Tegna expands its radio holdings with a strategic purchase in Ohio, including sports “The Fan” WBNS-FM and sports sister “1460 ESPN” WBNS. In a $535 million cash deal, Tegna, owner of a pair of radio stations in San Diego, also gains market-leading TV outlets WBNS-TV Columbus and WTHR-TV Indianapolis.
“We have long admired the talented and award-winning teams at WTHR and WBNS’ television and radio stations and are honored that the Wolfe family has entrusted us to build on each station’s commitment to high-quality journalism and serving the greater good in their community,” Dave Lougee, President and CEO of TEGNA said in a release.
WBNS-FM is the top-rated sports outlet in the market, posting a 4.7 (6+) in the April 2019 PPMs and sixth overall in the market. “The Fan” is the radio flagship of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Columbus Crew and Columbus Blue Jackets. The station features “Bishop and Laurinaitis” (10am-12pm), “Carpenter & Rothman” (12-3pm), “Common Man & T-Bone” (3-6pm) and “The Buckeye Show” (6-8pm). “1460 ESPN” carries ESPN Radio programming and is the flagship radio station of Ohio State Athletics.
Tegna first entered the radio business with its $325 million purchase of Midwest Television’s radio-TV combo in San Diego in February 2018, which included KFMB-AM/FM (700/100.7).