Earlier this week, it was strongly rumored that Cumulus, Dial Global and Townsquare Media were planning a massive deal that would see Cumulus acquire Dial Global, bring back the Westwood One brand, and then sell off a number of stations to Townsquare. Today's Wall Street Journal confirms those reports, with sources providing more details. Meanwhile, rumors are swirling that the deal could be announced today.
Sources tell the WSJ that the Cumulus-Dial Global deal would be for $260 million in cash, part of which would pay off DG's debt. The sale is expected to be approved by federal regulators and close by the end of 2013.
To finance the Dial Global acquisition, Cumulus will sell 53 stations in 12 small and mid-sized markets to Townsquare, for $238 million in cast, according to the WSJ. As part of this deal, Cumulus will also swap 15 other small market stations in exchange for five stations belonging to Townsquare in Fresno, CA.
When the dust settles, Cumulus would own approximately 440 stations around the country, as well as Dial Global's syndication network, which is expected to merge with Cumulus' syndicated division and possibly be re-named as Westwood One.
Sources also told the WSJ that Cumulus is planning a national Talk radio brand, a la its "NASH FM" Country branding that has rolled out in recent months.