Entercom's Field Confident Lincoln Financial Media Deal Will Survive DOJ Holdup
March 10, 2015 at 4:01 AM (PT)
ENTERCOM CEO DAVID FIELD told the DEUTSCHE BANK 23rd Annual MEDIA, INTERNET AND TELECOM CONFERENCE that the deal to buy LINCOLN FINANCIAL MEDIA ("a fantastic company" that will "benefit by being run by a pure-play operator") has been held up by the Department of Justice but that he doesn't "see the deal being upended."
Responding to an analyst's question, FIELD said that ENTERCOM has a pro forma 32% share of advertising in the DENVER market while iHEARTMEDIA has a 40% share, and ENTERCOM accounts for just 2% of all advertising in the market, so "your guess is as good as mine" why the DOJ has held the deal up. "We think they're wrong," FIELD said, saying that "the debate is over" regarding whether the deal satisfies ownership limits.
FIELD also said that the industry has been "playing defense for a number of years," but that "over the past few years, radio has acquitted itself extremely well," increasing the number of listeners, but "radio has not done a great job of marketing itself." He cited NIELSEN taking over ARBITRON ("an orphaned ratings service") as an example of bringing radio back into the conversation among other media as the industry "evangelizes" more going forward.