Townsquare Media reports its financial data for the third quarter of 2023 and says net revenue for the period was $115 million, a decrease of 5% compared to the third quarter of 2022. The company reports a net loss of $36.5 million, compared to the net income of $2.8 million it reported in the third quarter of 2022. Townsquare reports operating results by segment. It’s Broadcast Advertising segment reports revenue of $54 million, a decline of 8.6% year-over-year. It’s Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment revenue was $20 million, down 12.6% from Q3 of 2022, and its Digital Advertising segment revenue was $39 million, up 5.5% year-over-year. Townsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson states, “The strong cash generation characteristics of our assets allowed us to produce $39 million of cash flow from operations in the first nine months of 2023, an increase of $7 million as compared to the prior year. We could not be more pleased to share that given our strong cash position, we were able to repurchase and retire approximately $14 million of our Unsecured Senior Notes at a discount during the third quarter, bringing our year-to-date total bond repurchases to $27 million. In addition, we repurchased approximately 94,000 Class A shares in the third quarter (in total, we’ve repurchased 1.7 million shares in 2023), and continue to pay a high-yielding dividend while also investing in our business. We also ended the quarter with a strong cash balance of $38 million and net leverage of 4.49x, retaining financial flexibility moving forward.”
Townsquare Media, Inc reports its financial results for the second quarter of 2023 and says net revenue for the period was $121.2 million, a decline of 0.6% from the same period in 2022. Breaking the company’s revenue down by segment, Broadcast Advertising net revenue decreased $3.3 million, or 5.8%, and Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions net revenue decreased $1.7 million, or 7.5%, compared to the same period in 2022. These revenue declines were largely offset by Digital Advertising net revenue which increased $4 million, or 10.6% from Q2 of 2022. Townsquare reports a net loss of $2.7 million in Q2 of 2023 compared to the net income of $4.9 million reported in Q2 of 2022, primarily due to a $16.8 million increase in non-cash impairment charges to the company’s FCC licenses and investments, partially offset by an increase in other income, net due to a $5.2 million gain on the sale of one of the company’s investments and an increase in the effective tax rate for the current period. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson says, “I am pleased to share that Townsquare’s digital growth engine continued to drive results in the second quarter, demonstrating its strength and resiliency, as we delivered second quarter net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA that met our previously issued guidance… With its differentiated and sophisticated products and solutions, our Digital Advertising segment was once again our largest driver of growth, increasing second quarter net revenue by 11% year-over-year… The strong cash generation characteristics of our assets allowed us to produce $31 million of cash flow from operations in the first six months of 2023, an increase of $8 million as compared to the prior year. We could not be more pleased to share that given our strong cash position, we were able to repurchase nearly 9% of our total shares outstanding, repurchase and retire approximately $13 million of our Unsecured Senior Notes at a discount, and pay a high-yielding dividend to our shareholders during the first six months of the year. We also ended the quarter with a strong cash balance of $50 million and net leverage of 4.36x, retaining financial flexibility moving forward.”
Townsquare Media reports to investors that it has repurchased, and subsequently retired, 1.5 million shares of Class C common stock held by MSG National Properties, LLC, for $9.70 per share. The purchase price reflects an 8.5% discount from the closing price of the Class A common stock on June 15, 2023. Following this transaction, MSG will own 1,708,139 shares of Common Stock in the Company (comprising 583,139 shares of Class A Common Stock and 1,125,000 shares of Class C Common Stock). The purchase price of $14.6 million was funded with cash on hand. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “We could not be more pleased to share that given our strong cash position, we were able to repurchase approximately 8.5% of our total shares outstanding (and nearly half of MSG’s ownership in Townsquare), capturing a positive return for our shareholders. Due to our strong cash flow generation, we have demonstrated Townsquare’s ability to support a high-yield dividend and repurchase debt and equity, while also simultaneously investing in the future of our digital growth engine. This repurchase is immediately accretive to shareholders and we thank our board of directors for their vote of confidence in our medium and long-term business plan to grow revenue and profits.”
Releasing its operating results for the first quarter of 2023, Townsquare Media reports net revenue of $103 million, an increase of 3% over the same period in 2022. The company reports in three segments – Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions, Digital Advertising, and Broadcast Advertising. The company says Digital Advertising revenue was $33.7 million (an increase of 15.4% over the same period in 2022), while Broadcast Advertising revenue was $45.9 million (down 4.8% over Q1 of 2022), and Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions revenue was $21.5 million (down 1.3% over Q1 of 2022). Townsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson says, “I am pleased to share that Townsquare’s first quarter results exceeded our previously issued guidance for both net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA, due primarily to the continued strength of our digital and local advertising platform and solutions… In the first quarter, we grew cash flow from operations to $9 million, due to the strong cash generation of many of our assets, and opportunistically repurchased more than $12 million of our Unsecured Senior Notes at a discount. We ended the quarter with a strong cash balance of $42 million and maintained our all-time low net leverage multiple of 4.29x. Our growth engine has been and will continue to be our digital solutions. We believe that our Digital First business model and strategy position us to navigate the current macro-economic environment better than most, and that our revenue, profit and cash flow results will be among the best in the local media industry, particularly when compared to 2019 pre-COVID financials given our growth in revenue and profit since 2019. Our confidence is directly tied to the Townsquare team’s efforts and talent, as well as our large, growing, and profitable digital platform which contributes more than half of Townsquare’s total net revenue and profit.”
Townsquare Media’s 2022 Third Quarter Net Revenue Soars 8.4%. Third quarter net revenue was $120.6 million – an increase of 8.4% over the same period in 2021. Townsquare Media reveals in its 2022 Q3 financial report that net income for the quarter decreased $10.1 million to $2.8 million, as compared to $12.9 million in the same period in 2021, primarily driven by non-cash impairment charges to the company’s FCC licenses of $10.3 million. Townsquare Media breaks its financial reports in to three operating segments. For the third quarter of this year, Digital Advertising net revenue increased $6.5 million, or 21.3%; Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions net revenue increased $2.1 million, or 9.7%, as compared to the same period in 2021 due in part to the addition of approximately 850 additional net subscribers during the third quarter of 2022; and Broadcast Advertising net revenue increased $2 million, or 3.4%, compared to Q3 of 2021. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson comments, “I am proud to report another record setting quarter of results that clearly demonstrate the undeniable success and differentiation of Townsquare’s transformation into a Digital First Local Media company. The Townsquare team reached all-time Q3 highs with net revenue growth of 8% year-over-year, and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 6% year-over-year, meeting our Q3 guidance. In addition, net leverage declined to an all-time low of 4.54x as we continue to make progress towards our 4x net leverage target. Our growth engine has been and will continue to be our digital solutions, which were the primary driver of our third quarter growth, accounting for half of Townsquare’s total revenue and total profit. Total digital revenue increased 17% year-over-year in the third quarter, and trailing 12-month digital revenue grew to $225 million. As a uniquely positioned Digital First Local Media Company focused principally on markets outside of the top 50 in the United States, Townsquare has a resilient digital growth engine supported by both a recurring subscription digital marketing solutions business, with a large addressable market and limited competition, and a highly differentiated digital advertising technology platform.”
Ramsey Solutions to Give Free Finance Course to 1,000 Veterans in Recognition of Veterans Day. In honor of Veterans Day this Friday (11/11), Dave Ramsey announces that he is giving away access to his company’s Financial Peace University for 1,000 veterans on “The Ramsey Show.” Ramsey Solutions says the nine-lesson digital personal finance course has helped millions take control of their money for 30 years. Veterans who enter their information on the company’s website and are selected, will be able to join a class in-person or go online to watch videos on-demand as they learn the fastest way to pay off debt, save for emergencies and invest for the future. Military members list financial troubles among their top stressors. In the first 90 days of working the FPU plan, the average household pays off $5,300 of debt and saves $2,700 for emergencies.
KFI, Los Angeles Set to Begin 12th Annual Pastathon with SoCal Wendy’s Restaurants Joining the Cause. The annual KFI Pastathon charity event that encourages listeners to donate money, pasta, and sauce to benefit Caterina’s Club gets underway on Tuesday (11/15) and includes new partner Wendy’s restaurants in Southern California. The iHeartMedia news/talk station says that Caterina’s Club provides more than 25,000 nutritious meals every week to children in need in Southern California. The charity also helps families get back into stable home environments and teaches teens the skills they need to work in the hospitality industry. This year, all 168 Wendy’s restaurants in Southern California will offer their customers a donation option from November 16 through December 4. In addition, on November 29, ‘Giving Tuesday,’ these Wendy’s will also donate $1 from every Frosty sold to the KFI PastaThon. With the help of listeners, local businesses, and the continued partnership with Smart & Final stores and Barilla Pasta, the 2021 event raised a record-breaking $1 million dollars and 115,000 lbs of pasta and sauce. Since 2010, the KFI PastaThon event has raised over $4.6 million and 700,000 pounds of pasta and sauce for children in need in the community. KFI program director Robin Bertolucci states, “We are so delighted to have Wendy’s partner with us on our efforts to feed Southern California kids. Because of generous partners like Wendy’s, Chef Bruno is feeding over 25,000 kids every week. As we embark upon our 12th annual KFI PastaThon we know the need is bigger than ever but so are the hearts of our listeners and partners. Our goal this year is to once again raise over a million dollars. Thank you to Wendy’s for helping us make that dream a reality!”
Radio and Podcast Power Session Being Made Available for Colleges & Universities. The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation (LABF), in partnership with Benztown, the University of Maryland and the Broadcast Education Association (BEA), are creating a produced 90-minute, on-demand recorded Zoom video session focused on radio and podcasting for colleges and universities utilizing the LABF collection. The LABF Radio and Podcasting Power Session initiative, led by LABF board members Dave “Chachi” Denes – Benztown president – and BEA executive director Heather Birks, features University of Maryland reference specialist Michael Henry hosting a virtual walk-through of the library, followed by an insightful conversation about the vast collection highlighting incredible moments in U.S. history captured through the eyes and voice of television and radio broadcasters. Additionally, industry professionals from across different disciplines of the podcasting and radio business, including radio executive Mike McVay along with Benztown’s R Dub! from “Sunday Night Slow Jams”, Darren Silva and MJ Bloch, Tom Green, Susan Aksu, Beasley Media Group chief revenue officer Tina Murley and other experts speak to the students about the many career opportunities available to them in the industry. Denes says, “Everyone involved with this program is passionate about radio and podcasting. It’s an absolute honor to be able to share our knowledge with students that will someday be leading the industry.” The initiative initially launched as a semester-long course with Clark Atlanta University in 2021. The school is the first to utilize the 2022 90-minute abridged class-offering. It will be available to colleges and universities.
TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM and Motor Racing Network will have the station airing the NASCAR Cup Series beginning in 2023. This three-year pact comes on the heels of the news that the City of Chicago has signed a three-year deal with NASCAR as the home of the first-ever Chicago Street Race. The unprecedented 12-turn, 2.2-mile Chicago Street Race will take the Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series past and through many of Chicago’s most renowned downtown landmarks during Fourth of July Weekend, July 1-2, 2023. WLS program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “We are thrilled to be the new Chicago radio home of NASCAR and we look forward to growing this new partnership as we gear up for the first-ever Chicago Street Race next summer – and what promises to be an unforgettable Fourth of July weekend.”…..SiriusXM announces the launch of a new original comedy channel, Team Coco Radio. Executive produced by Conan O’Brien, the channel will feature exclusive audio content as well as select Team Coco podcasts, including the popular “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.” The channel debuts on November 15. Subscribers can hear the biggest interviews and the funniest stand-up moments from Conan’s iconic TBS show, as well as select Team Coco podcasts, including “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” plus “Inside Conan” and “Conan O’Brien Needs a Fan.” Fresh commentary from Conan will also be weaved throughout the programming, as he recalls funny behind-the-scenes stories and other entertaining and insightful anecdotes.
Midterms/Trump’s 2024 Aspirations, The Economy, China COVID Lockdowns, Meta Layoffs/Twitter Chaos, January 6 Cases, Russia-Ukraine War, Powerball Jackpot, and Tropical Storm Nicole Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8). Tuesday’s midterm elections, the battle for control of Congress combined with former President Donald Trump’s expected announcement he’ll run in 2024; inflation and fears of a recession; the COVID lockdowns in China and their effect on the global supply chain; Facebook parent Meta to lay off 11,000 workers and Elon Musk’s mercurial leadership of Twitter; the trials of Oath Keepers for seditious conspiracy relative to the January 6 Capitol attack; Russia’s attack on Ukrainian infrastructure; a ticket for the record $2 billion Powerball jackpot sells in California; and Florida braces for Tropical Storm Nicole were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Townsquare Media Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 13.6%. For the second quarter of 2022, Townsquare Media is reporting net revenue of $121.9 million, an increase of 13.6% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $4.9 million, a decrease of $5.2 million from Q2 of 2021. Townsquare’s financial data is broken in to three primary segments: Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions, Digital Advertising, and Broadcast Advertising. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment includes its subscription digital marketing solutions business, Townsquare Interactive. The Digital Advertising segment, marketed externally as Townsquare Ignite, includes digital advertising on the company’s owned and operated digital properties and its digital programmatic advertising platform. The Broadcast Advertising segment includes its local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast, and other miscellaneous revenue that is associated with the broadcast advertising platform. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment’s net revenue rose 13.7%, the Digital Advertising segment’s net revenue was up 25.4%, and the Broadcast Advertising segment’s net revenue rose 1.0%. Company CEO Bill Wilson states, “I am proud to share that the Townsquare team delivered another quarter of strong revenue and profit growth, and in doing so, we achieved all-time record highs for both net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. Our performance clearly demonstrates the strength and differentiation of our digital businesses and our legacy broadcast business. Townsquare’s second quarter net revenue increased year-over-year by 14%, exceeding our guidance range, and Adjusted EBITDA increased 7% year-over-year, meeting our guidance range. In addition, our digital revenue growth accelerated from the first quarter (Q1 +16% year-over-year), with second quarter total digital revenue increasing 21% year-over-year. Our strong top-line growth, margin profile, and cash generation characteristics have contributed to the reduction of our net leverage, now at a historical low of 4.65x as of June 30th, including the repurchase and retirement of $19 million of our Senior Secured Notes at or below par in Q2. We are also pleased to announce that we are raising our FY 2022 guidance following the close of the Cherry Creek acquisition on June 17th. Our updated full-year guidance reflects the ongoing momentum of our business and the strength of our performance to date, fueled by our differentiated digital platform. As a Digital First Local Media Company focused principally on markets outside of the Top 50 in the United States, we have a resilient digital growth engine supported by subscription digital marketing solutions, with a large addressable market and limited competition. As we move forward, we expect double-digit digital net revenue growth to continue at strong margins, reaching our digital revenue target of at least $275 million in 2024. With half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, it is our belief that over time as digital continues to meaningfully grow, Townsquare should and will be afforded a sum-of the-parts valuation that our digital assets deserve.”
70 Years of WGN-AM, Chicago Audio Archived at Northwestern University. As the result of a gift from WGN-AM, Chicago’s parent company Nexstar Media Group, a 70-year swath of the radio station’s audio archive now resides at Northwestern University Libraries in the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives. The station says, “The archive, with materials covering 1941 to 2011, includes more than 15,000 items, primarily magnetic media (open reel tapes, compact cassettes, continuous-loop “carts,” U-matic videocassettes and VHS tapes) as well as other media such as grooved discs, CDs and minidiscs. The bulk of the audio dates to the 1980s and 1990s, a period of innovation and surging popularity for the station.” Scott Krafft is curator of special collections at Northwestern and he says that the archive contains thousands of hours of audio that will need to be cataloged and, where necessary, digitally preserved before they can be made publicly available. He adds, “It’s a remarkable collection that represents a significant sampling of Chicago history, including local and national news. In addition, the voices of WGN Radio’s most popular programs are represented here, making this an important archive for the history of the entire field of radio broadcasting.” WGN Radio VP and general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle comments, “Given the long and storied connection between WGN Radio and Northwestern University, it is most fitting that this audio collection, drawn out of 70 years of our broadcast history, will be under their care. While digitizing it will be a substantial undertaking for the Northwestern Libraries, ultimately, this will be a permanent and invaluable repository and resource for years to come. We trust their expertise and are proud they are the caretakers in this endeavor.”
Triton Digital Streaming Ranker for June 2022 Released. The monthly ranking of the top-performing streaming audio stations has been released for the month of June by Triton Digital. The ranking is based on Average Active Sessions which is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period. In the period of 6AM-12AM Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is far and away the #1 streamer again this month with 301,251 Average Active Sessions. Continuing in the #2 spot this month is NPR Member Stations (72,476 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (68,570 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,562 AAS). Other streamers of note in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,663 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,151 AAS), and Salem Communications at #11 (8,677 AAS). See the complete chart here.
TALKERS News Notes. Former WTMJ, Milwaukee air personality Jane Matenaer, who exited the station last month after six and a half years with the Good Karma Brands news/talk outlet, is staying with the company as producer and news reporter for sister progressive talk WAUK-AM/W266DR, Waukesha “The ‘Sha 101 FM” on the “As Goes Wisconsin” early afternoon program hosted by Kristen Brey…..Cumulus Media appoints Derek Falter VP/market manager for its Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Michigan markets that include sports talk WJRW-AM, Grand Rapids “The Ticket” and seven music-formatted stations. Falter, who was most recently regional VP for Curtis Media Group, comments, “I’m beyond excited about the opportunity the leadership team at Cumulus Media is giving me to work alongside the dynamic crews in Grand Rapids and Muskegon! Thanks to Mary Berner and Bob Walker for bringing me back to a part of the country that is so meaningful to my family.”
Al-Zawahiri Killed, Pelosi’s Asia Trip, Biden’s Climate/Health Bill, Manchin-Schumer Bill, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, January 6 Sentencing, Deadly Kentucky Floods/Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1). 9/11 orchestrator Ayman al-Zawahiri is killed in drone strike in Kabul; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan and China’s threatening response; the fate of Joe Biden’s climate and health bill; the Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer-authored Inflation Reduction Act; November’s midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the still-high price of gasoline and food and concerns about a recession; Guy Reffit is sentenced to seven years in prison for his part in the January 6 Capitol attack; the deadly Kentucky floods and threats of more rain to the region plus the ongoing wildfires in Northern California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Midnight in Moscow,” looks back at this past week of 3/21 to 3/25. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Jennifer Horn, talk show host, KRLA (AM 860 The Answer), Los Angeles; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Ivan Pentchoukov, national editor, The Epoch Times. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas; WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Townsquare Media to Acquire Cherry Creek Broadcasting for $18.75 Million. This deal for Townsquare Media, Inc. to acquire Cherry Creek Broadcasting LLC for $18.75 million will add assets including 35 radio stations in nine markets to Townsquare’s portfolio, which will include 356 stations in 74 markets when the deal is closed sometime in the third quarter of this year. To accomplish the transaction, and due to FCC ownership regulations, Townsquare will divest six radio stations in Missoula, Montana, to Anderson Broadcasting, Legacy Broadcasting (a non-profit organization), and Missoula Community Radio (also a non-profit organization), and place two radio stations in Tri-Cities, Washington in a divestiture trust. Townsquare says this transaction solidifies its position as the only local media and digital marketing solutions company of scale focused principally on markets outside of the top 50 in the United States, a vital differentiator for the company. Company CEO Bill Wilson comments, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of Cherry Creek’s market leading local media brands. The acquisition includes many local heritage brands with strong competitive positions, meaningful audience share, and very talented local teams. This represents an excellent opportunity to deploy our Digital First Local Media strategy across a broader footprint, bringing our national scale, strong digital platform, and resources to the local communities and local businesses in these markets, building upon the strong relationships these local teams have already built with their communities. We look forward to accelerating the digital growth in these markets as we implement our flywheel of powerful and effective marketing and advertising (digital and radio) solutions and technology platforms, in combination with our highly relevant, localized content on air and online. We believe this acquisition furthers our goal of being the #1 Digital First Local Media Company in markets outside of the top 50 in the United States.” This transaction is being funded with cash on hand and Townsquare CFO Stuart Rosenstein states, “This acquisition represents a compelling use of capital that aligns with our priorities of investing in our local business through both organic investments and prudent acquisitions that support our revenue and profit growth. This acquisition is net leverage neutral and due to the strong cash generation of our business and the acquired assets, will not impact our ability to reach our goal of 4x net leverage by year end.” The Cherry Creek LLC stations in this deal are located in the following markets: Butte, Great Falls, and Missoula, Montana; Montrose, Colorado; Sierra Vista, Arizona; St. George-Cedar City, Utah; Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, Washington; and Williston, North Dakota.
Round Four of February PPM Ratings Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2022 sweep covered February 3 – March 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM rises two-tenths for a 7.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish and remains #3 in the market while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF drops 1.3 shares for a 2.0 share finish and falls back to the #13 rank. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC, Indianapolis sheds nine-tenths for a 9.7 share finish but remains ranked #2 in the market. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN falls from #1 to #2 after dipping two-tenths for a 9.5 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ adds four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 7.6 share that keeps it in the #4 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM, Jacksonville posts a 10.6 share after rising six-tenths and that is good for the #1 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the previous three groups) here.
Rhode Island Talk Radio Host John DePetro Continues Reporting from Ukraine. WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk radio host John DePetro is pictured above (right) interviewing displaced Ukrainian Andre (left) who is serving as a volunteer in Western Ukraine helping his fellow citizens who’ve lost their homes. DePetro says that the situation in his Western Ukrainian location is “very tense.” So much so that for security reasons, journalists now face being incarcerated for taking any type of military photo or photo showing a specific location. See his video report here.
Audacy’s WJZ-FM, Baltimore Debuts ‘Baltimore Baseball Tonight’ Program. The new “Baltimore Baseball Tonight” program on Audacy’s WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” will be hosted by midday personality Bob Haynie, Orioles legends Bill Ripken and Mike Bordick, former Orioles vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette, and 105.7 The Fan’s Orioles beat reporter Cordell Woodland. Beginning Opening Day on April 7, the show will air at 6:00 pm ET on game nights and broadcast live from Pickles Pub across the street from the stadium when the team is home. When the team is on the road, the show will be live from various locations, including the 105.7 The Fan studios. Audacy Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “‘Baltimore Baseball Tonight’ will give fans an in-depth preview of the Baltimore professional baseball team throughout the season and bring them closer to the game than ever before. We’re also extremely excited to get back out with the fans at Pickles Pub and share our collective passion for the team alongside Bob, Bill, Mike, Jim and Cordell – five individuals who have decades of insight on the team.”
TALKERS News Notes. According to data from Comscore, FOX News Digital finished February as the top-performing news brand in the competitive set in both multiplatform views and multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital says it delivered 2.9 billion multiplatform minutes and over 1.4 billion multiplatform views, while posting increases in multiplatform unique visitors and multiplatform minutes versus the prior month. February also marked the 12th straight month that FOX News outpaced every news organization in the competitive set in multiplatform minutes. While FOX News Digital topped primary competitor CNN.com in multiplatform total views and multiplatform total minutes, CNN.com beat FOX News Digital in multiplatform unique visitors by a margin of almost two to one…..As reported in Pittsburgh’s TribLive, sports radio pro Adam Crowley leaves iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG-AM “ESPN Pittsburgh” to join Audacy’s crosstown sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” for weekend, fill-in, and producer duties…..Actor, director and educator LeVar Burton will receive the first-ever Insight Award from the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to broadcasting, history and American culture during the NAB Show Welcome on Monday, April 25 in Las Vegas. The Insight Award recognizes an individual or organization for an outstanding artistic or journalistic work or body of work that enhances the public’s understanding of the role, operation, history or impact of media in our society. Burton is known for his roles as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed television mini-series “Roots” and as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” A lifelong children’s literacy advocate, Burton was host and executive producer of “Reading Rainbow,” one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history, during its 26-year run from 1983 to 2009. The show received more than 25 Emmy Awards, including 10 for Outstanding Children’s Series, and was honored with a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in 1992…..Host David Marzetti’s weekend golf program, “The Shagbag Radio Show,” is celebrating its 20thanniversary on April 2. The program is heard on iHeartMedia’s KION-AM, Salinas, California each Saturday. Marzetti, who broadcasts the program remotely from the Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey, says he has never missed a live show in its 20 years on air – even during the pandemic shutdown – and has featured more than 4,000 guests on over 1,000 shows in its 20-year run.
Russia-Ukraine War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 21-25. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global effects of the conflict made it the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Joe Biden’s leading a NATO summit addressing the Ukraine invasion, followed at #3 by U.S. relations with Russia and China and tied with North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
Westwood One Seeks Part-Time Producer. This is a Washington, DC-based position for a part-time producer to support the “Jim Bohannon Show,” “America in the Morning” and “First Light.” The producer performs all the functions of the producer for vacation relief and other times and will assist with the production of the programs, including news assignments, call screening, podcast and archive uploading, and other responsibilities as needed. The ideal candidate should have a strong knowledge of news events and passion for radio. They must be able to multitask and handle a fast-paced working environment, be detail-oriented, prompt and reliable, thrive on working as part of a team and respond well to direction. Must possess excellent writing and storytelling skills. Get more information and apply here.
Townsquare Media Reports 2021 Q4 Net Revenue Up 1.9%; Full Year Net Revenue Rises 12.6%. The 2021 fourth quarter and 2021 full year financial report from Townsquare Media reveals Q4 net revenue of $110.6 million, an increase of 1.9% over the same period in 2020. For the full year of 2021, net revenue was $418 million, up 12.6 % over the full year of 2020. Townsquare Media reports its financial information in three primary segments: 1) Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions, which includes the company’s subscription digital marketing solutions business called Townsquare Interactive. 2) Digital Advertising includes the digital advertising business sold as Townsquare Ignite, and 3) Broadcast Advertising includes the company’s local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast, as well as other miscellaneous revenue that is associated with the broadcast advertising platform. Company CEO Bill Wilson says, “Beginning with our 2021 year-end reporting, we have re-segmented our business to provide greater visibility for our existing and prospective investors. Importantly, this re-segmentation will highlight the profit characteristics of our digital platform, which is essentially equal to those of our broadcast platform, each with profit margins of approximately 30%. Given this new and more detailed information, Townsquare should be viewed and valued as a Digital First Local Media Company, rather than being painted with a traditional broadcast radio brush. While we view local radio as an extremely valuable asset with significant and attractive cash flow properties, unparalleled consumer reach, and an important and trusted local connection to our audience, it is not our primary growth driver. Our growth engine is and will continue to be digital, which fueled our transformation into a Digital First Local Media Company. With nearly half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, we have a strong growth engine that will drive significant and consistent growth in the coming years. It is our hope and expectation that given this new more detailed information, Townsquare will be afforded a sum-of-the-parts valuation that gives credit to our digital assets, credit which to date we have not received.” For the full year of 2021, Townsquare reports net income of $18.8 million, compared to a net loss of $80.6 million reported for the full year 2020, which the company says was primarily driven by approximately $109.1 million of non-cash impairment charges, primarily related to its FCC licenses.
Saga Communications Q4 Net Revenue Flat; 2021 Full-Year Net Revenue Up 13.1%. The company reports 2021 fourth quarter net revenue of $29.2 million, basically flat compared to the $28.8 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2020. Net income for Q4 of 2021 was $3.7 million compared to $2.3 million reported for the same period in 2020. For the full year of 2021, Saga Communications reports net revenue increased 13.1% to $108.3 million compared to $95.8 million for the full year of 2020. The company reports net revenue for 2021 of $11.2 million compared to the net loss of $1.9 million reported for the full year of 2020. Saga says its balance sheet reflects $54.8 million in cash on hand as of December 31, 2021 and $56.2 million as of March 7, 2022.
KOA, Denver Morning Personality April Zesbaugh Announces Retirement. “Colorado’s Morning News” co-host April Zesbaugh announces that she’s retiring from iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver in the coming months after a 30-year broadcast journalism career that includes 25 years with KOA. Zesbaugh has co-hosted “Colorado’s Morning News” since 1996 and is one of the longest running news personalities in Colorado. She comments, “Despite my 2:30 am wake-up call for the last 30 years, I feel very fortunate for every second in front of the KOA microphone. It’s time to hang-up my headphones to pursue more family time, play more tennis, travel in our RV and see what it feels like to sleep without an alarm clock.” Zesbaugh is the winner of one national and numerous regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalism excellence by the Radio Television Digital News Association, as well as countless awards for “Colorado’s Morning News” from the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press. She has also been an influential member of the Denver community and has emceed numerous charity events, including those focused on mental health, Alzheimer’s disease, the challenges of single mothers and animal rescue. KOA program director Greg Foster says, “April is one of the most recognizable and popular voices in Colorado and has set a professional standard which has contributed to the success of KOA. While we will miss our friend and colleague, April has earned the opportunity to enjoy her retirement.” Zesbaugh adds, “I’m grateful to Jerry Bell, former news director of KOA, for hiring me – calling me during my honeymoon to offer me the job – and to the current news director, Kathy Walker, and the KOA news team who have been with me every step of the way in helping to make me a better broadcaster and journalist. I’m leaving our listeners in good hands with my co-host, Marty Lenz. He has great news chops and asks really smart questions.”
Chris Hansen is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform reporter and predator-hunter Chris Hansen is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For nearly four decades, Hansen has been on the front lines of crime, enterprise reporting, and breaking news all over the world. Most recently he was an executive producer and reporter for the “Onision: In Real Life” and “Unseamly…The Peter Nygard Investigation” series now on Discovery+ and the current top-rated podcast “Predators I Have Caught with Chris Hansen.” He has also been host and correspondent for the syndicated program “Crime Watch Daily” as well as “Killer Instinct on ID” and “Dateline NBC.” He created the groundbreaking investigations, “To Catch A Predator,” among others. These investigations are responsible for exposing some 400 men attempting to meet children online for sex. Hansen has been honored with 10 Emmys, five Edward R. Murrow awards as well as excellence in reporting by the Overseas Press Club. He also has a substantial digital presence including a YouTube channel, which has more than 375,000 subscribers and 25 million views. The deep-dive conversation between Harrison and Hansen covers two major areas – the rapid evolution of media (including the tenets of building a YouTube channel) to the scourge of crime on our city streets as well as the mean streets of cyberspace where sexual predators continue to prowl for children and young women. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
SRN’s Eric Metaxas Broadcasts from National Religious Broadcasters Conference. Pictured above (at right) is Salem Radio Network host Eric Metaxas broadcasting his program live from the National Religious Broadcasters conference from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Pictured with Metaxas are U.S. Congressman Allen West (left) and Rick Green, founder of Patriot Academy (center). NRB 2022 continues through this weekend.
PodcastOne Joins Top 10 Podcast Publishers. According to data from podcast metric company Podtrac, PodcastOne is ranked #8 on the list of Top Podcast Publishers. Podtrac ranks top publishers based on unique audience counts. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Being recognized by Podtrac with inclusion on the Top Publishers list is a testament to the hard work of the PodcastOne team both behind the mic and behind the scenes. Our hosts are delivering top-notch entertainment and providing content that is resonating with listeners as is evidenced by the growth in audience numbers across the board.” PodcastOne says its growth “comes on the heels of the successes and strengths of tentpole podcasts ‘Baby Mamas No Drama’, ‘Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe,’ ‘The Jordan Harbinger Show’, ‘LADYGANG’ and ‘The Adam Carolla Show,’ as well as acquisitions of top-performing programs such as ‘Coffee Convos,’ ‘True Crime All the Time Unsolved,’ and ‘This Is MONSTERS,’ which all saw significant audience growth since joining PodcastOne.”
JVC Broadcasting: ‘Radio is Working and Radio Works!’ Long Island-based JVC Broadcasting is sending a message to the industry – and beyond – that its recent hiring spree shows that the radio market is a good place for job seekers. JVC says that this January, it began a massive recruitment campaign using its local radio stations and social media platforms and the response was overwhelming. JVC announces that is has hired or internally promoted 16 media and entertainment professionals companywide. JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo states, “The current radio market is great for employment. There was a lot of trepidation for media companies in 2020 and 2021. People wanted to see how things would work out and if the radio business would bounce back, and it did stronger than ever. The most important and most rewarding investment an entrepreneur can make isn’t a new client or a cool piece of equipment, it’s your team of employees. I have built this business by surrounding myself with fantastic people who are visionaries and leaders. If all your employees become entrepreneurially minded or leaders in their own right, your organization will grow even faster. And the coolest thing about this entire recruitment campaign is we did all the outreach using only our local radio station assets! So yes, radio is working and radio works!”
Russia-Ukraine War, House Omnibus Bill, Gas Prices/Inflation, Biden Cryptocurrency Order, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and MLB Season Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/9). Russia’s ongoing invasion of the Ukraine and the West’s reaction; the U.S. House passes an omnibus bill that would include $14 billion in Ukraine aid; the soaring price of gas at the pump and high consumer retail prices; President Joe Biden signs executive order to investigate risks and opportunities of cryptocurrency; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases and the rolling back of mask mandates; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the failing negotiations between MLB owners and players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.