This is part of a busy Monday in the world of sports media. Westwood One Radio which was once one of the most powerful syndicators in the medium has merged with Dial Global. At one time, Westwood One Radio was part of CBS and was able to amass rights to most of the country’s biggest sporting events through its agreements with MLB, NCAA, NFL, NHL, Notre Dame football, the College Football Association, The Masters®, and Olympics. While it no longer has MLB, NHL, Notre Dame and major college football games, Westwood One still is able to air NFL, the NCAA Tournament, The Masters® and the Olympics.
Today, we have word that Westwood One has merged with Dial-Global of the Triton Media Group. Dial-Global is a radio sales marketing and syndication company. Its programming includes Weather Channel Radio, Michael Smerconish, Ed Schultz and plenty of other formats.
Westwood One Radio offers plenty of programming itself including Dennis Miller, Loveline, and still retains a relationship with CBS Radio.
Here’s the joint press release from Westwood One and Dial-Global.
NEW YORK, NY, August 1, 2011 — Dial Global, a division of Triton Media Group, LLC, and Westwood One, Inc. (NASDAQ: WWON), today announced a definitive agreement to merge in a stock for stock transaction. The new entity will remain listed on NASDAQ. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to customary closing conditions and expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
The combination of assets of Dial Global and Westwood One creates a diverse radio programming, services and advertising sales company, enhancing the array of products and services provided to radio stations and national advertisers. In addition, the merged entity will expand national advertising sales representation to independent content producers and networks.
“This transaction brings together a highly complementary portfolio of programming assets that will better serve our clients and customers,” said Spencer Brown, David Landau and Ken Williams co-CEO’s of Dial Global. “We will focus on utilizing the combined company’s expanded content and sales platform to enhance the services and value we offer to our current and future clients.”
Rod Sherwood, President of Westwood One, commented, “We are excited about this merger and the benefits it will bring to our customers by complementing our existing portfolio of sports, talk, news, music and entertainment programming. Our employees have worked hard to create a diverse portfolio of assets that, when combined with Dial Global, will better serve our clients.”
Neal Schore, President and CEO of Triton Media Group, stated, “Following the contemplated merger, we will continue to work closely with Dial Global, as well as the entire industry to develop innovative technologies that will help the radio industry continue to evolve. Triton Media Group will focus exclusively on operating our remaining division, Triton Digital, which is the leading digital platform company for the radio industry.”
Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor to Dial Global. Moelis & Company and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP acted as financial advisor and legal advisor, respectively, to Westwood One. Berenson & Company rendered a fairness opinion, while General Electric Capital Corporation, ING Capital LLC and Macquarie Capital have committed to provide debt financing in support of the transaction.
Triton Media Group is a portfolio company of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. Westwood One is a portfolio company of The Gores Group, LLC.
About Triton Media Group
Triton Media Group is a provider of applications, services and content to the media industry. Its Triton Digital division provides digital services to the radio industry with more than 6,000 station affiliations. Through its Triton Radio Networks division, Triton owns and operates Dial Global, which provides sales representation and syndication services to national radio production companies and produces more than 100 different programs and services. For more information about Triton Media Group, visit www.tritonmedia.com.
About Dial Global
Dial Global (www.dial-global.com) provides national advertising sales representation to over 200 radio programs, services and networks on over 8,000 stations. In addition, Dial Global produces the Dial
Global 24/7 Formats, well as Prep Services, Jingles and Imaging as well as long and short form radio programs which it distributes to over 6,000 radio stations nationwide.
Dial Global is owned by Triton Media Group, LLC, a leading supplier of digital products and services to the media industry.
I have another piece of radio news coming up.