Urban One, Entercom Make A Swap. KYW, ‘Lou’ Are Benefiting


As first reported Thursday afternoon by Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink, Entercom Communications — which reported its Q3 2020 earnings results Friday morning — is entering into an asset exchange agreement with Urban One.

The latter company, which superserves African-American consumers, is gaining two AMs, an FM and an FM translator in the South’s second-largest market.

For Entercom, it is gaining Contemporary R&B stations in St. Louis and Philadelphia; the intellectual property of an Adult R&B station in St. Louis, and an AM in the Nation’s Capital that is the flagship station of the Washington National Football League club.

The trade will see Urban One gain stations that were once part of the Jefferson-Pilot Communications, and, later, Lincoln Financial Media family: Class C 100kw Adult Contemporary WLNK-FM 107.9 “The Link;” News/Talk combo WBT-AM & FM, with a Class A AM at 1110 kHz and a Class C3 FM in Chester, S.C.; and Sports Talk Class B WFNZ-AM 610 — which has a translator at 102.5 kHz.

In return, Entercom is getting Class C2 WHHL-FM 104.1 in Hazelwood, Mo., known as “Hot 104.1,” and the intellectual property of WFUN-FM 95.5, “The Lou.” It airs the Rickey Smiley Morning Show and nighttime programming featuring R&B artist Al B. Sure.

Soon, that programming will shift to KNOU-FM 96.3, presently Top 40, Entercom announced late Thursday (11/5).

Entercom’s other St. Louis stations are Adult Contemporary KEZK-FM 102.5, Talk KFTK-FM 97.1, Hot Adult Contemporary KYKY-FM “Y98” and News/Talk KMOX-AM 1120.

Additionally, Entercom is gaining Class B WTEM-AM 980 in Washington, D.C., a Sports Talker branded as “The Team” that bolsters its presence in the market, and WPHI-FM 103.9 in Jenkintown, Pa., a Class A serving the Philadelphia market.

WPHI will become an FM simulcast of venerable all-News KYW-AM 1060, a Philadelphia informational institution that dates to its Group W ownership.

“In this critical time for our community and country, simulcasting the iconic KYW Newsradio on FM will greatly expand the reach of important, credible local journalism and enhance the listener experience on the crystal-clear FM dial,” boasted David Yadgaroff, SVP/Market Manager of Entercom/Philadelphia.

The 103.9 MHz signal’s past includes a run as Alternative WDRE, and while it has just 270 watts has full-market coverage of Philadelphia.

WPHI joins a group of station that also includes Sports WIP-FM 94.1, Hot Adult Contemporary WTDY-FM 96.5, Classic Hits WOGL-FM 98.1, Adult Contemporary WBEB-FM 101.1, and Talk WPHT-AM 1210.

Financial details were not immediately known. However, Urban One and Entercom will begin operating the stations on November 23 under a Local Marketing Agreement. Urban One says the transaction is expected to close in Q1 2021.

When that transpires, Urban One/Charlotte will be comprised of four FMs, two AMs and the FM translator.

“By adding three best-in-class general market formats (Adult Contemporary, Sports, News and Talk) to our existing cluster of stations (WPZS-FM, WOSF-FM, and WONC-FM) that super-serve the Black and Urban consumer, Urban One will be a dominant player across all segments of the growing Charlotte market,” said Alfred Liggins III, President and CEO of Urban One. “The ability to build scale with a complete market offering in multiple genres is what makes this deal so exciting. Rationalizing our portfolio of radio stations in this manner also helps us continue our strategy of de-leveraging the business.”

Meanwhile, Entercom will continue to carry “some” of Reach Media’s syndicated programming in St. Louis, including The Morning Hustle, R&B with Al B. Sure, and The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Urban One said.

In Washington, D.C., WTEM joins a group of stations comprised of Sports WJFK-FM, Classic Hits WIAD-FM “94.7 The Drive,” WLZL-FM “El Zol 107.9” and Spanish-language sports WJFK-AM 1580, “El Zol Deportes.”