Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lew Dickey: Content Is King

Lew Dickey
Under the deal announced Friday, Cumulus Media will pay $260 million for Dial Global, ($45 million in equity and $215 million in retired debt) while pocketing $238 million from Townsquare. It will also trade 15 stations in smaller markets for five stations located in Fresno, California, a top-100 market.

According to Forbes, consolidating its presence in top-100 markets and producing more of its own content are the twin pillars of Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey’s strategy.  The Dial acquisition gives Cumulus radio rights to NFL and NCAA games and NASCAR races, as well as to special events including the Grammy Awards and the Olympic Games and talk programming including “The Dennis Miller Show.”

“We believe ultimately, as with all media, that content is king, and with this we have some excellent, exclusive premier content to distribute across platforms,” Dickey told Jeff Bercovici at Forbes.

“In essence, it sets us up not only for today but also for the future as audio media expands with mobile and through digital channels.”

Producing and syndicating more of the content it airs means Cumulus — which leaped into radio’s big leagues with its 2011 acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting for $2.4 billion — doesn’t have to worry as much about how listeners choose to get their audio news and entertainment.

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