what stays, what goes... ETM/CBS merger
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Thread: what stays, what goes... ETM/CBS merger

  1. #1

    what stays, what goes... ETM/CBS merger

    OK assuming that there are more than 45 stations in the DMA, Entercom will be able to have 8 stations, with no more than 5 on one band.

    there is also a regulation that limits the percentage of total revenue in the market they can control, and that is 40% IIRC

    My prediction?

    On the AM side WBZ AM and WRKO stay, and WEEI AM may stay but only if the revenue limits are not close enough that tossing 850 will keep them from going over.

    On the FM side I predict WEEI FM, WBZ FM ( the sports stations) WZLX, WBMX and WODS stay.

    That means WKAF and WAAF get tossed.

    How does WBZ AM survive as a news station where it is labor intensive and will they still be able to keep their association with WBZ TV?

    With CBS bowing out will Entercom keep Total Traffic or will they proceed with the new traffic provider for WBZ AM?

    How long before the back of house layoffs start? Lots of people got shown the door by Greater Media in the months leading up to the Beasley takeover, I predict the same thing will happen at the CBS properties.


    What do you predict?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRBIboredop View Post
    OK assuming that there are more than 45 stations in the DMA, Entercom will be able to have 8 stations, with no more than 5 on one band.
    That's the key to this. One "nit picking" thing... the limit applies to the MSA (Nielsen's Metro Survey Area), not the DMA. There are no radio DMAs and in PPM markets, there are no TSAs either.

    there is also a regulation that limits the percentage of total revenue in the market they can control, and that is 40% IIRC
    That is my recollection, also. I really doubt that a new administration would change that figure immediately, as 40% is near-monopoly status.

    My prediction?

    On the AM side WBZ AM and WRKO stay, and WEEI AM may stay but only if the revenue limits are not close enough that tossing 850 will keep them from going over.

    On the FM side I predict WEEI FM, WBZ FM ( the sports stations) WZLX, WBMX and WODS stay.

    That means WKAF and WAAF get tossed.
    That sounds like the proper scenario.

    WBZ's lower margins make it a possibility for a spin-off if cluster revenue needs to be reduced to stay under 40%. It's the market's leading biller, but it throws off less cash than some of the music stations.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post


    WBZ's lower margins make it a possibility for a spin-off if cluster revenue needs to be reduced to stay under 40%. It's the market's leading biller, but it throws off less cash than some of the music stations.
    David,

    You are obviously a very knowledgeable industry insider, and I, for one, am glad you're here to share your insights. However, please understand that some of us are not insiders and don't know all the jargon. The fact remains that this site is where we can keep abreast of what's happening in a medium we all love. There are no subscriber fees here, and we get to express opinions and ask questions once in a while.

    So, would you kindly explain in layman's terminology what it means for WBZ to "throw off less cash than some of the music stations"?

    Thank you.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nowradioguy View Post
    So, would you kindly explain in layman's terminology what it means for WBZ to "throw off less cash than some of the music stations"?

    Thank you.
    This is more a business issue than a radio one. It's about how much money is left over after expenses... the pre-tax profit on operations (we usually call it cash flow or, more technically, EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).

    Talk and news stations cost a lot more to operate than most music stations.

    So... a talker might bill $30 million but have expenses of $25 million, with a cash flow of $5 million. A music station might bill $18 million, but have expenses of just $10 million, leaving $8 million in cash flow.

    We often express this as "margin" or the percentage of gross revenue we keep after expenses... a music station might have a margin of 30% up to maybe 50%. News talk seldom has a margin of even 30%. But, for an AM station, a 20% margin is better than nothing on a facility that can't be used today for music programming.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MRBIboredop View Post
    OK assuming that there are more than 45 stations in the DMA, Entercom will be able to have 8 stations, with no more than 5 on one band.

    there is also a regulation that limits the percentage of total revenue in the market they can control, and that is 40% IIRC

    My prediction?

    On the AM side WBZ AM and WRKO stay, and WEEI AM may stay but only if the revenue limits are not close enough that tossing 850 will keep them from going over.

    On the FM side I predict WEEI FM, WBZ FM ( the sports stations) WZLX, WBMX and WODS stay.

    That means WKAF and WAAF get tossed.

    How does WBZ AM survive as a news station where it is labor intensive and will they still be able to keep their association with WBZ TV?

    With CBS bowing out will Entercom keep Total Traffic or will they proceed with the new traffic provider for WBZ AM?

    How long before the back of house layoffs start? Lots of people got shown the door by Greater Media in the months leading up to the Beasley takeover, I predict the same thing will happen at the CBS properties.


    What do you predict?
    Remember, the question is what BRANDS stay. Example, 107.3 and 97.7 may go, but the WAAF and new R&B brands could stay and end up on another signal. I predict "Mix & AMP" go away. They are the least profitable brands. All the other brands can work together and compliment eachother. WAAF/WZLX, WEEI/The Hub. WRKO/WBZ, The Urban AC format could potentially be a cash cow.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post


    This is more a business issue than a radio one. It's about how much money is left over after expenses... the pre-tax profit on operations (we usually call it cash flow or, more technically, EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).

    Talk and news stations cost a lot more to operate than most music stations.

    So... a talker might bill $30 million but have expenses of $25 million, with a cash flow of $5 million. A music station might bill $18 million, but have expenses of just $10 million, leaving $8 million in cash flow.

    We often express this as "margin" or the percentage of gross revenue we keep after expenses... a music station might have a margin of 30% up to maybe 50%. News talk seldom has a margin of even 30%. But, for an AM station, a 20% margin is better than nothing on a facility that can't be used today for music programming.
    David,

    Very helpful and easy-to-understand response.

    Thanks very much.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by radioface View Post
    Remember, the question is what BRANDS stay. Example, 107.3 and 97.7 may go, but the WAAF and new R&B brands could stay and end up on another signal. I predict "Mix & AMP" go away. They are the least profitable brands. All the other brands can work together and compliment eachother. WAAF/WZLX, WEEI/The Hub. WRKO/WBZ, The Urban AC format could potentially be a cash cow.
    The one thing to remember is that the cluster your describe would be weak with women. I would keep MIX and move R&B to the AMP signal. It's still possible 'AAF would not count under the Boston cap rule, so only one FM would need divesting. I would bet money 850 goes to iHeart so they can clear their entire line-up of syndication on a decent signal. Revenue caps could matter, but the new administration has committed to deregulating the FCC immediately. It will be fun to watch how this is handled.

  8. #8
    If 680 or 850 went to iHeart, you could see a blend of national and local talkers.In former, they'd want to keep AMD and PMD the same, but where does Kuhner go, late mornings, if they want to clear Rush live?Then what about Fin Exchange.Hannity could go to 7 pm delayed. Or Ent could keep RKO but iHeart could take 850 and do mostly national talk there with maybe local morning drive.How about iHeart taking an FM or two like 97.7 and 107.3?

    Ent.would be in the news biz with WBZ AM..what about a move to FM or simulcast? While CBS does have newsradioBZ on the HD3 of 98.5, they could have used a moderately powerful FM simulcast if they had a station like 101.7...

  9. #9

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  10. #10
    With the announcement of the TDC Communications (Entercom Divestiture) Trust being formed to handle the 14 stations (all FM) nationwide that will have to be divested as part of the merger,
    it was revealed that all of the Entercom and CBS Radio FM stations in Boston have been placed in the trust (for now) in order to give Entercom flexibility in which stations it chooses to keep or sell off/swap.

    As speculated when the merger was announced on 2/2/2017, 2 of the following Boston FMs will be divested:

    Currently owned by CBS Radio:

    WBMX - 104.1 - (Hot AC)
    WBZ-FM - 98.5 - (Sports)
    WODS - 103.3 - (CHR)
    WZLX - 100.7 - (Classic Rock)

    Currently owned by Entercom:

    WEEI-FM 93.7 FM (Sports)
    WKAF 97.7 FM (Urban AC)
    WAAF 107.3 FM (Active Rock)

    As mentioned in this thread, Entercom could conceivably keep the 5 best signals and then decide on the 5 best formats to keep (from a ratings and revenue standpoint).
    All depends on what potential deals can be made with other radio owners - their format + signal desires along with possible swaps for stations in other markets.

    Story link: http://www.insideradio.com/entercom-...88eef1bd3.html
    Additional info from various sources...

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