The big multi-station swap that was just announced by Entercom and Urban One will bring change in four major media markets.
Among the impacts, Entercom’s iconic KYW(AM) in Philly now gets a big FM presence, while the company enhances its position in three big markets, but departs a fourth.
Meanwhile Urban One becomes an even bigger player in Charlotte than it already is, and reduces its debt.
Entercom CEO David Field on Friday described it as an “even trade with no other financial considerations.”
The FCC must approve all this; the deal is expected to close early next year. But Urban One and Entercom will begin operating the stations later this month under a Local Marketing Agreement.
Entercom gets St. Louis urban contemporary station WHHL(FM); Philadelphia urban station WPHI(FM); and Washington, D.C., station WTEM(AM) “The Team 980,” flagship of the Washington NFL team. Entercom also takes the intellectual property of St. Louis adult urban contemporary WFUN(FM) “The Lou,” which will move to another frequency.
Entercom already has multiple other stations in each of these markets.
In Philly, Entercom will use WPHI to carry “KYW Newsradio” programming on FM at 103.9, in addition to KYW’s 1060 AM signal. In the announcement, Senior VP & Market Manager DavidYadgaroff made oblique reference to a common woe of AM operators when he talked about expanding KYW’s reach and enhancing the listener experience “on the crystal-clear FM dial.”
It is the second expansion of a major Entercom AM news format to the FM dial in a few weeks, following the recent move in Pittsburgh to expand KDKA to FM.
But the deal also means Entercom lets go of another notable news talk station, because …
Urban One is really powering up in Charlotte, N.C., where it currently has three stations. Now it adds these from Entercom: news/talker WBT(AM/FM), adult contemporary station WLNK(FM) and sports station WFNZ(AM) and its FM translator at 102.5.
President/CEO Alfred Liggins said in a release: “By adding three best-in-class general market formats (adult contemporary, sports, news and talk) to our existing cluster of stations — WPZS(FM), WOSF(FM), and WONC(FM) — that super-serve the Black and Urban consumer, Urban One will be a dominant player across all segments of the growing Charlotte market. The ability to build scale with a complete market offering in multiple genres is what makes this deal so exciting.”
Although money isn’t changing hands, Liggins said the deal also helps the company “continue our strategy of de-leveraging the business.”
At Nielsen Audio, the Washington market is ranked No. 7, Philly is 9, Charlotte is 23 and St. Louis is 24.