MIAMI — Following widespread industry speculation about an imminent deal, Naples, Florida-based Beasley Broadcast Group and CBS Radio jointly announced this morning that they have reached an agreement that sees the company swapping stations in Philadelphia, Charlotte, Tampa-St. Petersburg and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale markets.
CBS Radio will gain the following stations in Philadelphia: Country WXTU-FM 92.5, and CHR/Rhythmic WRDW-FM “Wired 96.5.” The deal gives CBS two more FMs to add to its existing cluster. CBS also owns KYW-Channel 3 and and CW affiliate WPSG-Channel 57.
CBS Radio will gain the following stations in Miami-Fort Lauderdale: Sports Talk WQAM-AM 560, CHR/Rhythmic WPOW-FM “Power 96”, and Country WKIS-FM “99-9 KISS Country”. CBS owns WFOR-Channel 4 and MY Network affiliate WBFS-Channel 33 in Miami; the company previously owned a cluster of radio stations just to the north, in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton. Those stations are now owned by Digity, succeeding Palm Beach Broadcasting.
Beasley will receive the following stations in Charlotte: Urban AC WBAV-FM “V101.9”, Sports Talk WFNZ-AM610 “The Fan,” CHR/Pop WNKS-FM “KISS 95.1,” Urban WPEG -FM “Power 98,” Country WSOC-FM, AC WKQC-FM “K 104.7,” and Sports Talk WBCN-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1660.”
Beasley will receive the following stations in Tampa-St. Petersburg: Sports Talk WHFS-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1010,” Sports Talk WHFS-FM “98.7 The Fan,” Urban WLLD-FM “Wild 94.1,” Country WQYK-FM 99.5, Classic Hits WRBQ-FM 104.7 “Q105,” and Tropical WYUU-FM 92.5 (Maxima FM).
Finally, Beasley will gain Sports Talk WIP-AM 610; WIP-FM 94.1 is not involved in the deal. Beasley will now have three AMs in Philadelphia, with AM 610 joining WWDB-AM 860 and Christian talk and teaching WTMR-AM 800.
In an internal announcement to CBS Radio staff, division President and CEO Dan Mason said, “There are many positive effects this move will have on CBS Radio in the future. Most importantly, for the first time we will own radio stations in Miami– a market where CBS already successfully operates two television stations. We have all seen the tremendous value we create by having our local radio and television properties work hand in hand. Our voices reach further, brands are more integrated into the daily lives of the audience, and advertisers can speak to a wide variety of consumers constantly on the go. Secondly, we are attaining stations that appropriately align with our programming expertise in popular music and sports, two areas we have made significant investments in over the past few years. This also allows us to focus on markets that are showing the biggest growth potential and greatest returns on our investments.”
Staff Changes Coming
“This move does mean we will soon be parting ways with a number of our respected colleagues,” Mason added, without elaborating on who could be departing.
George Beasley, CEO and Chairman of his family-operated publicly traded broadcast company, added, “Focusing on strong core programming and targeted localism is the cornerstone of Beasley’s operating philosophy, and it has proven vital to the company’s ratings strength and success. While Beasley has operated in Philadelphia and Miami and understands the value of stations in those markets, as well as the revenue they generate, consolidation and ownership of the maximum amount of stations in each market has been a long-term and consistent goal for the Company. This transaction places us in the unique position of owning a full complement of FM stations in seven of the twelve markets in which we operate. As we look forward to welcoming the CBS stations to Beasley and to integrating two new markets into our portfolio, we will continue delivering quality programming, effective online marketing solutions and dedicated service to the local communities we serve. Once approved by the FCC, it is my opinion that this transaction will create a win-win opportunity for both CBS Radio and Beasley.