Industry News

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q1 Net Revenue Down 5.9%

The company says that net revenue for the first quarter of 2024 was $54.4 million, a decline of 5.9% from the same period in 2023, saying this was “primarily reflecting a year-over-year decline in audio advertising and other revenue due to Beasley’s Wilmington station and esports divestitures as well as ongoing softness in the commercial advertising business, partially offset by growth in digital and political advertising revenue.” Beasley reports net income of approximately $8,000 in Q1, compared to a net lossim of $3.5 million for the same period in 2023, “primarily due to the $6 million gain on the sale of an investment in BMI holdings and lower interest expense.” Company CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Beasley continues to advance our core initiatives, which are focused on driving revenue and cash flow, including our digital transformation, revenue diversification and expense management initiatives. We expect digital to account for between 20% and 25% of total revenue in 2024, driven by the ongoing growth and success of our premium content creation and digital services. On the new business front, our dedicated sales teams are leveraging the tremendous audience reach and engagement of our platform to attract new advertisers. In summary, Beasley’s underlying fundamentals – mainly, our local audio and digital platforms and audience engagement – remain strong. We are proud of our teams’ steadfast commitment to delivering exceptional content and services to our listeners, advertisers, online users and sports fans, and remain confident that the actions we are taking to transform our company and strengthen our balance sheet, are laying the foundation for future growth and success.”

Industry News

Beasley Broadcast Group Q4 2023 Revenue Down 8.75%

Today Beasley Broadcast Group releases its operating results for the fourth quarter of 2023 and the full year of 2023. For Q4 of 2023, the company reports net revenue of $65.7 million, a decline of 8.75% from the same period in 2022. For the full year of 2023, net revenue was $247.1 million, a decline of 3.6% from the full year of 2022. While Beasley reports net income of $6.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2023 (compared to the $24.5 million net loss it posted in Q4 of 2022), the company reveals a net loss of $75.1 million for the full year of 2023, compared to the net loss of $42.1 million it reported for the full year ofim 2022. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Beasley’s fourth quarter and full year financial results reflect the impacts of cyclical political revenue and ongoing advertising market softness, partially offset by the continued success of our revenue diversification strategy and cost management initiatives. Net revenues for the 2023 fourth quarter and full year decreased by $6.3 million and $9.3 million, respectively. Excluding the impacts from a decrease in political advertising and the company’s dispositions of WWWE-AM, WJBR-FM and the Houston Outlaws in 2023 and WWNN-AM imand KDWN-AM in 2022, partially offset by the company’s acquisitions of KXTE-FM and Guarantee Digital in 2022, revenues would have decreased by $0.2 million and $1.3 million in the 2023 fourth quarter and full year, respectively… For the better part of the year, we continued to execute on our successful growth agenda for our digital business that capitalizes on the value of our strong local brands, unique local business relationships and proven marketing capabilities. While macroeconomic pressures held fourth quarter digital revenue flat compared to the prior year, Beasley delivered meaningful full-year digital revenue growth, up 11.4% year-over-year. Our digital business represented 18.4% of full year 2023 revenue. We remain laser focused on prioritizing the growth of our digital platform as a means to diversify our revenue in a cash flow positive manner, and we expect digital revenue to account for between 20% and 25% of total revenue in 2024. Our dedicated sales teams also continue to leverage the tremendous audience reach and engagement of our local multi-platform content to attract new advertisers, resulting in fourth quarter and full year new local business revenue growth of 52% and 20%, respectively. Additionally, the actions we have taken to reduce costs drove a year-over-year decline in operating expenses of 3.3% in the fourth quarter and 2.3% for the full year.”

Industry News

LABF Honors 2023 Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts

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The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation honored industry leaders and celebrities for lifetime achievements during the 2023 Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts Luncheon and Awards Ceremony yesterday (11/14) at Gotham Hall in New York City. Pictured above are: (back row, l-r) Joyce Tudryn, IRTS president and CEO; Heidi Raphael, LABF co-chair; Eric Shanks, Wolf Blitzer, Tony Danza, David Kennedy, Bill Whitaker (emcee and 2018 Giant), Jack Goodman, LABF co-chair; (front row, l-r) Valari Dobson Staab, JuJu Chang, Caroline Beasley, and Nina Totenberg. Photo by Wendy Moger Bross

Industry News

Beasley Media Group Q3 Net Revenue Falls 5.8%

Reporting its operating results for the third quarter of 2023, Beasley Media Group says net revenue was $60.1 million, a decrease of 5.8% over the same period in 2022. The company also reports a net loss of $67.5 million compare to the net income of $500,000 it reported in the third quarter of 2022, due largely to non-cash impairment losses.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Beasley’s third quarter financial results reflect the well-publicized economic challenges and continued advertising market softness which we outlined in the prior quarters. Similar to recent quarters, Beasley delivered strongim digital revenue growth of 9.1% year-over-year, with digital revenue representing 18.6% of total third quarter revenue. Our continued strong digital revenue growth has moved us to within a few basis points of reaching the bottom end of our goal of digital revenue accounting for 20% to 30% of total revenue, and we remain laser focused on this initiative as a means to diversify our revenue in a cash flow positive manner. Our dedicated sales teams continue to leverage the tremendous audience reach and engagement of our local multi-platform content to attract new advertisers, resulting in a 22% increase in new local business revenue growth for the third quarter. Additionally, the actions we have taken to reduce our cost structure resulted in third quarter operating and corporate expenses decreases of 2.7% and 12.5%, respectively. In summary, we believe our third quarter financial performance demonstrates that our digital transformation and revenue diversification strategies continue to gain momentum and our initiatives focused on lowering operating expenses and reducing debt are positioning Beasley to generate increased and more diversified cash flows in future periods. Looking ahead, as has always been the case for non-election years, we expect fourth quarter revenues to be somewhat impacted by the absence of cyclical political advertising. While we plan to offset some of this expected softness through continued growth in digital and new business, we are hopeful that the overall advertising environment will improve in the fourth quarter and continue to closely monitor the economy.”

Industry News

North Carolina Broadcast History Museum in the Works

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State broadcast leaders in North Carolina are unveiling details of a planned North Carolina Broadcast History Museum. The museum initiative is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving North Carolina’s broadcasting legacy. The Museum is seeking assistance from the public and people who worked in broadcasting to collect artifacts, documents, photographs and recordings that chronicle the history of prominent radio and television stations, broadcasters, programs and events. Through exhibits and collections, the Museum seeks to highlight the contributions made by North Carolina Broadcasters in shaping the industry and the state’s culture landscape. Among the broadcast professionals pictured above at the North Carolina Governor’s Mansion announcing the new project is Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (center).

Industry News

Beasley Media Group Launches Podcast Radio U.S. Format in Four Markets

Beasley Media Group is partnering with Podcast Radio and KMG Networks for a new “podcast multiplatform radio format in four regions across the company.” Beasley says this unique format will be available to listeners via broadcast on WCSX-HD2/W228CJ, Detroit “Podcast Radio Detroit”; WJBR-AM, Tampa (formerly WHFS-AM) “Podcast Radio Tampa Bay”; WSOC-HD3/W234BY, Charlotte “Podcast Radio Carolinas”; and WXKB-HD2/W243BM, Fort Myers & W268AH/W286AK, Naples, Florida “Podcast Radioim Southwest Florida.” The stations can also be streamed and consumed as podcasts via PodcastRadioUS.com. Podcast Radio states, “Podcast Radio features live ‘Podjocks’, including former KROQ-FM, Los Angeles personality and legendary Radio Hall of Famer Gene ‘Bean’ Baxter. The format will showcase the very best produced and popular podcasts from the United States and all over the world, including audio content from TedAudio (TedTalk), Wondery, Evergreen, Corus, and more! The initiative with Beasley is the first of its kind for the company in the United States. The format will be offered to radio stations and groups on a network/barter basis via KMG Networks. AdLarge Media has been selected to facilitate the network advertising sales.” Beasley Media Group chief content officer Justin Chase says, “Podcast Radio is an idea that Caroline Beasley and our team have been thinking about and researching for years and we’re excited to be the first to launch this format in the United States. This concept has been highly successful for Gerry [Edwards] and his team in the United Kingdom, and we believe our audience will fall in love with the Podcast Radio U.S. version we present on our stations.”

Industry News

LABF Announces 2023 Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts

The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation (LABF) announces the industry leaders it will recognize during the 2023 Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts luncheon and awards ceremony in New York on November 14. They are: Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Media Group; Wolf Blitzer,im anchor, “The Situation Room,” CNN; Juju Chang, co-anchor, “Nightline,” ABC News; David E. Kennedy, co-founder & managing director, Aspire Ventures LLC; Eric Shanks, CEO & executive producer, FOX Sports; Valari Dobson Staab, chairman, NBCUniversal Local; and Nina Totenberg, correspondent, legal affairs, NPR. To date, LABF has honored more than 200 leaders in broadcasting since the event’s inception in 2003. Net proceeds from the luncheon will support the preservation and expansion of the Library of American Broadcasting collection, which is curated at the University of Maryland.

Industry News

Beasley Media Group Reports Q2 Revenue Decline of 2.1%

Reporting its financial operations for the second quarter of 2023, Beasley Media Group says net revenue for the period was $63.5 million, a decline of 2.1% over the same period in 2022. The company reported an operating loss of $4.5 million – the same as in Q2 of 2022 – and a net loss of $10.4 million, which was a smaller net loss than the $14.5 million loss it reported in Q2 of 2022. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Despiteim ongoing challenges related to the economy and softness in the national spot market, Beasley’s successful digital transformation, continued local audio leadership and revenue diversification initiatives, combined with our proactive initiatives to reduce expenses, resulted in net loss declining by more than $4 million in both the quarter and year-to-date periods, compared to the same periods in 2022, as well as quarterly adjusted imEBITDA growth of 16.8% and 2023 year-to-date Adjusted EBITDA growth of 28.1%. During the quarter, we made additional progress with reducing leverage and strengthening our balance sheet as we repurchased another $3 million of our debt at a discount and lowered quarterly interest expense which support our goal to drive cash flow growth. We are generating cash from operations, and we expect to continue to generate positive cash flow for the full year. Our digital strategy delivered second quarter digital revenue growth of 14.8% year-over-year and accounted for 19.4% of total second quarter revenue. Our digital revenue is primarily derived from our owned and operated assets, with our proprietary content creation driving the largest increase with the best margins and third-party products that come with a higher cost. Our talented sales teams have been able to combine our over-the-air and digital platform offerings to create marketing campaigns and brand solutions that provide great results for our clients. Our continued strong digital revenue growth has moved us to within a few basis points of reaching the bottom end of our goal of digital revenue accounting for 20% to 30% of total revenue and we remain laser focused on this initiative as a means to diversify and complement revenue in a cash flow positive manner.” Beasley reports its total debt as of June 30, 2023 was $287 million.

Industry News

Caroline Beasley Speaks at Media Institute Luncheon

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Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley is pictured (above center) with former FCC chairman and The Media Institute chairman Richard Wiley (right) and The Media Institute President and CEO Rick Kaplar (left) at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, DC where she participated in a one-on-one interview with Wiley. She discussed topics including current policies impacting broadcasters on Capitol Hill and the challenges and opportunities presented by AI.

Industry News

Beasley’s 2023 First Quarter Net Revenue Rises 3.7%

Reporting its operating results for the first quarter of 2023, Beasley Broadcast Group (parent of Beasley Media Group) announces net revenue of $57.8 million, an increase of 3.7% over the same period in 2022 that the company says reflects “a year-over-year increase in digital revenue, local spot revenue and network revenue, partially offset by a decrease in national spot revenue, related to continued softness in the national agency business.” Beasley reports operating income of $400,000 in Q1 of 2023, compared to the operating loss of $2.7 million reported in Q1 of 2022. The company also reports a reduced net loss of $3.5 millionim compared to the net loss of $3.7 million in Q1 of 2022. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Beasley’s strong first quarter financial operating results highlight our continued local audio leadership and the ongoing success of our digital transformation and revenue diversification initiatives which are driving top-line and SOI (station operating income) growth. Despite ongoing challenges related to the economy and softness in the national spot market, Beasley generated healthy growth across its digital, local audio, and network revenue sources, as reflected by the 3.7% increase in first quarter net revenues to $57.8 million. Top-imline growth was the primary factor contributing to an impressive 21% year-over-year increase in SOI to $7.1 million. Our digital strategy delivered first quarter digital revenue growth of 27.8% year-over-year and accounted for 17.3% of total first quarter revenue. Similar to recent quarters, strong digital revenue performance was driven by Beasley’s organic content creation initiatives and the roll-out of our tailored web services. Beasley continues to see accelerating demand from consumers for our innovative digital content, with our unique digital users more than doubling over the prior year quarter, resulting in a more than 90% year-over-year increase in sellable digital impressions. We believe we remain on path for this revenue source to reach 20% of total revenue by 2023 year-end.” Total outstanding debt as of March 31, 2023 was $290 million, and first quarter interest expense slightly declined to $6.6 million. Beasley had $35.9 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand at quarter end. We intend to keep our cash on the balance sheet in order to maintain our strong liquidity position, while we monitor the economic environment.”

Industry News

Beasley Philly VP and Market Manager Joe Bell Celebrates 50 Years

Beasley Media Group Philadelphia vice president and market manager Joe Bell was honored with a surprise celebration of his 50th anniversary in broadcasting at the company’s offices in Bala Cynwyd on Friday (3/10). The ceremony included remarks from CEO Caroline Beasley and proclamations from the Philadelphia City Council and its mayor, the Honorable Jim Kenney, as well as the presentation of a custom gold record plaque and a “Joe Bell 50” Sixers jersey from the 76ers by vice president of sales Paul Blake. Bell says, “I got into the business because it looked like fun. It was fun in 1973 and it’s still fun in 2023!” Pictured above is Bell (at center) surrounded by the staff of Beasley’s Philadelphia radio stations.

Industry News

Beasley Reports Q4 2022 Revenue Up 1.8%

Beasley Broadcasting Group issues operating results for the fourth quarter of 2022 and for the full year. Net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2022 increased 1.8% to $72 million, primarily reflecting a year-over-year increase in digital revenue, political revenue and other revenue, partially offset by a slight decrease in audio revenue related to softness in the national agency business. For the full year of 2022, Beasley reports net revenue of $256.4 million, an increase of 6.2% over 2021. The company also reports a net loss of $25.8 million in Q4 of 2022, compared to a net income of $10.6 million in Q4 of 2021. Beasley says, “Operating loss, net loss and net loss per diluted share for the three months ended December 31, 2022 include $44.2 million of non-cash impairment losses related to FCC licenses, goodwill and franchise rights. Operating loss, net loss and net loss per diluted share for the 12 months ended December 31, 2022 include $54.7 million of non-cash impairment losses related to FCC licenses, goodwill and franchise rights.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Beasley’s 2022 fourth quarter and full-year financial results reflect the ongoing success of our digital transformation and revenue diversification strategies, which drove year-over-year increases in revenue and SOI for both the three- and 12-month periods. Throughout the year, Beasley largely offset ongoing challenges related to the economy and softness in the national spot market, as we generated healthy growth across all of our digital, local audio, political and other revenue sources, as reflected by the 6.2% increase in full year net revenues to $256 million. This top-line growth was the primary factor contributing to a 2.8% year-over-year increase in full year SOI to $43.1 million. While economic uncertainty remains, Beasley initiated several actions throughout the year that we believe will strengthen the long-term position of our business. First, our digital strategy continues to deliver strong results with fourth quarter digital revenue growth of 13.2% year-over-year, representing nearly 17% of total fourth quarter revenue. Digital revenue has consistently outpaced national spot advertising revenue over the past several quarters due to a combination of organic growth and contributions from the second quarter acquisition of our white label digital agency business, Guarantee Digital. With accelerating demand from consumers and advertisers for our local content and multi-platform marketing solutions, we are solidly on the path for this revenue source to reach 20% of total revenue. Second, we remain focused on monetizing our premium audio and digital content through new local business development, revenue diversification and maximizing political revenue opportunities. As a result, in the fourth quarter, we delivered $5.1 million in net political revenue, with stronger than expected gains in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Detroit, as well as year-over-year total revenue increases across nearly all of our markets and in our esports business. Our radio brands remain dominant in Nielsen Audio ratings, where Beasley currently has the highest average cluster share when compared to the major radio broadcasters in PPM. Finally, we implemented a cost reduction program in the second half of 2022, with the majority of cost cuts occurring in October.”

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, November 7, 2022

Beasley Broadcast Group Q3 Net Revenue Rises 1.5%. Financial data from Beasley Broadcast Group’s third quarter of 2022 reveals net revenue of $63.8 million – an increase of 1.5% over the same period in 2021. The company reports operating income of $4.7 million in the third quarter of 2022 compared to $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2021. It says this slight decrease was driven by a $1.2 million increase in corporate expenses related to investments in its digital business as well as severance expense, partially offset by a year-over-year increase in Station Operating Income (SOI, a non-GAAP financial measure). Beasley reports net income of $500,000 compared to the net loss of $1.6 million it reported during the same period a year ago. Station operating income increased by 5.1% to $12.3 million in the third quarter of 2022, up from $11.7 million in the third quarter of 2021. The company says the increase is primarily attributable to higher net revenue, which more than offset higher operating expenses. Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley says, “Beasley delivered another strong period of operating and financial performance, reflecting the ongoing success of our digital transformation and revenue diversification strategies. Top-line growth was the primary factor contributing to a 5.1% year-over-year increase in SOI to $12.3 million and was driven by continued strength in local audio advertising and impressive growth in our digital business. Regarding the economic environment, like many companies, we are managing through some challenging market conditions with a focus on what we can control. We continue to experience increased volatility in national spot advertising, which accounted for approximately 15% of our third quarter net revenues. The ongoing strength of our digital and local audio advertising revenues is helping us to partially offset these declines. We are also taking actions on the expense side, and have implemented approximately $10 million in expense reductions, of which roughly half were from a reduction to headcount. Digital remains a key component of our revenue diversification strategy. Digital revenue increased 23.1% year-over-year representing 16% of total third quarter revenues, while our digital margin improved. Our digital performance benefitted from a first full quarter contribution from the white label digital agency we acquired in late June, which we believe will continue to accelerate our digital revenue growth and provide meaningful synergies with our growing digital platform. In both the second and third quarters, digital revenue accounted for a larger share of our revenue than national advertising, and we expect this revenue source to continue offsetting national spot weakness in the coming quarters. Total outstanding debt as of September 30, 2022 was $290 million. In summary, we believe these results demonstrate the strength and relevance of our industry-leading audio and digital content, as well as our teams’ extraordinary efforts to serve our listeners, customers and communities through challenging circumstances. And while we cannot control how the economic situation evolves in the coming months, we have already taken decisive steps to mitigate the impact of near-term headwinds and drive continued progress against our long-term growth strategy. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on maximizing our growth opportunities, managing our expenses and capital structure, serving our audiences and advertisers and delivering results for our stockholders.”

Monday Memo: Your Podcast ‘Bones.’ Like your on-air work, your podcast is a show. And consultant Holland Cooke figures that “as a professional broadcaster, you enter the on-demand audio arena advantaged over others…BUT…” In this week’s column, HC cautions that – given the way podcasts are consumed – your format is critical. Read it here.

 

Greg Renoe Promoted to Market Manager for Cumulus Columbia/Jefferson City. The company promotes Greg Renoe from his general sales manager position with the Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri clusters to vice president and market manager. The station groups consist of news/talk KFRU, Columbia and news/talk KLIK, Jefferson City plus five music brands. Cumulus Media SVP of operations Mark Sullivan says, “Greg’s long-standing relationships with our staff, key advertisers, and civic leaders, together with his deep knowledge of the market and effectiveness as a leader, have earned him this promotion. I look forward to his continued success with our organization in Middle Missouri.” Renoe adds, “I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the Cumulus team here in Middle Missouri. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and sharing in many successes with my co-workers. There is no end to what we can accomplish together with our collective vision for these incredible assets.”

iHeartMedia Names Doug Hall Digital PD for LA and SF. Digital media pro Doug Hall is named regional digital program director for iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles and San Francisco clusters. Hall has been serving with the national iHeartRadio team as a senior digital director out of the Nashville headquarters. In this new role, Hall will be responsible for the strategy, audience growth, and maximizing iHeartMedia’s digital platforms in these markets. Hall will report to John Peake, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Los Angeles. Peake says, “Our iconic Los Angeles audio brands and on-air talent are the engines that are driving unprecedented digital growth. I’ve watched Doug grow and evolve from his time in promotions to leading winning teams in San Francisco, Miami and Nashville. We are fortunate to have him leading our LA digital efforts and rejoining the team in San Francisco.” Hall comments, “I’m excited for this full circle moment, coming back to Los Angeles, where it all started. I can’t wait to dive in and help both our Los Angeles and San Francisco markets continue to grow and innovate in the digital space.”

Megan Marcus Returns to Paramount as VP of Podcast Editorial. Producer and journalist Megan Marcus is named vice president of podcast editorial at Paramount where she will oversee content for CBS News’ slate of podcasts. In this new role, Marcus will oversee the full creative slate for CBS News podcasts in addition to working on editorial across all Paramount global podcasts. This marks a return to CBS News for Marcus, who produced the first two seasons of Mo Rocca’s award-winning podcast “MOBITUARIES” and also worked closely with the CBS News team. Paramount EVP of podcasting and audio Steve Raizes says, “Megan is a dynamic producer and leader in the podcasting field. She did an incredible job guiding ‘MOBITUARIES’ to the top of the podcast charts and is already at work on our current and future slate of CBS News Audio properties.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches Year-End Giving Campaign. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is launching its annual year-end giving campaign. The appeal asks for tax-deductible donations to provide financial assistance to people in broadcasting whose lives have been shattered by debilitating illness, accident, or catastrophe. BFoA president Tim McCarthy says, “Our grantees are your colleagues. They are hard-working men and women who through no fault of their own need our help. Requests for aid continue to increase every year. We cannot turn our backs on those in our industry who need our help.” This year, the Broadcasters Foundation will award close to $2 million in monthly and one-time emergency grants. Since 2017, monthly grants have increased 70% and more than 600 emergency grants have been awarded. Over the past 20 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed more than $15 million to broadcasters in need. Broadcasters Foundation board of directors chairman Scott Herman adds, “Disaster often strikes without notice and extreme circumstances can deplete a life’s savings quickly. We need everyone in radio and TV to spread the word about the Foundation’s charitable mission across their station and company, in case they or someone they know needs our help.” More information, including how to make a personal or corporate donation or apply for aid is available at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, and by contacting the Foundation at 212-373-8250 or info@thebfoa.org.</p

Midterm Elections/Trump in 2024, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Elon Musk & Twitter, Daylight Saving Time Controversy, Astros Win World Series, and Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Tuesday’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate, combined with expectations that Donald Trump will announce his bid for the 2024 Republican nomination shortly; inflation and concerns about a recession; Russia’s targeting of Ukraine’s infrastructure as the war grinds on; Elon Musk’s mercurial leadership tactics as owner of Twitter; the debate over Daylight Saving Time and whether to make it permanent in the U.S.; the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series; and the now $1.9 billion Powerball jackpot were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Friday, October 21, 2022

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, “Inflation Inflammation,” looks back at this past week of 10/17-10/21. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyJack Heath, talk show host, the Pulse of NHDom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Jerry Reynolds, talk show host, CarPro Radio Network/WBAP, Dallas; and Matthew B. Harrison, Esq., associate publisher, TALKERS.  The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on 100-plus broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here.

Wisconsin Talk Hosts Avoid Prosecution for Entering Locked State House. According to coverage from Madison.com, charges against Michael Crute (left) and Dominic Salvia (right) – hosts of the progressive talk program, “The Devil’s Advocates Radio Show,” for entering the Wisconsin Capitol illegally on December 22 of 2020 are being dropped. Crute and Salvia’s program is heard in Milwaukee on Good Karma Brands’ WAUK-AM/W266DR, on WTTN-AM/W224EG in Madison and other Wisconsin signals. The duo, along with producer Bryan Kelly, accessed the locked Capitol during the pandemic lockdown to “put up a Christmas tree that included ornaments lampooning Republican lawmakers after Republican state Reps. Paul Tittl and Shae Sortwell and others put up their own tree in the Capitol rotunda and held other activities without a permit because Democratic Gov. Tony Evers had decided not to put up a tree during the pandemic.” Crute, Salvia and Kelly’s lawyer told the program’s listeners that his defensive strategy “was going to be the defense of selective prosecution” on the part of the district attorney. In the end it didn’t matter because ultimately the prosecution “did not feel at this time in the interest of justice jury trials in these matters was warranted.”

Salem Announces Midterm Election Coverage. The company says that its coverage of the November midterm elections will begin on Tuesday (11/8) at 7:00 pm ET and run through 2:00 am the next morning. Salem Media Group says that the Salem Radio Network will join forces with the new Salem News Channel platform to provide marathon “DECISION 22” Midterm Election coverage focusing on the battle over which political party will gain control of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for the next two years. “DECISION 22” will also track election results in hotly contested races for governor from coast-to-coast. SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup states, “This promises to be quite very possibly the most historic Midterm election and it will offer our audiences the first ever live broadcast partnership between our ground-breaking Salem News Channel and the Salem Radio Network nationwide.” For the first five hours starting at 7:00 pm ET, SNC’s Andrew Wilkow and SRN’s nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dr. Sebastian Gorka will anchor the live coverage that will include perspective and analysis from invited guests including SRN hosts Mike Gallagher and Brandon Tatum live from midterm “watch parties.” Correspondents updating key races will include Chris Stigall of “AM990 The Answer” in Philadelphia covering the pivotal Pennsylvania U.S. Senate contest. SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston will provide breaking news throughout the evening from the Decision Desk in the Washington bureau. At 12:00 midnight ET coverage switches to the Los Angeles studios of Salem’s “870AM The ANSWER” for continuing coverage anchored by Jennifer Horn (host of The Morning Answer of KRLA and KTIE) and KRLA news anchor Larry Marino.

Mike Miller Named VP of Programming for iHeartMedia Central PA. Radio programming pro Mike Miller is named vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Central PA stations that include news/talk WHP-AM and sports talk WTKT-AM “FOX Sports 1460” in Harrisburg, as well as five music brands. iHeartMedia national programming group EVP Jeff Hurley comments, “Mike brings an unparalleled understanding of our business and operations. His track record of innovation speaks for itself. He has created and grown unique brands from the ground up for over 20 years in Central PA. We’re excited to welcome Mike back to our programming team, where he got his first start on ‘FM97’ in Lancaster at age 16.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Lauded for Hurricane Assistance. After hurricanes swept through Puerto Rico and Southwest Florida, those working in the broadcasting business in the those areas have had to deal with personal and family issues in addition to having to keep up their  professional duties to keep the public informed and apprised of everything that is happening in clean-up efforts. At best, it has been difficult for those in the broadcast community to continue working while also dealing with damage to their property or automobiles. At worst, they may be dealing with something such as injury to a family member or pet. While there is certainly no way to replace something as precious as life, the Broadcasters Foundation of America has stepped in to provide some financial security to those colleagues who are suffering from these natural disasters. Dozens of employees from various radio and television companies in those areas have reached out for help and the BFOA has either already delivered or is in the process of providing financial support. Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Hurricane Ian was one of the worst natural disasters to hit Southwest Florida in over a century. A near category 5 hurricane, the storm devastated communities that Beasley serves. Our employees worked around the clock, serving as a lifeline to listeners when radio was the only source of communication available to them with the outside world. Throughout the storm, Tim McCarthy and the Broadcasters Foundation of America team were front and center, checking in and offering assistance to our employees who were directly impacted by the hurricane. It’s that type of true commitment and dedication to broadcasters on the front lines every day that makes the BFOA so incredibly important and vital as they take care of those who selflessly take care of others every day. That is what the Broadcasters Foundation of America is all about!”

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between SiriusXM and New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hollis gives SXM the exclusive rights to distribute and sell advertising for “The Rachel Hollis Podcast.” Additionally, the agreement calls for Stitcher to distribute the show across all podcast platforms. Hollis says, “Teaming up with SiriusXM allows us to further elevate the show, bringing it into an exciting new chapter. I believe we learn the most by listening to other people’s stories and sharing in conversation. My hope is to keep seeking out wisdom from our guests that spark curiosity and openness with an ever-evolving audience.”…..Salem Media Group is presenting at the Annual LD Micro Main Event XV investor conference at 5:00 pm ET on October 26. The presentation will be available on the investor relations portion of Salem’s website prior to the company’s presentation…..Dr. Daliah WachsGCN-syndicated talk radio program adds a new affiliate as Fairview Broadcasting’s news/talk KWBG-AM, Boone, Iowa adds the show to its program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daypart.

Politics and the Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 17-21. The politics and the debates leading up to the November midterm elections combined as the most-talked-about-stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Takers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy – including inflation, the up-and-down financial markets, and fears of a recession – followed by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine tied with other foreign affairs stories at #3. 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.

Front Page News Industry News

Friday, October 7, 2022

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, “Going to Pot,” looks back at this past week of 10/3-10/7. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Jack Heath, talk show host, “The Pulse of NH”; Dr. Murray Sabrin, emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College, NJ/author; Matthew B. HarrisonEsq., associate publisher, TALKERSGlenn Beck, talk show host, Premiere Networks/author; Tavis Smiley, author/talk show host/owner, KBLA, Los Angeles. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on 100-plus broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. 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 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.

KGO, San Francisco to Begin Sports/Wagering Format on Monday. The end of the news/talk format on Cumulus Media’s legendary KGO-AM, San Francisco came in a way that many market observers are calling bizarre – just to give one adjective. During the late morning Mark Thompson show, the station suddenly ended the talk show and began airing a recorded announcement followed by music stunting. Thompson himself was as surprised as the listeners to learn the that station will flip to a new format on Monday (10/10) – some form of sports betting talk. The message from Cumulus was: “Today we say goodbye to the legendary KGO. Over the last 80 years, KGO has been here for Bay Area listeners covering and discussing all the news that has impacted our world and local communities. We thank you for your loyalty and for trusting KGO to be your source for information. We also want to sincerely thank all the talented men and women that worked so hard over the years to produce award-winning programming on KGO. On Monday, 810AM begins a new era. We hope you will tune in.” Northern California-based journalist Matthew Keys reports that sources say the new format will be branded “The Spread 810AM.”

Beasley and Audacy Swap Las Vegas Stations. The two companies are entering into an asset exchange agreement that will see Beasley Media Group’s news/talk KDWN-AM and FM translator K268CS (101.5) go to Audacy, which will give FM station KXTE (currently alternative rock) to Beasley. As part of the agreement, longtime Las Vegas-based syndicated morning personalities “Dave and Mahoney” will continue to be heard on KXTE-FM. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 61-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the communities where we operate with the best local programming and brands, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results. The agreement to exchange KDWN-AM/FM translator for KXTE-FM addresses all of these strategic objectives and upon completion, will complement our Las Vegas market presence and content with five strong signals in the market.” The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year subject to Federal Communications Commission approval and other customary closing conditions.

Round Two of September PPMs Released. The second of two rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington remains ranked #1 in the market after adding one-tenth to finish the survey with an 8.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share). Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL-FM tacks on six-tenths for a 4.5 share that lifts it to the #7 rank. In Boston, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO slips half a share for a 3.8 share that leaves it ranked #9, while the company’s all-news WBZ-AM adds seven-tenths for a 5.3 share good for the #5 rank in the market. Audacy’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis rises eight-tenths to finish the survey with a 5.6 share that lifts it to the #7 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KTLK-AM is up one-tenth for a 3.1 share finish and Hubbard Broadcasting’s talk KTMY-FM dips two-tenths for a 3.1 share finish leaving them tied at the #15 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.

iHeartMedia Sells New Orleans Office Building. The New Orleans City Business reports that iHeartMedia has sold the downtown New Orleans building that houses its operations there. The three-story, 17,765-square-foot building has been on the market for two years and was acquired by a Florida-based investment group. The story notes that the building was constructed in the mid-1990s. It has “a 250-kilowatt generator, 60 parking spots with a secured gate and two adjacent lots.” The sale price is reported to be just over $3.57 million. It was originally listed at $3.7 million in August 2020.

Grant Stinchfield Launches Show on Salem Podcast Network. KRLA-AM, Los Angeles morning drive personality Grant Stinchfield is launching a podcast on Salem Media Group’s Salem Podcast Network on Monday (10/10) titled, “Stinchfield.” He currently hosts “The Morning Answer” show on KRLA alongside Jennifer Horn. Salem SVP for spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Grant does a great morning show with Jen in Los Angeles, and we’re excited that he’s moving up on the Salem platform. Now, listeners all over the country get to hear his take on the day’s news and events. We’re delighted to give him this opportunity.” Stinchfield comments, “America is in crisis and the corporate media establishment continues to silence strong conservative voices. This podcast is about pushing back and refusing to be silenced. We will expose the stories the mainstream media refuses to cover. I am so proud to be a part of Salem Media, an organization that refuses to sit idly by and watch our nation fall deeper and deeper into debt and despair. Its commitment to free speech is why I am proud to call Salem Media a partner.”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Kevin Kinkead at Crossing BroadJamie Lynch is out at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 the Fanatic.” There is no information from the company on Lynch’s departure, although a cost-cutting motive is the most likely. Morning drive host John Kincade said on the program, “Obviously you will notice Jamie is not here. I can only say that we miss Jamie because a situation like this is a time when Jamie is of the greatest joy. We miss him not being here with us today. And if you miss Jamie this morning you can only imagine how much we do. I don’t know how much more to say. I’m not at liberty to say. But we miss him and we wish he was here with us.”…..Public media company GBH announces that Jim Braude will leave the WGBH-TV program “Greater Boston” at the end of this year. Braude also co-hosts the “Boston Public Radio” program on WGBH-FM, Boston with Margery Eagan and will continue in that role. Braude has hosted the “Greater Boston” television program since 2015 and co-hosted the radio program with Eagan since 2013…..Cipolla Analytics announces the appointment of Dr. Ed Cohen as chief research officer for the company, overseeing the expansion of its SpotGPS advanced intelligence software for radio. Developed especially for PPM markets, Cipolla Analytics says, “SpotGPS makes it easy to get the listening credit you deserve. SpotGPS reveals content placement and quantity on your stations and the competition in a way that is clear, colorful, and compelling.” Cohen was previously vice president, ratings and research for Cumulus Media, and led Nielsen Audio’s connected car streaming audio research initiative as vice president, measurement innovation.

Russia-Ukraine War and Foreign Affairs Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 3-7. Russia’s annexation of portions of Ukraine, its continuing military invasion of the country, and surrounding foreign affairs combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy – including inflation, the financial markets and the threat of a recession – followed by politics and the November midterm elections at #3. 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.

 

 

KWAM Seeks News Staffers. KWAM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” is expanding its local news coverage. KWAM has promoted Ben Deeter – executive producer of “Wake Up Memphis” – to full-time news anchor and anchor of the radio station’s political coverage. KWAM owner Todd Starnes says there are plans to add more reporters and anchors. Email resumes to: info@kwamradio.com.

FOX News Media Seeks Freelance Radio Anchor. This onsite position in either Los Angeles, Chicago or New York is a freelance radio anchor for the FOX News Audio family as on-air talent for FOX News Radio Network/FOX News Headlines 24/7 Sirius XM Channel 115. In this position, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a day’s notice. Learn more about this position here.

Reporter Position Open at FOX News Media in Washington, DC. For this onsite reporter position FOX News Media is looking for an experienced, full-time reporter to join the Washington DC team. You will cover a wide range of political, government, and Congressional stories for FOX News Audio (FOX News Headlines 24/7 and FOX News Terrestrial Radio). You possess strong journalism skills and thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Most importantly, you have great editorial judgment and the ability to break important news stories. Learn more and apply here.

Freelance Producer/Editor Opportunity at FOX News Media. This exciting opportunity is based in New York for a freelance producer/news editor to supervise the staff for our network radio news operations (terrestrial and FOX News Headlines 24/7 – Channel 115 on SiriusXM Radio). In this role you are our editorial leader, working with news anchors to craft the content and structure of a 24/7 news operation. This is fast-moving news environment! Your ability to thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven newsroom allows you to deliver top-quality segments/newscasts. You excel at multi-tasking and pay close attention to details. Your writing and editing skills are excellent and your editorial judgment is first-rate. Find out more here.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, August 1, 2022

Beasley Broadcast Group 2022 Q2 Net Revenue Rises 8.8%. The first radio-based audio firm to report 2022 second quarter financial data is Beasley Broadcast Group, which reveals net revenue of $64.8 million, an increase of 8.8% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports an operating loss of $5.4 million and a net loss of $14.5 million and explains the losses saying, “The operating loss in the second quarter of 2022 primarily reflects an $8.6 million non-cash impairment loss due to an increase in the discount rate used in the analyses to estimate the fair value of FCC licenses and goodwill in a rising interest rate environment. For the comparable three months ended June 30, 2021, the company recorded $1.5 million of other operating income, net from life insurance proceeds related to the death of George Beasley, the company’s former chairman. As a result of these factors, Beasley reported a net loss of $14.5 million, or a negative $0.48 per diluted share, in the three months ended June 30, 2022, compared to net income of $0.2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, in the three months ended June 30, 2021.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Beasley delivered another period of strong top-line results in the second quarter, reflecting solid year-over-year growth across all of our revenue sources. Net revenue increased 8.8%, inclusive of a 4.3% rise in audio revenue and a 34.3% rise in digital revenue, with digital accounting for 16.5% of second quarter net revenue. Digital remains a central component of our revenue diversification strategy, and the momentum we are seeing in our digital business is further underpinned by our ability to grow digital revenue 37% on a quarterly sequential basis, while also improving our digital margin. Our new business performance was robust this quarter, as we recorded $7.8 million in new business revenue, representing a 60% increase from the first quarter of 2022 and 16% growth over the comparable prior year period. In addition, we acquired a small white label digital agency at the end of June, which will immediately contribute positive cash flow and synergies. We believe these results continue to demonstrate the inaccuracy of the perception that radio is more challenged than other segments of the technology, media, and telecom sectors… We are keeping a close eye on the declining economic environment and initiated cost reductions beginning in the second quarter. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on controlling what we can control, maximizing our growth opportunities, managing our expenses and capital structure, serving our audiences and advertisers and delivering results for our stockholders.”

Monday Memo: Review Airchecks…Later. As “automation and syndication have made radio less-local,” consultant Holland Cooke calls talent coaching “a lost art”; and he uses this week’s column to offer tips “for hosts and DJs who feel neglected.” Read more here.

 

Pending Business: The One Thing Every Advertiser Should Know. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that any radio seller who wants to be successful has to answer the following question: “What is the one ‘thing’ every advertiser should know about my on-air talent?” In other words, what is the unique selling point that can be connected to your on-air talent and only the talent you represent. Read his column here.

Alex Silverman to Lead Programming at All-News KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles. News radio programming pro Alex Silverman is moving to Audacy’s KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles to serve as director of news and programming, effective September 19. He’s been serving with the company as brand manager for the company’s all-news KYW-AM/FM, Philadelphia since 2018. Prior to that, he was assistant director of news and programming at Audacy’s WCBS-AM, New York. In his new role at KNX, Silverman will “oversee the station’s editorial strategy and newsroom, including broadcast and digital operations, with an eye towards audience and revenue growth and engagement on all platforms.” Silverman states, “KNX News is iconic. I can’t wait to work with the amazing team to build the future of the brand and set the agenda for news coverage in Southern California. Thank you to Jeff Federman, Chris Ebbott, Jeff Sottolano and Bill Smee for their confidence in me and commitment to impactful local journalism.” Silverman is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He serves on the board of directors of the Radio Television Digital News Association and has been an adjunct instructor at Fordham University, where he designed a course titled, “Social Media for Journalists.” Silverman takes over the role from Ken Charles, who did not renew his contract with the company.

Dwight Jaynes Joins Afternoon Show on ‘Rip City Sports Radio 620.’ Sports talk host Dwight Jaynes is joining Chad Doing at iHeartMedia’s KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” as co-host of the “Rip City Drive” program that airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Jaynes, also known as “The Godfather,” spent 25 years as a sports columnist for the Oregon Journal and The Oregonian covering the NBA’s Trail Blazers and has co-written two books about the team. He also spent 11 years at NBC Sports Northwest, hosting “Talkin’ Ball” and “Posting Up.” Prior to that, Jaynes hosted the “Morning Sports Page” show alongside Doing on KXTG-FM, Portland. Doing says, “I am thrilled to be reunited with my former partner. Dwight is a Hall of Famer for good reason – no one has more experience covering Oregon sports. I look forward to making compelling radio with him every day. His sports knowledge and storytelling are unmatched.” Jaynes comments, “I am beyond excited to return to sports talk radio – especially with my old partner Chad Doing – who I believe to be one of the best in the country. The best part of our shows has always been our willingness to take on the tough issues – sports or otherwise – and find creative ways to shape discussion and opinion. At the same time, you never quite know what we’re going to do next… because we don’t!”

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Interview Trump at LIV Golf Tourney in Bedminster, New Jersey. Pictured above with former President Donald Trump are Premiere Networks syndicated talk hosts Clay Travis (left) and Buck Sexton (right) at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the site of the LIV Golf tournament. Trump joined the duo live on their show discussing such topics as recession, China and Taiwan, and whether he’ll run for president in 2024, about which he said, “Very hard for me not to run to be honest. And also the polls indicate from the Republican standpoint it would be easy. And I think I was up 11 points on Biden the other day… I don’t know why 11… If you guys ran, you’d be up more than 11… In my mind, I’ve already made the decision.”

Stacey Thomas Named Director of Marketing for iHeartMedia Philly. Eighteen-year iHeartMedia Philadelphia staffer Stacey Thomas is promoted to director of marketing and promotions for the cluster that includes sports talk WDAS-AM “The Gambler” and WTEL “BIN: Black Information Network.” In this role, Thomas will oversee the Philadelphia brand portfolio and will be responsible for developing, planning, and directing all marketing and promotions efforts. She previously served the cluster as media integration director. iHeartMedia Philadelphia market president Jeff Moore says, “It has been remarkable working alongside Stacey and watching her persevere through numerous changes and challenges. A tireless worker who puts the needs of iHeart Philly above all else will now get the chance to put her stamp on the promotions department in a time when making deep and meaningful relationships with our audiences and partners couldn’t be more important.”

Ava Lynn LaRue Named Inaugural MIW Mentee in Minnesota. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc and the Minnesota Broadcasters Association announce that Ava Lynn LaRue is named the inaugural mentee for the “MIW Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota” program. This partnership between the two organizations is led by MBA president Wendy Paulson and is MIW’s newest mentoring opportunity and the start of its three-to-five year strategic plan to partner with state broadcast associations across the United States and assist in building in-house, ongoing programs devoted to coaching and guiding the next generation of radio professionals. LaRue is the station manager for Q-Media Group, LLC in Red Wing, Minnesota. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “Lightning struck twice! Partnering with Wendy has been positive, productive, and way fun. And then to meet the powerhouse Ava LaRue and have the opportunity to work with her is what the MIWs are all about. Thanks MBA, Wendy, and Ava!” Paulson adds, “A huge ‘thank you’ to all of the incredible women who applied to participate in the 2022 ‘MIW Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota’ program! The judging committee was blown away by the depth of talented women that applied to be part of this pilot mentorship program!”

Biden’s Energy & Health Bill, Inflation Reduction Act, November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, COVID-19/Biden Positive Again, Pelosi’s Asia Trip, Russia-Ukraine War/Global Food Crisis, Deadly Kentucky Floods/Western Wildfires, Monkeypox, and Nichelle Nichols & Bill Russell Die Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The fate of President Joe Biden’s energy & healthcare bill; debate over the SchumerManchin authored Inflation Reduction Act; November’s midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race; the rate of BA.5 subvariant infections in the U.S. and Biden’s testing positive again; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Asia and China’s threats if she visits Taiwan; the Russia-Ukraine war and its effects on the global food supply; the continuing threats of flooding in Eastern Kentucky and the Western wildfires; the growing monkeypox epidemic; and actress Nichelle Nichols and basketball legend Bill Russell pass away were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Townsquare Media Reports Q1 Net Revenue Up 13%; Tops Pre-COVID Net Revenue by 7%. For the first quarter of 2022, Townsquare Media is reporting net revenue of $100.2 million, an increase of 13% over the same period in 2021 and an increase of 7% over the same period in Q1 of 2019. Townsquare is also reporting net income of 2.74 million for Q1 of 2022 compared to the loss of $6.1 million it reported in the first quarter of last year. Townsquare reports in three segments: 1) Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions – including its subscription digital marketing solutions business, Townsquare Interactive. That segment reported revenue of $21.8 million, an increase of 15% over Q1 of 2021; 2) Digital Advertising – marketed externally as Townsquare Ignite that includes digital advertising on its owned and operated digital properties and its digital programmatic advertising platform. That segment reported revenue of $29.2 million, an increase of 16.6% over last year; and 3) Broadcast Advertising – including the company’s local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast (plus other miscellaneous revenue associated with the broadcast advertising platform). That segment’s revenue was $48.1 million, an increase of 7.7% over the same period a year ago. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “I am proud to announce our strong start to 2022, with net revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and net income increasing year-over-year by +13%, +10%, and $8.9 million, respectively. In addition, net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA exceeded our previously issued guidance due to strong growth and strong margins. As a Digital First Local Media Company, our first quarter performance was driven by our digital platform and solutions, with total digital revenue increasing +16% year-over-year in the first quarter (representing 51% of our total Q1 net revenue) and total digital Adjusted Operating Income increasing +11% year-over year (representing 55% of our total Q1 Adjusted Operating Income). As we move forward, we expect double-digit digital net revenue growth to continue at strong margins, fueling our overall growth and subsequent debt reduction, from 4.66x net leverage today to 4.0x by year end. We are also pleased to re-affirm our 2022 guidance and our 2024 digital revenue target of at least $275 million. These results and confidence in our outlook are due, in part, to the fact that Townsquare is 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 our company. Our new reporting segments 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%. 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 and communities, it is not our primary growth driver. With approximately half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, we have a strong digital growth engine that will drive significant and consistent growth in the coming years. It is our belief that as a Digital First Local Media Company providing a detailed breakout of our digital revenue and digital profit, Townsquare should be afforded a sum-of-the-parts valuation that gives credit to our digital assets.”

 

MIW Launches State Broadcasters Partnership Program. The non-profit organization Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc., dedicated to the advancement of female leadership in radio broadcasting, announces a new national program designed to create mentorship opportunities in every state in the union. This three-to-five-year strategic plan exponentially expands the organization’s mentoring outreach across the United States. The first pilot program partners MIW with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association to create, “Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota.” MIW’s long term plan includes establishing close working relationships with leadership from all interested state broadcasters associations and broadcasters across the country to create mentorship curriculums for female professionals in radio broadcasting. With MIW’s guidance, these state-centered programs will be based on the tenets, structure, and best practices of MIWs broad array of successful and established mentoring opportunities. MIW Board president Ruth Presslaff says, “This program is designed to dramatically expand our mentorship outreach. We couldn’t ask for a better first partner than president Wendy Paulson and the Minnesota Broadcasters Association as we work toward a mentee in every state. Cheers to the first. Forty-nine to go!” Find out more here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. When the Radiodays Europe conference takes place in Malmö, Sweden May 15-17, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley will take part in two sessions. She will participate in a special one-on-one session titled, “American Regional Radio in the Digital Age,” hosted by Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes. In addition, Beasley will take part in the “Audio Summit” panel, featuring Sibyle Veil (CEO Radio France), Linda Pamgren (CEO Bauer Media Sweden) and Cathinka Rondon (head of Radio-NRK). The session will be moderated by Folder Media creative director Matt Deegan…..The nationally syndicated, weekend shooting sports program “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” adds WBIN Media’s WTPL-FM, Hillsborough, New Hampshire and Berkshire Broadcasting Corp’s WLAD-AM/W231DJ, Danbury, Connecticut to its roster of affiliate stations. The program is syndicated by Talk Shows USA…..Chicago-based MediaTracks Incorporated sells “Radio Health Journal” and “Viewpoints Radio” to American Urban Radio Networks, LLC. The two weekly public affairs programs are syndicated on a total of nearly 1,500 stations in more than 200 U.S. markets. Bob Heymann of the Chicago office of Media Services Group served as the exclusive broker for the seller in this transaction…..Audio content, marketing, and advertising services firm Gemini XIII, joins forces with Diversion Podcasts through an investment that will grow Diversion’s offerings under a new premium podcast network called Diversion Audio. Diversion Audio will become Gemini XIII’s content division. The division will leverage sister company Diversion Books’ publishing assets and author relationships to offer a focused content model it says is unique to podcasting: expanding IP from books, authors, and personalities into the podcast medium as original audio content across both high-frequency episodic shows and engrossing narrative limited series. Gemini XIII co-founder and CEO Spencer Brown says, “Through Diversion Audio, we will build upon the successful franchises and proven track record that Scott [Waxman] and his talented team have created at Diversion Podcasts. Together with our recent acquisitions of Phantom Producer and The Infinite Agency, Gemini XIII is well-positioned to optimize these premium assets and capabilities to build and grow a new breed of audio company. The creation of Diversion Audio advances that strategy considerably. We think podcast listeners and readers alike will love what they hear as we launch new podcasts tied to Diversion’s expansive intellectual property library.”

 

The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Roe v Wade, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Vicky White/Casey White Manhunt, and Western Drought/Texas Wildfire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9). The falling Dow and NASDAQ, the high price of gas & food, and concerns about a full-blown recession; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns about Vladimir Putin’s health and willingness to use nuclear weapons; the aftermath of the leak of a draft of the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v Wade; the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rate of cases, hospitalizations & deaths from COVID-19; the manhunt for Alabama corrections officer Vicky White and convict Casey White ends; and the drought in the U.S. West and the Texas wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, May 9, 2022

Pending Business: Howdy Partner. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about the strange use of the word “partner” for the advertiser on a radio program. Lapa says, “Do our advertisers (customers) really want a partnership in the true sense of the word? Or do our advertisers want what everyone else wants: maximum value at the best price?” Aside from the inaccurate nomenclature, Lapa wonders if the “partner” designation affects the sales effort. Read his column here.

 

Monday Memo: “Gas cards? OR…Bitcoin?” “Imagine asking a contest winner to choose THAT?” consultant Holland Cooke asks. In this week’s column, he recalls “when radio stunts were fun,” and how a contest “will sound as big as you make it sound.” Read more here.

 

Audacy First Quarter Net Revenue Up 14%. For the first quarter of 2022, Audacy reports net revenue of $275.3 million, an increase of 14% over the same period in 2021. The company also saw its net loss shrink from $21.6 million in the first quarter of 2021 to $11 million in Q 1 of this year. Audacy provides financial data by segment and reports that spot revenue (national and local) was $173.9 million, while its digital segment (including podcasting) rose 16% to $53 million from the $41.6 million reported in the first quarter of 2021. Audacy also breaks down net revenue by format type and reports music radio revenue was $140.4 million; sports radio revenue was $53 million; and all-news & news/talk revenue was $48.3 million. Audacy president and CEO David Field comments, “I am pleased to report that Audacy posted strong first quarter results, delivering 152% growth in Adjusted EBITDA led by double digit revenue growth in both digital and spot radio. With our scaled, leadership position across broadcasting, podcasting and digital audio and our differentiated premium content offerings, we are well positioned to drive rapid evolution and innovation across the organization to capitalize on the outstanding growth opportunities in the dynamic audio marketplace. In Q1, we launched the Audacy Digital Audience Network, an addressable aggregate of 60 million listeners across our app, streaming content, and podcast lineup, enabling precision targeting at scale coupled with real-time optimization and reporting. We are looking forward to a number of exciting additional product and content launches and enhancements over the course of 2022 that will accelerate our audience growth and bolster our advertiser appeal.”

 

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q1 Net Revenue Increase of 15.6%. Reporting its financial data for the first quarter of 2022, Beasley Broadcast Group – parent company of Beasley Media Group – states that net revenue was $55.7 million, an increase of 15.6% over the same period in 2021. The company is also reporting an operating loss of $2.7 million in Q1 compared to an operating loss of $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2021. The increase in operating loss is primarily the result of an increase in operating expenses, which reflects additional cost of sales related to the revenue increase, other expenses related to sports and marketing, and additional expenses related to the company’s digital agency build out. Beasley’s net loss for the quarter fell to $3.7 million compared to the net loss of $10.7 million reported for the same period a year ago. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “First quarter results highlight ongoing progress toward our goal of returning all of our revenue sources to pre-pandemic levels. Net revenue rose 15.6% inclusive of a 35.5% rise in digital segment revenue, which accounted for 14% of total net revenue in the quarter, marking further success of our digital transformation strategies. Comparing our revenue performance to the first quarter of 2019, revenue was down $2.0 million, or 3.4%, as the 2019 results benefited from events and other revenue that has not fully recovered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Total outstanding debt as of March 31, 2022 was $300 million, as we did not have any scheduled debt payments during the quarter, and we had $50.7 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand at quarter end. We made an interest payment of approximately $12.9 million in February and repurchased $5 million of our 8.625% senior secured notes at a discount early in the second quarter. Our strong liquidity position enables us to make debt repayments while providing us with increased financial flexibility to pursue a potential acquisition or investment within the digital space, should an opportunity arise that could accelerate our digital growth, provide synergies or improve financial results. Looking ahead to the second quarter and second half of 2022, our focus remains on driving further revenue diversification and audience expansion, improving margins, benefiting from the return of the political cycle, maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet, reducing net leverage and growing free cash flow. We expect progress on each of these fronts as we continue to close the gap on our pre-pandemic revenue and SOI levels and grow from there. I am extremely proud of our team members across the company for everything they have done and are doing to help us move past the challenges presented by the pandemic. We have clearly accomplished a lot and I believe we have many more opportunities ahead to build the company and enhance stockholder value.”

 

Ramsey Solutions Wins Webby Award for Borrowed Future Documentary. The documentary film Borrowed Future – produced by Ramsey Solutions – will be recognized as the Best Video Documentary in the Longform category of the 2022 Annual Webby Awards. Known as the “best of the Internet,” the Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet. Borrowed Future was originally released as a podcast in 2019 and reveals the inner workings of the predatory student loan industry that keeps borrowers trapped in debt. Directed by David DiCicco, the story follows college graduates who owe between $9,000 and $1 million in student loans, a college graduate who paid cash for college, and a group of high schoolers who haven’t made their choice yet. Leading voices like Mike Rowe, Seth Godin and Dave Ramsey are also featured. For weeks, the film held top spots on multiple streaming platform charts: #1 documentary on Google Play, #2 documentary on Apple TV and #5 documentary (rent or buy category) on Amazon Prime Video. Dave Ramsey says, “There’s no doubt we stirred up a holy ruckus with this documentary, and I’m so proud of the team that put it together. The student loan industry is downright evil. We definitely can’t bank on student loan forgiveness, and it’s about time America said, ‘I’ve had it!’” Webby Awards executive director Claire Graves comments, “Borrowed Future has set the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet. This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.” The 26th Annual Webby Awards will take place in New York City on May 16. See more about the film here.

 

Brandon Tatum Joins Salem Radio Network for Syndicated Radio Program. Conservative media figure and former Tucson police officer Brandon Tatum is joining the Salem Radio Network to fill the slot Larry Elder held until his retirement from radio in early April. He will assume duties as host of the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET program on May 16. The third hour of the program will be repurposed into a podcast. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Salem conducted a nationwide search, and some very big names were interested in taking this important slot. Brandon brings a unique talent to Salem, and has a strong following among the nation’s youth, with his involvement with Turning Point USA. His compelling story is riveting.” Tatum has been serving as director of urban outreach for Turning Point USA and hosts the popular program “The Officer Tatum Show” on social media platforms including YouTube. Tatum says, “Words cannot describe what a blessing it is to be a part of the Salem family. I am incredibly humbled and honored to continue the legacy of the great Larry Elder. My mission in life is to serve God with the gifts he has given me. Being the voice of and for the people is one of those gifts.” Additionally, Tatum co-founded Blexit with Candace Owens, an organization “dedicated to changing the narrative in the black community through education, community outreach, and empowerment.” Carl Jackson, who has been subbing as guest host in Elder’s absence both last summer when he ran for governor, and more recently after Elder’s decision to retire from radio, will continue as a regular sub for Tatum.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia sports media legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Didinger announces he’s retiring from his weekend radio program on Audacy’s WIP, Philadelphia. The station reports that Didinger said on yesterday’s program that he co-hosts with Glen Macnow, “Sunday, May 29th will be my final show. I am ready to transition from Ray Didi to grandpop.” Audacy says Didinger covered the NFL for The Philadelphia Bulletin and The Philadelphia Daily News for over 25 years and in 1995 his name was added to writer’s honor roll in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. Didinger also worked as a senior producer at NFL Films, as an Eagles TV analyst on NBC Sports Philadelphia…..SiriusXM announces that Jessica Casano-Antonellis joins the company as SVP and head of communications, reporting to chief marketing officer Denise Karkos. In this role, she will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s communications function, including strategic communications, brand reputation management and media relations. Karkos adds, “Jessica is a valued and respected leader who brings a wealth of strategic communications experience in the media, entertainment and technology industries to SiriusXM. She will be an incredible asset to the company and will play a key role as we continue to tell the story of SiriusXM as a leader in audio entertainment.”…..Former KQQZ, St. Louis station owner Bob Romanik – whose self-given nickname was “The Grim Reaper of Radio” – has died at age 72 while in hospice. According to his obit in the Belleville News-Democrat, Romanik served as an East St. Louis police officer and chief of police in both Washington Park and Valmeyer, Illinois during his career. He was a notorious raconteur who liberally used racial epithets on the air and referred to his programming as W.A.R. or White Awareness Radio. In 2020, after attempting to conceal his ownership of KQQZ and failing to show up for FCC hearings on the matter, the Commission permanently dismissed his application for renewal.

 

The Economy, Roe v Wade, COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Investigation, and Musk & Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The sinking Dow and NASDAQ, the high price of food & gas, and the ongoing supply chain woes; the reactions to the leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe v Wade; the rising rate of COVID cases in some parts of the U.S., concerns about new variants, and the ongoing lockdowns in China; Russia’s war in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s propaganda; the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the Justice Department’s investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; and Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Monday, April 25, 2022

Monday Memo: NAB, Long Time No See. For the first time in three years there’s a NAB Show in Las Vegas, and in a Sunday ceremony Jim Bohannon was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Covering the convention for TALKERS, Holland Cooke says, “There are still some masks, and – after three years – lots of hugs.” Also, in today’s column, HC’s notes from a conference session that asked, “What Business Are You In?” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Raising Your Rates? Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the soaring cost of, well, just about everything and how that’s probably what forced a station he deals with to raise its rates by 250%! If you’re a seller who has to break the rising rates to your clients, how do you do it gently? He offers some thoughts on that. Read it here.

 

Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 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 March 2022 sweep covered March 3 – March 30. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis sheds two-tenths to finish the survey with a 9.5 share (6+, weekly AQH share) but remains locked in the #2 rank. In Milwaukee, the battle between iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN and Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ tightens. WISN lost 1.2 shares to finish with an 8.3 share good for the #2 rank, while WTMJ adds six-tenths for an 8.2 share finish that moves it into the #3 rank. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville dips four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 6.8 share that keeps it ranked #2, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WLAC-AM slides two-tenths to a 3.1 share and falls back to the #12 rank. In Jacksonville, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM rises three-tenths to a 10.5 share and remains #1 in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.

 

Beasley Promotes Tina Murley to Chief Revenue Officer. Media sales pro Tina Murley is promoted to chief revenue officer for Beasley Media Group. Murley most recently served as the vice president of sales at the company since December 2020 and prior to that was director of sales at the company’s cluster for six years. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing all revenue on behalf of the company. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “It is an absolute privilege to promote Tina to the position of chief revenue officer at Beasley Media Group. She has done a phenomenal job leading our company’s sales efforts over the past two years. Her ‘can do’ spirit and ability to lead our sales teams has been truly exceptional. I look forward to her continuing to drive our revenue growth across all the company’s platforms well into the future.” Murley comments, “I want to thank Caroline, Bruce, Brian, Brad and the entire Beasley family for entrusting me to lead the sales charge for Beasley Media Group. When I joined the company, I had the honor of meeting George Beasley and knew instantly that I wanted to play a larger role in his company. What I didn’t know is that I would be joining a collaborative and dedicated sales force that leads with ideas and is truly vested in client success. As CRO, I look forward to empowering our best-in-class team to succeed, grow revenue, and deliver results for our valued clients and shareholders.”

 

The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, January 6, COVID-19, DeSantis vs Disney, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Musk vs Twitter, and France Re-Elects Macron Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Friday’s Wall Street sell-off, the high price of gasoline & food, and concerns about a recession; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Ukraine; the recording of Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying Donald Trump should resign the presidency following the January Capitol attack; the controversy over mask mandates, the watch for BA.2 variant outbreaks, and the lockdowns in China; Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ move to punish Disney by taking away its special tax status; the battle for control of congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Elon Musk’s negotiations with Twitter over his go-private bid; and Emmanuel Macron defeats Marine Le Pen to remain president of France were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Monday, April 18, 2022

Monday Memo: Spring Cleaning. “You’re expecting a metaphor,” Holland Cooke reckons. “When a consultant says, ‘Spring Cleaning,’ you brace for a checklist of tough choices when Spring ratings come in.” But HC says, “Take me literally,” as he wistfully chronicles procrastination you can likely relate to. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: The Anecdote. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about the value of a relatable anecdote in the talk radio sales process. He compares the focus a golfer has when playing the game to the connection hosts have with listeners. “Think about the engagement level of your listener with their favorite talk show host. The outside world shuts down for a brief moment as that listener is focused on what your host is saying. The host presents the content in a way that helps the listener shut out their daily distractions and engage with the host, guest and callers.” Read more here.

 

Key Networks and Beasley Partner to Offer Features for Sports Talk and Music Stations. This partnership between Key Networks and Beasley Media Group will make the features “Esports Quick Hits” and “Game Pop” available to sports talk stations and music stations, respectively. The 30-second segments are produced by Benztown and “deliver high energy, entertaining video gaming and pop culture content that ties esports to the traditional sports world by keeping listeners up to date on the latest esports and pro-gaming news.” The two companies announce that SportsMap Radio will be airing the feature on more that 100 U.S. stations on the SportsMap network four times a day every Monday through Friday. Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Beasley Media Group and our Beasley Esports division couldn’t be more excited about this new partnership! Key Networks is very aligned with us on developing and distributing next-generation content that reflects the growing popularity of digital sports.” Key Networks COO Dennis Green adds, “Key Networks continues to partner with best-in-class brands, and we are delighted to bring the esports features ‘Quick Hits’ and ‘Game Pop’ to stations across the country. Our partners at Beasley Media Group discovered early on that esports appeals to a young audience that continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Now is the time to get on board, as the future for esports is NOW!”

 

Report: Alex Jones’ Infowars Files for Chapter 11 Protection. According to a story by Bloomberg, Alex JonesInfowars is seeking Chapter 11 protection in Southern Texas, “with liabilities of as much as $10 million, according to a court filing.” The story notes that Alex Jones and his companies were found liable in a defamation lawsuit in Connecticut that was brought by families of some of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre. The families testified that they were harassed by fans of Jones’ program after Jones claimed that the families were paid crisis actors and that no children actually died. Jones has since stated publicly that he knows the massacre actually took place. Jones is awaiting the next phase of the case as the trial will determine the damages. Jones was also found liable in a similar case filed in Texas.

 

Devon Doers Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Radio sales pro Devon Doers joins iHeartMedia as vice president of sales for the Minneapolis station group that includes news/talk KTLK-AM and sports talk KFXN “KFAN,” plus five music brands. Doers comes to iHeartMedia from Townsquare Media’s Bozeman, Montana operations where he’s been serving for the past eight years. iHeartMedia Minneapolis SVP of sales Bekki Yang says, “Devon’s extensive career in media, which has evolved over the years to include multi-channel marketing and digital, is what we’re most excited about.” Doers comments, “I am excited to help and be part of such a talented, experienced and great group of professionals with everyone at iHeartMedia Minneapolis.”

 

Dan Sileo and JAKIB Media Partners Extend and Expand ‘The National Football Show.’ A new deal between JAKIB Media Partners and sports talk personality Dan Sileo is announced. The new pact expands Sileo’s “The National Football Show” program by one hour to stream from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily. JAKIB Media Partners president Joe Krause says, “Dan Sileo knows football and knows the stars of the game. In his expanded role, sports fans will find themselves wanting more and more from Dan Sileo.” In addition, Sileo will host, “The College Football Show” every Saturday and team up with Barrett Brooks for a bi-weekly, one-hour show called, “In the Trenches.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, Weekend Gun Violence, Biden Approval Ratings, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, and Easter & Passover Holidays Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the pressure on NATO, and the economic effects of the war; the state of the U.S. economy and the high price of gas and food; the shootings in Pittsburgh and South Carolina; the low approval ratings for President Joe Biden; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the return to mask mandates at some U.S. colleges, concerns about the BA.2 variant, and the lockdowns in Shanghai and Hong Kong; and the Easter and Passover holidays were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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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.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, March 28, 2022

Monday Memo: Is Your Show the Dog? Or the Tail? “Spoiler Alert: Both!” consultant Holland Cooke reckons. As radio faces new audio competitors, HC follows up last week’s column “Weekend Warriors: Renegotiate” by outlining tactics that make ask-the-expert hosts sound popular and preeminent and leverage on-air shows to the digital on-demand platform listeners and advertisers increasingly favor. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: Marketing Madness. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the innovation that’s taken place in the static advertising realm – bus shelters and taxi tops, for example. He says that talk radio also has the ability to create innovative marketing opportunities for clients within its own technological parameters. In fact, it’s crucial to competing. “Developing and presenting unique, cutting-edge sales and marketing solutions is a relationship builder that can cement a long-term bond,” he says. Read more here.

 

Beasley Media Group Names Kevin Rich VP of Operations. Radio executive Kevin Rich joins Beasley Media Group as vice president of operations, effective April 18, 2022. Rich was most recently market president and chief revenue and content officer at Townsquare Media’s Albany operations in which he was responsible for overseeing and managing the market with a focus on generating revenue across the company’s media and entertainment platforms. In his new role with Beasley, Rich will work closely with company president Bruce Beasley, chief operating officer Brian Beasley and vice president of operations Brad Beasley in overseeing the day-to-day business of the company’s 62 radio stations and multiple platforms. Company CEO Caroline Beasley says, “It’s an absolute privilege to welcome Kevin into our Beasley Media Group family. His credentials and leadership skills are the perfect fit with our organization. We look forward to Kevin sharing his outstanding strategic skill set, especially on the digital side of the business, with our teams across the organization.” Rich comments, “I am thrilled to join the Beasley Media family at a pivotal moment in the company’s growth. This is an exciting time for our industry, and I am honored to be joining such a talented team as we continue to deliver the very best content, provide comprehensive solutions to advertisers, and strengthen our market presence in the communities we serve.”

 

Detroit News Radio Pro Ken Rogulski Joins WHMI-FM, Howell as News Director. Radio news pro Ken Rogulski is named news director and morning drive news anchor at Krol Communications’ full-service/classic hits WHMI-FM, Howell, Michigan. Rogulski has held down a number of assignments at WJR-AM, Detroit for almost two decades including newscaster, street reporter, fill-in talk show host for the late Frank Beckmann, and performing his live annual broadcast from the policy conference on Mackinac Island. He is recipient of numerous awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, The Associated Press and The Society of Professional Journalists as well as having been a correspondent for ABC News and Westwood One News. Rogulski will lead the news staff that includes Jessica Mathews, Mike Kruzman, and Tom Tolen.

 

WLW, Cincinnati Celebrates 100 Years. The iHeartMedia station that was once a 500,000-watt signal dubbed “The Nation’s Station” celebrated its 100th birthday on March 23. WLW, Cincinnati is one of a number of heritage stations that launched in 1922. iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany also celebrated its 100th this year. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo has two WLW videos that TALKERS readers may find interesting. The first is from a WLW Radio reunion produced in March of 2020 by Vuolo and current Nexstar Media executive Sean Compton. The second is a tour of the station’s transmitter with Randy Michaels produced on December 9, 1985.

 

WWL, New Orleans to Commemorate 100th Year of Broadcasting. As NOLA.com reports, New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first broadcast on March 31, 1922. WWL was the first station to serve the lower Mississippi River valley. The NOLA piece notes that “WWL was an outgrowth of physics experiments and wireless radio classes offered at Loyola University as early as 1907. On March 31, 1922, WWL’s first broadcast from Loyola’s Marquette Hall consisted of an on-air fundraising appeal from Father Edward Cummings, S.J., Loyola University’s president, followed by someone playing a few songs on an upright piano.” Loyola operated the station until 1989 when it sold the station and its sister WLMG-FM to Keymarket Communications.

 

TALKERS News Notes. A partnership between iHeartMedia and Collab Inc will result in the creation of Curativity, LLC, a new podcast studio publishing creator-centric shows with Collab’s top talent, as well as the debut a new slate of family shows. The Curativity kids slate will kick off with three shows featuring popular kids Collab talent Mr. Jim, including a new weekly series, “Spyology Squad,” set to launch April 4. In addition, the kids’ programs, “Kids Animal Stories,” and “Kids Short Stories,” will join the slate…..Milwaukee Board of School Directors-owned triple A WYMS-FM, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” expands its flagship “Community Stories” program into a full-length weekly podcast called, “Uniquely Milwaukee.” The podcast launch is part of Radio Milwaukee’s 15th birthday celebration this year, growing a program that has been a part of its mission-driven offerings since 2007. The first episode of “Uniquely Milwaukee” centers on bodegas in the city. Station director of content Nate Imig says, “‘Community Stories’ are a beloved part of Radio Milwaukee. By expanding this content into a weekly thematic podcast, ‘Uniquely Milwaukee’ will greatly increase the amount of stories we’re able to share with listeners.”

 

Ukraine Song Getting Airplay, Garnering Downloads. A song penned by Streamline Publishing chairman and CEO Eric Rhoads is getting airplay on radio stations in the U.S. and has also been one of the most downloaded songs the past couple of weeks. Rhoads, whose company publishes radio trades Radio Ink and RBR-TVBR, says he decided “we needed a ‘we are the world’ kind of anthem. I wrote a title called, ‘Tears for Ukraine,’ and some lyrics. I then went to Billy Craig, he co-wrote with me and produced it.” You can hear the song here.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Biden at NATO, COVID-19, Gas Prices/Inflation, Brown Confirmation Hearings, Ginni Thomas and January 6, Midterms and Trump & the GOP, and the Oscars Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; President Joe Biden calls for Vladimir Putin to be removed from power at NATO conference; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant that’s rampant in the U.K. and parts of Asia; Americans’ frustration over high gas prices and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the aftermath of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Katanji Jackson Brown; the January 6 committee’s investigation and texts between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni and Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in which she appears to urge him to overturn the 2020 election results; the battle for control of congress in November’s midterm elections and speculation about Donald Trump’s potential 2024 run; and Sunday night’s Oscars telecast were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports 2021 Q4 Net Revenue Up 3.3%. Reporting its financial data from the fourth quarter of 2021, Beasley Broadcast Group reveals net revenue was $70.7 million, an increase of 3.3% over the same period in 2020 that the company says primarily reflects “a year-over-year increase in audio and digital advertising revenue and other revenue due to the continued recovery of the commercial advertising market from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by a decrease in political revenue.” For the whole of 2021, Beasley reports net revenue of $241.4 million compared to net revenue of $206.1 million for all of 2020. The company reports operating income of $6.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to operating income of $19.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. The decrease largely reflects higher operating expenses related to its digital agency build out, and the return of certain expenses that had been reduced in 2020 due to temporary measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Beasley delivered a strong finish to a solid year of operating and financial performance, as the strength of our content and continuing improvement in advertising trends, combined with the ongoing success of our digital transformation and revenue diversification strategies, continue to fuel our recovery. Throughout the year, we made significant progress on our near-term goal of returning all of our revenue sources to pre-pandemic levels, as reflected by the 17% increase in full-year net revenues to $241 million. Top-line growth was the primary factor contributing to a 75% year-over-year increase in Station Operating Income to $42 million. Overall, we believe these results demonstrate the strength and relevance of our industry-leading audio content and our teams’ extraordinary efforts to serve our listeners, customers and communities through challenging circumstances. Growing consumer and advertiser demand for Beasley’s digital audio content drove a 47.3% year-over-year increase in digital revenue, with digital accounting for 15% of total fourth quarter revenue. Notably, our digital network delivered record digital audience impressions for the third consecutive quarter, with total digital impressions growing 20% over third quarter 2021 levels and 39% over the prior year period. Total outstanding debt as of December 31, 2021 was $300 million and we had $51.4 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand. Our strong liquidity position enables us to make debt repayments while providing us with increased financial flexibility to pursue a potential acquisition or investment within the digital space, should an opportunity arise that could accelerate our digital growth or provide synergies and increased free cash flow.”

Melissa Rapp Named SVP of Affiliate Sales for Key Networks. Media sales pro Melissa Rapp is named senior vice president, affiliate sales for Key Networks. Rapp was most recently with SDS as vice president of sales. During her career she’s also served with vCreative and MediaSpan Online Services and has held sales positions at several radio stations. Key Networks COO Dennis Green says, “As we continue to build a best-in-class organization at Key Networks, we are delighted to welcome Melissa Rapp to lead our affiliation efforts. Melissa has extensive contacts in the industry, understands broadcasters’ needs and has the confidence from affiliates that she will deliver best-in-class products and services for their stations.” Rapp comments, “I’ve known Key Networks CEO Rob Koblasz and COO Dennis Green for many years, and I’m thrilled to finally have the opportunity to work with them. My passion has always been to help stations be more efficient and serve their communities with the best possible product. It’s a great time to be in radio and a grand time to represent the premium talent and programming at Key Networks!”

Carl Jackson Podcast Joins Salem Podcast Network. The host who filled in for Larry Elder during his hiatus from radio to run for governor of California in September’s recall election is getting his podcast added to Salem Media Group’s Salem Podcast Network. Carl Jackson’s eponymous podcast launched yesterday (2/7) with new episodes dropping each weekday. In addition to subbing for Elder, Jackson has also been regularly heard on WORL-AM, Orlando “AM 950 The Answer.” Salem VP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Carl Jackson has an amazing story, and every day on this podcast he will be telling it. When Larry Elder took his leave of absence to run for California governor, Carl took over and never missed a beat. He is smart, articulate, and fearless.” Jackson comments, “I’m absolutely humbled and excited to be a part of the team on the Salem Podcast Network. This opportunity is proof that the American Dream is alive and well when you work hard. I look forward to reaching a new audience with this podcast that will help me fight to save America as we know it.”

NRG Media Promotes Jim Smith to COO. Media executive Jim Smith is promoted to chief operating officer at NRG Media, LLC. Smith has served the company as chief financial officer for the past 14 years. NRG says Smith will continue to oversee the financial component of NRG Media as the company’s CFO but will add leading the operational oversight of NRG’s nine markets and 38 radio stations throughout the Midwest in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Wisconsin to his duties. NRG Media president and CEO Mary Quass says, “Jim understands the importance of NRG’s mission to provide great local radio and plays an instrumental role in leading the company through operational challenges created by the pandemic over the last two years.”

‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ Tops Edison Research’s Podcast Chart. This chart of the top 50 podcasts in the U.S. from Edison Research is based on Edison’s Podcast Consumer Tracking Report, which Edison says is the only podcast measurement service that measures the relative audience size and demographics of all podcast networks and is also the only measurement based on actual listening, not downloads. For the fourth quarter of 2021, Spotify’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” ranked #1, followed by The New York Times’ “The Daily” at #2 and audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” at #3. Edison says its podcast chart “is derived from data collected continuously Q1 2021 – Q4 2021, from surveying weekly podcast consumers ages 18 and older in the U.S. Participants indicate which podcasts they listened to in the past week along with a variety of demographic, psychographic, and purchase behavior information.” Subscribers include SXM Media, Google, NPR, Spotify, Wondery, ESPN/ABC/Disney, WarnerMedia, and more. You can see the complete chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM news anchor Mariam Sobh is launching a new podcast titled, “News with a Bite,” in collaboration with former WGN-AM programmer Todd Manley of EarSight Studios. Feder writes, “In addition to highlighting news headlines with Sobh’s commentary, the podcast features sketches, comedy songs and in-depth interviews with a variety of guests.”…..AdLarge announces the addition of the “Late Night Drive with Ellie Schnitt” podcast to its ad sales portfolio. The podcast expands on health and wellness content, specifically focusing on mental health, love, and navigating adult life. Schnitt is the former host of the popular Barstool Sports podcast, “Schnitt Talk.”…..The Nebraska Broadcasters Association will enshrine Rick Alloway, Gary Kerr and Neil Nelkin into its Hall of Fame at a celebration scheduled for August 9 in Lincoln, during the 87th Annual NBA Convention. Rick Alloway worked for KFOR, Lincoln from 1972-1984 as an announcer, producer, promotions director and operations manager. Nelkin’s career includes work as an announcer, talk show host, program director, operations manager, station manager and co-owner. He continues to stay active in Omaha radio, at both NRG Media and at Walnut Media.

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19/Freedom Convoy, SCOTUS Redistricting Decision, Spotify-Joe Rogan Controversy, January 6 Investigation/Trump Documents Question, and Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7). The diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, the loosening of mask mandates, and the Canadian truckers’ Freedom Convoy; the Supreme Court sides with the Alabama GOP over its new congressional map; the ongoing controversy over Spotify’s PR maneuvers with podcaster Joe Rogan; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and allegations that former President Donald Trump tore up documents related to the day’s events; and the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.