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Audacy extends auction for web address

The former logo of the website and streaming audio app. (Image courtesy Audacy, Graphic by The Desk)

Radio broadcaster Audacy has extended an online auction for its premium web address, The Desk has learned.

The web domain was first listed for auction last December with a starting price of $2.5 million. The auction is being conducted on behalf of Audacy by domain registrar GoDaddy.

According to a listing for the auction reviewed by The Desk, more than 1,000 web visitors have taken interest in the domain name, but there were no bids submitted that were at or above the reserve price of $2.5 million. Audacy has now extended the deadline for bids to June 26 after the original deadline of March 28 came and went without a winner.

Audacy, formerly known as Entercom, acquired the domain name as part of its broader purchase of former rival CBS Radio in November 2017. The domain name was used by CBS Radio for its websites and streaming audio apps, and continued to be used by Entercom until the company rebranded as Audacy in March 2021.

Like other radio broadcast companies, Audacy has found itself in a difficult financial position as economic woes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and rising inflation have impacted marketing dollars that once flowed to the media company. In March, Audacy said its year-end revenue for 2022 was $1.25 billion, up 3 percent, but the company also logged a financial loss of $73.7 million compared to a profit of $95.3 million the previous year.

Audacy’s stock price has dipped more than 96 percent over the past year, with its most-recent closing price hovering at 12 cents per share, down from $3.17 reported on this day in 2023.

The company now faces the potential of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which requires publicly-traded companies to maintain a per-share price of at least $1 for 30 consecutive days in order to trade on that exchange.

Facing the prospect of being removed from the NYSE, Audacy announced its intention to ask shareholders to approve a reverse stock split. The company’s Board of Directors will have to approve the ratio for the transaction, though it appears Audacy will need to convert at least nine shares of common stock into one if it wants to continue trading on the NYSE.

The reverse stock split proposal will be voted on by Audacy shareholders during a virtual meeting held on May 14. If voters reject the proposal, Audacy will likely be removed from the NYSE shortly after the meeting.

Even if Audacy voters approve the measure, there’s no guarantee it will improve matters in terms of the company’s stock price. Seven years ago, rival company Cumulus approved a similar reverse stock split at a ratio of one for eight; several days after the move, the company’s stock price decreased.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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