SBD/October 12, 2012/Media

Cumulus Media Stations To Drop ESPN Radio In Favor Of New CBS Sports Radio

ESPN Radio is "about to get blitzed," as Cumulus Media in January "will drop its programming from 47 stations and pick up rival CBS Sports Radio," according to Claire Atkinson of the N.Y. POST. Cumulus plans to "syndicate CBS to other independent stations and work to woo Madison Avenue." The moves come as "part of the partnership Cumulus struck with CBS over the summer to help get the fledgling sports radio network off the ground." As a result, CBS Sports Radio "will air on around 100 stations, reaching about 10 million households, when it officially launches on Jan. 2." However, ESPN will "continue to beat [CBS] in total audience by a long shot," as the outlet "boasts 350 station affiliates and reaches an estimated 30 million households." CBS Radio President & CEO Dan Mason said, "ESPN affiliates are in small markets. Maybe you find that adds up to a lot of audience." ESPN Senior VP/Production & Business Divisions Traug Keller said, "This has no material effect on us. There's only three or four (Cumulus) stations in the top 50." He added that ESPN Radio "has already found new affiliates in Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala." (N.Y. POST, 10/12).
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