CBS is merging its radio business with Entercom Communications Corp in a tax-free deal that will create the second-largest radio broadcaster in the U.S., based on revenue. The merged entity, to be known as Entercom, will own 244 stations, including CBS Radio’s 117 stations, with pro forma revenue of about $1.7 billion on a trailing 12-month basis. The merger will be done through a Reverse Morris Trust transaction, a tax-free deal in which one company merges with a spun-off unit. CBS Radio shareholders will own 72 per cent of the combined company, while Entercom shareholders will own the rest. The combined company will be headquartered in Philadelphia.
Bell Media is partnering with Scott Borchetta, founder and CEO of Nashville-based Big Machine Label Group (BMLG). The multifaceted deal between Bell Media and BMLG aims to discover and cultivate musical talent through new television, radio, recording, and live concert projects. The centerpiece of the alliance is a unique television format that will leverage Bell Media’s massive reach to showcase musicians on the national and international stage. Bell Media and BMLG plan to advance the format beyond Canada to ultimately become a conduit for discovering new musical voices worldwide. Borchetta guided contestants on the final two seasons of American Idol. Big Machine Records is also the musical home to CMT’s hit series Nashville.
Country 105 (CKRY-FM) Calgary has been nominated for the Academy of Country Music’s Station of the Year Award (medium market). The 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards happen in Las Vegas on April 2.
There are calls to clean up talk radio in Quebec City, following the recent attack on a suburban mosque. Critics say anti-immigration and anti-Muslim sentiments are regularly given a sympathetic ear on radio poubelle, the French term for “trash radio.” A competitive talk radio market with five stations offering some form of talk programming, Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume is among those calling on station managers, owners and shareholders to stop what he calls “profiting from hate.”
The Children’s Hospital Radiothon in Saskatoon has raised $431,409.60. This year’s total was announced after three days of broadcasts from CJWW-AM, 92.9 The Bull (CKBL-FM) and 98 COOL (CJMK-FM). Since it began in 2003, the radiothon has raised over $5.1-million for both urgent pediatric equipment and the province’s new maternal and children’s hospital.
The 13th annual Bringing Hope to Life Radiothon benefitting Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre Foundation, raised a record $166,742. The Radiothon was broadcast live on 680 CJOB from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Power 97 (CJKR-FM) from noon to 6 p.m. on Feb. 3.
VOCM’s Heart and Stroke radiothon on Feb. 7 raised $30,000. Broadcast from the Avalon Mall in St. John’s, NL, it was the first VOCM Cares Radiothon devoted to the organization.