Industry News

Bloomberg: Audacy Gambled on CBS Radio Merger

A piece at Bloomberg by Ashley Carman looks at the $1.5 billion 2017 merger of Audacy (formerly Entercom) and CBS Radio and concludes that the deal has been a back-breaker for the company as Carman writes, “Now, six years later, Audacy is struggling under the weight of $1.92 billion in debt and shriveling demand for radio advertising, an industrywide plague.” The piece goes beyond just Audacy’sim financial struggles and looks more broadly at how radio as a legacy medium is facing “the same headwinds as other traditional media.” Carman adds, “Stations are losing their grip on younger audiences, and advertisers are tuning out. Fresh sources of revenue, like podcasts and streaming audio, are going to new contenders such as Spotify Technology SA or just failing to make up for the lost radio ad dollars.” The U.S. radio business has always touted its reach, but according to Lauren Russo, EVP at ad buyer Horizon Media, broadcast radio faces real problems. “The broadcast marketplace is extremely soft for ’23 and similarly for ’24. The overall audio ecosystem continues to grow from a streaming and podcasting perspective, but at the expense of broadcasts.” Read the Bloomberg piece here.