Axios report: Audacy shopping Cadence13 to potential buyers

According to a recent report from the news website Axios, the U.S.’s second-biggest AM/FM company, Audacy, has hired bankers to explore the sale of its Cadence13 podcast studio.

The report says that Audacy has hired Evolution Media Capital, a boutique investment firm that focuses on deals in media, entertainment, and sports, to help shop the deal, and that its sources say the company has pitched the studio to most of the major audio giants.

Audacy owns two other podcasting divisions — Pineapple Street Studios and podcast monetization platform Podcorn — that apparently are not up for sale.

Audacy (then called Entercom) acquired a 45% interest in Cadence13 (then called DGital Media) in 2017 for $9.7 million and acquired the rest two years later for a reported $27.5 million.  The Axios report said that Audacy hopes to sell the studio for a price in the ballpark of $100 million.

Despite owning dozens of prestige AM and FM stations in top markets and having annual revenues in 2021 of $1.2 billion, Audacy’s stock price reached a new low yesterday of 31¢, giving the company a market capitalization of only $45 million.  (This implies that the market thinks that the company is worth little more than its $1.86 billion in long-term debt, most of which came with its acquisition of the CBS radio group in 2017.)

Entercom was founded in 1968 as a bet that FM would eventually surpass AM in terms of radio listening.

Kurt Hanson