Seattle, San Francisco radio stations change hands in Entercom/Bonneville swap

by Brad Kava, San Jose Mercury News

Two of San Francisco's top radio stations, and a third that is lower in ratings, were traded Thursday by Salt Lake City's Bonneville International to a new owner, Philadelphia's Entercom.

Entercom takes control of the market's No. 2 station, soft music KOIT-FM (96.5) and its ninth most popular station, classical KDFC-FM (102.1). It also gets the 23rd-ranked station, KMAX-FM (95.7), which plays a format of new and old rock and pop.

In return, Bonneville receives seven stations, three in Seattle (KIRO-AM, KBSG-FM, and KTTH-AM) and four in Cincinnati (WKRQ-FM, WSWD-FM, WUBE-FM and WYGY-FM).

Entercom was at the center of a major radio story this week when a woman died as a result of a water drinking contest at its Sacramento rock station KDND-FM. The company fired 10 people associated with its ``Morning Rave'' show.

The swap is about even in cash flow, according to analyst Tom Taylor, of the publication Inside Radio. It was brought about by Bonneville's unsuccessful attempts to sell KMAX. Bonneville, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has had trouble running rock or urban stations because of lyrical content and because it won't take ads for beer, lotteries or casinos.

The change should go into effect by the end of the year, after review by FCC.

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