It’s official: WNSH New York is now part of Entercom’s posse. Cumulus Media has closed a deal to swap the country station, one of its two remaining New York market FMs, to Entercom as part of a broader exchange between the two companies.
In addition to WNSH, Entercom is now the owner of the former Cumulus AM-FM combo in Springfield, MA, including AC WMAS-FM (94.7) and country “Nash Icon” WHLL (1450), plus the Springfield, MA-licensed translator W251CT at 98.1 FM. In exchange, Cumulus has taken ownership of three stations in Indianapolis from Entercom, including hot AC “107.9 The Mix” WNTR, CHR WZPL (99.5) and “CBS Sports 1430” WXNT.
Entercom took over WNSH under a local marketing agreement March 1. Within weeks it dumped its “Nash FM” branding in favor of a decidedly New York-centric moniker: “New York’s Country 94.7.”
The swap allowed Entercom to max out its cluster in New York, a market where even after the sale Cumulus still owns urban AC “Radio 103.9” WNBM and talk WABC (770) in New York plus “Sports Radio 1230” WFAS in suburban Westchester County. Springfield is technically a new market for Entercom although it already owns six stations in the nearby Boston metro.
In Indianapolis, Entercom exited the market and Cumulus maxed out its cluster, which already included five stations.
In announcing the swap in February, Cumulus CEO Mary Berner said the deal was an example of its new “portfolio optimization strategy.” Berner amplified on that last Thursday during the company’s first quarter earnings call. “Ultimately, our goal is to achieve market leading positions number one or two where we can, and if it makes sense, to exit where we can't,” she told investors.