August 30, 2013

Four Portland radio stations to be sold

By Leslie Bridgers
Staff Writer

PORTLAND – A group of four Portland radio stations, including Q97.9 and WBLM, are being sold, along with stations in 13 other markets, in order to finance another deal for owner Cumulus Media Inc.

Atlanta-based Cumulus, the country's second-largest radio station operator, is planning to buy Dial Global, a New York-based radio programming syndicator, for $260 million, according to announcement the company made Friday.

At the same time, Cumulus is selling 71 stations in 14 small-mid-sized markets, including WCYY 94.3, WHOM 94.9, WBLM 102.9 and Q97.9 in Portland, to Townsquare Media, based in Greenwich, Conn., for $238 million, according to statements made by the two companies.

Cumulus sold five radio stations in Bangor, four in Augusta and three in Presque Isle to Townsquare in 2012, along with 10 stations in Illinois.

Some other markets included in the latest deal are Portsmouth, Dover and Rochester, N.H., Danbury, Conn., Lansing, Mich., and Rochester, Minn. Townsquare currently owns 241 radio stations throughout the country.

Alex Berkett, executive vice president of Townsquare, said Friday that the Portland stations "are strong brands that are important to the community," which is "consistent with the type of stations we own in our portfolio and would like to own going forward."

He said the deal is pending regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of the year.

"We're excited to work with (general manager) Mike Sambrook and the team," he said.

Sambrook could not immediately be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Cumulus purchased the Portland stations' former owner, Citadel Broadcasting Corp., in 2011 for $1.7 billion.

According to Cumulus's website, Q97.9, a hit music station, has the most listeners of the four stations with about 170,000.

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