Five local radio stations are part of the recently announced sale of 53 Cumulus Media stations in 12 small and mid-sized markets around the country.|
Cumulus plans to sell B100 (KBEA - 99.7 FM),Rock 104.9 (KBOB-FM), Star 93.5 (KQCS-FM), 97X (WXLP - 96.9 FM) and KJOC (True Oldies Channel at 1170 AM) as part of the multi-station sale to Townsquare Media for $238 million.
Other stations to be sold are in Rockford, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and communities in Minnesota, Michigan, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire.
"These transactions represent the continued evolution of Townsquare Media into one of the nation's largest local media companies and allow us to reach a scale which opens the door to new strategic opportunities," Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price said in a news release.
"The assets we are adding to our portfolio are market leading brands with strong competitive positions in their respective small- and mid-sized markets."
Based in Greenwich, Conn.,Townsquare Media owns and operates 241 radio stations, over 250 companion websites, an e-commerce business (SeizeTheDeal.com), and approximately 500 annual live events in 51 small- and medium-sized markets across the country.
Properties include TasteofCountry.com, Loudwire.com, ScreenCrush.com, and Guyspeed.com; several multi-day music festivals, including Mountain Jam and the Taste of Country Music Festival; a digital advertising network which reaches more than 50 million visitors monthly; and a marketing services business which provides a turnkey web presence for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Atlanta-based Cumulus is the largest radio broadcaster in the U.S., with approximately 525 stations in 110 media markets, and a programming network serving more than 5,500 affiliates nationwide. It announced the station sales on the same day it agreed to buy Dial Global for $260 million.
That will add sports, news, talk, music and programming services content to approximately 10,000 U.S. radio stations and other media platforms, Cumulus said in a release.
The deal includes a swap with Townsquare of 15 radio stations in two small- and mid-sized markets in exchange for five stations in Fresno, Calif.
"These transactions give us the necessary scale to provide the marketing and enterprise solutions our advertising and affiliate partners require," said Lew Dickey, CEO of Cumulus. "Our goal is to be the leading producer of premium audio content distributed through multiple platforms while continuing to build our broadcast platform in the top 100 U.S. markets."
Following the closing of the transactions in the fourth quarter (pending regulatory approval), Townsquare will own 312 radio stations in 66 markets and have operations in 25 states, making it the third-largest owner of radio stations in the U.S. and the largest owner and operator of radio stations solely focused on small and mid-sized markets.
"We're excited about our transaction," Alex Berkett, Townsquare executive vice president said Thursday. "We operate stations in small and mid-sized markets. This is right in our wheelhouse."
He could not predict what, if any, changes to local staffing or programming may be made following the sale's closing at the end of the year. The deal needs approval from the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice.
Townsquare is also acquiring Peak, which owns 11 radio stations in two markets (Boise, Idaho and Fresno, Calif.) for cash and equity units of Townsquare.
"It's alittle hard to say what we're going to do right now," Mr. Berkett said of the Q-C stations. "We're excited about the brands we're acquiring. We look forward to learning more after closing."
Cheryl Riley-Hayles, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Broadcasting in Davenport, could not be reached Thursday for comment.
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