Cherry Creek Broadcasting, a small- to-midsize market radio, digital marketing and events company serving markets in the western U.S., has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Townsquare Media for $18.75 million.
The acquisition adds Cherry Creek’s portfolio of 43 local radio stations in nine markets to Townsquare’s portfolio of 321 stations in 67 markets, thereby creating “a broad range of opportunities and innovative tools to better serve their respective communities along with new and existing customers.”
Townsquare is a community-focused digital media and digital marketing solutions company with radio stations focused on markets outside the Top 50 across the U.S.
“The dedication and effort our local teams have shown in serving their communities, listeners and advertisers has been instrumental to our success and foundational to our mission,” said Jonathan Brewster, CEO of Cherry Creek. “As we’ve grown with the help of partners like Bain Capital Credit, we have maintained our focus on serving small-to-midsize communities and leveraging this platform to build a robust digital-solutions business that advertisers desperately seek. Folding Cherry Creek’s quality brands and digital platform into Townsquare is the natural next phase in our growth journey and offers Cherry Creek employees access to a deep bench of resources and guidance to continue their shared mission.”
Townsquare expressed excitement over the deal. Townsquare Chief Executive Officer Bill Wilson said, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of Cherry Creek’s market leading local media brands. The acquisition includes many local heritage brands with strong competitive positions, meaningful audience share, and very talented local teams. We believe this acquisition furthers our goal of being the #1 Digital First Local Media Company in markets outside of the Top 50 in the United States.”
Townsquare will be adding 35 local media brands and radio stations in nine markets. But given current FCC ownership limitations it will divest six radio stations in Missoula and place two radio stations in Tri-Cities, WA in a divestiture trust. According to Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink, the Missoula properties will be sold to Anderson Broadcasting and two non-profit entities: Legacy Broadcasting and Missoula Community Radio.
Post the close of the acquisition Townsquare will have 356 local radio stations in 74 local markets.
“This transaction solidifies Townsquare’s position as the only local media and digital marketing solutions company of scale focused principally on markets outside the Top 50 in the United States,” Wilson said.
The transaction will be funded with cash on hand and Wilson said it will not impact Townsquare’s ability to reach out goal of 4x net leverage at the end of 2022.
The transaction, the largest seen for radio stations in at least three years based on dollar total, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, pending regulatory approval.
Kalil & Co. acted as exclusive broker for Cherry Creek.
McDermott Will & Emery and Wilkinson Barker Knauer served respectively as transaction and FCC counsel to Townsquare in connection with the transaction.