Industry News

Audacy Board Agrees to Pay $3.2 Million in Executive Retention Bonuses

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Audacy reports that the company’s Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors approved $3.2 million in retention awards to officers, including $1 million toim chairman, president and CEO David Field; $850,000 to EVP, strategic initiatives and CFO Richard Schmaeling; $500,000 to EVP and COO Susan Larkin; $250,000 to president, podcast and streaming and chief digital officer J.D. Crowley; and $600,000 to EVP, general counsel and secretary Andrew Sutor IV. These retention awards are intended to be in lieu of an annual bonus with respect to 2023.

Industry News

Lopez and Cohen Join Broadcasters Foundation Board of Directors

The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it has elected Chad Lopez, president of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC New York, and Heather Cohen, EVP of the Weiss Agency, to its board of BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “Chad and Heather are exceptional broadcast industry leaders, and they are a terrific addition to our board of directors. I look forward imto working with them to continue our mission of helping broadcasters in dire need.” Chad Lopez has more than 25 years of experience in broadcast and digital media. Prior to joining Red Apple Media, he served as vice president of Cumulus Media’s New York cluster. In addition to her work at the Weiss Agency, Heather Cohen serves on the Alliance for Women in Media and its foundation board of directors, has co-chaired the Gracie Awards since 2016, and most recently was appointed president of the executive board of Hofstra University’s Alumni Organization.

Industry News

John Hope Bryant to Black Effect Podcast Net Board of Directors

The Black Effect Podcast Network, the joint venture between iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God, announces that John Hope Bryant joins its board of directors, effective immediately. Bryant is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc, the non-profit provider of financial literacy andim economic empowerment tools and services in the United States. He is also chairman and chief executive officer of John Hope Bryant Holdings, Bryant Group Ventures and The Promise Homes Company, a for-profit minority-controlled owner of institutional-quality, single-family residential rental homes in the U.S. “We are pleased to welcome John Hope Bryant to The Black Effect Podcast Network’s board of directors. John brings a strong track record of business success, broad leadership experience in philanthropy, education, public engagement and innovation, and a deep appreciation for black culture that makes him the perfect choice to help steer and shape the future of the network.”

Industry News

MIW Welcomes Two New Board Members

Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc (MIW), announces the addition of two new members to its board of directors. Lori Flowers, who serves as integrated marketing and project manager for Radio One, and Jenna Miller, integrated sales manager for Cox Media Group join the board of the organization consisting of top-level female radio professionals who use their experience, influence, and resources to help other women in radio develop management and leadership skills. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “Both Lori and Jenna share a history with MIW, starting as mentees and now joining us as board members. They are each accomplished and inspiring professionals who are generously giving back to the betterment of women in the industry, and the industry as a whole. We welcome them wholeheartedly and are thankful for their participation.”

Industry News

Audacy to Seek Reverse Stock Split

Audacy has filed a schedule 14a with the Securities Exchange Commission providing notice of its annual meeting of shareholders scheduled for May 24. At that meeting, shareholders will consider a number of proposals, including one to permit the board of directors to affect a reverse stock split of the company’s outstanding Class A and Class B Common Stock, at a ratio within a range between one-for-two and one-for-30. A reverse stock split reduces the number of shares that each shareholder owns but increases the value of each remaining share. Audacy says, “We are seeking shareholder approval for the authority to effectuate the reverse stock split as a means of increasing the share price of our Class A Common Stock to be at or above $1.00 per share in order to attempt to avoid delisting by the NYSE. We expect that the reverse stock split will increase the closing price per share of our Class A Common Stock to be above the $1.00 per share minimum price for the required number of days, thereby satisfying this listing requirement. However, there can be no assurance that the reverse stock split will have that effect, initially or in the future, or that it will enable us to maintain the listing of our Class A Common Stock on the NYSE. We are not aware of any present efforts by anyone to accumulate our Class A Common Stock, and the proposed reverse stock split is not intended to be an anti-takeover device.” Audacy was put on notice last August 1 that it was not in compliance with the minimum average closing price of $1.00 per share and faces delisting.

Industry News

LiveOne Names Jim Berk to PodcastOne Board of Directors

LiveOne announces that Jim Berk is joining the board of directors for PodcastOne. The company says that Berk has over 25 years serving as chief executive, including his prior experience as CEO of PodcastOne, knowledge of the entertainment and media sector, and his expertise in strategic planning, operations, mergers,Graphics - Logo and acquisitions. Berk is currently chairman and CEO of Goodman Media Partners, investing in early-stage media and tech companies. PodcastOne co-founder Kit Gray comments, “Jim has an impressive track record of working with public companies and has extensive knowledge of our business. We are thrilled to bring his expertise back in the company and on our board during this crucial period of growth for PodcastOne as we are launching our IPO.”

Industry News

Randi P’Pool Joins MIW Board of Directors

Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc. (MIW), announces that it is elevating Randi P’Pool to its board of directors. P’Pool previously served three years as a volunteer on the MIW PR committee. She takesRadio One - Radio One over for longtime board member and former national spokeswoman, Denyse Mesnik, who rises to the MIW advisory council. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “We are so lucky to have someone of Randi’s caliber join our board. Randi has worked diligently on the PR committee and has earned this board seat. Knowing Randi, I suspect we’ll get a lot done and have a whole lot of fun doing it! That said, I will miss working side-by-side with my dear friend and now advisory council member Denyse Mesnik. She has given immeasurably to this organization and can’t be thanked enough.”

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Cindy Rollison to Lead Cumulus Tri-Cities, Tennessee. Sales and management pro Cindy Rollison returns to Cumulus Media to serve as vice president and market manager for the Tri-Cities, Tennessee station group that includes news/talk WJCW-AM and sports talk WXSM-AM plus two music brands. Rollison takes over for Debbie Caso, who is retiring after 43 years in the market. Rollison served as VP and market manager for Cumulus’ former station group in Blacksburg, Virginia from 2007-2018. She’s been serving as regional marketing consultant for Mel Wheeler, Inc. Radio and Digital Advertising since 2019. Cumulus regional VP Mark Sullivan says, “I’m thankful to Debbie Caso for making such a valuable contribution to the community and company for so many years and wish her much happiness in her retirement. At the same time, I’m very pleased that we have someone of Cindy Rollison’s caliber and experience joining our team. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work alongside Cindy again, after many successful years working together with our cluster in Blacksburg. I’m looking forward to many successes together.”


Justin Schaflander Named Director of Sales for ‘ESPN LA.’ Radio sales pro Justin Schaflander is named director of sales for Good Karma Brands’ sports talk KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPN LA 710 AM.”  He was most recently a region president with iHeartMedia. In the early 2000s, Schaflander was a director of sports for CBS, running the Dodgers Radio Network. He says, “I’m thrilled to join ESPN LA and Good Karma Brands. To return to LA, work with some of the most iconic brands in sports and have it wrapped up in Good Karma Brands’ culture makes this a bucket list experience! I would like to thank the team for making this process and transition seamless and fun, and I can’t wait to start learning and working with this special group of teammates.” Good Karma Brands acquired “ESPN LA 710 AM” and “ESPN 1050 AM in New York” earlier this year. The company also took over the agreement to perform ESPN’s obligations under the Local Marketing Agreement for WEPN-FM “98.7 ESPN” in New York.


Kidney Transplant a Life-Changing Event for WHUB, Cookeville’s Brent Carl Fleshman. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes today about Cookeville, Tennessee talk radio host Brent Carl Fleshman who recently underwent a lifesaving – and life-changing – kidney transplant. Fleshman serves with Zimmer Broadcasting’s Cookeville station group where he hosts the morning drive show on news/talk WHUB “News Talk 107.7 and 1400 The Hub” and serves as program director, among other duties. In May of 2014, Dr. Barbara Fleming was doing a segment on Fleshman’s program when she noticed something about Fleshman that concerned her. She prompted him to seek treatment at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University and he got into the hospital’s kidney transplant program. Fleshman says, “I’ve been given a second chance with this kidney and am grateful to the man who signed that donor card [making it possible for me to] continue doing what I love every day. I intend to make the most of it. I look forward to getting back on the air soon and have asked Dr. Fleming to be on my first show. If [the host of WHUB’s 30-minute Saturday health program, ‘Your Best Health Connection’] hadn’t noticed my symptoms eight years ago and gone to Vanderbilt with me, I would never have seen this day. Radio saved my life.” Read his story here.


Gordon Smith Joins Beasley Board of Directors. Former NAB president and CEO Gordon H. Smith is nominated by the Beasley Media Group board of directors to be added to the slate of directors to be presented at the annual shareholders meeting on May 25. The official unanimous vote took place during the company’s board of director’s meeting on March 31, 2022. Smith, who served two terms as a Republican U.S. Senator representing Oregon, led the NAB from 2009 through 2021. Beasley board chair and CEO Caroline Beasley says, “It is such an honor and a privilege to welcome Gordon to the Beasley Media Group board of directors. His outstanding leadership, dedication and service to broadcasters and our nation is unparalleled. His understanding of Washington and how to navigate the halls of power will serve our board well for years to come. I look forward to working closely with Gordon and our board as we continue to evolve our company forward.”


47th Annual Gracie Award Winners Announced. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces the winners of the 47th Annual Gracie Awards which will return in-person on May 24 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles with local and student awards given on June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. AWMF says the event will honor some of the most talented women in television, radio and digital media. AWMF chair Heather Cohen says, “Throughout this past year we have seen a number of remarkable projects by and about inspirational women.” AWMF president Becky Brooks adds, “We are honored to shine a spotlight on these women, whose stories have driven cultural awareness, offered entertainment that has made us laugh, cry, and everything in between. This year, we will be returning to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and are delighted to return to an in-person format so that we can properly celebrate together.” Some of the national radio honorees include Allison Keyes, CBS News Weekend Roundup; Cheri Preston, ABC News Radio; Jen Horn, Victoria Keelan, and Jai Kershner, “The DJV Show”; Heather Hunter, WMAL-FM, Washington’s “O’Connor and Company”; Jeana Gondek, WOKV-FM, Jacksonville, “Jacksonville’s Morning News”; Judi Franco, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; Lori Barghini and Julia Cobbs, KTMY-FM, Minneapolis “The Lori & Julia Show”; MalaniKai WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, “Word on the Street”; and Rita Cosby, WABC, New York. See the complete list of honorees here. Pictured above at the most recent in-person ceremony (2019) are (from l-r): country artist Kelsey Ballerini, Heather Cohen, and Becky Brooks.


Comrex to Unveil Gagl Remote Contribution Solution at NAB Show. The newest remote contribution solution from Comrex will be showcased at the NAB Show in Las Vegas April 23-27.  Dubbed Gagl, this new cloud service delivers conferenced audio from multiple contributors in high-quality. Gagl allows between one and five users to send and receive audio from computers and smartphones. Participants can connect and send audio by simply clicking a link using any common web browser. Their audio is conferenced (if there’s more than one user) and delivered to a Comrex hardware codec such as an ACCESS or BRIC-Link. All participants can hear other participants, and the codec can send audio back to them. Comrex says Gagl could be used as the hub for a round-robin reporting program or for a large-cast radio show to support multiple simultaneous connections at once. Because it offers low latency, it’s appropriate for call-in talk radio. Gagl could also be used to allow a single contributor to connect back to the studio from a computer or smartphone. Designed with audio quality in mind, Gagl provides stable connections with limited bandwidth. Gagl uses the Opus audio encoder, with a bit rate that delivers both voice and music in excellent quality. Gagl also delivers audio directly to a Comrex codec with all the stability enhancements, pro-grade audio connections, and features that hardware codecs provide. With a simple user interface, Gagl is easy for users with any level of technical expertise to use. Gagl works with Comrex hardware IP audio codecs including the AES67-compatible ACCESS NX Rack IP audio codec and ACCESS MultiRack multi-channel IP audio codec as well as the BRIC-Link series – a sneak peak of the next addition to the BRIC-Link codec line will also be featured at the 2022 NAB Show. LiveShot (a bonded IP solution for live video) and other IP audio solutions for IFB and POTS and /ISDN replacement can be found at the Comrex booth C3024 in Central Hall along with a “behind the curtain” look at some new concept products.


Russia-Ukraine War, Hunter Biden/Rudy Giuliani Investigations, Inflation/Recession Fears, Brooklyn Shooter Search, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Severe Southern Weather, and Gilbert Gottfried Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12). Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and President Joe Biden’s use of the term “genocide”; the investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures and the investigation into Rudy Giuliani’s potential violation of foreign lobbying laws; high gas and consumer goods prices in the U.S. and fears the inflation will cause a recession; the search for the man who opened fire in a Brooklyn subway injuring 26 people; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the reinstating of mask requirements in some places in the U.S. as the BA.2 variant dominates and the brutal lockdowns taking place in China; the severe weather affecting the Southern U.S.; and the death of comic Gilbert Gottfried were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERSmagazine.