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Lincoln National sells radio stations as insurer exits media

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(Bloomberg) — Lincoln National Corp. is divesting the last pieces of a media business it acquired eight years ago as the company focuses on sales of life insurance and retirement products.

Entercom Communications Corp. agreed to pay $105 million for Lincoln Financial Media, gaining 15 radio stations in markets including Atlanta, Denver and Miami, the Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based broadcaster said today in a statement. Entercom will pay $77.5 million in cash and $27.5 million in convertible preferred stock.

Lincoln National, the third-largest U.S. annuity seller this year, has been divesting pieces of the radio and television operation it acquired by buying rival Jefferson-Pilot Corp. in 2006 for about $8 billion. The Radnor, Pennsylvania-based insurer sold TV stations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia in 2008 for more than $500 million.

The radio deal “enables Lincoln Financial Group to focus on its strategy to grow its core lines of business,” Chief Executive Officer Dennis Glass, 65, said in today’s statement.

Entercom said it expects the transaction to be completed in the second quarter of next year. The deal is subject to approval from the Federal Communications Commission and other regulators, Entercom said.

After buying Lincoln Financial Media, Entercom will have more than 130 stations in 26 markets, the company said. Among the channels it’s adding are a Miami sports station, a San Diego country broadcaster, and Atlanta’s WSTR-FM, which focuses on “hot adult contemporary” songs.

Lincoln National climbed 0.4 percent to $57.61 at 10:07 a.m. in New York. Entercom advanced 0.3 percent to $10.74.

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