In this week’s issue… Behind WABC’s new owner and low sale price – Owens out at WROR – PA cluster sells – Cox radio stations change hands – Craig says goodbye to Hartford – WEBE to leave its smokestack? 

By SCOTT FYBUSH

Jump to: MENHVTMARICTNYNJ PACanada

*When Cumulus announced on Thursday that it had reached a deal to sell WABC (770) in NEW YORK, only one of three pieces of the announcement should have come as any sort of surprise.

That WABC was for sale was a foregone conclusion: once Cumulus parted out the two valuable FMs in the cluster, first WNSH (94.7) to Entercom and then WPLJ (95.5) to EMF, it was pretty much a given that WABC and its remaining FM sister, little WNBM (103.9), were available to interested buyers.

The identity of the buyer? That piece truly was a surprise – while John Catsimatidis has been a familiar face in New York political and business circles for years as the owner of Gristedes supermarkets, mayoral candidate and active political donor, his media activity until now had been limited to a weekend talk show on Salem’s WNYM (970) and a brief, unsuccessful attempt to back a purchase of the Daily News in 2015.

The price? For many, $12.5 million for what was once one of New York’s most important radio stations seemed shockingly low. But in the radio marketplace of 2019, and given what WABC has become, that number really shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise at all. Read on for our exclusive analysis of why – and where Catsimatidis might be going with his new property. (Plus two more huge stories from this busy pre-holiday week – the new ownership at Cox and the end of a Boston radio institution…)

We still have the 2019 Tower Site Calendar in stock — but we barely have 10 left.

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You don't have to stop reading here! Each week's NorthEast Radio Watch is packed full of exclusive, in-depth reporting and analysis from across the nine states and five provinces we've been serving since 1994. You won't find anything like it on any free site - and you can read the rest of this week's column for just $2.99 by clicking on the "Purchase Only" link below. 

Or click here to subscribe and enjoy full access to current NERW and Tower Site of the Week columns and two decades of searchable archives -- for as little as 25 cents per day.

If you are already a member, please login to view the rest of this column. (If the site does not recognize your username, don't panic! Either your subscription has expired and we need to reactivate your account, or your username and email do not match our payment records and we need to link them. Please email Lisa,  or call her at 585-442-5411, for instructions.)

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