Salem Media Group total revenue for the second quarter of 2023 was $65.8 million, a decrease of 4.2% from Q2 of 2022. The company reports an operating loss of $4.1 million compared to operating income of $7.3 million reported in Q2 of 2022. Salem posts a net loss of $7.1 million for the second quarter of this year, compared to a net income of $9.1 million reported for Q2 of 2022. Looking at the company’s operating results by segment, Net Broadcast revenue decreased 5.3% to $49.7 million from $52.5 million; Station Operating Income decreased 43.5% to $6.2 million from $10.9 million; Same Station net broadcast revenue decreased 5.8% to $49.4 million from $52.4 million; and Same Station operating income decreased 37.7% to $6.8 million from $10.9 million. Digital Media revenue increased 0.5% to $10.9 million from $10.8 million, and Publishing revenue decreased 3.5% to $5.2 million from $5.4 million. Salem reports that as of June 30, 2023, the company was not in compliance with its fixed charge coverage ratio. On August 7, 2023 it signed a forbearance whereby the bank agreed not to exercise remedies on the default during the month of August. Additionally, the notional amount of the revolver was reduced from $30 million to $25 million with a minimum availability of $1 million. The interest rate associated with the revolver increased by two percentage points effective July 1, 2023 through the date of the forbearance amendment.
Net revenue for the second quarter of 2023 for Saga Communications, Inc was $29.2 million, a decrease of 2.2% over the same period in 2022. Operating income for the quarter was $4.3 million compared to $5.4 million for the same quarter last year – a decline of 20.1%. Saga posted a net income of $3.4 million for the quarter compared to net income of $3.8 million for the second quarter last year – a decline of 12.3% – although it should be noted that Saga is the only radio company thus far to report net income – as opposed to a net loss – during the second quarter. Saga Communications stock pays dividends and during Q2 of 2023 it paid a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share on June 16, 2023. The aggregate amount of the quarterly dividend was approximately $1.5 million. To date Saga has paid over $109 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012. Saga’s balance sheet reflects $34.4 million in cash and short-term investments as of June 30, 2023. The company carries no long-term debt.
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, “Despite 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 EBITDA 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.
Salem Media Group, Inc announces that it plans to report its second quarter 2023 financial results after the market closes on August 8.The company also plans to host a teleconference to discuss its results on August 8 at 5:00 pm ET.
Audacy and K-STATE athletics announce a multiyear broadcast partnership in which KFH-AM/FM, Wichita will become the new market affiliate for Wildcat football and basketball. The agreement includes all K-STATE football and men’s basketball broadcasts, plus selected women’s basketball broadcasts. Audacy Wichita SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “We are delighted to partner with K-STATE athletics and become the home of the University’s football and basketball programs. This partnership brings together a passion for sports and a commitment to delivering unparalleled coverage to Wildcat fans across the region. We look forward to capturing the electrifying moments and the shared spirit of K-STATE sports throughout the year.”
The GCN-syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs Show” is added to the weekend program schedule at Tyler Media’s KTLR-AM/K279CR, Oklahoma City.
Cumulus Media Inc is the first radio company to report its financial results for the second quarter of 2023 and post Q2 net revenue of $210.1 million, a decrease of 11.2% over the same period in 2022. The company also posts a net loss of $1.1 million for the quarter, compared to the $8.6 million in net earnings it reported for Q2 of 2022. Breaking down the company’s revenue by segment, digital is the only segment that didn’t report a double-digit decline ($37.5 million, down 0.7%). Spot revenue was $107.1 million (down 15.7%) and network revenue was $39.7 million (down 18.5%). Cumulus notes that its total debt as of June 30, 2023 was $680.9 million. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “Despite continued challenges in the overall market, our second quarter revenue performed in-line with expectations while Adjusted EBITDA exceeded them. As in prior quarters, we generated strong revenue growth in our digital marketing services business, implemented meaningful cost reductions, and further improved our balance sheet by generating cash from operations and reducing our total and net debt to the lowest levels in more than a decade. Additionally, we executed a highly accretive and opportunistic tender offer, which resulted in the retirement of approximately 10% of our shares outstanding. Our proven track record of strong operational and financial execution in adverse conditions gives us unwavering confidence in our ability to optimize results in the current weak ad market and rebound strongly when the environment improves. In the meantime, we will continue to invest in our digital businesses, further enhance our operating leverage through additional cost reductions, and execute on our strategy to opportunistically deploy capital to maximize long-term shareholder value.”
Beasley Broadcast Group announces that it will report its 2023 second quarter financial results before the market opens on Thursday, August 3.
The Society of Broadcast Engineers announces that the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award for 2023 is presented to Joseph Conlon of Inver Grove Heights, MN, and a current member of SBE Chapter 17 Central Minnesota. The James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year award is Andrew Gladding, CBT, of Brooklyn, NY, and a member of SBE Chapter 15 New York City. Gladding has been an SBE Member for eight years and is the secretary of Chapter 15. In his role as adjunct professor for audio production at Hofstra University, he has taken numerous steps to recruit and engage new SBE members by teaching them about the broadcasting business and engineering in particular. He is solely responsible for the addition of 40 student members to Chapter 15.
SiriusXM sports talk personality Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is making his return to Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, New Jersey, for a special live broadcast of his show on August 4 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. This is Russo’s first broadcast at the popular Jersey Shore venue since 2007. He says, “Bar A, I’m back, baby! The summer show was always a blast. I’m excited to be at it again and we’ve got a great show planned on August 4. Love all our Jersey Shore fans!!!”
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment (Series Finale) of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment and series finale of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that has looked back each week for the past three-and-a-half years at the hottest topics discussed in the American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “A House Divided,” reviews this past week of 11/7-11. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dr. Murray Sabrin, professor emeritus of finance, Ramapo College, NJ; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Matthew B. Harrison, Esq., associate publisher, TALKERS/law professor, Springfield, MA. The show has been airing 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 milestone episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here.
LiveOne Reports Revenue for 2023 Fiscal Q2 Up 7.3%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of Fiscal 2023, LiveOne says consolidated revenue was $23.5 million – an increase of 7.3% over the same period in 2022 Fiscal Q2. LiveOne is the parent company of PodcastOne and the filing reveals that PodcastOne “posted record 1H Fiscal 2023 revenue of $17.2 million as U.S. unique monthly audience surpassed 6.7 million in September 2022.” LiveOne is planning to spin out PodcastOne as a separate, publicly traded company and expects to file an S-1 with the SEC by December 15. Returning to the company’s consolidated financial data, LiveOne posted a net loss of $3.4 million, a dramatic reduction from the net loss of $15.2 million it reported for second quarter of Fiscal 2022. LiveOne CEO and chairman Robert Ellin comments, “The momentum in LiveOne’s audio business, which includes Slacker Radio and PodcastOne, continues to experience growth of paid members through partnerships, including Tesla, as well as an increase in advertising and sponsorships. We expect our audio business to collectively achieve revenue in excess of $80 million in Fiscal 2023 and generate more than $16 million in Adjusted EBITDA. Over the past year, we have successfully reduced costs and overhead by an expected $25 million on an annual basis while focusing on the operating performance of our audio division. A significant part of our strategy is a decision to forgo any live tentpole and pay-per-view events until Fiscal 2024, which has resulted in a lowering of expected Fiscal 2023 revenue to between $100 million and $110 million. These measures will allow us to utilize our capital and resources to strengthen our balance sheet, buyback stock and focus on the growth of our profitable businesses.”
Christian Arcand Returns to WEEI, Boston to Produce PM Drive Show. Sports talk radio pro Christian Arcand – who was a casualty of the recent cuts at Beasley Media Group and served as an air personality at WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” – joins Audacy’s WEEI-FM, Boston as producer of the “Merloni, Fauria & Mego” show and as host of the Saturday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm program. Arcand originally served with WEEI first as co-host on the “Planet Mikey” show with Mike Adams and then hosted the “WEEI Late Night” program before joining WBZ-FM five years ago. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Mike Thomas says, “Christian is a talented guy and a great team player. A lot of people in the building, including myself, have had the pleasure of working with him in the past. What he will bring to ‘Merloni, Fauria and Mego’ on and off the air will really help propel the show and the station forward.”
Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Host Election Event. Pictured above at Tuesday night’s midterm election night event in Nashville are Premiere Networks-syndicated personalities Clay Travis (right) and Buck Sexton (left) – hosts of “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” with U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Travis and Sexton hosted the event for key advertisers, political guests and others. Among the special guests who attended the private event to watch the election results were: Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Jesse Kelly, Sen. Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, FOX News commentator and Outkick The Coverage host Tomi Lahren, country music star John Rich, former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, among others.
Hillsdale College Produces Election Night Coverage. In the photo above, student broadcasters at Hillsdale College’s radio station WRFH-LPFM, Hillsdale, Michigan “Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM” present their live election night coverage on the station with a remote broadcast. The school says that more than 20 staffers were involved in some way during the evening, as they welcomed panels of fellow students, Hillsdale professors, candidates, reporters, and pundits to the airwaves. The event was open to the campus community and more than 200 people turned out to watch and listen.
KDWN, Las Vegas Hosts Election Night Special. In the Las Vegas market, KDWN talk host Steve Sanchez (right) presented election night coverage on the station that included contributions from GCN nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (center) and “Finding Common Ground” host Patrick Casale (left).
New York Festivals Welcomes Diego Cannizzaro to Radio Awards Advisory Board. The New York Festivals announces that DMC Studio owner Diego Cannizzaro is joining the NYF Radio Awards Advisory Board. New York Festivals Radio Awards vice president Rose Anderson says, “The 14-member Advisory Board panel is an international brain trust of innovative storytellers and industry executives whose expertise spans all genres of audio entertainment and journalism. Diego’s mastery of every aspect of his craft in works like ‘Madre’ and ‘Weightless’ brings emotions, memories, and sensations to his listening audiences. These insights and the Board’s essential guidance ensure that New York Festivals will continue to honor world-wide excellence across all platforms.” Cannizzaro’s DMC Studio is located in Buenos Aires and specializes in radio arts, sound stories, commercials, field recording, sound design and mixing. He is an industry pro known for award-winning work. He creates audiovisual productions for radio, TV, social networks, and movies. He comments, “I consider New York Festivals as an iconic common place, in a global level speaking. A meeting point for all who are really involved in storytelling in the media. Personally, it is an honor to be part of the Advisory Board with outstanding colleagues from all the media worldwide.”
NOT TOO LATE! Comrex Offers Talk Broadcasters Free Trial of Gagl Remote Contribution Service for Post-Election Programming. High-quality, remote contribution is a vital part of any live broadcast – and that’s especially true during election season. Comrex has provided talk radio hosts, reporters and sportscasters with great remote broadcasting tools for decades. Their Comrex ACCESS units have become a ubiquitous presence at political conventions, breaking news stories and anywhere broadcast-worthy things are happening. While Tuesday’s elections are in the rear-view mirror, post-election contribution to your station’s coverage of local and national races is still going strong and will for the foreseeable future. Those contributors need to be able to connect from remote locations at the drop of a hat. Often, reporters and contributors will call in from their remote locations on a mobile phone, which is a simple solution, but results in poor audio quality. Other reporters will have access to a remote audio codec, which provides excellent audio quality, but also requires some management from the engineering team. Gagl, the new remote contribution solution from Comrex, is the best of both worlds. According to the folks at Comrex, reporters and contributors can connect to the Gagl interface from a web browser on a smartphone or laptop, meaning it’s as easy as a phone call to get connected. Up to five reporters can be in a Gagl session at the same time. The Gagl session is connected to a Comrex IP audio codec in the studio, and so on-air hosts are able to talk with field reporters. Each reporter has their own mix-minus, and their audio is studio quality with very low delay, so quality isn’t sacrificed for simplicity. Gagl is a subscription-based service and it’s a first for Comrex. “It’s kind of a pivot for us,” Comrex director of sales, Chris Crump tells TALKERS. “Broadcasters are looking for easier, faster and less expensive ways to do their job. But quality and reliability are just as important,” says Crump. “Gagl uses a web browser on a smartphone or computer. It’s as easy as clicking a link to connect. But it connects to a Comrex IP Audio Codec back in the studio for reliability and greater stability. It sounds great and is designed to be dependable as Comrex customers would expect.” Anyone with an ACCESS or BRIC-Link codec can try Gagl free for two weeks by contacting Chris Crump at Comrex Corporation: firstname.lastname@example.org. Office phone: 978-784-1776. Mobil phone. 404-610-5954. comrex.com
Politics and Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 7 – 11, 2022. The politics surrounding the 2022 midterm elections and the races that will determine control of Congress for the next two years combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was former President Donald Trump’s position as a Republican kingmaker and his expected announcement he’ll run for president in 2024, followed by inflation and fears of a recession at #3. The Takers 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, Memphis Seeks News/Talk Morning Host. Memphis news/talk outlet KWAM-AM “The Mighty 990” is looking for the next great talk show host in America. We have an immediate opening for a morning show host. Our host must have at least three years experience and must be well-versed on national, Tennessee and Memphis news. Send resumes and audio clips to email@example.com.
Richard Neer is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Legendary WFAN, New York sports talk show host/rock radio pioneer Richard Neer and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison have been close friends and radio colleagues for more than half of the medium’s 100-year history. Needless to say, they always have plenty to talk about regarding media and popular culture – past, present, and future. Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview” marking his record-breaking seventh visit since the program debuted as one of the platform’s earliest offerings in 2015. In addition to his rich on-air history, Neer is the prolific author of 10 Riley King murder mystery novels and his historic overview of album rock radio, FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains a literary milestone chronicling the golden days of the AOR era. On this podcast, Harrison and Neer talk about a wide variety of topics including Joni Mitchell’s recent performance at the Newport Folk Festival, the high cost of Bruce Springsteen concert tickets, the controversial LIV Golf tour backed by Saudi Arabia, changes in the record business, the challenges of writing and publishing historical fiction, movies, TV, CGI and a whole lot more. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Cumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Rises 5.4%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2022, Cumulus Media reveals net revenue of $236.7 million – an increase of 5.4% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $8.7 million for the quarter after posting a net loss of $5.9 million during Q2 of 2021. Total broadcast revenue for Cumulus fell 0.3% to $175.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2021. While radio spot revenue was $127 million – up 5.1% over Q2 2021, network revenue slipped 12% to $48.7 million. Cumulus Media’s digital segment rose 20.3% to $37.8 million. CEO Mary Berner comments, “Our ability to deliver yet another quarter of strong results is testament both to the quality of our strategic plan and the discipline and relentlessness with which we implement it. Specifically, we have deployed our multi-platform audio-first content strategy, developed multiple digital businesses, significantly reduced fixed costs, undertaken high ROI internal investments, and created a best-in-class balance sheet that gives the company substantial financial flexibility and capital allocation optionality. Given our track record, we have tremendous confidence in our ability, under this plan, to grow shareholder value. Despite the challenging macro environment, we increased revenue in the quarter by more than 5%, driven by our digital businesses whose growth accelerated in Q2 to 20% year-over-year. Additionally, bolstered by our ongoing focus on fixed cost reductions, this quarter we generated additional cash from operations and increased net income, EBITDA and EBITDA margins vs. the same period last year. We also efficiently executed nearly half of our $50 million share repurchase authorization and bought back $50 million of bonds at a discount, while simultaneously reducing net leverage to 3.8x, the lowest it’s been in more than a decade. With a robust political spending season anticipated, we are on trend toward achieving our net leverage target of less than 3.5 times and EBITDA at the low end of our 2022 guidance range.”
Conservative Media Figures Gather at CPAC 2022. Pictured above (from l-r) are WMAL-FM, Washington, DC morning drive personality Larry O’Connor, Salem Radio Network VP, news & talk programming Tom Tradup, and author and TOWNHALL.com contributor Kurt Schlichter in Dallas for the first day of CPAC 2022. The annual event runs through Sunday and speakers scheduled to address the gathering include: former President Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, British conservative leader Nigel Farage, and Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Former WFTL, Fort Lauderdale Talk Host Rich Stevens Passes. TALKERS magazine has learned that former WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk host Rich Stevens died on July 30 at the age of 68 after suffering a heart attack. Stevens worked in music radio prior to hosting his talk show on WFTL, serving at such signals as WPLJ-FM, New York and WJHM, Orlando. He also served at WABC-TV, New York as an entertainment reporter.
TALKERS News Notes. As part of RAB’s Radio Works initiative, the next live presentation in the series titled, “Radio Works for Restaurants,” takes place on Wednesday, August 17 at 1:00 pm ET and will provide industry insights and trends intended to help broadcasters gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the restaurant industry and how radio can continue to serve this category. Since the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants have endured closures, staffing shortages, product supply strains and inflationary pressures making for a challenging business environment. Hudson Riehle, senior vice president, research & knowledge group at the National Restaurant Association, will provide an update on the “State of the Restaurant Industry” to help radio sellers understand the areas where businesses in this category need support. It’s free for RAB members and they can register here…..ESPN and Omaha Productions are expanding their relationship in the audio space with the premiere of a new show, “Kyle Brandt’s Basement,” led by NFL Network “Good Morning Football” host Kyle Brandt. The daily show debuts August 8 and “explores the ins and outs of the NFL through lively guest interviews with the top voices in the sport and inventive segments unique to Brandt to bring fans closer to the action on and off the field.” Brandt comments, “I’m thrilled about this show, and I’ll be shot out of a cannon every single day. It’s in my own basement and I’ve got games, toys and takes. I can promise one thing: it will not be boring.”…..Pictured at left is WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee “101.7 The Truth” talk host Tory Lowe during last weekend’s 7th Annual Stop the Violence Peace Walk during which he walked from Milwaukee to Chicago (more than 80 miles) to “raise awareness and bring an end to violence in our communities.” Lowe says, “It is important for us to build a bridge between Milwaukee and Chicago, open the lines of communication, and bring awareness to the violence that plagues our communities.”
Kansas Abortion Vote, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Pelosi Taiwan Visit, January 6 Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, COVID-19, and U.S. Rep. Walorski Killed Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. Kansas voters elect to keep abortion rights in the state’s constitution; the primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and China’s angry response; the January 6 investigation and the DOJ subpoenas issued to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former deputy counsel Patrick Philbin; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the impact on the global economy; the falling price of gasoline and the still-high cost of food in the U.S. and concerns about a recession; the rate of BA.5 subvariant cases in the U.S.; and U.S. Rep Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and two staffers are killed in a car accident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Townsquare Media Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 13.6%. For the second quarter of 2022, Townsquare Media is reporting net revenue of $121.9 million, an increase of 13.6% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $4.9 million, a decrease of $5.2 million from Q2 of 2021. Townsquare’s financial data is broken in to three primary segments: Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions, Digital Advertising, and Broadcast Advertising. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment includes its subscription digital marketing solutions business, Townsquare Interactive. The Digital Advertising segment, marketed externally as Townsquare Ignite, includes digital advertising on the company’s owned and operated digital properties and its digital programmatic advertising platform. The Broadcast Advertising segment includes its local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast, and other miscellaneous revenue that is associated with the broadcast advertising platform. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment’s net revenue rose 13.7%, the Digital Advertising segment’s net revenue was up 25.4%, and the Broadcast Advertising segment’s net revenue rose 1.0%. Company CEO Bill Wilson states, “I am proud to share that the Townsquare team delivered another quarter of strong revenue and profit growth, and in doing so, we achieved all-time record highs for both net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. Our performance clearly demonstrates the strength and differentiation of our digital businesses and our legacy broadcast business. Townsquare’s second quarter net revenue increased year-over-year by 14%, exceeding our guidance range, and Adjusted EBITDA increased 7% year-over-year, meeting our guidance range. In addition, our digital revenue growth accelerated from the first quarter (Q1 +16% year-over-year), with second quarter total digital revenue increasing 21% year-over-year. Our strong top-line growth, margin profile, and cash generation characteristics have contributed to the reduction of our net leverage, now at a historical low of 4.65x as of June 30th, including the repurchase and retirement of $19 million of our Senior Secured Notes at or below par in Q2. We are also pleased to announce that we are raising our FY 2022 guidance following the close of the Cherry Creek acquisition on June 17th. Our updated full-year guidance reflects the ongoing momentum of our business and the strength of our performance to date, fueled by our differentiated digital platform. As a Digital First Local Media Company focused principally on markets outside of the Top 50 in the United States, we have a resilient digital growth engine supported by subscription digital marketing solutions, with a large addressable market and limited competition. As we move forward, we expect double-digit digital net revenue growth to continue at strong margins, reaching our digital revenue target of at least $275 million in 2024. With half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, it is our belief that over time as digital continues to meaningfully grow, Townsquare should and will be afforded a sum-of the-parts valuation that our digital assets deserve.”
70 Years of WGN-AM, Chicago Audio Archived at Northwestern University. As the result of a gift from WGN-AM, Chicago’s parent company Nexstar Media Group, a 70-year swath of the radio station’s audio archive now resides at Northwestern University Libraries in the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives. The station says, “The archive, with materials covering 1941 to 2011, includes more than 15,000 items, primarily magnetic media (open reel tapes, compact cassettes, continuous-loop “carts,” U-matic videocassettes and VHS tapes) as well as other media such as grooved discs, CDs and minidiscs. The bulk of the audio dates to the 1980s and 1990s, a period of innovation and surging popularity for the station.” Scott Krafft is curator of special collections at Northwestern and he says that the archive contains thousands of hours of audio that will need to be cataloged and, where necessary, digitally preserved before they can be made publicly available. He adds, “It’s a remarkable collection that represents a significant sampling of Chicago history, including local and national news. In addition, the voices of WGN Radio’s most popular programs are represented here, making this an important archive for the history of the entire field of radio broadcasting.” WGN Radio VP and general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle comments, “Given the long and storied connection between WGN Radio and Northwestern University, it is most fitting that this audio collection, drawn out of 70 years of our broadcast history, will be under their care. While digitizing it will be a substantial undertaking for the Northwestern Libraries, ultimately, this will be a permanent and invaluable repository and resource for years to come. We trust their expertise and are proud they are the caretakers in this endeavor.”
Triton Digital Streaming Ranker for June 2022 Released. The monthly ranking of the top-performing streaming audio stations has been released for the month of June by Triton Digital. The ranking is based on Average Active Sessions which is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period. In the period of 6AM-12AM Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is far and away the #1 streamer again this month with 301,251 Average Active Sessions. Continuing in the #2 spot this month is NPR Member Stations (72,476 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (68,570 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,562 AAS). Other streamers of note in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,663 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,151 AAS), and Salem Communications at #11 (8,677 AAS). See the complete chart here.
TALKERS News Notes. Former WTMJ, Milwaukee air personality Jane Matenaer, who exited the station last month after six and a half years with the Good Karma Brands news/talk outlet, is staying with the company as producer and news reporter for sister progressive talk WAUK-AM/W266DR, Waukesha “The ‘Sha 101 FM” on the “As Goes Wisconsin” early afternoon program hosted by Kristen Brey…..Cumulus Media appoints Derek Falter VP/market manager for its Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Michigan markets that include sports talk WJRW-AM, Grand Rapids “The Ticket” and seven music-formatted stations. Falter, who was most recently regional VP for Curtis Media Group, comments, “I’m beyond excited about the opportunity the leadership team at Cumulus Media is giving me to work alongside the dynamic crews in Grand Rapids and Muskegon! Thanks to Mary Berner and Bob Walker for bringing me back to a part of the country that is so meaningful to my family.”
Al-Zawahiri Killed, Pelosi’s Asia Trip, Biden’s Climate/Health Bill, Manchin-Schumer Bill, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, January 6 Sentencing, Deadly Kentucky Floods/Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1). 9/11 orchestrator Ayman al-Zawahiri is killed in drone strike in Kabul; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan and China’s threatening response; the fate of Joe Biden’s climate and health bill; the Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer-authored Inflation Reduction Act; November’s midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the still-high price of gasoline and food and concerns about a recession; Guy Reffit is sentenced to seven years in prison for his part in the January 6 Capitol attack; the deadly Kentucky floods and threats of more rain to the region plus the ongoing wildfires in Northern California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
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 Schumer–Manchin 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.