ABC Radio is an upcoming radio network in the United States. It is under the ownership of The Walt Disney Company, a parent of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) with satellite distribution being handled by Skyview Networks. It is scheduled for launch on January 1, 2015.
ABC Radio origins
ABC Radio originally began after the split of NBC Red and NBC Blue (later Blue Network) networks with ABC taking over operations from RCA in 1943 before adopting its name 2 years later. ABC Radio was known to broadcast the first nationwide report of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was shot in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas at 18:30 UTC on November 22, 1963 and ABC Radio's Don Gardiner anchored the network's initial bulletin at 18:36:50 UTC, minutes before any other radio or television network followed suit.
ABC also acquired Satellite Music Networks as well as its formats in 1989 and throughout the years began building new radio networks.
Despite a number of different owners (Capital Cities Communications and later Disney), the radio division remained under ABC's wing until June 12, 2007 when it was sold to Citadel Broadcasting as well as its O&O stations (not including Radio Disney and ESPN Radio nor its affiliates) in a restructuring effort. The radio division has kept the ABC name for about 2 years until Citadel renamed it Citadel Media. Then sometime in September 2011, Cumulus Media has absorbed the now-defunct Citadel Broadcasting and rebranded it to the current Cumulus Media Networks. In 2013, Cumulus Media Networks merged with Dial Global Radio Networks to form Westwood One.
New Era for ABC Radio
On August 7, 2014, the Walt Disney Company announced that ABC will relaunch its radio network division on January 1, 2015. When its current distribution deal with Cumulus comes to an end, ABC will revamp its radio programming services under a new deal with Skyview Networks. ABC will continue to make its radio news programming (via ABC News Radio and its FM counterpart ABC News Now) available once Cumulus replaces it with its new CNN-powered news service. It will also expand to create new radio programming based on other ABC owned properties such as Good Morning America, Dancing With The Stars, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Skyview will handle advertising sales and satellite distribution for ABC.
At the same time, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to discontinue terrestrial broadcasting of all but one of its Radio Disney stations, which by this point were the only stations outside of its four owned-and-operated ESPN Radio affiliates that Disney still owned. It has not announced whether it plans to use any of those same stations as owned-and-operated stations of the new network.
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