More big changes are afoot in the radio business, with Cumulus Media revealing that it plans to swap a number of radio stations around the country with Townsquare Media. Cumulus says it will sell 55 radio stations in small and mid-sized markets to Townsquare, in exchange for 10 radio stations and $116 million.
Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus will pick up stations concentrated in Bloomington and Peoria, IL. Townsquare will get stations in August, Presque Isle, and Bangor, ME; Binghamton, NY; Bismarck, ND: Grand Junction, CO: Killeen-Temple and Odessa-Midland, TX; New Bedford, MA; Sioux Falls, SD; and Tuscaloosa, AL.
Townsquare CEO Steven Price explained: “This transaction represents a continued investment in the local media business in small and mid-sized markets.” Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey described it as “strategic portfolio management, which enables us to focus on accretive large market consolidation, as well as further de-leveraging of our balance sheet.”
This is the latest in a series of strategic moves by Cumulus following the company’s acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting for $2.5 billion last year. In March, Cumulus announced its plans to launch a new traffic reporting service, “Right Now Traffic,” in partnership with Radiate Media. Right Now Traffic will be carried on Cumulus and Radiate stations in 75 top U.S. markets.
On the digital side, Cumulus has forged an alliance with Clear Channel Entertainment and Media (formerly Clear Channel Radio), bringing Cumulus
stations to Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio platform and Cumulus’ SweetJack daily deal service to Clear Channel station Web sites. Both partners are using their national broadcast radio reach
to promote SweetJack through ads and DJ endorsements.