- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

Disney to announce sale
of ABC Radio next week

ABC Radio, the home of Sean Hannity and other popular talk hosts and some of the biggest and most well-known radio stations in the country, will be cut loose by parent Disney Corp. as early as next week, industry insiders tell WND.

Disney has been in serious talks with Citadel Broadcasting to sell its ABC Radio division as a way of improving its bottom line.

Industry analysts say the deal will be close to a $3 billion transaction and involved the assumption of significant debt and operating losses currently experienced by the radio division.

The deal may not include ESPN Radio and some Disney-branded stations that are part of the ABC Radio division now. It would also not include the ABC News radio franchise.

The transaction, however, would include most of the 72 stations currently operating under the ABD Radio banner.

Citadel currently owns AM and FM stations in 47 markets.

Walt Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger has been directly involved in pushing the deal through, according to industry sources. It was Iger who recently announced the $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar.

He also spearheaded plans to cut Disney‘s corporate bureaucracy and shift planning duties to the company‘s media networks, movie studio and consumer products unit in a move to increase spur creativity and productivity.

Iger came to Disney with its acquisition of Capital Cities-ABC television and replaced Michael Eisner.