ABC Radio to merge with Citadel Broadcasting; Suleman to be CEO

MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Company and Citadel Broadcasting Corporation have entered a definitive agreement to combine ABC Radio, which includes 22 radio stations and the ABC Radio Networks, with Citadel Broadcasting.

The newly combined company, to be named Citadel Communications, will be the third largest radio group in the United States, with a strong national footprint reaching more than 50 markets.

Following the completion of the merger, Disney shareholders will own approximately 52 per cent of Citadel Communications and The Walt Disney Company will retain $1.4 to $1.65 billion in cash depending on the market price of Citadel Broadcasting at the time of closing. The deal is structured to be tax free to Disney shareholders.

Citadel shareholders will own the remaining 48 per cent of the combined company. Valued at approximately $2.7 billion, the deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approvals.

"Our ABC Radio business represents a premier set of assets that have been exceptionally well-managed. ABC Radio and Citadel are a strong strategic fit that will create one of the country's largest radio station groups. With this merger we have a unique opportunity to offer Disney shareholders ownership in a new radio leader that will be well positioned for long-term success," said The Walt Disney Company president and CEO Robert A. Iger.

Citadel CEO Farid Suleman will be CEO and lead the management team of the new company. Suleman, a seasoned industry leader with both radio station and radio network experience, is the former CEO of Infinity Broadcasting.

"By joining forces to form Citadel Communications, our new company can continue to deliver on Citadel's impressive record of success as well as pursue many exciting growth initiatives in the future. We look forward to welcoming our talented new colleagues at ABC Radio who have a long history of strong market performance, and are eager to work together to integrate ABC's top-notch assets into our new strategically enhanced radio group," said Suleman.

As a company focused exclusively on the radio business, Citadel Communications will have the benefit of scale in an increasingly competitive industry. The transaction gives Citadel 177 FM stations and 66 AM stations in the country's top markets. 14 FM and 8 AM ABC radio stations in nine major markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas, will join Citadel Communications.

In addition, the merger includes the ABC Radio Networks, which create and distribute programming to more than 4,000 affiliates. The programming includes popular syndicated radio programs such as Paul Harvey News and Comment, The Sean Hannity Show and The Tom Joyner Morning Show, as well as 24/7 music formats.

The assets joining the new company had 2005 revenue of approximately $575 million and operating income of approximately $200 million.

Listeners of ABC News Radio will continue to enjoy the same broadcasts on their favourite radio stations. Through an exclusive 10-year licensing agreement, Citadel Communications will deliver ABC News Radio programming to terrestrial radio stations. Disney will continue to retain rights to deliver ABC News content in other formats such as broadband, wireless and satellite.

ESPN Radio and Radio Disney are not included in the transaction.

Affiliates of Forstmann Little & Co., holding approximately 67 per cent of the shares of Citadel Broadcasting, have approved the transaction. The transaction is subject to review by the antitrust agencies, approval by the Federal Communications Commission, the receipt of a tax ruling from the Internal Revenue Service, a tax opinion from Dewey Ballantine LLP, and other customary closing conditions.

Latest Reads
BIG Magic acquires 'Boonie Bears' exclusive FTA rights

BIG Magic has acquired exclusive FTA rights of ‘Boonie Bears’, the No.1 and most popular animated series in China. BIG Magic has renamed it ‘Babloo Dabloo’ for the Hindi viewing audience. Babloo Dabloo airs every Monday – Sunday 10 am – 11 am & 5 pm – 6 pm only on BIG Magic

Television TV Channels GECs
PBL: Setting stage for next big thing on Indian sporting landscape

India has witnessed the emergence of a multi-sports culture over the past few years. This significant development has come on the back of a promising display by Indian sportspersons across various disciplines, the meteoric rise of home grown leagues and the consequent widening of the fan base of...

Television TV Channels Sports
CNNMoney new section will be about the fastest growing economy; MoneyStream app launched

MUMBAI: Attracting 1.8 million average monthly page views, witnessing a 37 per cent growth in video consumption and 16 per cent in unique browsers month-on-month from India in less than a year’s time is not smooth. In its ambitious plan of global expansion, CNN Digital is leaving no stone unturned...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Content a 'Game of Thrones'; AT&T's control over HBO, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros faces regulatory lens

The global media landscape is resulting in a new juggernaut as an internet and cable behemoth yesterday purchased an entertainment conglomerate making the former unmatched in its size and reach to consumers through home broadband, smartphones, satellite television and a battery of movies and cable...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Whether BARC action can stop unethical practices?

MUMBAI: Can businesses and industries practise their art of selling fairly although they have 'Fair Practices' training during academic courses, workshops and several ISO and other certifications? There seems to be the fear of the lawman, and not the law in India. If the traffic cop is watching,...

Television TV Channels Viewership
TV Superhighway: beIN, Yaddo, AfricaXP have joined us, says Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal

CANNES; Magine has secured partnerships with four of the industry’s most exciting sports, documentary and entertainment content providers. Partnerships with beIN, the international media group and owner of MIRAMAX; Yaddo, the new documentary streaming service headed up by former head of The BBC’s...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories