New Owner Takes Over Soul of the South Facility

New Owner Takes Over Soul of the South Facility
The Soul of the South building at 1 Shackleford Drive in Little Rock. (Jason Burt)

Did you know the west Little Rock headquarters of the Soul of the South Network has a new owner?

Media Gateway Facility LLC purchased the 30,800-SF studio complex at 1 Shackleford Drive from Rock City Media LLC.

We’re told no money changed hands.

The $1.27 million shown as the purchase price on the deed reflects the balance owed on a mortgage held by Arkansas Capital Corp.

The transaction reflects the dire financial straits of Rock City and its Soul of the South venture, further explored here: Investors Battle Over Valuable Soul of the South License.

The name behind the new owner of the property is a familiar one: Matthew Davidge.

Last July, we told you that Davidge made a short-lived offer to buy the property, but withdrew it.

The co-owner of Interactivation wrote to Arkansas Capital Corp. and offered an ominous assessment: “In my opinion, Soul of the South will fail unless new management is brought in, a new business strategy is adopted and new investment capital is raised. (Good luck with all that.)”

As part of the sale, various creditors with a security claim on the property made concessions.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission agreed to lower the bar on the original grant reimbursement agreement that was part of the Soul of the South deal.

The $500,000 grant awarded by AEDC will be considered repaid in full if Davidge’s SSN Media Gateway LLC creates 70 new full-time positions with an average salary of $15.50 per hour at the west Little Rock facility by March 1, 2018.

The original agreement with SSN Funding Ltd., representing Soul of the South investors, called for the creation of 111 new jobs with an average salary of $27.11 by Dec. 17, 2017.

The change in terms reflects the equivalent of a $144,844 write-down on the $500,000 grant based on the amended reimbursement agreement.

Enter Frixxer

Davidge, a Brit by birth and East Coast dweller, intends to renovate the facility and base his new micro-content TV show there.

In a press release statement, the former MTV networks consultant noted:

“The people and the business climate in Little Rock are warm and welcoming. This will be a great home for my new show, Frixxer.

“I’ve spent a lot of time here over the last six months and like it a lot. I just wish there was a direct flight to New York.”

Davidge is a co-owner of Mag Rack, a video-on-demand TV service, and a former owner of The Wellness Network, linked with 2,300 U.S. hospitals.