Citadel Re-Ups Ad Sales For ABC, ESPN
After the grim news of a bankruptcy filing this weekend by corporate parent Citadel Communications, Citadel Media delivered some good news. It has renewed agreements to provide ad sales representation to ABC News Radio and ESPN Audio, both owned by Disney.
Specifically, Citadel will provide ad sales support and affiliate relations for ABC News Radio, and will continue selling ads across all ESPN properties.
ABC News Radio syndicates daily newscasts and breaking news coverage (with program offerings including ABC Sports Radio) to more than 2,400 station affiliates around the U.S. The news operation claims a total reach of 74 million per week.
Citadel Media was formerly the ABC Radio Network, which merged with Citadel Broadcasting to form Citadel Communications in February 2006. The deal gave Citadel Communications 24 ABC stations, representing over 90% of ABC Radio Network's revenues at the time of the merger.
Disney held on to 40 Disney Radio stations and five ESPN Radio stations, but arranged for Citadel Media to continue handling ad sales at the sports news broadcaster as before.
The acquisition of ABC stations made Citadel the third-largest radio network in the country at the time, but the wisdom of the deal has since been questioned on the grounds that Citadel assumed too much debt in the $2.7 billion merger.
The debt drove Citadel to file for bankruptcy protection this weekend; the company has proposed handing 90% of its equity to creditors in exchange for the cancellation of about $1.4 billion of its current $2.1 billion debt.