BASS poised for purchase

Published 9:10 am Friday, August 6, 2010

ESPN Inc. announced Tuesday it has reached an agreement in principle for the sale of BASS LLC, also known as Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society, to a group of investors.

The investors are led by are former AOL/Time Warner Chairman Don Logan, long time host of “The Fishing Hole,” Jerry McKinnis, and former Deloitte LLP Chief Executive Officer Jim Copeland.

“This group is looking forward to working with the fishing industry’s strongest brand and plans to make BASS even more relevant in the multimedia world,” Logan said in a news release.

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“I am eager to begin working with the anglers, sponsors and supporters to bring an even more exciting BASS business to its fan base,” said McKinnis.

BASS LLC is the largest membership organization of bass anglers in the United States with more than 500,000 members.

It also oversees the Bassmaster Tournament Trails, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, BASS Federation Nation and the Bassmaster Classic.

The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms include multiple magazine publications, Web-based content and television programming.

“The investor group, with its enthusiasm for the brand, will continue to serve BASS’ interests with anglers,” said Traug Keller, ESPN senior vice president, production, business divisions.

As part of the agreement in principle, the “Bassmaster” and “Bassmaster Classic” television shows will remain on ESPN networks.

Until a sales transaction is finalized, BASS will continue to operate under ESPN’s ownership. A projected date for finalizing the sale has not been announced.