Will Citadel (CDL) Get Imus?

August 14, 2007 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Late word is the Don Imus has settled things with CBS (CBS). He had a $40 million contract with the company when he was dismissed for unfortunate remarks on his radio show which also aired on MSNBC.

It now appears that Imus will end up at New York station WABC, part of ABC Radio which is owned by Citadel (CDL) Broadcasting, according to a report from The Associated Press. The company has 179 FM and 66 AM stations. The company’s ABC Radio Network, which syndicates programs like Paul Harvey is picked up during some portion of the day by 4,400 stations.

And, that would be the beauty of picking up Imus. While with CBS, his live show ran in the morning on a number of stations outside New York. Citadel could do the same with a large number of its owned and operated stations along with affiliated stations on the network.

CDL could use the help. For the most recent quarter, revenue moved up to $141.2 million from $112.5 million, boosted by the addition of ABC Radio. Excluding ABC, revenue fell 2 percent to $109.9 million. The firm reported profit of $3.8 million, or 3 cents per share.

Imus could help the company change all of that. The shares are off on earnings news today, down 7% to  $4.46. The 52-week high is $11.01.

They should pay the veteran broadcaster in stock.

Douglas A. McIntyre