|Traded as||NYSE: TSQ|
|Headquarters||Greenwich, Connecticut, United States|
(Chairman and CEO)
|Services||Digital media, radio|
|Owner||Oaktree Capital Management (47%)|
Townsquare Media, Inc. (formerly Regent Communications until 2010) is an American media company based in Greenwich, Connecticut. The company started in radio and expanded into digital media toward the end of the 2000s, starting with the acquisition of the MOG Music Network and later a group of former blogs owned by AOL. As of 2016, Townsquare is the third-largest AM–FM operator in the country, owning over 310 radio stations in 66 markets.
As Regent (1994–2010)
Townsquare Media was established as Regent Communications, Inc., by Terry Jacobs in 1994. Jacobs was formerly the CEO of Jacor Communications, a radio broadcasting company which he created in 1979. Bill Stakelin later shared chief status in the company with Jacobs, and the two established JS Communications, later selling Regent to Jacor in 1997. Stakelin and Jacobs resurrected the Regent name to replace JS, with approval by Jacor. Jacobs left the company in 2005.
On October 27, 2008, Regent Broadcasting joined Radiolicious and began streaming on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Regent is the first major radio group to contract for all of its streaming stations to be available through the Radiolicious application.
Regent filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 1, 2010, with $211.3 million in debt, $166.5 million in assets, and a pre-arranged plan for exiting bankruptcy, with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The filing plan made Oaktree Capital Management the majority owner of Regent after the bankruptcy and gave the old shareholders 12.8 cents per share. After its privatization, the company was given its new name, Townsquare Media. Gap Broadcasting Group, another radio group owned by Oaktree, was merged into Townsquare, giving it ownership of 171 radio stations in 36 markets.
On April 30, 2012, Townsquare Media announced a deal to acquire 55 stations in 11 markets from Cumulus Media, in exchange for Townsquare's stations in the markets of Bloomington and Peoria, IL and $126 million.
On August 24, 2012, Townsquare reached a deal to acquire the MOG Music Network, an advertising network for music blogs. The network was part of MOG, a streaming music service that had previously reached a deal to be acquired by Beats Electronics.
In June 2013, Townsquare announced it would acquire a number of music-related blogs from AOL, including The Boombox, The Boot, and Noisecreep, along with ComicsAlliance. The deal came following the abrupt shutdown of AOL's Music division in April 2013.
On August 29, 2013, it was announced that Cumulus would purchase Dial Global, after the programming syndication service was showing signs of financial distress in late 2012. Cumulus paid $260 million for this service, a portion of which was used to pay off Dial's debt before it was folded into Cumulus. To make the sale work, Cumulus once again made a pair of station deals with Townsquare Media; the first deal sent 53 stations in Danbury, CT, Rockford, IL, Cedar Rapids, IA, Quad Cities, IA–IL, Waterloo, IA, Portland, ME, Battle Creek, MI, Kalamazoo, MI, Lansing, MI, Faribault, MN, Rochester, MN, and Portsmouth, NH, to Townsquare for $238 million. The second sent 15 more stations in Dubuque, IA and Poughkeepsie, NY, in exchange for Peak Broadcasting's Fresno cluster. Peak, which like Dial Global and Townsquare has a large investment held by Oaktree, also had its Boise cluster folded into Townsquare. Due to market overlaps, three of Townsquare's newly acquired stations were placed in a divestiture trust. The acquisition of the Cumulus stations closed on November 14, 2013.
On June 24, 2014, Townsquare Media filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, valued at $143.8 million. On July 24, 2014, Townsquare Media became a public company with an initial offering price of $11 a share.
Web publications and services
- Antenna – general publication marketed toward youth readers; formerly a print magazine
- The Boombox – dedicated to hip hop music; previously owned by AOL
- The Boot – dedicated to country music; previously owned by AOL
- ComicsAlliance – dedicated to comic books; previously owned by AOL
- Just Jared – dedicated to pop culture
- King – publication marketed toward African American men; formerly a print magazine
- Hype Machine – aggregator of music blogs; previously owned by SpinMedia
- Loudwire – dedicated to heavy metal and hard rock music
- Noisecreep – dedicated to heavy metal and hard rock music; previously owned by AOL
- PopCrush – dedicated to pop music; also a radio show on some Townsquare stations
- ScreenCrush – dedicated to film and television
- Taste of Country – dedicated to country music
- Ultimate Classic Rock – dedicated to rock music categorized as classic; also a radio show on some Townsquare stations
- XXL – dedicated to hip hop; formerly a print magazine
- Overview. Townsquare Media. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- Derdak, Thomas; Grant, Tina (1998). International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. pp. 292–293.
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- "Investor FAQs". Townsquare Media. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- Flanagan, Andrew (January 16, 2014). "XXL Bought by Townsquare, to End Print Edition Next Month". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- "Townsquare to Acquire North American Midway Entertainment". Townsquare Media. PR Newswire. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- "Madison Square Garden Takes 12% Stake in Townsquare Media". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- Jarvey, Natalie (January 16, 2014). "Just Jared Partners with Townsquare Media Group". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- Staff writers. "Hype Machine Partners with Townsquare Media, Departing SpinMedia". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- Hayes, Sarah (November 6, 2014). "Loudwire Music Festival to Debut in Colorado for 2015". AXS. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- "Townsquare Media Launches New PopCrush Night Program With Lisa Paige". All Access. All Access Music Group. February 17, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- Thompson, Anne (March 26, 2014). "Media Watch: ScreenCrush Adds Departed HuffPo Scribe Mike Ryan". IndieWire. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- "Zach Martin to Host Ultimate Classic Rock on 28 Townsquare Stations, Syndicated by Compass Media". All Access. All Access Music Group. June 29, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2016.