Oaktree expands in radio again


Hot on the heels of announcing its third regional radio operating company, GAP East, Oaktree Capital Management and some co-investors have announced the launch of a new management services platform for the radio industry – Archstream Media.

Archstream said it seeks to create value for station owners and other key stakeholders by providing a full suite of outsourced management services – including each corporate and regional job function above market-level management (i.e. president, sales, digital, finance, corporate development, engineering, etc.) – at a cost that is materially below a given group’s current overhead expense.

Archstream has entered into an agreement with GAP Broadcasting Group that enables the company to leverage GAP Group’s existing infrastructure as well as the expertise of its senior management team, including: Erik Hellum, President of GAP West; George Laughlin, President of GAP Central; Jim Donahoe, President of GAP East; Dan Wilson, CFO of GAP Group; and Vic Savelli, EVP, Digital of GAP Group. Archstream plans to augment this team with additional new hires. Donahoe will lead Archstream’s efforts to develop new partnerships for management services.

“Archstream’s model is predicated upon several key success drivers that differentiate the company: first, Archstream’s regional configuration with Erik, George and me overseeing different regions provides a high-touch, hands-on management approach that also offers full national coverage; second, the company has a cohesive executive team that has consistently outperformed the industry for the last two years; third, by leveraging GAP Group’s existing infrastructure, Archstream can provide management services to clients on an extremely cost-effective basis; fourth, the Archstream team has a clear vision for radio’s digital future and has achieved impressive results to date with its digital initiatives; and, last but certainly not least, our investor group has provided us with financial capital that we can deploy in workout situations that require a management and capital solution,” said Donahoe.
Archstream said it will also make available to station owners, either in conjunction with its full suite of management services or on an a la carte basis, certain proprietary digital products and services that have been proven to generate significant incremental digital revenues for radio stations.

Archstream intends to introduce its first of such proprietary digital solutions during the third quarter of 2009. Vic Savelli will lead the company’s efforts to recruit local media partners for these solutions.