Cumulus Media will sell six radio stations, including WPLJ New York and WYAY Atlanta, to Educational Media Foundation for $103.5 million in cash. Cumulus has also cut a deal to trade WNSH New York and two stations in Springfield, MA to Entercom in exchange for three stations in Indianapolis.
In the cash deal with EMF, Cumulus is selling hot AC WPLJ (95.5) New York, news/talk “Talk 106.7” WYAY Atlanta, hot AC “Mix 107.3” WRQX, Washington, DC, alternative KFFG (97.7) San Jose, hot AC “102.1 The Sound” WZAT Savannah, and classic rock “The Rebel 105.9” WXTL Syracuse, NY for $103.5 million in cash. The deal includes towers associated with some of the stations, allowing EMF to assume tower leases that generate $5-7 million annually in revenue.
Under the swap with Entercom, Cumulus will receive hot AC “107.9 The Mix” WNTR, sports WXNT (1430) and CHR WZPL (99.5) in Indianapolis. Entercom gets country “Nash-FM” WNSH (94.7) New York and AC WMAS-FM (94.7) and country “98.1 Nash Icon” WHLL in Springfield, MA. As part of the trade, each party will begin a local marketing agreement to program the other party’s stations beginning March 1.
“These transactions are consistent with our portfolio optimization strategy and both deals are accretive,” Cumulus CEO Mary Berner said in a news release. “The Entercom swap significantly bolsters our competitive position in Indianapolis and the EMF transaction generates substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities.”
Added Entercom CEO David Field, “We are excited to add NASH FM 94.7 to our outstanding lineup in New York City and to add WMAS and WHLL to our cluster in Springfield. These additions will enhance our ability to serve our listeners, partners and communities. We are saddened to part ways with our colleagues in Indianapolis, but know that they will be in great hands.”
Cumulus says it hopes to close both deals during the second quarter.