The first quarter of 2017 saw the largest radio transaction since 2006 with announcement of a planned merger of Entercom Communications Corp and CBS Radio. The $2.5 billion deal wound up making up 90 percent of U.S. broadcast station mergers and acquisitions for Q1 2017, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, which totaled $2.79 billion for both radio and TV.
The Entercom/CBS deal will see CBS Radio spin off its 29 AM and 88 FM stations to Entercom.
The rest of radios mergers & acquisitions accounted for $92.9 million between 61 AM stations, 60 FM stations and 44 low-power stations. Second behind the Entercom/CBS deal was Starboard Media Foundation’s acquisition of Immaculate Heart Radio for an estimated $30 million.
The TV market registered $167.3 million mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter. The largest deal was from Gray Television, acquiring the market leaders in Gainseville, Fla., and Bangor, Maine, for $85 million paid to Diversified Broadcasting Inc. and Community Broadcasting Service. Meredith Corp. paid Time Warner $70 million for the license of Indie WPCH-TV in Atlanta, which was the largest single station deal since 2015, per S&P.