Entercomm /CBS Merger and sport rights

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This topic contains 79 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of miketheradioguy miketheradioguy 20 hours, 37 minutes ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 80 total)
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  • #173612
    Profile photo of High Tides
    High Tides
    Participant

    WBZ serves a unique function in that it is the only largely all-news station (for 14 hours a day) in Boston, but in all of New England.  It also has been around for nearly a hundred years and is really the only Boston AM that can legitimately boast of being a “heritage” station with a continuity of ownership (Westinghouse having bought CBS in 1995).

    I can understand the reasoning behind the Entercom-CBS Radio merger, but only up to a point.  I’m only a layman, but to me it seems idiotic for CBS to sell off the heritage O&O stations with which it shares TV ownership in the nation’s largest cities (e.g. WBZ/WBZ-TV, WCBS/WCBS-TV, KYW/KYW-TV and so forth).  During the past twenty years the network has put a lot of effort into creating an effective synergy between these outlets in their respective cities (CBS Boston, CBS Philly, etc.).  I can’t fathom why the company wants to destroy that.  WBZ and WBZ-TV share some staff, they cross-promote, and, most recently, Dan Rea has begun simulcasting a brief segment of his evening radio show on WBZ-TV’s 8 P.M. Channel 38 newscast.  I assume that with the merger, all of this will likely be elimimated.  It makes no sense, except to the corporate executives, with whom (apparently) the only thing that matters is the bottom line.

    As for “Westinghouse” re-assuming ownership of WBZ, which Westinghouse?  The Westinghouse name is owned by CBS and is leased to several different companies.  The original Westinghouse Electric Corporation changed its name to CBS Corporation shortly after the CBS acquisition.  Subsequently, the company spun off all of its former divisions and became solely a media concern.

    I agree that Entercom is the last company I want to see take over WBZ.  All I can envision is layoffs and a long, slow, sad decline.

     

     

     

     

    #173616
    Profile photo of OldNewsGuy
    OldNewsGuy
    Participant

    I’m only a layman, but to me it seems idiotic for CBS to sell off the heritage O&O stations with which it shares TV ownership in the nation’s largest cities (e.g. WBZ/WBZ-TV, WCBS/WCBS-TV, KYW/KYW-TV and so forth). During the past twenty years the network has put a lot of effort into creating an effective synergy between these outlets in their respective cities (CBS Boston, CBS Philly, etc.). I can’t fathom why the company wants to destroy that.

    Because AM radio is not a growth business…and WBZ-AM will always be a drag on that synergy. It will require more and more effort….and provide less and less benefit.

    #173618
    Profile photo of High Tides
    High Tides
    Participant

    Old News Guy, If AM radio is not a growth business — and I will grant the truth of that, by and large — then why would Entercom (or any other broadcasting corporation, for that matter) want to expand its business by purchasing more AM stations?  iHeart is in serious trouble; how long will it take Entercom to share in the misery?

    #173619
    Profile photo of OldNewsGuy
    OldNewsGuy
    Participant

    then why would Entercom (or any other broadcasting corporation, for that matter) want to expand its business by purchasing more AM stations?

    Because they were part of the deal? Like getting the crappy shed or barn in the back yard when you buy the house? 😉 (i.e….I don’t think Entercom could have removed all the AM’s from the deal.)

    But is anyone buying AM’s anymore? Some foreign language operators, and others are grabbing facilities that they can pick up for a song.

    Salem has picked up a few, but it’s part of their business plan to pickup affordable AM’s that fit with their programming strategy.

    That said, the AM’s that Entercom is getting are not too bad, mostly established and credible stations.

    But the real question for any investor….where will this investment be in 5, 10 years.

    #173624
    Profile photo of nowradioguy
    nowradioguy
    Participant

    I’m only a layman, but to me it seems idiotic for CBS to sell off the heritage O&O stations with which it shares TV ownership in the nation’s largest cities (e.g. WBZ/WBZ-TV, WCBS/WCBS-TV, KYW/KYW-TV and so forth). During the past twenty years the network has put a lot of effort into creating an effective synergy between these outlets in their respective cities (CBS Boston, CBS Philly, etc.). I can’t fathom why the company wants to destroy that. WBZ and WBZ-TV share some staff, they cross-promote, and, most recently, Dan Rea has begun simulcasting a brief segment of his evening radio show on WBZ-TV’s 8 P.M. Channel 38 newscast. I assume that with the merger, all of this will likely be elimimated. It makes no sense, except to the corporate executives, with whom (apparently) the only thing that matters is the bottom line.

     I agree that Entercom is the last company I want to see take over WBZ. All I can envision is layoffs and a long, slow, sad decline.

    High Tides,
    Members such as yourself remind me why I read these forums. Everything you wrote above resonates perfectly with me, especially the breakup of those heritage radio/TV combos which have excellent reputations in their respective communities and beyond.
    I think iHeart would be worse than Entercom if it got its mitts on WBZ.
    #173627
    Profile photo of miketheradioguy
    miketheradioguy
    Participant
    High Tides,
    Members such as yourself remind me why I read these forums. Everything you wrote above resonates perfectly with me, especially the breakup of those heritage radio/TV combos which have excellent reputations in their respective communities and beyond.
    I think iHeart would be worse than Entercom if it got its mitts on WBZ.
    I wanted Entercom to divest the WBZ stations to iHeartMedia, because the Department of Justice may not allow Entercom to have all 5 professional sports teams on a single station.
    #173660
    Profile photo of mgpt6
    mgpt6
    Participant

    If Entercomm only keeps one sports talk station what will be kept?

    1) WEEI or ” The sports hub”?

    2) Toucher and Rich  vs   Kirk and Callahan

    3) Zolack/Bertrand vs OMF

    4} Felger and Mazz vs Dale and Holley

    5) Adam Jones vs Mike Munasky

    6) CBS Sports Radio vs ESPN/ NBC Sports radio

    7) ESPN and Westwood One play by play

    8) All 5 Sports Teams to have some games on the one sports talk flagship with conflicts to other Entercomm FM stations or several of the Boston teams have flagship on other Entercomm FM stations?.

    #173661
    Profile photo of mgpt6
    mgpt6
    Participant

    Is it possible that there will be sports play by play on WBZ-AM 1030 as well as on FM?

    #173662
    Profile photo of miketheradioguy
    miketheradioguy
    Participant

    Entercom will keep WEEI and The Sports Hub will be divested along with WBZ 1030 AM.

    #173666
    Profile photo of nowradioguy
    nowradioguy
    Participant

    Is it possible that there will be sports play by play on WBZ-AM 1030 as well as on FM?

    Been there, done that, so let’s hope not.
    #173667
    Profile photo of nowradioguy
    nowradioguy
    Participant

    Entercom will keep WEEI and The Sports Hub will be divested along with WBZ 1030 AM.

    I hope you know something the rest of us do not, and that you are correct!
    #173981
    Profile photo of spt87
    spt87
    Participant

    If Cox does to any radio stations it may buy what it did to Fox25 you can forget about that helping the Boston audience.  Fox25 was sent right down the dumper by Cox – and they don’t even realize it – they just keep changing it more for the worse.

    If Entercom is smart, they will keep all the CBS stations they can; and then not fool around with them.  Just let them operate as they have been.  Of course eventually they will need to adjust as times change but overall keep a steady hand on the tiller.  Also Entercom does have successful AMs in smaller markets and they generally did not muck around with a good thing (since they were successful already when Entercom got their hands on them) so I have some hope they will mostly leave the great CBS AMs alone.

    Everyone is making a big fuss over owning both WEEI and WBZ-FM but if you look at CBS in New York you have WCBS and WINS both doing all news.  They both have their audience, both rake in tons of cash so they live on.  WEEI and WBZ-FM could do the same thing.  Justice dept. may be a wild card but they didn’t interfere in NYC when Westinghouse bought CBS.

    Also, to the point made about the TV/Radio cross ownership with CBS – I agree.  I think it is a mistake for CBS to sell off radio to begin with.  This smells of Wall St. meddling and the CBS execs. just wanting to do a deal to make it look like they are doing something.  Also their move to take cash from the radio division by assigning new debt is a low class move.  They will lose a lot of the TV/radio synergy that goes on in most of their markets and it will hurt the TV side as much or more as radio.  If I look at CBSBoston.com a tremendous amount of the content comes from the radio side.  CBS thinks their new business will be selling content, not advertising, and the CBS All Access app.  I have a feeling that may not work out the way they think it will.  Cable TV is expensive but buying 20 apps. plus broadband internet to get less content costs more.  Losing the O&O radio stations will not help the CBS Radio Network (which they are keeping) either.

    And then what becomes of the whole CBS local internet presence.  I assume the radio stations will create their own sites and split off which will reduce the content on the CBS/TV sites.

     

    #173982
    Profile photo of joseph_gallant
    Joseph_Gallant
    Participant

    One off-the-wall thought:

    Could the employees of CBS Radio all-news stations remain employees of CBS after the merger/sale, but with Entercom playing CBS an annual fee to use these employees to produce all-news programming for the WCBS’s, KNX’s, WBZ’s, etc??

    #173984
    Profile photo of High Tides
    High Tides
    Participant

    As off-the-wall as that does sound, I think it’s actually an intriguing idea.  It would retain the CBS connection, which Entercom would be foolish to lose.  I hope the synergy between the CBS news-and-talk O&Os and their TV counterparts will continue, but that may be wishful thinking.

    In my not-so-humble opinion, I still think this divestment is a dumb idea.

     

    #173986
    Profile photo of miketheradioguy
    miketheradioguy
    Participant

    I’m not ascertain to what Entercom’s plans are regarding the programming and staffing of the stations Post-CBS Radio merger.

    As far as I know, Entercom will begin to phase out the use of CBS trademarks and brands on its newly acquired stations within a 12 month period from when the merger closes. Entercom can still use the “CBS Sports Radio” name on its sports stations until the end of 2020.

    As for the ownership limits, the FCC hasn’t made an official decision regarding the potential elimination of the ownership limits. Therefore, Entercom will still move forward with their deal with CBS Radio, and will spin off 14 stations as planned. In San Diego and Wilkes-Barre (Despite CBS Radio not owning any stations in that market, Entercom will end up losing its grandfathered status), Entercom has already decided which stations they will spin off, while in Los Angeles Entercom will have a choice between two stations to spin off, and in the remaining four markets (Boston, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Seattle), Entercom plans to place ALL of theirs and CBS’ stations in the divestiture trust, which would allow Entercom to decide which stations they will keep, and which ones they will spin off.

    The likely candidates for which stations will be spun off in Boston are the WBZ stations plus one additional FM, since it would be anti-competitive for Entercom to own both sports stations in a large radio market.

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