Entercom Communications has merged with CBS radio, creating a radio platform with a nationwide footprint of 244 stations, including 23 of the top 25 US markets, as well as robust digital capabilities plus a growing events platform. The new company will be led by Entercom president and chief executive David J. Field, according to a release on the company’s website.
“This agreement is great for shareholders and achieves our previously stated objectives by separating our radio business in the best possible way,” said Leslie Moonves, chairman and chief executive officer, CBS Corporation. “Entercom is a superbly run company and together with CBS Radio’s powerful brands and remarkable people, we are creating an organization that will be even better positioned to succeed in this rapidly evolving media landscape.”
Field added: “These two great companies, with their impressive histories, complementary assets, and premier content and brands, are a perfect strategic and cultural fit, enabling us to deliver local connection on a national scale and drive accelerated growth. We look forward to welcoming our talented new colleagues at CBS Radio, and we have the utmost respect for their significant contributions to the industry.”
Andre Fernandez will continue as president and CEO of CBS Radio through the closing of the transaction.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the CBS Radio team and all of the exciting breaking news, live events, and business initiatives happening every day across the country. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for us as we join with an organization with an equally deep tradition in radio broadcasting. The opportunities for the new company are enormous – thanks to our combined collection of industry-leading stations and brands.”
According to the release, the merger will create a leading local media and entertainment company with strong, complementary assets on a national scale, including:
- A leading sports platform with the rights to broadcast 45 pro sports teams, including the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, the New England Patriots, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Golden State Warriors, and 100-plus popular local sports talk shows, as well as the CBS Sports Radio Network, which is made up of 300 affiliated radio stations across the country
- Leadership in news and news/talk format, including 1010 WINS in New York, KNX in LA, and WBBM in Chicago
- A diverse array of music and entertainment formats
- A leading creator of more than 4,500 live original events per year, from music festivals and large shows to intimate performances with big-name artists
- A growing portfolio of digital content that expands reach and engagement by local on-air talent through original programming and social media
- The ability to monetize the intellectual property of dozens of major-market radio shows across multiple emerging platforms
The tax-free merger makes for a combined pro forma revenue on a trailing 12 months basis of approximately $1.7bn, which would make it the second largest radio station owner in the US.
“Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium and offers advertisers outstanding ROI and local activation. This transformational transaction creates scale-driven efficiencies and opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to better serve our listeners and our advertisers. The combination of a compelling strategic fit, an excellent balance sheet, and robust free cash flow generation, position us to create significant shareholder value for our investors.”