Ahead of its expected purchase of two St. Louis stations from Emmis, Entercom is making a management change in the home of the Gateway Arch. John Sheehan, the senior VP/market manager of Entercom’s “News Talk 1120” KMOX, AC KEZK-FM (102.5) and hot AC “Y-98” KYKY since 2007, is leaving that post, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His replacement is reportedly Becky Domyan, who has been director of Sales for Emmis St. Louis and with Emmis since 2006.
Entercom inherited Sheehan from CBS Radio when it entered the market in November via the merger with CBS Radio. On Jan .30, Emmis said it reached agreements in principle to sell its four radio stations in St. Louis to two buyers. In separate deals, Entercom will pick up “FM News Talk 97.1” KFTK-FM and CHR “Now 96.3” KNOU, while Hubbard Radio will acquire the rockers – heritage rock KSHE (94.7) and modern rock “105.7 The Point” KPNT.
Now it appears Domyan is making the move from Emmis to Entercom before the deal closes.
Entercom has made numerous market manager changes at the former CBS Radio, including in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Denver.
Sheehan had run the St. Louis stations for more than a decade, after 14 years in station management and sales in the Kansas City market. Local radio sources told the Post-Dispatch that Sheehan was informed of the change by Entercom exces during a late morning meeting on Thursday. Entercom officials weren’t available to comment.
Emmis Sale Not Finalized
More than three weeks have passed since the St. Louis sale was announced and Emmis has been keeping details of the two transactions close to the vest. When it made the announcement it said definitive sales contracts hadn’t been signed. It’s not known what the holdup is. “Negotiating terms and two purchase agreements that you want to close concurrently can take a lot of coordination,” DEFcom Advisors CEO Doug Ferber tells Inside Radio. “The timing of the two may be different given the different circumstances of each.”
Emmis employs roughly 120 people in St. Louis, including full-time and part-time employees. The company has had a presence in St. Louis since 1984.
The sale will allow both Entercom and Hubbard to expand their presence in the market. Hubbard is getting the highest rated stations of the Emmis cluster. KSHE, which marked its 50th year as a rock station in 2017, ranked second in Nielsen’s January book with a 6.9 share (6+). “The Point” was ninth with a 4.2. The two St. Louis rockers will join Hubbard’s “92.3 New Country” WIL-FM, adult hits “106.5 The Arch” WARH and sports “101 ESPN” WXOS in the market.
Moody’s Investors Service said Hubbard’s agreement to buy the two St. Louis stations has no immediate impact on Hubbard Radio’s credit ratings. In a research note, Moody’s says net revenues for the 12 months ending September 2017 for Hubbard on a standalone basis were roughly $216 million.