Jones Media Group bought by Triton Radio Networks/Dial Global


RBR gave you the heads up not long ago: Schore, Agovino, Landau, Brown and Williams are going places and fast (11/5/07 RBR #216).

Triton Media Group’s Triton Radio Networks has now bought long-time competitor Jones Media Group and its Jones Media America, Jones Radio Networks and JonesTM from Jones International Ltd. This was a $100 million dollar deal, from what we’ve heard.

This deal is a growth story with multiple synergies.  One of the big opportunities are Jones’ 24/7 formats and the Dial Global Digital 24/7 formats will be combined in RADAR (Dial Global’s formats are already in RADAR). So this is about increasing DG’s RADAR presence and investment. This is a big acquisition, creating a $200 million+ network and a major 24/7 business.

This acquisition expands the company’s product and service offering to include industry-leading positions in national ad sales representation, digital 24/7 formats, prep services, web content and services, music libraries, imaging and jingles.

Neal Schore, the President and CEO of Triton Media Group, said, “This is a very exciting transaction for Triton Radio Networks.  Mike Agovino (Triton’s COO) joins me in welcoming Jones’ employees, advertisers, producers, content providers and station affiliates into the Triton family.” 

Triton Radio Networks’ CEO, Spencer Brown, commented, “The combination of Dial Global and the Jones Media companies underscores our commitment to providing world-class service to our expanded base of valued advertising clients, producer partners and station affiliates.  We look forward to helping our partners continue their growth in both network radio and the digital arena.” 

Effective immediately, Jones Media America will combine with Dial Global under the leadership of David Landau and Ken Williams, Dial Global’s co-Presidents/CEOs.  Landau and Williams stated, “This transaction dramatically increases the scale and scope of the combined companies’ programming and sales options, which will provide our advertising clients with significant and immediate benefits.  We are committed to utilizing the company’s expanded platform and resources to enhance the services and value we offer our current and future clients.”

Looks like the agency community is confident in the deal as well—see our Ad Business Report section.

Jones Radio Networks will merge with Dial Global Programming under the management of Landau, Williams and Kirk Stirland. The combined unit will now offer enhanced syndication, long-form programming, prep services and comedy services.  Jones’ 24/7 format business will operate alongside Dial Global’s existing 24/7 business, which it acquired from Westwood One in 2006.  JonesTM, a leading provider of music libraries, imaging products and jingles, will remain a separate reporting unit.

Dial Global provides national ad sales representation to over 200 radio programs and networks in addition to Dial Global’s own programming and services.  Including the Jones Digital Formats and the Dial Global Digital 24/7 Network, Dial Global Programming now produces and syndicates approximately 100 music programs and prep services in a variety of formats to more than 6,000 radio stations nationwide. 

RBR observation: What’s next? Interep? Oaktree Capital Management (which backs Triton) holds Interep’s bonds, so who knows? Oaktree and Neal Schore are turning into a very quiet, yet significant player in all of radio. It’s also our understanding that Dial Global was the industry’s growth story in the past few years. That’s what gave Oaktree the confidence and firepower to make this deal. 

Also, how will Dial Global now stack up with Premiere, ABC Radio Networks and Westwood One in the network radio game? Each of the other three companies are going through big changes. Clear Channel has the Tommy Lee/Bain Deal. And Charlie Rahilly replaced Kraig Kitchin, running Premiere. Premiere also has a new EVP/Sales in Carol Terakawa. WW1 also: big changes. It no longer describes itself as a radio company, they are a content company. Most of the new management structure came from other media. We’re not sure yet how that’s going to be perceived in the market. It sounds good, but what will be the content? Network radio will still have to be a big part of it. ABC his issues also–nobody knows what’s going on with Hannity and Citadel stock is at an all-time low. They have Paul Harvey, clearly the greatest Talk Radio commentator in the history of the biz, whose wife Angel just passed away. And who knows if the ESPN rep deal will go in-house like Radio Disney?