Entercom's Sacramento cluster Post-CBS Radio Merger

RI Community Forums West Coast Sacramento / Northern California Entercom's Sacramento cluster Post-CBS Radio Merger

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of miketheradioguy miketheradioguy 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #173306

    I know that Sacramento is one of the six markets where Entercom will need to divest radio stations in order to comply with the FCC ownership limits. Since they turned in the license for 107.9 The End and moved the format to 106.5 last month in the wake of the planned merger with CBS Radio, there are two possibilities of what will happen to CBS Radio’s stations in Sacramento. 1). Entercom will acquire KHTK/1140 AM and one of CBS Radio’s FM stations to fill in the void for 107.9 and divest the remaining FM stations. 2). Entercom will divest CBS Radio’s entire Sacramento cluster plus two additional FM stations, leaving Entercom with two FM stations in Sacramento. As for the divested stations, I don’t know who would possible acquire those stations in the Sacramento market since are no other radio owners (except iHeartMedia, who owns 4 FM stations and could be a possible buyer for one of the FM stations) who would acquire the stations. It’s very likely that someone new will enter the Sacramento radio market.

    #173433

    Since nobody likes my idea of Entercom divesting stations to iHeartMedia, Here’s what I anticipate what will happen in Sacramento once the merger closes:

    1. Entercom should keep 106.5 KUDL, 94.7 KKDO, 98.5 KRXQ, 100.5 KZZO, 96.1 KYMX, 1320 KIFM, and 1140 KHTK.

    2. Entercom should divest the following stations to Lotus Communications: 96.9 KSEG, 105.1 KNCI, and 102.5 KSFM. Lotus currently owns KMJE 890 AM and KMJE-FM 92.1 FM in Sacramento.

    #173536
    Profile photo of ksradiogeek
    ksradiogeek
    Participant

    Since when did iHeart have a ton of money or interest in divesting clusters to Entercom?

    #173537

    It was a possible scenario I came up with for how Entercom will have to divest stations when they close their merger with CBS Radio. My original scenario for the Sacramento market was that Entercom would divest 102.5 KSFM to iHeartMedia, allowing them to re-brand the station as “Kiss FM” and go head-to-head with 106.5 The End.

    #173675
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    kent
    Participant

    Prior to turning in the license of KDND 107.9, Entercom said it would keep one cluster or the other, probably its existing one, and try to swap the other completely intact.

    Not sure if turning in KDND’s license changes much.  Entercom might want to add KNCI, KYMX, or even KSFM to its portfolio now, but I doubt it would let being a single FM under the current cap stop it from completing a swap for something more interesting.

    #173683

    Prior to turning in the license of KDND 107.9, Entercom said it would keep one cluster or the other, probably its existing one, and try to swap the other completely intact. Not sure if turning in KDND’s license changes much. Entercom might want to add KNCI, KYMX, or even KSFM to its portfolio now, but I doubt it would let being a single FM under the current cap stop it from completing a swap for something more interesting.

    I bet that KSFM would be a good station to give to iHeartMedia. It would allow them to go compete with 106.5 The End and re brand 102.5 as Kiss FM. Ironically, iHeartMedia owns an alternative rock station in Charlotte branded as 106.5 The End.
    #173708
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    kent
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    Again, it’s not likely to happen.  Entercom has indicated its best option is to spin one cluster or the other intact.  It’s possible Entercom could keep one of the CBS FM’s and/or KHTK in addition to its existing cluster, but a new entrant to the market isn’t going to want fewer than 4 FM’s. iHeartMedia would have to make a really good offer for a swap to include KSFM, and I don’t see that happening.

    #173709

    I initially thought that iHeartMedia was going to flip one of its stations to CHR/Top 40 in the wake of 107.9’s license facing a renewal hearing. Shorty after the CBS Radio-Entercom merger was announced, Entercom decided to turn in the 107.9 license to the FCC and move the format to 106.5.

     

     

    #173807

    Entercom is placing all of theirs and CBS’ stations in the Boston, Sacramento, Seattle, and San Francisco markets in the trust, so they can determine which stations in those markets Entercom will keep and which ones will be spun off. Therefore, Entercom may choose to let go of some of their stations that they currently own while acquiring new ones from CBS Radio.

    #173949

    If Entravision is a possible buyer, I expect that Entercom may trade 103.1 in Palm Springs and one of their FM stations in Sacramento (if not at max capacity) for 98.1 in Orlando.

    #174036
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    kent
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    Again, the most likely buyer will be someone not presently in the market who swaps another market for one cluster or the other.  You should be thinking about who owns what in other markets where Entercom will be over the cap after this deal.  The most likely buyers would seem to be Hubbard, Bonneville and Cumulus.

    There’s always the possibility someone nobody expects ends up with one cluster or the other or that one or both get broken up, but neither scenario is likely.

    #174041

    It looks like Ed Stolz is still wanting to buy 106.5 KUDL back from Entercom, or possibly another FM that Entercom will spin off.

    I expect that Cumulus will take one of the Los Angeles spinoffs, and swap KBRE in Houston. Hubbard or Bonneville should take the San Francisco and/or Seattle spinoffs. Entercom would then receive Hubbard’s St Louis and Cincinnati clusters. Entercom may also end up getting either Bonneville or Hubbard’s Phoenix clusters.

    #174058
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    kent
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    I don’t think Stolz is all that interested in buying anything from Entercom.  It seems more to he like he wants to undo the 20 year old deal to get 106.5, and that’s not happening.

    I’d expect a Cumulus/Entercom swap for one of the Los Angeles FM’s.  I’m also not sure Cumulus will be able to swap just KRBE for an LA FM.  If it has to throw in some additional stations, Sacramento might come into play as well in order to get revenue to equal out.

    #174061

    Right. Cumulus may take the Sacramento stations, but not the San Francisco stations since they’re at max capacity because San Jose is considered to be a part of the San Francisco market. As I mentioned before, Entercom will place all of theirs and CBS’ stations in the trust, so Entercom may end up spinning off a portion of theirs and CBS’ stations. I could see Cumulus trade their entire Indianapolis cluster to Entercom along with KBRE in Houston for a Los Angeles station.

    #174064
    Profile photo of kent
    kent
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    Entercom has some flexibility in what it will sell in Sacramento, though it clearly wants to sell one cluster or the other.  Both Entercom and CBS have had DOJ issues in Sacto in the past, and I doubt either wants to revisit those problems.  As you might remember, the old American Radio Systems, which was bought by CBS in ’97, was forced by the DOJ to swap the signal of the former KRAK-FM 98.5 to Entercom for the signal of KRXQ 93.7.  That was how 93 Rock became 98 Rock about 20 years ago.

    Actually, I could see Cumulus swapping for a few San Francisco stations as it should be able to add at least one more FM since it declined its option on KSJO.  Plus, it could try to swap for San Francisco sticks and either swap away or sell 97.7 San Jose.

    Indy seems like a logical market for a Cumulus/Entercom swap.  Detroit could be another one.  I’d have to think Cumulus would gladly swap and/or sell out of Detroit if it meant a better San Francisco presence.  One market is growing while the other is stagnant or shrinking, and Entercom could take WJR plus one of the Cumulus FM’s.  Of course, such a deal would likely require a third party (through swap or sale) or Cumulus being satisfied with a single Detroit FM.  Another possibility for a Cumulus/Entercom swap would seem to be Minneapolis, though that one would also likely require a third party and could have DOJ concerns.

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