For now, the acquisition of three local radio stations—top-40 WZPL-FM 99.5, adult contemporary WNTR-FM 107.9 and sports-talker WXNT-AM 1430—will have little impact on listeners. But changes are coming for staffers and advertisers.
Atlanta-based Cumulus Media announced Feb. 13 that it plans to acquire the three Indianapolis stations in a swap with Pennsylvania-based owner Entercom Communications.
Local Entercom workers will eventually move to new studios in Indianapolis. And advertisers will be offered buys across Cumulus’ three current local stations and the soon-to-be-acquired stations.
In Indianapolis, Cumulus already owns classic rock station WJJK-FM 104.5 and country station WFMS-FM 95.5, which are consistent top five stations in this market. Both have been No. 1 in recent months. Cumulus also owns WYRG-FM 93.9, a top 40 station—which has considerable overlap with WZPL, a consistent top 10 local station headlined by "The Smiley Morning Show."
Cumulus will move the three Entercom stations over time to Cumulus Indianapolis’ studios at 6810 Shadeland Ave., officials told IBJ.
The timing for that move has not yet been determined, nor has anything been decided regarding potential staffing changes, Cumulus officials said. It’s unclear what will happen to Entercom’s studios at 9245 N. Meridian St.
However, Cumulus officials told IBJ on Friday there would be no immediate programming changes to the three stations, although they wouldn't rule out new formats later on.
“We are extremely excited to welcome 99.5 ZPL, 107.9 The Mix and CBS Sport 1430 AM to Cumulus Indianapolis. These formats fit very nicely with our current line-up, and the combined audience of the new group will help advertisers reach almost 1 million Indianapolis consumers,” said Dave Milner, Cumulus’ executive vice president of operations.
Cumulus officials said they will sign a local marketing agreement to program the stations beginning on March 1. Cumulus hopes to close the deals during the second quarter, the company said last week.