RAPID CITY, SD — Pandora is considering a sale of the South Dakota radio station it spent two years jumping through legal hoops to acquire. In a letter to the FCC dated Monday, the streaming company said it is “reevaluating its broadcast strategy” and may sell CHR “Hits 102.7” KXMZ-FM, Rapid City.
The webcaster is seeking FCC permission not to bring to a vote at this year’s shareholder meeting some organizational changes associated with becoming a broadcaster. A condition to FCC approval of the controversial sale was the expectation that Pandora would present the FCC’s deal conditions for a vote at its 2016 annual shareholder meeting. If approval isn’t obtained then, it’s required to try again at the 2017 meeting. If shareholders still haven’t approved the deal conditions by then, the webcaster is required to sell KXMZ.
Changing its operational documents to include the required foreign ownership provisions would “unduly burden” shareholders, be costly and create controversy among shareholders, Pandora said in the letter, all of which it would like to avoid if the amendment process becomes unnecessary. The letter asks the FCC to consent to delay the matter until 2017 while it “determines its broadcast strategy going forward.” Once it makes a decision it says it will either sell KXMZ or seek a shareholder vote on the amendments during its June 2017 shareholder meeting.
Pandora’s KXMZ purchase, which closed last June, was widely seen as a ploy to reduce the royalties it pays to music right holders. But now the company is said to be seeking direct deals with labels under cofounder Tim Westergren, who became CEO this week, replacing Brian McAndrews.
*Article Source: INSIDE RADIO