FCC Approves Cumulus/Citadel Merger
Sep 16, 2011 8:49 AM
Atlanta and Las Vegas - Sep 15, 2011 - The Federal Communications Commission has approved the pending merger of a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Cumulus Media and Citadel. The merger remains subject to approval by the stockholders of Citadel, which was to take place on Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. ET.
FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps issued a statement voicing his opposition to the merger, noting that by allowing the merger "the number two and number three radio companies in the country [create] a media giant that will own more than 560 stations." He lamented that "Time after time and in market after market, there are fewer independent options and fewer local voices. To pass FCC and DOJ muster, Cumulus-Citadel needs to divest only 14stations."
Copps is concerned that the stations, which are to be placed in a trust until sold to as he hopes women and minority owners, will " just languish, unsold, in a trust."
"If the Commission is intent on continuing to bless consolidated control of more and more of our broadcasting outlets by fewer and fewer big interests, isn't it time to ensure that we have some public interest guidelines so that consumers and citizens can be assured of at least some level of local programming, real news about real issues, independent production, and coverage of issues of interest to the diverse populations that make up local communities?"
In connection with the completion of the merger, Cumulus will divest three radio stations in two markets....
Citadel Broadcasting has entered into an agreement providing for exclusive negotiations for a potential merger with Cumulus Media....