With the official approval from the federal antitrust watchdogs only an OK by the FCC is needed for Cumulus Media to close its $2.5 billion acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting on Thursday (9/15). Of course, that assumes Citadel shareholders will give their approval. That vote is set for Thursday.
Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey recently told RBR-TVBR that he was shooting for the September 15th closing. Most of the ducks are in a row now for that closing.
That’s the second closing for Dickey, having already acquired full ownership of the company previously known as Cumulus Media Partners.
No petitions to deny the transaction were filed with the FCC and the parties had already identified the station divestitures needed to comply with the Commission’s local ownership rules. But until the FCC actual issues its order granting the license transfers, the deal can’t go to the closing table.
RBR-TVBR observation: No doubt the lawyers for Citadel and Cumulus have been working hard to get the approval order out of the FCC in time for a Thursday closing. Like most of us, the Commission tends to get focused when a deadline is looming.
Now we wait to see how quickly all of the details are committed to paper. But if the FCC isn’t finished by Thursday, the deal closing will have to wait until the order is signed.
Then the real challenge is ahead for Cumulus in today’s media world of digital and mobile – Can Cumulus reshape the radio medium and take the leadership role that is needed badly. Cumulus will have one shot to get this right because there is no room for error.