Entercomm /CBS Merger and sport rights

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This topic contains 92 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of RadioGeek RadioGeek 3 weeks, 4 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 93 total)
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  • #173427

    Actually, Radio One’s most recent acquisition happened on November 12, 2015, when they acquired Wilks Broadcasting’s two stations in Columbus, Ohio.

    #173430
    Profile photo of OldNewsGuy
    OldNewsGuy
    Participant

    Actually, Radio One’s most recent acquisition happened on November 12, 2015, when they acdquired Wilks Broadcasting’s two stations in Columbus, Ohio.

    True…but, remember, they already had a cluster there….and they don’t in Boston.

    And I think the whole Columbus deal cost them only $2 Mill.

    Entercom bought 97.7 it for $30 Mill…

    #173431
    Profile photo of raccoonradio
    raccoonradio
    Participant

    Ent may hope ownership caps are lifted.
    @bostonradio tweeted that none of the CBS stations can be sold or swapped until the close.

    #173432

    I already understand that Entercom will not divest stations until the transaction closes. And about the ownership caps, It’s not likely that they will get lifted by the time this transaction closes, meaning that the old rules would still apply to this transaction while the new rules would apply to future station sales if the FCC approves the elimination of TV and Radio station ownership caps.

    #173440
    Profile photo of coughitup
    coughitup
    Participant

    After what they did to WILD-AM and FM, I don’t think so.  They’re no class when it comes to destroying heritage radio stations.  Stay out of Boston, Radio One!  We don’t want you back!

    #173442

    I’m surprised that Radio One doesn’t want 97.7 back, considering the fact that Entercom brought back the Urban AC format to 97.7 last January which was the format at the time when Radio One sold the station to Entercom back in 2006.

    #173451
    Profile photo of joseph_gallant
    Joseph_Gallant
    Participant

    Here’s an All Access article suggesting what stations may be put into a trust. For Boston, it lists everything Entercom and CBS radio own except for all-sports WBZ-98.5 and classic album rock WZLX-100.7:

    http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/163924/entercom-cbs-list-stations-potentially-to-be-spun- .

    Of course, I don’t think the combined CBS/Entercom will put (or will need to) all of them into a trust. I would think that the combined entity will have to put two of the combined company’s FM stations into trusts or sell them off (I don’t think they’d have to put any of their Boston AM’s into a trust or spin them off).

    If only two FM stations would have to get spun-off, my guess is that WEEI-93.7 (which would be sold minus call letters, sports rights, programming, and other “intellectual property”) and WKAF-97.7 (the only Class “A” FM station among the combined entity’s Boston-area FM outlets) would be sold.

    I see 93.7 as being sold because it transmits from some distance north of Boston and it’s signal isn’t that strong in Southeastern Massachusetts (with WEEI and WBZ-FM being combined into a single all-sports station at 98.5 using the WEEI call letters); and I foresee 97.7 being sold because it’s a Class “A”.

    Except for the fact that this deal, if approved by the FCC, likely won’t occur for some months yet, April 3rd would have been a good time to consolidate WEEI and “The Sports Hub”, since that’s Red Sox opening day.

    But would the Sox want to have a large number of their early-season games bumped to WZLX-100.7 in order so that the combined CBS/Entercom all-sports station can carry live broadcasts of Bruins and Celtics playoff games??

    The Red Sox may only go along with being on the same station as the Bruins, Celtics and Patriots if they prevail in all conflicts with the other three teams…..even if it’s a meaningless regular-season game in early June at the same hour as a deciding Game 7 in either a Bruins’ Stanley Cup Finals series, or a Celtics’ NBA Finals series.

    The Sox may be the stumbling block in consolidating WEEI and the Sports Hub into a single station. But if that issue can be overcome, a single all-sports station with all of Boston’s major pro teams would be extremely popular, with it’s popularity driven by play-by-play.

    #173453
    Profile photo of Lance Venta
    Lance Venta
    Participant

    Here’s an All Access article suggesting what stations may be put into a trust. For Boston, it lists everything Entercom and CBS radio own except for all-sports WBZ-98.5 and classic album rock WZLX-100.7:

    http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/163924/entercom-cbs-list-stations-potentially-to-be-spun- .

    That list is incomplete. As I reported here Entercom is placing ALL of its properties in Boston, Seattle, Sacramento and San Francisco into the trust in order to increase flexibility of what it can divest prior to returning the remaining stations back to to the company.

    #173455

    I do agree that Entercom should spin off both 93.7 and 97.7, but I don’t know who would buy those stations. It seems no one likes my idea of Entercom spinning off their stations to iHeartMedia nor Radio One.

    #173458
    Profile photo of joseph_gallant
    Joseph_Gallant
    Participant

    I had written:

    Here’s an All Access article suggesting what stations may be put into a trust. For Boston, it lists everything Entercom and CBS radio own except for all-sports WBZ-98.5 and classic album rock WZLX-100.7:

    http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/163924/entercom-cbs-list-stations-potentially-to-be-spun-

    Lance Verta responded:

    That list is incomplete. As I reported here Entercom is placing ALL of its properties in Boston, Seattle, Sacramento and San Francisco into the trust in order to increase flexibility of what it can divest prior to returning the remaining stations back to to the company.

    Thanks for the correction, Lance!

    Given Boston’s size as a market, I can’t see the combined CBS/Entercom pulling out, and in fact, I suspect they’ll keep as many stations as they legally can.

    As for eventual owners of those stations being spun-off, I doubt Cumulus (who I think in theory could acquire four FM’s and three AM’s in the Boston market assuming that their WXLO-104.5 is a Boston station) will purchase any spun-off stations because of their debt levels.

    And while iHeart could buy a combination of:

    * Three CBS/Entercom AM stations with no FM stations, or,

    * Two CBS/Entercom AM stations, and one FM station, or,

    * One CBS/Entercom A station and one FM station……

    …..I think their debt levels will prevent them from buying any stations CBS/Entercom will have to spin-off, either here or anywhere else.

    The “wild card” in all of this: Whether the FCC raises the cap on how many stations a company can own in a single market. If the limits are raised, CBS/Entercom won’t have to sell as many stations. If the limit is raised to ten stations in major markets (with no more than either 7 FM’s or 7 AM’s), then the combined entity would be able to keep everything either CBS or Entercom now owns in Boston (assuming WAAF-107.3 is a “Boston” station and WVEI-1440 is a “Worcetser” station) without selling anything off.

    Maybe that’s what CBS and Entercom are hoping for.

    #173459
    Profile photo of Lance Venta
    Lance Venta
    Participant

    As for eventual owners of those stations being spun-off, I doubt Cumulus (who I think in theory could acquire four FM’s and three AM’s in the Boston market assuming that their WXLO-104.5 is a Boston station) will purchase any spun-off stations because of their debt levels.

    Forget about the maximum of what can be divested. Entercom only NEEDS to divest two FM’s in Boston. Unless they can maximize value in another market by selling a third or more, why would they?

    And don’t assume they’ll just divest 97.7 and 107.3 for being the weakest signals. The return in a swap would not be as strong. The divestments will be all about getting the maximum return on investment nationally.

    #173461

    Hopefully Entercom doesn’t divest any good stations. But as mentioned above, it’s very unlikely that either Cumulus or iHeartMedia will acquire those stations. I bet that Entercom will probably divest the 2 stations to a new commercial entrant in Boston or to a non-commercial broadcaster.

    #173464
    Profile photo of raccoonradio
    raccoonradio
    Participant

    >> should spin off both 93.7 and 97.7,

    If so they’ll have to move WEEI-FM somewhere. There is a need and demand for two full time sports stations and they make money–with one appealing to older listeners mostly and one to younger. Does WEEI-FM go to 100.7, 103.3, 104.1? There are 5 teams whose games have to be aired and in the case of the Red Sox, you have 162 regular season plus pre- and, if possible, postseason games. It would be “getting mighty crowded” to have all 5 teams on one station. And they would want to have these games on a sports station not interrupting a music format. OK,

    Red Sox to WZLX Classic Rock…which turns off the music for a 4+ hour stretch…

    93.7’s signal

    WEEI FM signal

    That covers quite a bit of ground and 103.7 helps out to the south. So if 93.7 goes away, where do the Sox, etc. go? And they’d lose a music format if WEEI-FM shifts to another freq.

    #173466
    Profile photo of mgpt6
    mgpt6
    Participant

    Racoon, I think you have it right. If Sox on ZLX , would keep sports talk intact on 98.5 Sports Hub. CBS has track record of how sports broadcasts affect music programming from Celtics games on ZLX. I cant see Patriots games in Sept.not being on 98.5 , the Sports Hub.
    In the rare occasion of 3 way conflict, they still have WODS FM 103.3 and WBZ AM 1030 as strong signals.
    Question for the group, will Entercomm keep all 3 AMs WBZ, WRKO, WEEEI?

    #173467

    According to the FCC, Entercom can own up to 5 FMs and 3 AMs in Boston so that means Entercom will not have to divest any AM stations. I think Entercom should move some sports teams to one of their AM frequencies without sacrificing one of the music formats on their FM stations.

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