Citadel now in the big leagues


Farid Suleman and his team continue to be low-key about the successful completion of their 2.5 billion bucks takeover of ABC Radio, but the redone Citadel Broadcasting website touts the former middle market radio group as now "the largest pure play radio company in the United States." Take that, David Field.

With Disney shareholders now the recipients of 151,707,199 new Citadel shares, trading volume for "CDL" on the NYSE was through the roof yesterday. For folks who had previously owned Citadel stock, it was also the first day of trading ex-dividend for the special 2.46 payout. Here's how the math works. The stock closed Tuesday at 8.27. Subtract the 2.46 and anything above 5.81 yesterday was a gain. Indeed, the stock did trade up smartly, despite the glut of new shares. It closed up 33 cents (5.7%) at 6.14 per share on heavy volume. An astounding 15.4 million Citadel shares changed hands yesterday, compared to the normal volume of 880K.

Back to the company's pride in its expanded portfolio – under the headline "Welcome To Citadel Broadcasting" here is what you find on the company's website to describe its new position in the broadcasting world:

"Citadel Broadcasting is the largest pure play radio company in the United States, with a strong national footprint reaching more than 50 markets. Our company is comprised of 177 FM stations and 66 AM stations in the nation's leading markets. In addition to our strong national footprint, Citadel Broadcasting also owns and operates ABC Radio Networks, which creates and distributes programming to more than 4,000 affiliates. The programming includes popular syndicated radio programs such as Paul Harvey News and commentary, The Sean Hannity Show and The Tom Joyner Morning Show, as well as 24/7 music formats. As a company focused exclusively on the radio business, Citadel Broadcasting has the benefit of scale in an increasingly competitive industry."

SmartMedia observation: Was it 2.5 or 2.7 billion? We're still seeing both numbers tossed around. The value of the ABC Radio spin-off from Disney was originally estimated at 2.7 billion. But the terms of the merger with Citadel were adjusted a few months back. Disney then estimated the resulting value at 2.5 billion. RBR has been using the 2.5 billion figure since that time.