Entercom Communications Corporation is a publicly traded American broadcasting company and radio network based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1968, it is the second largest radio company in the United States, owning 235 radio stations across 48 media markets.
|Traded as||NYSE: ETM|
Russell 2000 Component
|Predecessor||Infinity Broadcasting Corporation|
|Headquarters||Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania|
|Revenue||$1,463 million (2018)|
|$250 million (2018)|
|-$361 million (2018)|
In November 2017, Entercom merged with CBS Radio; as a result, CBS shareholders hold a 72% stake of the company's stock, but the company was effectively separated from CBS Corporation as a separate public company.
During the 1990s, the Federal Communications Commission's regulations on the ownership of multiple radio stations were eased, beginning with the introduction of duopoly rules, which allowed a company to own two stations in each radio market. Entercom took advantage of the change to expand its presence in the markets where it already operated. In April 1995, the company paid $24.5 million for three stations in Portland, Oregon, acquiring KGON, a classic rock station; KFXX, an all-sports station; and KMUZ-FM, a modern rock station.
In January 1999, Entercom went public in an IPO in which it raised around $236 million. In July 1999, the company purchased 43 radio stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group for $821.5 million in cash. It was Entercom's largest deal to date. The deal included stations in eight markets, Kansas City, MO.; Milwaukee; New Orleans, LA; Memphis, TN.; Buffalo, NY.; Norfolk, VA; and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA. The deal more than doubled both the number of stations under the company's control, and the number of markets in which it had stations. The acquisition made Entercom the fifth-largest radio broadcaster in the United States, with 88 stations in 17 markets. That year, Entercom announced that it would direct its radio stations not to play songs that promoted violence.
On August 21, 2006, Entercom agreed to buy 15 mid-market stations from CBS Radio. Locations included Austin, TX; Cincinnati, OH; Memphis, TN; and Rochester, NY. However, due to ownership limitations set by the FCC, Entercom had to sell off three of its stations in the Rochester market; these were acquired by Stephens Media Group. Shortly after the transaction, the company exited the Cincinnati market by trading all four of its stations in Cincinnati and three of its stations in Seattle in exchange for three stations in San Francisco in a deal with Bonneville Broadcasting. A year later, Entercom was investigated for payola and fined $4.45 million by the FCC.
In May 2014, Entercom announced its launch of SmartReach Digital product line focused on creating digital marketing options for small and medium businesses.
On December 8, 2014, Entercom announced its acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media for $105 million; the deal gave the company 14 additional stations in Atlanta, GA; Denver, CO; Miami, FL; and San Diego, CA. To comply with FCC ownership limits in the Denver market and DOJ antitrust concerns, Entercom entered into an exchange agreement with Bonneville under which Entercom exchanged four stations in Denver for Classic Rock station KSWD in Los Angeles and $5 million in additional consideration. The stations Entercom exchanged with Bonneville were KOSI-FM, KYGO-FM, KKFN-FM and KEPN-AM. Entercom previously owned KOSI-FM, while the remaining stations were acquired through the acquisition of LFM.
Entercom and Bonneville began operating the exchanged stations under time brokerage agreement (TBAs) once the LFM transaction was completed. In November 2015, the swap deal was closed successfully.
In October 2016, Entercom announced that it would acquire four radio stations in Charlotte, North Carolina, from Beasley Broadcast Group for $24 million in cash. The deal closed in January, 2017 and WBT AM/FM, WLNK-FM and WFNZ-AM joined Entercom.
On August 3, 2017, Entercom announced the purchase of a 45% stake in Cadence13 (formerly DGital Media), a startup that handles ad sales and distribution for podcasts, including Pod Save America, Recode Decode and The Tony Kornheiser Show.
Merger with CBS RadioEdit
On February 2, 2017, Entercom announced that it had agreed to merge with CBS Radio. The purchase will give Entercom operations in 23 of the top 25 markets, and make it the second-largest owner of radio stations in the United States, behind only iHeartMedia; under the terms of the Reverse Morris Trust, the company would retain the Entercom name, board of directors and base of operations, but CBS shareholders would hold 72% of its stock. The company also shut down KDND in Sacramento and returned its license to the FCC, with its programming moved to sister station KUDL. The FCC had designated that the renewal of KDND's license would be subject to a hearing over allegations it had failed to operate in the public interest.
On September 26, 2017, KSOQ-FM, WGGI and KSWD were sold to the Educational Media Foundation. KSWD and WGGI affiliated with the EMF's K-Love Christian music network, and KSOQ with its Air1 network.
In order to comply with federal ownership caps, Entercom stated that it would divest at least 15 stations. On November 1, 2017, Entercom announced a settlement with the Department of Justice, which allowed their merger with CBS Radio. The company also announced a series of asset exchange agreements with iHeartMedia and Beasley Broadcast Group in Boston, Seattle, Richmond and Chattanooga; and local marketing agreements with Bonneville International Corporation in San Francisco and Sacramento.
|Boston||CBS Radio||WZLX-FM||Classic Rock|
|Boston||Entercom||WKAF-FM||Urban Adult Contemporary|
|Seattle||CBS Radio||KJAQ-FM||Adult Hits|
|Seattle||CBS Radio||KZOK-FM||Classic Rock|
|San Francisco||CBS Radio||KMVQ-FM||Top 40|
|San Francisco||Entercom||KBLX-FM||Urban Adult Contemporary|
|San Francisco||Entercom||KOIT-FM||Adult Contemporary|
|San Francisco||Entercom||KUFX-FM||Classic Rock|
|Sacramento||CBS Radio||KYMX-FM||Adult Contemporary|
|Sacramento||CBS Radio||KZZO-FM||Hot Adult Contemporary|
On November 9, 2017, the FCC gave the final approval needed for the Entercom merger by granting two 6-month waivers for market station limits in Miami and San Francisco. The merger occurred at midnight on November 17, 2017. Later that day, Entercom would switch WBMP/New York to alternative. This would then be followed up by WJMK/Chicago's switch to classic hip-hop and KVIL/Dallas-Ft. Worth's flip to alternative. The company also introduced a new corporate logo as well as other corporate strategy changes. The Entercom Divestiture Trust then entered into agreements with Bonneville International to operate its stations on their behalf.
Shortly afterward, the company announced renewed radio broadcasting partnerships with the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Eagles. The company also has partnerships with additional professional teams including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Red Wings.
On July 19, 2018, Entercom announced that it would acquire Philadelphia market-leader WBEB from Jerry Lee Radio for $57.5 million. WXTU was divested back to its previous owner, Beasley Broadcast Group, to comply with ownership limits.
On August 3, 2018, Entercom announced that Bonneville would buy all eight stations for $141 million, which the company had been operating under LMA since after the merger with CBS Radio. The deal was completed on September 21, 2018.
Further divestitures and acquisitionsEdit
On February 13, 2019, Entercom and Cumulus has announced that they will be swapping radio stations. As part of the deal, Entercom will exchange its entire Indianapolis cluster (WNTR, WXNT, and WZPL) for Cumulus' WNSH in New York City; WMAS-FM in Enfield, Connecticut, and WHLL in Springfield, Massachusetts. Both companies began operating their newly acquired stations via LMA on March 1; the swap was completed on May 13, 2019.
In addition to Entercom's radio stations, the company operates multiple brands, including Entercom's sustainability initiative, 1Thing, and its eCommerce platform, GetMyPerks. The company also provides a suite of digital marketing solutions for businesses through its SmartReach Digital product suite.
On June 25, 2018, Entercom announced that Radio.com would become the exclusive streaming provider for all of its stations, beginning with its legacy stations on July 6, and former CBS Radio stations beginning August 1, ending its relationship with the third-party service TuneIn. All Entercom properties will also be branded on-air as “A Radio.com Station”.
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