In order to gain regulatory clearance for its merger with CBS Radio, Entercom was required to divest 14 stations in Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle-Tacoma and Wilkes-Barre. One of the players in the spinoffs is Bonneville, which has been operating four stations in San Francisco and four stations in Sacramento under a local marketing agreement but hasn’t bought the stations – six months after the merger.
During Entercom’s second quarter results call on Tuesday, Entercom president and CEO David Field explained why the stations are still sitting in the Entercom Divestiture Trust. “They had an internal issue around the passing of the leader of the church and succession issues around that,” Field said, referring to the January death of Mormon Church leader Thomas Monson, at the age of 90. Salt Lake City-based Bonneville is wholly owned by the church.
“They have consistently indicated to us that they would like to acquire the radio stations and are intending towards that,” Field said, adding that he hoped to have an update on the status of the sale “in the not too distant future.”
Entercom intends to use the after-tax proceeds of $160 million from the sale of the eight stations to pay down debt. The San Francisco stations are urban AC KBLX-FM (102.9), CHR “99.7 Now” KMVQ-FM, AC KOIT (96.5) and classic rock “98.5 K-Fox” KUFX. The Sacramento foursome comprises “CBS Sports Radio 1140” KHTK, “New Country 105.1” KNCI, AC “Mix 96” KYMX and hot AC “Now 100.5” KZZO.