CBS Corp. said Thursday it has entered an agreement with Entercom Communications Inc to merge the latter with CBS radio. The move will give the two a footprint of 244 stations across the country, and in 23 of the the top 25 U.S. markets, according to a news release. The merger is expected to be tax-free to CBS shareholders, who will gain 72% of all outstanding shares of the combined company after the transaction. Existing Entercom shareholders will own 28% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. "Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium, and offers advertisers outstanding ROI and local activation," Entercom Chief Executive David Field said in a statement. Field will lead the combined company. "This transformational transaction creates scale-driven efficiencies and opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to better serve our listeners and our advertisers." CBS shares have gained 38% in the trailing 12-month period and shares of Entercom have gained 43%, while the S&P 500 Index is up 20%.
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