Thursday, February 02, 2017

Bye Bye CBS Radio

This is huge radio news. CBS Radio is going bye-bye. According to this piece in Radio Insight, CBS is merging with Entercom. In the new Trump era, the FCC will almost certainly agree to let this through. Here are the details...

CBS Corporation will merge its radio division with Entercom in a tax-free merger. The deal will be structured as a Reverse Morris Trust with CBS shareholders having the opportunity to exchange their shares for CBS Radio shares, which will then be merged into Entercom. CBS Radio shareholders will hold 72% of the newly combined Entercom, with existing Entercom shareholders the other 28%.

The company will retain the Entercom name following the merger and be led by current Entercom President and CEO David Field. CBS Radio President Andre Fernandez will exit once the deal closes. It will be based in Philadelphia with a nine member Board of Directors. Five of the board members will be current Entercom directors and four to be nominated by CBS Radio.

Entercom will become the second largest group owner with 244 stations upon closing of the deal. There will likely need to be spin-offs in multiple markets where both companies currently operate including Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.

In Chicago, CBS owns WXRT, WSCR, WJMK, WBBM-AM & their FM simulcast partner, WBBM-FM, and WUSN-FM. These stations have been CBS stations since the company merged with Infinity broadcasting at the turn of the century. Entercom currently doesn't own any Chicago stations.

One of the bigshots in the Entercom family is my old general manager from WJMK, Weezie Kramer.