Cumulus Media reigns over an empire of radio stations. The company is the #2 radio station ownership group in the US (behind Clear Channel), with more than 525 owned or operated stations in about 110 markets throughout the country. In many of its markets, Cumulus has built clusters of stations that realize cost savings through shared administrative and sales operations. In addition to its core mid-market stations, Cumulus, through a partnership with a private equity firm Crestview Partners, owns about 30 stations in large markets including Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco. Crestview Partners controls about 40% of Cumulus.
The company's radio network serves more than 5,500 affiliates nationwide.
In addition to its 525 stations, Cumulus owns 45 studio facilities and has corporate offices in Atlanta, New York, and Dallas.
Cumulus' revenue doubled in 2012 based on the contribution of new acquisitions Cumulus Media Partners and Citadel as well as increased political advertising in conjunction with elections. Despite the big jump in revenue, the company's increased operating expenses, depreciation, impairment charges, and interest expense contributed to an overall loss in 2012.
Not surprisingly, the company's plans include improving the performance of its existing stations to generate internal growth. It also intends to continue acquiring broadcast companies and individual stations in larger markets and regional clusters.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2012 Cumulus purchased two stations in Kansas City for about $11 million. It also unloaded 55 stations in eleven markets it considered non-strategic, including Maine, upstate New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alabama. The unloading was actually a swap with Townsquare Media. In exchange for the 55 non-strategic staions, Cumulus received 10 stations in Bloomington and Peoria, Illinois, and about $115 in cash.
In 2011, Cumulus Media purchased Citadel Broadcasting. The deal was valued at roughly $2.5 billion.
Chairman and CEO Lewis Dickey, along with his family, controls about 14% of Cumulus Media and Crestview Radio Investors holds 41%.