Entercomm /CBS Merger and sport rights

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This topic contains 69 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  Joseph_Gallant 4 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 70 total)
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  • #173453

    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.

    #173458

    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

    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.

    #173464

    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

    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?

    #173468

    BRW
    Participant

    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.

    Entercom doesn’t have to divest AM’s but if the right deal comes along don’t be surprised if one or two of these AMs are included.

    Someone like Cox which owns a Boston TV station in the market may want to add a local radio cluster which may include a news/talk format to complement its TV news operation. Entercom could be a perfect dance partner.

    We won’t know which stations stay or go for a while. First, Entercom shareholders have to approve the deal on May 10th. Then it will be a few weeks of back and forth with federal regulators who will be looking at market revenues, demographic/format dominance, etc.

    #173471

    rapking
    Participant

    How does WEEI Network Stations get Effected If Entercom Starts Moving Teams from One Station to Another ?

    #173473

    WCOZBoston
    Participant

    How do WODS’ ratings compare with those of WZLX and WBMX?

    #173511

    Joseph_Gallant
    Participant

    BRW suggested:

    Someone like Cox which owns a Boston TV station (WFXT-25) in the market may want to add a local radio cluster which may include a news/talk format to complement its TV news operation./quote]

    Cox could actually run a news/talk station “on the cheap” by simulcasting the audio of newscasts from WFXT-25 during morning and afternoon drive times and from 10-11:30 P.M., and air syndicated talk shows the rest of the time.

    #173512

    DavidZ
    Participant

    They’re already getting the morning news simulcast on WCRN and as many have said in the past on these boards, TV simulcasts are awful on the radio. Still can’t believe they blew out Hank Stolz for the simulcast.

    And instead of always beating the syndicated / TV simulcasts drum, what makes you think Cox wouldn’t run a Newstalk station like WSB in Atlanta?

    #173518

    nowradioguy
    Participant

    The reason why I wanted the WBZ stations to be spun off in the first place was due to possible Department of Justice antitrust concerns in Boston where Entercom may receive too much revenue for having all 5 major professional sports teams under the same owner. I think it’s logical enough that Entercom will spin off the WBZ stations to Cox.

    Has anyone been listening to WBZ Newsradio 1030 lately? They’ve been running ads for Westinghouse, “Innovation You Can Depend On”. Now I know today’s Westinghouse is not that of the old Westinghouse “of blessed memory”, but…nah, probably not, but, I mean, wouldn’t that be a real hoot if Westinghouse decided to get (back) into the broadcast business and take some of the CBS Radio stations – I’m thinking of WBZ, KDKA, WJZ, KYW, WINS –  off of Entercom’s hands?
    #173521

    OldNewsGuy
    Participant

    wouldn’t that be a real hoot if Westinghouse decided to get (back) into the broadcast business and take some of the CBS Radio stations – I’m thinking of WBZ, KDKA, WJZ, KYW, WINS – off of Entercom’s hands?

    Because radio is such a growth industry, right? 😉

    #173525

    mrradioguy
    Participant

    How does WEEI Network Stations get Effected If Entercom Starts Moving Teams from One Station to Another ?

    They won’t be. The contract is for WEEI shows, not the games. Each station is operated separately and enters in to their own contracts.
    #173579

    Joseph_Gallant
    Participant

    Our own Lance Venta reported that the FCC is considering eliminating the AM/FM ownership “subcap”, meaning a limit on the number of stations a single entity can own in a single market. You can read the article at https://radioinsight.com/headlines/117215/subcap-elimination-not/ .

    If this proposal comes to light (either with the limits of ownership in a single city raised of completely eliminated), Entercom might not have to divest many (if any) of the stations it will acquire when it acquires CBS Radio’s station holdings.

    Thus, the combined CBS/Entercom may get to keep everything owned by both companies in most (or all) markets affected by this merger, including Boston.

    But even if that happens, I still expect the programming and sports rights of WEEI-93.7 and WBZ-98.5 to be combined into one station (likely with the call letters of the former on the frequency of the latter).

    #173585

    nowradioguy
    Participant

    Entercom will still have to divest stations, but only half of the stations that Entercom would have to divest under the current rules. Chances are that Entercom will divest the WBZ stations in Boston due to possible Department of Justice concerns. Bonneville will likely reacquire the San Francisco stations it sold to Entercom in 2007, and I was thinking that iHeartMedia could acquire KSFM 102.5 and go head to head with Entercom by re branding 102.5 as Kiss FM.

    What are these DOJ “concerns” that you have re Entercom’s holding of WBZ-AM/FM? Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather WBZ not come under Entercom’s umbrella (“Entercom happens.” – Howie Carr), though I’m not sure under whose they should land. None of the options suggested (Bonneville, Cox) seems appealing, at least to me. Even though both Cumulus and iHeart are financially struggling, given the choice of either, I’d go with Cumulus.
    Remember, folks, I’m not an insider, I’m just airing my private thoughts. I’d like to see WBZ stay around another 100 years, and, therefore, I’d like to see them get some caring but savvy owners.
    The thoughts expressed above are worth $0.02 maximum.
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