of the happiest business associations we have ever had," Mecham said.

Young said Taft, which purchased WTAF in 1969, is selling all its independent television stations because of the high cost of buying programming for those units. The company is keeping its network-affiliated stations.

Taft purchased its interest in the Phillies in 1981 and the station began broadcasting the team's games in 1983.

Young said the sale will not become final until it receives approval from the owners of the other 25 baseball teams in the American and National leagues. The owners are now in Florida attending the winter baseball meetings.

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