October 31, 2005

Manna For Susquehanna: Cumulus Buys In

Cumulus Media, in partnership with private investment groups, announced this morning that it is the buyer of Susquehanna Radio's 33 stations in a deal worth about $1.2-billion.

Locally, Susquehanna owns KNBR/680 and KFOG/104.5 in San Francisco, KSAN/107.7 and KTCT/1050 in San Mateo, and KFFG/97.7 in Los Altos. Cumulus MediaKTCT is co-branded as "KNBR/1050," while KFFG simulcasts with KFOG.

Cumulus, the fourth-largest revenue earner among U.S. radio owners, joined with Bain Capital, Blackstone Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners in making the successful bid. Cumulus will combine the Susquehanna stations, located in eight markets, with four of its own FM radio stations in Houston and Kansas City to create Cumulus Media Partners LLC, which will be led by current Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey.

The deal is expected to gain FCC and close early in 2006.

Complete details at Bloomberg News.

Radio Dots & DashesFred Fox, who began his entertainment career at San Francisco's KSFO and KYA in the late 1930s and went on to become a leading writer for stars such as Bob Hope as well as on countless radio and television comedies, died on October 23 in Encino. He was 90 years old.

His "Freddie The Fox" show on KSFO was a top hit, but was taken off the air when parents complained that his character's trademark stutter was being imitated by their children.

He worked in the Office of War Information during World War II, after which he moved to Hollywood and immediately became a top writer for Burns and Allen, Rosemary Clooney, Jack Carson, Bill Goodwin, Spike Jones, Doris Day and Bing Crosby. In 1944, he joined Bob Hope's writing team, working on Hope's show, sponsored by Pepsodent Toothpaste. Mr. Fox's working relationship with Hope continued for forty years.