Entercom/CBS Radio Place Future Spin-Offs In Divestiture Trust

CBS Radio Entercom Merger David FieldEntercom and CBS Radio have filed with the FCC to create the Entercom Divestiture Trust to handle the divestiture of the stations in seven markets that it is required to spin-off.

While Entercom will only be required to divest fourteen stations to get under the current FCC market caps, it is seeking permission to assign the licenses of 43 different stations into the trust. This will give Entercom flexibility to choose which stations it will seek to keep and which ones it will spin-off. Among the stations being filed for placement into the divestiture trust are all of CBS Radio and Entercom’s stations in the Boston, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Seattle markets.

Entercom will be required to spin-off 2 FMs in Boston, 1 FM in Los Angeles, 3 FMs in Sacramento, 1 FM in San Diego, 4 FMs in San Francisco, 2 FMs in Seattle, and 1 FM in Wilkes-Barre PA where it will lose its grandfathered status.

The filings do however, let us know what the company’s plan is in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Wilkes-Barre. In Los Angeles, CBS’ Variety Hits “93.1 Jack-FM” KCBS-FM and Entercom Classic Rock “100.3 The Sound” KSWD will both go into the trust giving the company the option to sell one or the other. In both San Diego and Wilkes-Barre, the Entercom Country station will lose its rimshot simulcast used to increase the station’s reach. 92.1 KSOQ Escondido CA currently rebroadcasts 97.3 KSON San Diego to the northern reaches of San Diego County, while 95.9 WGGI Benton PA brings “Froggy 101.3” WGGY Scranton to the Bloomsberg area.

Entercom will decide which stations need to be placed in the trust prior to closing of their merger with CBS Radio pending that any divestitures have not been completed by that time. The trust will be overseen by MVP Capital’s Elliot Evers.

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  1. miketheradioguy says

    Here’s a scenario on how Entercom will divest one of their stations in Wilkes-Barre. They should swap WGGI/Froggy 95.9 to Times-Shamrock for WZBA/100.7 The Bay in Baltimore.

    1. Lance Venta says

      Why would Shamrock give up a station in a Top 25 market straight-up for a station that covers low-populated, low-income areas of of rural Pennsylvania?

      1. miketheradioguy says

        I’m saying this mainly because most of stations that Times-Shamrock owns are in markets not within the Top 25. Wilkes Barre-Scranton is ranked at 75 while Milwaukee and Reno are ranked at 41 and 112, respectively. I’m sure that they could use a full powered signals and swap a couple of their translators to Entercom if Times-Shamrock doesn’t exceed over the ownership rules in Wilkes Barre-Scranton.

        1. Davis says

          You seem to be missing the point. An 25k FM in Baltimore is worth significantly more than a 4.2k FM that covers none of the population centers of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market. It’d be great for Entercom, but makes no sense whatsoever for Shamrock.

          1. miketheradioguy says

            Right, but I wanted to name a couple potential buyers who would acquire the stations that Entercom is required to divest. So far I named iHeartMedia as a potential buyer for a couple of CBS/Entercom’s stations in Boston and one of CBS/Entercom’s Sacramento stations, have the rest go to Lotus then have Entercom acquire iHeartMedia’s Springfield, Providence, Worcester, and Indianapolis stations. Either Hubbard or Sinclair could acquire a couple stations in Seattle, Bonneville could reacquire the stations that were to sold to Entercom 10 years ago, and trade their Phoenix stations to Entercom. Either Emmis or Cumulus could acquire one of the two stations in Los Angeles, and I’m not sure about San Diego since there are not much buyers I can think of. However, another potential buyer could be Bold Gold Media for the aforementioned Wilkes Barre/Scranton spinoff.

  2. miketheradioguy says

    Since 92.1 KSOQ is the only station in San Diego that will be required to be spun off, I think that station should be sold to Univision and flip to an affiliate of the newly-formed Univision Deportes Radio. 97.3 KSON would then move the simulcast to 103.7’s HD2 subchannel to augment the coverage lost by the sale of 92.1.

    1. Stelly says

      Univision is at maximum capacity in San Diego, due to Thomas H Lee Partners’ significant common investments between them and iHeartMedia. That’s the reason why iHM (Clear Channel at the time) had to divest KHMX/KLOL Houston to CBS in the late 00s.

      1. miketheradioguy says

        I see. I just don’t know who would want to acquire 92.1. But as I previously mentioned, the simulcast on 92.1 should move to KEGY/Energy 103.7’s HD2 sub channel which currently simulcasts Alternative 106.7 KROQ in Los Angeles. This would eliminate an unnecessary simulcast since Entercom already owns Alternative KBZT/FM 94.9 in the San Diego market.

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