The Walt Disney Company  (Website)  was founded in 1923 by Walt Disney.   The Disney Company is a diverse entertainment conglomerate, with interests in Movie production, Television (ABC), Cable TV (Disney Channel, A&E, The History Channel, Biography Chanel, Lifetime, ESPN), Radio (ESPN, Radio Disney), Theme Parks, Music, Theater Productions, Vacation services, Publishing, Disney Merchandise and a variety of other ventures. 

The scope of this page is only its involvement in the Radio station business.

Disney owns 5 radio stations (4 AM and 1 FM) that are part of the ESPN Radio Network (which it operates and syndicates)

Disney owns 41 radio stations (39 AM and 2 FM) that are part of Radio Disney, a music and entertainment format designed to appeal to children and teens. 

Disney acquired interests in its radio stations, all after the acquistion of ABC Radio (I think! – still researching)


Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC in 1996 for $19 Billion dollars.   At the time ABC consisted of ABC TV network, 8 TV stations, ABC Radio, ESPN, A&E and several other smaller media properties.

In 2005, Disney announced its desire to sell most of its interests in Radio, except for ESPN and Radio Disney  (and related radio stations).  The transaction to sell those radio stations to Citadel through a complex merger was completed in 2007,   Citadel gave Disney $1.35 billion in cash and 53% of the combined holding company stock of Citadel to Disney’s Stockholders for the ABC radio properties and the ABC Radio Network.   The bulk of the value of the ABC/Capital Cities acquisition was in the Television Network and stations, which are still owned by Disney and on their books for a value of about $16 billion.

Major Stations – top 25 markets


New York:  WEPN-AM
Los Angeles KSPN-AM
Chicago WMVP-AM
Dallas – Ft Worth  KESN-FM 
Pittsburgh, PA WEAE  

Radio Disney

New York – WQEW-AM 
Los Angeles – KDIS-AM
Chicago – WRDZ-AM  
San Franciso KMKY-AM 
Dallas Ft Worth – KMKI-AM
Houston – KMIC-AM
Philadelphia WWJC-AM 
Atlanta, GA WDWD-AM
Boston WMKI-AM 
Detroit WFDF-AM
Miami WMYM-AM 
Seattle, WA KKDZ AM 
Phoenix, AZ KMIK AM 
Minneapolis, MN KDIZ AM 
Tampa, FL WWMI AM  
St. Louis, MO WSDZ AM
Denver, CO KDDZ AM
Portland, OR KDZR AM
Charlotte, NC WGFY AM

Disney is a very large company, and does not break out the radio stations as a separate business segment.  There is little point in trying to discern the financial results of the radio stations.  The  Radio Disney stations mainly support their music sales and theme park businesses, and probably generate little independent revenue of their own.  They are all broadcast the same programming, with no local content.

The only radio specific information in Disney’s 10-k (other than details of the ABC spinoff) are the writedown of its own 46 radio station licenses:

  • Writedown of licenses
    • 2008 – $39 Million
    • 2007 – $26 Million
    • 2006 – $32 Million

Stock Performance

In May 1999 (10 years ago), Walt Disney Stock (DIS) sold for $29.32 a share.  It reached its peak of  $43.23  on April 28th, 2000.    The stock was around $34 a share prior to the September 2008 market collapse.  Disney stock closed at $23.48 on May 14th, 2008.

If you held Disney Stock for 10 years, you had a net loss on the stock price of  20%.  (Disney does pay cash dividends, so the net loss is less).  If you bought the stock at its peak, you have a stock price loss of 46%.

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