The FCC has rejected Townsquare Media’s bid to pull CHR “Q92.3” KKHQ-FM Oelwein, Classic Rock 97.7 KCRR Grundy Center, and Country “K98.5” KOEL-FM Cedar Falls, IA out of the Cedar Rapids Divestiture Trust.
The agency ruled that Townsquare’s bid for a waiver to return the stations was inadvertently filed as a company must wait two years between market definition changes. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls market was disbanded in Spring 2012 after Bahakel Communications stopped subscribing to then Arbitron. Townsquare and Nielsen Audio (successor to Arbitron) agreed to restore the market starting with the Spring 2014 ratings period and the deal was filed in August 2014 to attempt to bring the stations out of the trust.
With the ruling the three stations will return to the trust and Townsquare will seemingly need to wait another year to bring them out. The full ruling can be read here.
Original Report 8/26/14: Townsquare Media is bringing back three stations it had placed into a divestiture trust into its holdings.
CHR “Q92.3” KKHQ-FM Oelwein, Classic Rock 97.7 KCRR Grundy Center, and Country “K98.5” KOEL-FM Cedar Falls, all in the Waterloo, IA market were placed in the Cedar Rapids Divestiture Trust last year following Townsquare’s acquisition of 68 stations from Cumulus.
At the time the stations were placed in the trust due to the loss of their grandfathered overlap with the Cedar Rapids stations also acquired in the deal. The stations had been shifted to be considered part of the Cedar Rapids market in 2012 by then owner Cumulus, but have now been restored to the Waterloo market allowing Townsquare to finally bring them into their fold.