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Entercom Communications Corporation
Traded as NYSEETM
Industry Broadcasting
Founded 1968
Headquarters Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
Key people
David Field (CEO)
Website www.entercom.com

Entercom is an American broadcasting company based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1968, it is the fourth-largest radio company in the United States, owning more than 125 radio stations across 27 media markets. The company is currently led by David Field, the son of founder Joseph M. Field.


Joseph M. Field founded Entercom on October 21, 1968, on the conviction that FM broadcasting, then in its infancy, would surpass AM broadcasting as the leading aural medium. This belief proved true in the 1980s, when music formats began migrating to the FM band and began outrating AM stations.[citation needed]

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 the opportunity to expand its presence in the markets where it already operated. In April 1995, Entercom 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.[citation needed]

In 1999, Entercom announced an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group, of Baltimore, to buy 43 stations for $821.5 million in cash. It was Entercom's largest deal to date,[1] and 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.[2]

On August 21, 2006, Entercom agreed to buy 15 stations from CBS Radio. Locations included Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Memphis, Tennessee; and Rochester, New York.[3] 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.[4] After its purchases in the Cincinnati market, the company quickly sold its stations there to Bonneville Broadcasting and Cumulus Media, and exited the market.

On January 12, 2007, Entercom's Sacramento-area station KDND hosted a water-drinking contest promoted as "Hold Your Wee for a Wii", in which one of the popular Nintendo video game consoles would be awarded to whichever contestant could drink the most water without urinating or vomiting. That same day, a contestant named Jennifer Strange died as a result of acute water intoxication, caused by her participation in the event. Although no criminal charges were filed, Strange's family members filed a wrongful death suit to hold Entercom Corp.'s Sacramento subsidiary responsible for her death. On October 29, 2009, a Sacramento Superior Court jury awarded the Strange family $16.57 million.[5]

In May 2014, Entercom announced its launch of SmartReach Digital, focused on creating digital marketing options for small and medium businesses.[6]

On December 8, 2014, Entercom announced its intent to acquire Lincoln Financial Media for $110 million and working capital; the deal will give the company 14 additional stations in Atlanta, Denver, Miami, and San Diego. To comply with ownership limits in the Denver market as they can only own 5 FMs and 3 AMs in one market (due to its ownership of AM KEZW and FM outlets KQMT, KOSI and KALC), Entercom divested one of Lincoln Financials' three FM properties, Sports outlet KKFN, to a trust that will in turn spin-off the station to a third party; the four remaining Lincoln Financial Denver stations (AMs KRWZ and KEPN; FMs KYGO and KQKS) would become Entercom properties and retain their current formats.[7]

In July 2015, Entercom entered into an exchange agreement with Bonneville under which Entercom exchanged four stations in Denver for Classic Rock station The Sound in Los Angeles and $5 million in additional consideration. The stations Entercom exchanged with Bonneville included 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 TBAs once the LFM transaction was completed. Closing of the Bonneville-Entercom exchange was subject to FCC approval and other customary closing conditions. Entercom expected the Bonneville transaction to close by the fourth quarter of 2015, and it occurred on November 24, 2015.[8]

See also[edit]