As we reported on 8/26, Dial Global has officially changed its name to WestwoodOne. The company also has a new logo and is soon to have a new owner in Cumulus Media. WestwoodOne’s 225 million consumers will still have access to exclusive national radio coverage including: The NFL, Olympic Games, Barclays Premier League, and the GRAMMY Awards.
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished as Dial Global. Through our belief in the power of sound we are dedicated to continuously reinventing the industry and creating the most dynamic audio programming that connects people to their passions,” said Paul Caine, CEO of Dial Global/WW1. “With the audio industry’s ever-changing landscape we know we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible for audio’s broad consumption. By reclaiming and reviving an iconic audio brand name, we are not changing who we are, but accelerating the great work we are doing to contribute to the growth of audio.”
On the sports side, despite being so closely linked to the launch and distribution of the CBS Sports Radio Network, Dickey said he needed play-by-play because it’s in such high demand. By purchasing Dial Global, Cumulus gets access to the NBC Sports Radio Network, the NFL, and the NCAA. Obviously the most important piece of programming in the sports package is the NFL because of its popularity. The NFL contract runs almost to the end of this decade. ESPN has dominated the sports category for a long time. In addition to the most popular syndicated sports morning show, Mike and Mike, ESPN has the rights to MLB, including the All-Star Game, playoffs, and World Series; NBA, including the All-Star Game, playoffs, and finals; and, for the first time, out-of-market Sunday afternoon games — starting Sept 8 at 1 p.m. with Tennessee at Pitt. Also not to be forgotten is Fox Sports Radio, syndicated by Premiere.
As part of its commitment to the audio community, the company has commissioned an industry study on the “power of sound,” aimed at better understanding consumers, their behavior, and their interaction with audio. The study builds on current recency data proving radio as the most used medium closest to point-of-purchase and will explore trends in audio consumption based on behavioral tendencies among various demographics. Full study results are expected to be released in Q4. Preliminary findings further the notion that audio is an integral part of the new media landscape.
Since Paul Caine took the helm of Dial Global in March 2013, the company has made significant strides in expanding its sports and entertainment programming and continued to develop innovative cross-platform marketing solutions, including:
• An exclusive terrestrial, three-season partnership with talkSPORT, the world’s biggest sports radio station based in London, U.K., to broadcast live coverage of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup, and Capital One Cup.
• A major milestone for its NBC Sports Radio program; signing a total of 347 affiliate stations.
• And the company’s most recent announcement of its merger with Cumulus Media that is planned to be completed by the end of the year.
In the coming days, partners and consumers can expect to see a new website, social media presence and marketing materials to reflect the new WestwoodOne brand.
WestwoodOne, the largest independent national audio company in the U.S, delivers cross-platform audio content to more than 8,200 media partners and 225 million consumers each week. WestwoodOne content and services include live play-by-play sports and sports talk programming; music and entertainment programs; news, talk, and information programming, 24/7 music formats; prep services; customized music, jingles and imaging; and national sales representation.
RBR-TVBR observation: The question remains whether or not WestwoodOne will end up encompassing all of Cumulus Media Networks’ properties in name. Will the two become one? We can certainly expect WW1 to be all things sports, but what about the talkers, news networks and formats? We think eventually it will all become WW1, due to the recent dismantling of Cumulus Media Networks staff in Dallas and NYC. In addition, one big name will have a lot of brand power and imply more of an independent operation to affiliates.