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Cumulus to Acquire Dial Global

Broadcaster plans to distribute curated audio content across emerging new media platforms

Cumulus Media is acquiring syndicator Dial Global for $260 million. The broadcaster says it’s financing the acquisition by selling 53 stations to Townsquare Media for $238 million.

Cumulus is also shedding stations in smaller markets in order to focus on large ones. The company is swapping 15 stations with Townsquare in two small and mid-sized markets in exchange for five stations in Fresno, Calif., which is market #68. Cumulus will use part of the proceeds to retire Dial Global debt.

Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says the deals give the broadcaster the scale necessary to provide marketing solutions its advertisers and affiliates want. “Our goal is to be the leading producer of premium audio content distributed through multiple platforms while continuing to build our broadcast platform in the top 100 U.S. markets.”

Analysts say a Cumulus-Dial combo would create a meaningful competitor to Clear Channel Communications Inc.’s Premiere Networks and Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN Radio.

Dial Global produces and syndicates sports, news, talk and music programming. With the acquisition, Cumulus says it could provide more options to approximately 10,000 radio stations, other media platforms and international platforms. New content acquired through the Dial Global acquisition will include NFL, NCAA, NASCAR, Olympics, AP Radio News, NBC News and other content.

Now Cumulus plans to distribute curated audio content across emerging new media platforms. The broadcaster also intends to service broadcasters’ demands for content in Europe, the Americas and Australia.

Following regulatory approval, the transactions are expected to close simultaneously in the fourth quarter. Jones Day is acting as legal counsel to Cumulus and Macquarie Capital is acting as financial advisor to Cumulus. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel to Dial Global.

Townsquare Media to Add 71 Stations