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Viacom acquires AwesomenessTV; Facebook buys Israeli messaging platform

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Viacom acquires AwesomenessTV; Facebook buys Israeli messaging platform

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions for July 23-27.

* Viacom Inc. has acquired AwesomenessTV, a youth-oriented digital media company from Comcast Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and Hearst Corp. AwesomenessTV will become part of Viacom's digital studios division, which is led by former Awesomeness executive Kelly Day, a Viacom spokesman said in a July 27 company blog post. AwesomenessTV CEO Jordan Levin will step down following a transition period. AwesomenessTV has more than 6.4 million YouTube subscribers and 158 million subscribers to its Awesomeness Network, which is geared toward GenZ viewers, or those born in the mid-1990s, Viacom's representative said in his blog post.

* E.W. Scripps Co. struck a deal to sell its two radio stations in Milwaukee to Good Karma Brands for $16 million. The stations are WTMJ and WKTI. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, according to a July 27 news release. In June, the company agreed to sell five radio stations in Tulsa, Okla., to Tulsa-based Griffin Communications LLC. Earlier this year, the company unveiled plans to sell its portfolio of 34 radio stations in eight markets. Good Karma Brands is a sports marketing company based in Milwaukee.

* Salem Media Group Inc. on July 26 said its online division Salem Church Products acquired ChildrensMinistryDeals.com, an online platform for Bible-based curricula. Children's Ministry Deals has more than 100 curriculum packages on popular Bible stories, offering pastoral ministers digital curriculum resources for Sunday school and kids ministry classes.

* Facebook Inc. acquired Israeli messaging company Redkix. Oudi and Roy Antebi, the co-founders of Redkix, said in a post on the company's website that it will join the Workplace team at Facebook to "help connect people and give the world a place to work together." Redkix's current app will wind down.

* Salem Media Group Inc. on July 25 said it agreed to sell AM radio stations KCRO and KOTK, as well as affiliated translators, to Hickory Radio. Regional broadcaster Walnut Radio will manage the radio stations for its affiliate Hickory. According to a news release, both radio stations will retain their present formats and will continue to follow the current program lineups. Salem is licensing the use of the brand names "The Word" and "The Answer" in Omaha, Neb., to Hickory and Walnut to allow the stations to maintain their program integrity and brand equity.

* Kew Media Group Inc. closed its acquisition of Essential Media Group, an independent producer of content in a variety of genres for global broadcast networks. "The addition of Essential to the KEW platform is another step forward in our growth strategy. It expands KEW's U.S. offering and gives us a first presence in Australia. We anticipate strong revenue synergies coming from Essential's inclusion for 2019," Steven Silver, Kew's founder and CEO, said in a July 24 news release. Kew Media Group produces and distributes multigenre content across the globe.