|Traded as||NYSE: ETM|
|Headquarters||Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania|
|David Field (CEO)|
|Revenue||$460 million (2016)|
|$87 million (2016)|
|$38 million (2016)|
Entercom is a publicly traded American broadcasting company and radio network based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1968, it is the fourth largest radio company in the United States, owning 235 radio stations across 48 media markets.
During the 1990s, the Federal Communications Commission's regulations on the ownership of multiple radio stations were eased, beginning with the introduction of duopoly rules, which allowed a company to own two stations in each radio band. Entercom took advantage of the change to expand its presence in the markets where it already operated. In April 1995, the company paid $24.5 million for three stations in Portland, Oregon, acquiring KGON, a classic rock station; KFXX, an all-sports station; and KMUZ-FM, a modern rock station.
At that time, David Field, a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs with an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who started with the company in 1987, was the VP of Operations and CFO. He was appointed President and CEO in 2002. Over the years, Field has been frequently interviewed in Billboard magazine about various radio industry topics.
In January 1999, Entercom went public in an IPO in which it raised around $236 million. In July 1999, the company purchased 43 radio stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group for $821.5 million in cash. It was Entercom's largest deal to date. The deal included stations in eight markets, Kansas City, MO.; Milwaukee; New Orleans, LA; Memphis, TN.; Buffalo, NY.; Norfolk, VA; and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA. The deal more than doubled both the number of stations under the company's control, and the number of markets in which it had stations. The acquisition made Entercom the fifth-largest radio broadcaster in the United States, with 88 stations in 17 markets. That year, Entercom announced that it would direct its radio stations not to play songs that promoted violence.
On August 21, 2006, Entercom agreed to buy 15 mid-market stations from CBS Radio. Locations included Austin, TX; Cincinnati, OH; Memphis, TN; and Rochester, NY. However, due to ownership limitations set by the FCC, Entercom had to sell off three of its stations in the Rochester market; these were acquired by Stephens Media Group. Shortly after the transaction, the company exited the Cincinnati market by trading all four of its stations in Cincinnati and three of its stations in Seattle in exchange for three stations in San Francisco in a deal with Bonneville Broadcasting. A year later, Entercom was investigated for payola and fined $4.45 million by the FCC.
In May 2014, Entercom announced its launch of SmartReach Digital product line focused on creating digital marketing options for small and medium businesses.
On December 8, 2014, Entercom announced its acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media for $105 million; the deal gave the company 14 additional stations in Atlanta, GA; Denver, CO; Miami, FL; and San Diego, CA. To comply with FCC ownership limits in the Denver market and DOJ antitrust concerns, Entercom entered into an exchange agreement with Bonneville under which Entercom exchanged four stations in Denver for Classic Rock station KSWD in Los Angeles and $5 million in additional consideration. The stations Entercom exchanged with Bonneville were KOSI-FM, KYGO-FM, KKFN-FM and KEPN-AM. Entercom previously owned KOSI-FM, while the remaining stations were acquired through the acquisition of LFM.
Entercom and Bonneville began operating the exchanged stations under time brokerage agreement (TBAs) once the LFM transaction was completed. In November 2015, the swap deal was closed successfully.
In October 2016, Entercom announced that it would acquire four radio stations in Charlotte, North Carolina, from Beasley Broadcast Group for $24 million in cash. The deal closed in January, 2017 and WBT AM/FM, WLNK-FM and WFNZ-AM joined Entercom.
Merger with CBS Radio
On February 2, 2017, Entercom announced that it had agreed to merge with CBS Radio. The purchase will give Entercom operations in 23 of the top 25 markets, and make it the second-largest owner of radio stations in the United States, behind only iHeartMedia; under the terms of the Reverse Morris Trust, the company would retain the Entercom name, board of directors and base of operations, but CBS shareholders would hold 72% of its stock.
In order to comply with ownership caps, Entercom stated that it would divest at least 15 stations;
- KDND in Sacramento was shut down and its license returned to the FCC, with its programming moved to sister station KUDL. The FCC had designated that the renewal of KDND's license would be subject to a hearing over allegations it had failed to operate in the public interest. Meanwhile, KHTK, KNCI, KYMX, and KZZO were divested to Entercom Divesture Trust pending their sale to a third-party.
- KSOQ-FM, WGGI and KSWD were sold to the Educational Media Foundation. KSWD and WGGI affiliated with the EMF's K-Love Christian music network, and KSOQ with its Air1 network.
- KMVQ, KBLX, KUFX, and KOIT in the San Francisco Bay Area were divested to Entercom Divesture Trust pending their sale to a third-party.
- WBZ-FM was traded to Beasley Broadcast Group in exchange for WMJX.
- WRKO, WBZ-AM, WZLX and WKAF in Boston and KFNQ, KJAQ, and KZOK-FM in Seattle were traded to iHeartMedia in exchange for iHeartMedia's clusters in Richmond, VA and Chattanooga, TN.
On November 9, 2017, the FCC gave the final approval needed for the Entercom merger by granting two 6-month waivers for market station limits in Miami and San Francisco. The merger occurred at midnight on November 17, 2017. Entercom Divestiture Trust entered into agreements with Bonneville International to operate its stations on their behalf.
In addition to Entercom's radio stations, the company operates multiple brands, including Entercom's sustainability initiative, 1Thing, and its eCommerce platform, GetMyPerks. The company also provides a suite of digital marketing solutions for businesses through its SmartReach Digital product suite.
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