This has been a big week for radio transactions. Coming close on the heels of Cox Enterprises’ decision to sell control of its radio portfolio to Terrier Media, Cumulus Media announced plans to sell iconic New York station WABC(AM) to Red Apple Media.
According to the Thursday announcement, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Red Apple Group will buy WABC for $12.5 million in cash, pending regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. If all goes as planned, the deal will close in Q3 of this year.
In a press release, Cumulus President/CEO Mary G. Berner noted that the deal will enable Cumulus “to use the sale’s net cash proceeds to pay down debt and invest in the company.”
Red Apple Group Chairman and CEO John A. Catsimatidis said in the announcement that WABC(AM) “is a real New York legend with a rich history in broadcasting.” He explained, “Our purchase of 77 WABC(AM) Radio is the next step in building a new broadcasting business, and we look forward to considering the acquisition of more broadcasting assets.”
According to his website, Catsimatidis, a Greece-born, New York City-raised businessman with a history of political activism, created a radio show “The Cats Roundtable” in 2014 that is now syndicated in 14 states and online.
Catsimatidis added that Red Apple Media intends to keep the current WABC staff and talent, characterizing them as “excellent.” Berner also expressed pleasure that the WABC employees will be retained “to continue building this iconic station’s legacy” after Red Apple takes over programming control.