Disney Mulls Acceptance of Radio Unit Bids

22 July 2005

Three US radio groups are reported to have submitted bids for the Walt Disney Company's radio business, which includes ABC News Radio and ESPN Sports Radio.

The offers from Emmis Communications, Entercom and Citadel have been described as 'underwhelming' by an insider, in part due to a slide in radio shares and increasing worries over the medium's future growth. Disney's radio group is valued at $3 billion (€2.47bn; £1.72bn).

Disney declined to comment on whether its radio assets are for sale, or if it had received any bids. However, since Robert Iger's appointment to replace Michael Eisner as ceo in September, speculation has been rife over the likely sale of the unit.

Should an offer be accepted, it would "catapult any one of the bidding companies to the US number three slot, both in terms of revenues and the number of stations" according to A G Edwards analyst Michael Kupinski. Disney's radio business owns 72 stations and garnered revenues of $710m last year.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff