Cumulus Media announced today that it plans to sell 55 stations in 11 different markets to Townsquare Media. In return the company is receiving 10 stations in two markets and $166 million in cash.
The biggest market Cumulus is exiting is Killeen-Temple, TX which is ranked as market number 143 in Arbitron. The other clusters being sold include: Augusta, Bangor and Presque Isle, Me; Bismarck, ND; Binghamton, NY; Grand Junction, CO; New Bedford, MA; Odessa-Midland, TX; Sioux Falls, SD and Tuscaloosa, AL. The company is receiving 10 stations in the Bloomington and Peoria, IL markets from Townsquare.
For Cumulus, the sale serves the dual purpose of reinforcing the strategy of focusing on radio stations in top 10 markets and surrounding them with, "geographically strategic regional clusters," as well as providing cash to help de-leverage the company's balance sheet.
For Townsquare, the acquisition will bring the company up to 244 stations in 51 markets, "This transaction represents a continued investment in the local media business in small and mid-sized markets," said Townsquare Media Chairman and CEO Steven Price.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.