Radio Disney announced today it is increasing investment in both digital distribution platforms and music-centric programming, and will be divesting 23 of its 24 radio stations in markets across the U.S., effective September 26, 2014. Twenty-two of the stations are AM and one is FM. As a result, Radio Disney will reduce its workforce, affecting the employees at the local stations and some in Ad Sales and Operations.
Radio Disney will maintain its KDIS-AM/Los Angeles radio station which will also originate its national network programming, and will continue the momentum built over the past few years with existing and new partnerships across multiple entertainment platforms. It is already affiliated with the most popular digital/satellite radio services including its distribution partner of over 12 years, SiriusXM, and through newly forged agreements with ShowMobile, Slacker and Harman's Aha Radio and TuneIn, among others. It also has a fast-growing Radio Disney App for iPhone, iPad and Android, and is available on the WATCH Disney Channel app and via a syndication partnership with Dees Entertainment that as of July 1, started bringing the Radio Disney Top 30 to terrestrial stations across the U.S. Outside the U.S., the Radio Disney brand is available in Latin America, Canada and Russia.
Also underway are new multi-platform extensions of Radio Disney's programming, including Radio Disney's Next Big Thing (N.B.T.), designed to showcase emerging recording artists including Shawn Mendes, and the Radio Disney Music Awards (RDMAs) which were the #1 music award TV show among Kids 2-11, Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 for April 2014. The telecast outranked the “MTV Video Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards” and “American Music Awards” in those demos, and the Grammy Awards among Kids 2-11 and Kids 6-11 (virtually tied it among Tweens 9-14).
A Radio Disney spokesperson said, "Radio Disney will increase its investment in both digital distribution platforms and music-centric programming to optimize the network for long-term growth and to better reflect the habits of its listeners, a national audience of kids and families."