Cumulus Purchases Dial Global for $260 Million
Cumulus Media, the radio giant that recently struck a deal to keep broadcasting the country's top host, Rush Limbaugh, in most markets, said Friday it has agreed to pay $260 million for Dial Global, which sells rights to a slew of talkers.
Dial will give Cumulus access to the NFL, NASCAR and the Olympics, as well political radio hosts on both sides of the aisle, like Herman Cain on the right and Stephanie Miller, Bill Press and Ed Schulz on the left. Dial also syndicates Saturday Night Live alum Dennis Miller, whose show skews Libertarian.
Dial also has rights to broadcast the Grammy Awards and other special events and it syndicates about a dozen music shows daily and on weekends.
The complicated deal announced Friday has Dial merging with Cardinals Merger Corp., a subsidiary of Cumulus, which said it will sell 53 of its nearly 500 radio stations to Townsquare Media for $238 million to help finance the transaction. Cumulus is also trading 15 stations to Townsquare, which will give in return five stations that it is acquiring from Peak II Holding.
The multiple transactions are expected to close by year's end.
Dial operates in the same space as industry leader Premiere Networks, a syndicator that is owned by Clear Channel. Premiere syndicates 90 shows hosted by such personalities as Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran and Sean Hannity.