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Pandora Is “Reevaluating Its Broadcast Strategy”

Letter to Media Bureau indicates streamer is considering whether it will divest radio station

Streaming music provider Pandora is weighing the relative advantages and disadvantages of being a broadcast licensee. The company is considering divesting Box Elder, S.D., radio station KXMZ(FM), attorney David Oxenford wrote in a letter on behalf of Pandora Radio to the Media Bureau.

The streamer acquired KXMZ in 2015 for $600,000 from Connoisseur Media, a move OK’d by the FCC in June of that same year over objections raised by ASCAP. The FCC would go on to issue a declaratory ruling requiring Pandora to amend its organizational documents to reflect foreign ownership provisions no later than the company’s 2017 annual meeting. The letter also indicated that the matter should be presented for vote at the 2016 meeting.

With that in mind, “Pandora, out of an abundance of caution, is seeking Bureau consent to delay doing so while Pandora determines its broadcast strategy going forward,” Oxenford writes.

Because of this, the streamer does not want to ask shareholders to make “substantial changes” at this time. “Amending the documents to include these foreign ownership provisions unduly burdens the shareholders of Pandora by imposing transfer restrictions, disclosure requirements, and the possibility ofthe unilateral redemption of their shares,” the letter explains.

Essentially, the company appears to be trying to buy more time before deciding whether to sell KXMZ or to comply with the foreign ownership rules.