April 19, 2017 at 9:41 pm #174034
Let me join with spt87 and High Tides in voicing my opinion that CBS’ spinning off of its radio unit is a dumb idea.
I am dreading what could happen to these stations once separated from the mother ship.
Look at what’s become of the former ABC Radio O’s and O’s when Disney decided to dump them all, EXCEPT for its beloved Radio Disney and ESPN stations. What a crying shame to ditch heritage stations like WABC, WLS, KGO, KABC.
Really: just how much of a drag have the CBS Radio O’s and O’s been on that almighty bottom line?April 21, 2017 at 8:01 am #174069
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.
Per proposed joint sales agreement agreement with CBS Corp, the new merged radio company will be a part of CBS Local portal in 23 markets, including Boston, for at least 2 years after CBS Radio deal is closed.April 21, 2017 at 1:21 pm #174085
Here’s an article I found about the Department of Justice’s role with this deal:April 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm #174086
Admitted non-professional radio fan here, saying once again: I hope this merger doesn’t happen. But if it does, it will be interesting to see how it will affect the CBS Radio News affiliation in the Boston area. At present, WBZ carries the top-of-the-hour CBS newscasts at night; WCRN in Worcester (or “Worcester/Boston,” as it proclaims itself) carries them 24/7. WRKO is Boston’s local ABC affiliate. One wonders how all that may change, to say nothing of the much-ballyhooed competition between WEEI and WBZ-FM.April 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm #174088
Update for Entercom/CBS Radio
Entercom Communications received a request for additional information and documentary material from the Department of Justice on Wednesday. In a filing, the company said that the action, often referred to as a “second request,” is in connection with its previously announced merger with CBS Radio, entered into with Constitution Merger Sub Corp., a Delaware corporation and wholly owned unit of CBS Corp. Under the deal, Entercom is combining with CBS’s radio business in a two-step all stock “Reverse Morris Trust” transaction.
The second request was issued under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. CBS received an identical request for additional information and documentary material from the DOJ in connection with the transactionsApril 21, 2017 at 3:48 pm #174091
Could this deal still come undone??
I could see two possible reasons:
(1) Concerns about the merged CBS Radio/Entercom being “too big” and/or other delays to the completion of the merger. If the merger is delayed long enough, both sides may agree to (or one side may say to the other to) walk away.
(2) Or something outside CBS/Entercom may derail the merger: What if iHeart Media declares bankruptcy?? This Reuters article (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iheartmedia-restructuring-idUSKBN17N2BX ) reports that several lenders are looking to block the radio giant’s debt restructuring plan, which could lead to a bankruptcy filing.
If iHeart (or even Cumulus) declares bankruptcy, the value of all radio stations will greatly plunge, and that too could “put a kibosh” on the planned CBS Radio/Entercom merger since the CBS Radio stations Entercom will acquire won’t nearly be as valuable as they are now and Entercom (barring renegotiations on how much they’ll pay CBS for it’s radio stations) would vastly overpay, given the falling value of radio stations as a whole that would most likely result from an iHeart or Cumulus bankruptcy.April 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm #174092
Even with these hurdles, Entercom still expects this deal will close on time.April 21, 2017 at 8:40 pm #174093
Jeff LehmannParticipantApril 21, 2017 at 9:01 pm #174094
I agree with Mike the Radio Guy. Barring some extraordinary event(s), this deal will close. Anticipate little more than a delay.
Speculation is that part of the reason for this DOJ request is the number of Boston sports teams Entercom would own the rights to if this deal happens. That’s been a concern to the DOJ before, and Entercom has been one of the parties that has dealt with it. I lived in Kansas City when Entercom bought Sinclair’s radio stations and tried to wrest The Chiefs’ radio rights from Sinclair. Entercom ultimately backed down and agreed to divest the rights to The Chiefs along with a few stations.
The DOJ might force Entercom to divest some stations it might have otherwise wanted to keep, but the deal will most likely get done.April 21, 2017 at 9:29 pm #174095
I understand that some people may not want Entercom handing The Sports Hub over to a competitor, who would immediately go head to head with WEEI. Unfortunately, chances are Entercom won’t have that choice. In fact, I expect that the Department of Justice will require Entercom to divest both of the WBZ stations, and possibly WZLX in order to proceed with this deal.April 21, 2017 at 9:48 pm #174096
In fact, I expect that the Department of Justice will require Entercom to divest both of the WBZ stations, and possibly WZLX in order to proceed with this deal.
You expect….based on what?April 22, 2017 at 12:11 am #174099
Based on how many stations Entercom needs to divest in Boston, how much advertising dollars these stations bill, and balanced sports rights in a major market.April 22, 2017 at 12:49 am #174101April 22, 2017 at 1:29 am #174104
Right, but they will still determine which stations Entercom will absolutely need to divest, while Entercom may elect to spin off one of their stations.April 22, 2017 at 1:38 am #174105
Right, but they will still determine which stations Entercom will absolutely need to divest, while Entercom may elect to spin off one of their stations.
I don’t think they will be deciding “which stations Entercom will absolutely need to divest”.
They will either give the deal a yay or a nay depending on what Entercom proposes.
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