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Beasley Will Grow to No. 6 U.S. Radio Company (or maybe No. 9)

Acquisition of Greater Media is a “transformational growth opportunity,” according to Caroline Beasley

Caroline Beasley

The startling news that Beasley plans to acquire Greater Media will result in Beasley moving up the industry’s revenue charts.

Radio World asked research firm BIA/Kelsey how this deal, announced late Tuesday, would change its list of top radio companies. By its estimates, Beasley will become the sixth-largest U.S. commercial radio entity by revenue.

Before the sale, Greater Media (which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year) is ranked No. 11 by BIA/Kelsey with $169.3 million in estimated 2015 revenues for 21 stations in seven markets; while Beasley is ranked No. 14 with $125.7 million for 52 stations in 13 markets.

After the sale — which CFO and interim CEO Caroline Beasley described yesterday as “transformational growth opportunity” — the combined Beasley entity would be ranked No. 6 with $295 million revenues for 73 stations in 17 markets.

Note that Beasley itself said in the announcement that “Beasley’s station ownership rankings will jump from 17th to 9th in the nation, based upon 2015 revenue numbers.” The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear; presumably Beasley and Greater Media have the best grasp on their own revenue figures, but both revenue figures and rankings are notoriously difficult to pin down exactly. In any event, it’s a move up the ladder.

Among reactions to the news of the sale comes one from New Jersey, where Greater Media has a significant presence and where Beasley adds three markets: Middlesex, Monmouth and Morristown.

“Greater Media is one of the New Jersey Broadcaster Association’s most supportive and important members,” said Paul Rotella, president/CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association, “and knowing the Beasley family and the cordial relationship we enjoy with Caroline, George and Bruce and Brian, the NJBA welcomes Beasley Broadcast Group to the NJBA and our great family of New Jersey broadcasters.”

While Greater Media is now 60, Beasley itself turns 55 this year. It was founded in 1961 by George G. Beasley, its chairman and CEO. He has been on a medical leave of absence since earlier this year.

Greater Media was founded by Peter Bordes and Joseph Rosenmiller. It is led by Chairman/CEO Peter Smyth, a familiar figure among national broadcast leaders who often blogs about the state of the industry. He joined the company in 1986. A 60th anniversary video can be found here.