Townsquare Media, Inc. (formerly Regent Communications until 2010) is an American radio network and media company based in Greenwich, Connecticut. The company started in radio and expanded into digital media toward the end of the 2000s, starting with the acquisition of the MOG Music Network. As of 2018, Townsquare was the third-largest AM-FM operator in the country, owning over 320 radio stations in 66 markets.
As Regent Communications
Regent Communications logo before rebranding
Townsquare Media was established as Regent Communications by Terry Jacobs in 1994. Jacobs was formerly the CEO of Jacor Communications, a radio broadcasting company which he created in 1979. Bill Stakelin later shared chief status in the company with Jacobs, and the two established JS Communications, later selling Regent to Jacor in 1997. Stakelin and Jacobs resurrected the Regent name to replace JS, with approval by Jacor. Jacobs left the company in 2005.
On October 27, 2008, Regent Broadcasting joined Radiolicious and began streaming on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Regent is the first major radio group to contract for all of its streaming stations to be available through the Radiolicious application.
As Townsquare Media
Regent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 1, 2010, with $211.3 million in debt, $166.5 million in assets, and a pre-arranged plan for exiting bankruptcy, with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The filing plan made Oaktree Capital Management the majority owner of Regent after the bankruptcy and gave the old shareholders 12.8 cents per share. After the privatization, the company was renamed Townsquare Media.Gap Broadcasting Group, another radio group owned by Oaktree, was merged into Townsquare, giving it ownership of 171 radio stations in 36 markets.
In December 2010, the company began to expand its digital media operations, overhauling its stations' websites and launching a new country music news website known as Taste of Country.
Townsquare acquired a number of stations from Double O Radio in August 2011.
On April 30, 2012, Townsquare Media announced a deal to acquire 55 stations in 11 markets from Cumulus Media, in exchange for Townsquare's stations in the markets of Bloomington and Peoria, IL and $126 million.
On August 24, 2012, Townsquare reached a deal to acquire the MOG Music Network, an advertising network for music blogs. The network was part of MOG, a streaming music service that had previously reached a deal to be acquired by Beats Electronics.
In June 2013, Townsquare announced it would acquire a number of music-related blogs from AOL, including The Boombox, The Boot, and Noisecreep, along with ComicsAlliance. The deal came following the abrupt shutdown of AOL's Music division in April 2013.
On August 29, 2013, it was announced that Cumulus would purchase Dial Global, after the programming syndication service was showing signs of financial distress in late 2012. Cumulus paid $260 million for this service, a portion of which was used to pay off Dial's debt before it was folded into Cumulus. To make the sale work, Cumulus once again made a pair of station deals with Townsquare Media; the first deal sent 53 stations in Danbury, CT, Rockford, IL, Cedar Rapids, IA, Quad Cities, IA-IL, Waterloo, IA, Portland, ME, Battle Creek, MI, Kalamazoo, MI, Lansing, MI, Faribault, MN, Rochester, MN, and Portsmouth, NH, to Townsquare for $238 million. The second sent 15 more stations in Dubuque, IA and Poughkeepsie, NY, in exchange for Peak Broadcasting's Fresno cluster. Peak, which like Dial Global and Townsquare has a large investment held by Oaktree, also had its Boise cluster folded into Townsquare. Due to market overlaps, three of Townsquare's newly acquired stations were placed in a divestiture trust. The acquisition of the Cumulus stations closed on November 14, 2013.
On June 24, 2014, Townsquare Media filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, valued at $143.8 million. On July 24, 2014, Townsquare Media became a public company with an initial offering price of $11 a share.
In September 2014, Townsquare Media acquired XXL, King, and Antenna from Harris Publications. Townsquare then ceased print publication of XXL.
In August 2015, Townsquare Media acquired North American Midway Entertainment of Farmland, Indiana, an amusement park company with operations in the United States and Canada.
On August 17, 2016, The Madison Square Garden Company acquired a 12% stake in Townsquare Media.
On October 16, 2017, Townsquare Media announced the transition of Steven Price, Townsquare's founder and Chief Executive Officer, to the new role of Executive Chairman of the Board. He was replaced by Bill Wilson and Dhruv Prasad, who are serving as Co-Chief Executive Officers. In addition, Erik Hellum was announced as Chief Operating Officer, Local Media.
On February 15, 2018, Townsquare Media acquired classic rock station WOUR-FM 96.9 from Galaxy Communications.
Web publications and services
- Antenna - general publication marketed toward youth readers; formerly a print magazine
- The Boombox - dedicated to hip hop music; previously owned by AOL
- The Boot - dedicated to country music; previously owned by AOL
- ComicsAlliance - dedicated to comic books; previously owned by AOL
- Just Jared - dedicated to pop culture
- King - publication marketed toward African American men; formerly a print magazine
- Hype Machine - aggregator of music blogs; previously owned by SpinMedia
- Loudwire - dedicated to heavy metal and hard rock music
- Noisecreep - dedicated to heavy metal and hard rock music; previously owned by AOL
- PopCrush - dedicated to pop music; also a radio show on some Townsquare stations
- ScreenCrush - dedicated to film and television
- Taste of Country - dedicated to country music
- Ultimate Classic Rock - dedicated to rock music categorized as classic; also a radio show on some Townsquare stations
- XXL - online magazine and website dedicated to hip hop; formerly a print magazine
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- ^ a b c d Flanagan, Andrew (January 16, 2014). "XXL Bought by Townsquare, to End Print Edition Next Month". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2016.
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- ^ "Townsquare appoints Bill Wilson and Dhruv Prasad as Co-Chief Executive Officers, Erik Hellum as Chief Operating Officer, Local Media, and announces Founder Steven Price will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board". Townsquare Media - Digital Media & Radio Advertising Company. Retrieved .
- ^ "BRIEF-Townsquare Announces Acquisition Of Rock Brand WOUR-FM". Reuters. 2018-02-15. Retrieved .
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- ^ "Townsquare Media Launches New PopCrush Night Program With Lisa Paige". All Access. All Access Music Group. February 17, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
- ^ Thompson, Anne (March 26, 2014). "Media Watch: ScreenCrush Adds Departed HuffPo Scribe Mike Ryan". IndieWire. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 2016.
- ^ "Zach Martin to Host Ultimate Classic Rock on 28 Townsquare Stations, Syndicated by Compass Media". All Access. All Access Music Group. June 29, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
- ^ "Ultimate Classic Rock". Retrieved 2017.