Westwood One (current)

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WestwoodOne, Inc.
TypeMass media
CountryUnited States
AvailabilityNational, through regional and digital affiliates
HeadquartersCandler Building
New York, New York
OwnerCumulus Media
Launch date
2006
Former names
Dial Global, X Radio Networks, Jones Media Group
Official website
westwoodone.com
 
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WestwoodOne, Inc.
TypeMass media
CountryUnited States
AvailabilityNational, through regional and digital affiliates
HeadquartersCandler Building
New York, New York
OwnerCumulus Media
Launch date
2006
Former names
Dial Global, X Radio Networks, Jones Media Group
Official website
westwoodone.com

WestwoodOne (OTC Pink: DIAL) (formerly Dial Global) is an American mass media company headquartered in New York, New York, specializing in radio syndication and audio content. The company was, at various times, managed by CBS Radio, the radio arm of CBS Corporation and Viacom. It was later purchased by the private equity firm The Gores Group and then sold to Dial Global in 2011. In September 2013, Dial Global rebranded under the name WestwoodOne and announced a merger agreement with Cumulus Media; the transaction was closed on December 12, 2013.

The company takes its name from an earlier network also named Westwood One, a company founded in 1978 before merging with Dial Global in 2011.

WestwoodOne delivers content and services to thousands of radio stations and digital partners across the U.S., including music and entertainment; talk; and sports programming, including coverage of the NFL on Westwood One Sports.

History[edit]

Dial Global was founded as X Radio Networks, a division of Excelsior Radio Networks. It merged with Dial Communications and Global Media in 2006, from which it derived the Dial Global name. Dial Global initially specialized in syndicated weekend music programs of various types. In 2007 it acquired the former Transtar Radio Networks from the original Westwood One. Triton Media Group, a subsidiary of Oaktree Capital Management, purchased Excelsior in early 2008, and soon bought two of its three main competitors: Waitt Radio Networks and Jones Radio Networks. Triton used the Dial Global name for all of its programming and later bought the remainder of Westwood One in 2011, folding it into its Dial Global subsidiary.

Dial Global began exhibiting signs of financial distress in late 2012, a possible side effect of its numerous acquisitions. On November 15 of that year, Dial Global announced a disappointing third quarter that it attributed in part to the financial impact of its exposure to the controversy surrounding a certain controversial talk personality, which was widely assumed to be a veiled reference to Rush Limbaugh in the wake of the Rush Limbaugh–Sandra Fluke controversy (although Limbaugh has no direct association with Dial Global). It simultaneously announced that it had filed for delisting from NASDAQ.[1] At the time of the announcement, Dial Global stock was trading at $2.00 a share; by mid-January 2013, DG's stock was trading at .30 a share. In a SEC 8-K filing dated January 15, 2013, DG announced that it had extended a loan waiver agreement with certain lenders.[2]

On August 29, 2013, it was announced by The Wall Street Journal that Cumulus Broadcasting will be purchasing Dial Global. Cumulus will be paying $260 million in cash for this programming syndication service, part of which will be used to pay off Dial’s debt before it is folded into Cumulus Media Networks. To fund that sale, Cumulus will make a pair of station deals with Townsquare Media, Oaktree Capital Management's radio station ownership division.[3]

On September 4, 2013, Dial Global announced that - as of that day - the company was renaming itself WestwoodOne.[4]

Both transactions on the Cumulus-Townsquare deal were closed on November 14, 2013 and the transaction on Cumulus' buyout of Westwood One was also closed a month later on December 12, 2013. As a result of all of these acquisitions, Cumulus Media now controls the remnants of all four of the major networks from the Golden Age of Radio; NBC, Mutual and the distribution rights to most of CBS are held by Westwood One, while the former ABC Radio Network (as well as CBS Sports Radio) is operated under the Cumulus Media Networks division. (CBS Radio still owns its own stations.) Among the numerous other networks Cumulus now controls are Transtar, RKO, Waitt, Jones, BPI, Watermark, and Drake-Chenault. The company's numerous acquisitions prompted rival Talk Radio Network to file an antitrust lawsuit against what was then Dial Global in August 2012.[5]

Talk Programming[edit]

Branded as Cumulus Media Networks[edit]

Sports programming[edit]

Music and Entertainment Programming[edit]

News and Weather[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]