CBS Radio has announced plans to sell its five station West Palm Beach cluster to Palm Beach Broadcasting for $50 million.
The deal gives Palm Beach control of the three highest-rated stations in the market according to the most recent Arbitron ratings pairing CBS' top rated adult contemporary WEAT-FM and second place country WIRK-FM with third ranked Hot AC WRFM, which Palm Beach already owns.
The other stations involved in the deal are Urban AC WHFS-FM, which ranked fifth in the market, rhythmic top 40 WMBX, and active rocker WPBZ.
"It is extremely gratifying to add these excellent stations to our community-focused radio service in the Palm Beach market," said Dean Goodman, CEO of Palm Beach Broadcasting. "Radio broadcasting is experiencing a renaissance in the digital age, and we are pleased to be a part of that effort."
According to the announcement, Palm Beach Broadcasting will keep three of the stations and sell two others to a third party to remain within the FCC ownership guidelines. At the time when CBS acquired the stations, the rules allowed a company to own five FM stations in the market but, Goodman explains, there has been a rule change since that time. CBS had been grandfathered in and allowed to continue operating all five but now, with the sale, he will only be able to own four FM properties.
Despite parting with several very successful stations, the sale is consistent with CBS Radio's plan to focus its radio efforts on major markets. The company has been slowly divesting properties in medium-sized markets for some time now.