Newspaper article International New York Times

Broadcasting Executive Dumped as Stock Tumbles

Newspaper article International New York Times

Broadcasting Executive Dumped as Stock Tumbles

Article excerpt

With its stock price plummeting, Cumulus said Lewis W. Dickey Jr., a founder of the company, would step down and be replaced by Mary G. Berner.

Its stock price plummeting, Cumulus Media, the second-largest radio broadcaster in the United States, announced on Tuesday that it would replace its chief executive.

Cumulus's board said that Lewis W. Dickey Jr., a founder of the company, would step down as president and chief executive on Oct. 13. Mr. Dickey, one of the company's largest shareholders, will become its vice chairman.

He is to be replaced by Mary G. Berner, the former chief executive of MPA -- the Association of Magazine Media, and a former head of Reader's Digest Association and Fairchild Publications. Ms. Berner has been on Cumulus's board since May.

This year, Cumulus's shares have lost more than 80 percent of their value. On Tuesday, the company's share price closed down 8.1 percent at $0.68, its lowest price for the year.

Cumulus, based in Atlanta, has 460 stations in 90 markets -- only iHeartMedia controls more stations, with over 850 -- and a content syndication service, Westwood One. The company has also invested in streaming music through a deal with Rdio, a competitor to Spotify and Pandora, that is valued at $75 million, and added content from Cumulus stations to Rdio's system.

Cumulus also started a country music brand, Nash, that it extended to radio stations, television, a magazine and a record label. In 2013, Cumulus introduced the first country station to the New York City market in 17 years, WNSH-FM, the first of a string of stations using the Nash name.

But Cumulus's growth has resulted in a debt load of nearly $2.5 billion, and while its revenue has quickly grown since 2011 with the addition of hundreds of stations, its profitability has stagnated. Last year, it had $1. …

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