The country’s second-biggest radio owner rebrands
It’s not exactly atrocious as Tegna or Tronc, but Entercom’s name change to Audacy is meant to reflect radio’s future.
Or something like that.
On Tuesday, Entercom disposed of its corporate name after 53 years and became Audacy, whatever it means. Also gone is the Radio.com name.
“We have transformed into a fundamentally different and dramatically enhanced organization and so it is time to embrace a new name and brand identity which better reflects who we have become and our vision for the future,” said David Field, Chairman, President and CEO. “‘Audacy’ captures our dynamic creativity, outstanding content and innovative spirit as we aspire to build the country’s best audio content and entertainment platform.”
Based in Philadelphia, Entercom started in 1968 and purchased CBS Radio in 2017, local owners of WBBM-AM/FM, WSCR-AM, WUSN-FM and others. Today, the company owns 200-plus stations in 47 markets in mostly larger cities in addition to Chicago including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and home market Philadelphia.
The company also launched Radio.com at the dawn of the Internet, and migrated all of the former CBS stations into the platform after purchase.
The name rebrand basically says it is more than radio – it is an “audio content creator” – getting heavily into podcasting, also announcing deals with Demi Lovato, Boomer Easison, Big Tigger, and a distributor deal with Rich Eisen’s show. Audacy also plans to launch an app featuring podcasts and radio stations, similar to what iHeartMedia does.
This marks the latest media company to rebrand in recent years to reflect the changing media landscape. In 2014, Clear Channel became iHeartMedia after the tremendous success of its iHeartRadio app. A year later, Gannett’s television stations spun-off from the company and rebranded as Tegna. But some rebrands weren’t successful – case in point was Tribune Publishing’s widely mocked rebrand to Tronc in 2016, lasting only two years.
Earlier this year, CBS Television Distribution rebranded as CBS Media Ventures to better reflect the company as more than a traditional syndicator but being active in other businesses.
The name Audacy was used as a space Communitions company building inter-relay networks before going out of business last year. The name should not be confused with Audacity, an open-source, free-to-download digital audio editor and recorder.
A note about tags...With the name change, all tags with the Entercom name will soon be updated to Audacy effective immediately. However, all tags with CBS Radio will remain as is since it was a separate company purchased by Entercom in 2017 and is being kept for historical purposes.