Talk Radio Network Issues Statement In Opposition To Cumulus-Dial Global Deal
September 4, 2013 at 2:30 PM (PT)
TALK RADIO NETWORK and its affiliated companies are in the process of suing DIAL GLOBAL, alleging that the rival syndicator has violated anti-trust and monopoly laws (NET NEWS 8/28/12), so it's not a surprise that TRN issued a press release opposing DIAL GLOBAL's sale to CUMULUS MEDIA TODAY (9/4).
(DIAL GLOBAL announced the change of its name to WESTWOODONE TODAY as well -- see separate story.)
The press release included a reiteration of TRN's allegations that "Over the past five years, DIAL GLOBAL has become a monopoly," adding the allegation that DIAL "engaged in a long list of illegal and unethical behavior, including failing to pay us our share of advertising revenues generated by our programming." Noting that TRN has sued DIAL and others in federal court in MANHATTAN and OREGON, the statement added the allegation that DIAL has recently "refused even to pay to us our advertising revenues, which DIAL collected as our ad rep," and charged that "DIAL's conduct was part of a deliberate strategy to acquire or destroy viable companies by interfering with revenue streams that DIAL controls as a result of its monopoly power."
Calling on the industry to join the company in opposing the CUMULUS-DG deal, TRN said, "In our view, if the transaction goes forward, the combined company could dominate both the radio station platforms in the top-100 markets and the talk and news content for broadcast in those markets. At the same time, we are concerned that DIAL’s history of illegal and unethical conduct could infect CUMULUS and affect the way the merged entity does business. The threat that this merger poses is not just to us. It is to every independent content provider, to many other members of the industry, and more generally to a vibrant marketplace of ideas on radio." Vowing to continue its suits, TRN said that it "will take all necessary actions to oppose CUMULUS’ proposed acquisition, including in our pending litigation with DIAL, with appropriate governmental authorities, and in the media. We have heard from other members of the industry with similar concerns. Given the implications for others, we encourage all independent content providers and other affected members of the industry to rise up and express opposition in every proper forum."