DOJ Approves Cumulus/Citadel Merger Pending Additional Spinoffs
Update 9/15: The Harrisburg frequency swap will take place tonight in front of the closing of the merger. CHR “Hot 92” WWKL will become “Hot 93.5”, while Classic Rock WTPA goes in reverse to 92.1. 92.1 WTPA and Country “Red 102.3” WCAT-FM will operated by a trust separate from the rest of the Cumulus spinoffs.
Update 9/12: We now know the identities of the additional station(s) required to be spun-off by Cumulus to satisfy the DOJ.
The Flint Journal identified Classic Rock “103.9 The Fox” WRSR as the Flint station. In Harrisburg, the already planned spin-offs of 92.1 WWKL and 102.3 WCAT-FM will satisfy the DOJ with one caveat. Northeast Radio Watch reports that 92.1 will acquire the intellectual property of Rock 93.5 WTPA, while “Hot 92’s” CHR format moves to 93.5.
Original Report 9/8: The DOJ has approved Cumulus’ acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting as long as Cumulus spins off an additional three stations.
Cumulus had already set aside fourteen stations to be placed in a trust run by Volt Media LLC once the merger closes. Now they must add two more in the Harrisburg, PA area and one in Flint, MI.
In Harrisburg the companies had already set aside 92.1 WWKL and 102.3 WCAT-FM for the trust. The combined companies will need to select two from Cumulus’ 1400 WHBG, 93.5 WTPA and 104.1 WNNK or Citadel’s 105.7 WQXA and 106.7 WMHX. We wonder if this morning’s change of 103.3 WARM-FM York to a clone of 104.1 WNNK had anything to do with today’s action.
In Flint, Cumulus operates four stations: 1570 WWCK, 92.7 WDZZ, 103.9 WRSR, and 105.5 WWCK-FM. Citadel has two: 1330 WTRX and 95.1 WFBE. One of those stations will need to be spun.