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There Were Few Large Radio Transactions in ’13

BIA/Kelsey anticipates a ‘slight increase’ this year

The sale of 53 stations by Cumulus Media to Townsquare Media for $238 million last August was the largest transaction in the U.S. radio broadcast market for the year 2013.

That’s per research firm BIA/Kelsey. Its Media Access Pro software also shows that overall, about the same number of U.S. radio stations switched hands as the year before.

“The slight change in total sales of radio stations in 2013 is evidenced by the few number of large transactions,” stated Mark Fratrik, vice president of BIA/Kelsey in the announcement. “This year we anticipate a slight increase as the economy gathers some strength.”

The charts below show the value of transactions for 2013 (and for the month of December); then the number of stations sold; and the five largest radio deals by value.

The company said TVstation transactions “exploded” in 2013 and cited a “healthy” TV environment the year before that bolstered investor confidence. “Strong political advertising revenues from the previous year, retransmission consent revenues and continued historically lower interest rates were all contributing factors to this strong showing in the television station acquisition market.”

Radio transactions were at the level as the year before both in term of the number of stations sold and the total value. In radio, BIA/Kelsey described “a great deal of consistency and few large transactions. … Overall, radio’s continued position in the marketplace is encouraging existing groups to grow and some new groups to enter.”