Walt Disney Co. plans to sell 23 Radio Disney stations and rely on satellite and the Internet to distribute the mix of children’s music and programming.
The company will keep its Los Angeles station, KDIS-AM, according to a memo to staff from Radio Disney General Manager Phil Guerini. About 200 employees will lose their jobs, according to Burbank, California-based Disney.
The decision underscores a changes in the way programming is delivered as well as a shift in consumption with the growth of mobile devices. The company will focus on satellite affiliates such as Sirius XM Holdings Inc., a partner for 12 years, and digital platforms such as the Radio Disney app, Slacker Inc. and Harman International Industries Inc.’s Aha Radio.
“Digital technology continues to dramatically change consumer habits — from the iPad, mobile devices and the push of connected devices into the home — and these changes compel us to evaluate and evolve our businesses,” Guerini said in the memo.
The decision to sell the Radio Disney stations was reported earlier by Broadcasting and Cable.
Disney merged its ABC Radio unit, with 22 stations, with Citadel Broadcasting Corp. in 2007, in a transaction valued at $2.7 billion when it was announced.
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