In this week’s issue… Breaking down the big Cumulus/Connoisseur swap – Remembering Glen Clark, Bill Flynn – PA college station abruptly sold – Toronto FM goes RED

By SCOTT FYBUSH

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Did you miss last week’s Top of the Tower podcast? We spoke with Tom Taylor about what he’s up to after “Tom Taylor NOW” – and with Nautel’s Jeff Welton at the NAB Show, plus our thoughts on what we saw on and off the show floor in Vegas!

*Didn’t see that coming, did you? Not even the usual rumor-peddlers seem to have picked up on what turned out to be by far the biggest story in the region – and the country – last week, with major effects in both CONNECTICUT and PENNSYLVANIA.

That, of course, was the latest shedding of valuable assets by Cumulus, which is reinventing itself as a smaller company that looks more like the old medium-market Cumulus than the behemoth that swallowed Citadel, and with it the former ABC Radio stations. Another of those big-market ABC properties, KLOS (95.5 Los Angeles), left the family last week in a $43 million deal that sends it to the fast-growing Meruelo Media radio/TV group out there.

But that news broke Monday afternoon right alongside another Cumulus deal: a straight swap of assets that sends WEBE (107.9 Westport) and WICC (600 Bridgeport) into the hands of Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media in exchange for Connoisseur’s stations in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.

The object here, quite clearly, is to build a bigger cluster for each owner in each market, and this deal does that quite handily. In Connecticut, Connoisseur adds AC WEBE and news-talk WICC to its already dominant station group in the area – classic rock WFOX (95.9 Southport), classic rock WPLR (99.1 New Haven), hot AC WEZN (99.9 Bridgeport) and the LMA of urban AC WYBC (94.3 New Haven). In Pennsylvania, Cumulus gets sports WEEX (1230 Easton)/WTKZ (1320 Allentown), classic rock “Hawk” WODE (99.9 Easton) and alternative “Spin Radio” WWYY (107.1 Belvidere NJ)/W234AX (94.7 Allentown).

How does this all play out, and what’s next? Read on for our analysis…

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