ARN acquisition of Southern Cross Austereo (pending approval)

SCA shareholders get 0.753 ARN shares plus $0.296 cents per SCA share held valuing SCA at $0.940 a share

Anchorage Capital Partners will be the other owner in the seperation of licences

Licences will be split metro/regional:

  • ARN - Metro: KIIS and Triple M (10 stations)
  • ACP - Regional: 88 stations in 47 markets (including ARN’s two Canberra stations) + SCAs TV licences and 3 metro radio licences from ARN

I wonder what happens to the Hit stations if this happens. A really small 5 station network would struggle.


Fascinating. It is going to be interesting if there will be any changes to the music formats / relaunch of stations. Probably in the new year one would guess.


Wonder what happens regarding 97.3, noting it’s still half owned by Nova. Guess it just carries on as half owned by ARN (not ACP).


Hopefully we’ll know more soon (which should answer some of the edge cases)


So 2MMM and 3MMM too?

Surely they just keep their higher rating WSFM and Gold and sell those Triple M stations in those markets…

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I wonder if this could trigger other moves with TV licenses and splitting up too then - e.g. the Seven stations being bought by Seven and the Ten licenses being never talked about again.


While I can see the argument that this might improve format diversity in the large markets, I don’t know that such a concentration of control, if not ownership, is in the best interest of diversity in Australian radio. There will be a consolidation of roles that will lead to job losses and reduction in opinions and innovation. I can seen a single news service for example across all these services.


Before we all start (naturally and understandably) get carried away, there are two big questions that we don’t know the answers to yet:

  1. Will SCA accept this ARN/ACP proposal (that’s the key thing here - a deal hasn’t been done yet)?

  2. Will this prompt any other parties to put their hat in the ring and make an alternative offer that might be more appealing for SCA than having to split up their various radio assets?


There will need to be a divestment of some stations. Obviously the hit network. 2Day, Fox, B105, SAFM and 92.9, but also the Pure Gold stations Gold 104.3, WSFM and Cruise.

Crazy to think ARN wouldn’t keep stations like Fox, Gold and WSFM, but they couldn’t rebrand them within the KIIS and Triple M brands and keep the audience successfully.

They could move key talent across networks though I guess.

Also interesting to see which stations move studios. SCA have the more comprehensive national technical network so it would make sense to make the most of that. Kyle and Jackie O could end up back at world square, but under the KIIS brand.

Around Brisbane, to accommodate Triple M, they’ll need to divest River and Hot 91. Zinc might go too given the shares facilities with Hot 91.

Other shared markets which will need divestment due to exceeding the 2 station rule are:
Hobart x1 (probably 7HO)
Bendigo/Maryborough x1 (probably Gold 1071)
Mildura x1 (probably River 1467)
Gold Coast x1
Bundaberg x1
Rockhampton/Gladstone x2
Mackay x2
Townsville x2
Cairns x2

EDIT: Having read the letter to the SCA board, it looks like ACP get the stations ARN don’t keep, which they’ve outlined as including 25 stations currently owned by SCA. I wonder why that number is so high? Maybe ACP wanted a bigger piece of the pie? Maybe keeping stations liked to TV together so that local sales and operations don’t need to be split.


Triple M would be much more likely to be divested, it rates terribly compared to 7HO. They can expect complete uproar from the heritage listeners if they ditch the 7HO branding though….


SCA’s ASX release says this is “unsolicited, complex, and highly conditional”.



Maybe if MMM is sold the new owner can rip up the agreement that says Killing Heidi’s Mascara must be played at least once day. My god that’s a terrible song, and yet they flog it to death, including just now on the airwaves.


Listener and iHeart missing from announcement?


They have the iheart name till 2036 and paid for it.


My understanding is that a third joint-venture company would be formed to house ARN and SCA’s combined digital audio assets.


Pure Gold Triple M???

Triple M becomes WS fm / Gold 104, a broad adult music station that isn’t 100% Rock?

Would they still persists with the Talk / Sport.
Would J&A move to 104.9?


Probably still iheart considering how much works gone into it and the reliance of not having to do Australian development. The app is developed in the US. Needless to say the deals with community radio and other commercial stations.


“Radio Wars” could eventually make a good mini series :wink: