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April 10, 2012

CBS Radio Sells West Palm Beach Stations for $50 Million

CBS Corporation announced it has signed an agreement to sell its cluster of five radio stations in West Palm Beach, Florida for $50 million. CBS' West Palm Beach cluster is made up of Adult Contemporary WEAT (Sunny 104.3), Country WIRK, Rhythmic CHR WMBX (X102.3),  CHR WPBZ (NOW 103.1) and Urban AC WHFS (B106.3). Two of these stations will have to be sold under FCC regulations. Which two has not been announced as of yet... Will there be a format change at B106.3? If so it won't be anytime soon because the station has syndication deals with both the Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Michael Baisden show.

CBS Radio will lose the call letters with the sale that were assigned to Urban Contemporary station B106.3. WHFS was used for many years by CBS for the legendary alternative rock station in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metro area. How important are the call letters? The station lives on as an HD channel as HFS97-5 and it boasts a popular music festival each year.

B106.3 was also used to "park" WNEW the legendary 102.7 rock station and AM radio station in New York City. Earlier this year WNEW call letters were transferred to a new All-News station in the D.C. area. If a station changes call letters, they must give them back to the FCC unless they assign them to another station they own as was the case in 2007 when "Fresh 102.7" freshened up it call letters. WWFS was used in New York and B106.3 in West Palm Beach became WNEW. Of course in today's radio landscape call letters are not very significant, however there are still a few around that carry some weight.

Here is CBS Radio's official announcement:

NEW YORK- CBS Corporation  (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its five owned radio stations in West Palm Beach for $50 million.  Maintaining its focus on major markets, the company has also previously sold radio stations in the mid-size Portland, Ore. and Denver markets.

At the closing, Palm Beach Broadcasting LLC will acquire three stations from CBS.  To comply with FCC ownership limitations, Palm Beach Broadcasting LLC will acquire the right to sell the other two stations to third parties.  The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory and other approvals.

“It is extremely gratifying to add these excellent stations to our community-focused radio service in the Palm Beach market,” said Dean Goodman, CEO of Palm Beach Broadcasting.  “Radio broadcasting is experiencing a renaissance in the digital age, and we are pleased to be a part of that effort.”

About CBS Corporation

CBS Corporation is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and The CW – a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime Networks, Smithsonian Networks and CBS Sports Network), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International and CBS Television Distribution), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), interactive media (CBS Interactive), licensing and merchandising (CBS Consumer Products), video/DVD (CBS Home Entertainment), motion pictures (CBS Films) and socially responsible media (EcoMedia).  For more information, log on to www.cbscorporation.com.

About Palm Beach Broadcasting

Palm Beach Broadcasting LLC is owned by broadcasting industry veteran Dean Goodman of Palm Beach, Fla., and Garrison Investment Group.  Palm Beach Broadcasting acquired WRMF-FM, Palm Beach, in June 2011.  Mr. Goodman, the company’s CEO, has been involved in the radio and television industry in South Florida for more than 35 years.

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