Chancellor Media May Sell Assets
DALLAS (AP) _ Shares of Chancellor Media soared 20 percent Wednesday as the nation’s biggest radio broadcasting group said it is considering selling off some or all of its assets.
Chancellor’s stock had been lagging those of other media groups even as it has spent billions of dollars buying up competitors. The company’s directors hope that by putting assets on the market it might gain more favor among investors.
In addition to radio stations, the company also has television holdings and an outdoor advertising business. Chancellor has retained BT Alex Brown Inc. to analyze how the company should be reshaped.
``It’s in the shareholders’ interest to go through with this,″ Chancellor spokesman Joe Jaffoni said Wednesday.
Chancellor stock, which trades under the symbol AMFM, closed up $9.18 3/4 at $54.75 a share in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Although each of Chancellor’s operating areas has had the best results in the industry, there is a ``substantial disparity″ between the market valuation of Chancellor and its peers, said Jeffrey A. Marcus, president and chief executive officer.
``We have been the Rodney Dangerfield of the radio business,″ said Marcus. ``We were languishing in the $40s, and that’s just not right.″
``The results we turn in quarter after quarter, if not the best, they’re at the top of the class, and yet we can’t get any recognition on Wall Street,″ he said.
The options for Chancellor could range from the sale of a single company unit to selling the entire company. Marcus declined to comment whether any deals were in the works following the announcement.
When pending transactions close, Chancellor Radio Group will have 465 stations in 105 markets and a weekly listener base of 65 million, and Chancellor Television Group will operate 13 network-affiliated television stations in eight markets.
Chancellor Outdoor Group is the nation’s fifth-largest outdoor advertising company with more than 36,000 billboards in 37 states, the company said.