This week, the news surfaced that the entire CBS Radio division will merge with Entercom. And it means that the CBS Radio name will be gone as the new company will retain the Entercom name. Unever the merger, Entercom will end up with 244 stations across the country in 23 of the top 25 radio markets across the country.kj It still trails iHeart Radio (850 stations) and Cumulus Media (460 stations).
And the new Entercom will have rights to 45 sports teams including CBS Radio’s portfolio. CBS Radio has rights to professional teams in several major markets including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
CBS Radio has many sports radio stations including WFAN in New York, 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and KNBR in San Francisco. It also has the CBS Sports Radio Network which has over 300 affiliates across the country.
However, to comply with FCC rules, the company will have to divest stations in markets where both groups own multiple stations including Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
In Boston, Entercom would have two FM sports talk stations (WEEI and The Sports Hub) and rights to all of the market’s major sports teams (Bruins, Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox and Revolution) as well as Boston College. It’s likely that the new Entercom would have to divest of two FM stations and could be forced to sell more if the Department of Justice feels the company has too much influence in the market.
In addition, several CBS Radio heritage new stations like WINS and WCBS in New York, WBBM in Chicago and KNX in Los Angeles will become part of the Entercom lineup.
Last year, CBS was looking to sell its radio division, but now it won’t have to with the merger. CBS shareholders will make 72% of the new company. The deal should close later this year.