Industry News

Townsquare Media Repurchases $14.6 Million of Common Stock

Townsquare Media announces that it is repurchasing and retiring 1.5 million shares of Class A common stock held by MSG National Properties, LLC, for $9.76 per share. The purchase price reflects an 11% discount from the closing price of the Class A common stock on March 28, 2024. This transaction follows Townsquare’s June 2023 repurchase of 1.5 million shares from MSG at $9.70 per share, and March 2021 repurchase of 12.6 million shares and warrants from Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. at $6.40 per share. The purchase price of $14.6 million was funded entirely with cash on hand. In 2023,im Townsquare’s Cash Flow from Operations increased 35% year-over-year to $68 million, or approximately $4.07 per basic share based on shares outstanding as of March 28, 2024. Pro forma for this transaction, Cash Flow from Operations per basic share increased to approximately $4.47, representing accretion of approximately 10%. Following the transaction, the Company has 15.2 million shares outstanding. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson says, “We are very pleased to share that we have repurchased just under 10% of our total shares outstanding in an immediately accretive transaction for our shareholders. Since 2021, we have repurchased 16.2 million shares at an average price of $7.19, while simultaneously reducing leverage. The strong cash generation characteristics of our business model, which produced $68 million of cash flow from operations in 2023, has afforded us the opportunity to accretively repurchase equity and debt, while also investing internally in our digital growth engine. In addition, we introduced a high-yielding dividend in 2023, and recently increased it by 5%. Our dividend has a yield of 7% as of March 28, 2024. With a strong cash balance of $40 million following this transaction, we will retain financial flexibility moving forward and we are confident in our ability to build shareholder value for our investors through long-term net revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and cash flow growth, net leverage reduction, future dividend payments, and potential future share repurchases.”

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Saga Communications declares a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share. The dividend will be paid on December 15, 2023, to shareholders of record on November 27, 2023. The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the quarterly dividend will be approximately $1.5 million.

Urban One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is presenting the 30th annual “Hancock’s Bikes for Kids” charity event on December 8 in which it asks the community to donate brand new bicycles to benefit kids in the area.

Industry News

Townsquare Media Executes Stock Buyback

Townsquare Media reports to investors that it has repurchased, and subsequently retired, 1.5 million shares of Class C common stock held by MSG National Properties, LLC, for $9.70 per share. The purchase price reflects an 8.5% discount from the closing price of the Class A common stock on June 15, 2023. Following this transaction, MSG will own 1,708,139 shares of Common Stock in the Company (comprising 583,139 shares ofim Class A Common Stock and 1,125,000 shares of Class C Common Stock). The purchase price of $14.6 million was funded with cash on hand. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “We could not be more pleased to share that given our strong cash position, we were able to repurchase approximately 8.5% of our total shares outstanding (and nearly half of MSG’s ownership in Townsquare), capturing a positive return for our shareholders. Due to our strong cash flow generation, we have demonstrated Townsquare’s ability to support a high-yield dividend and repurchase debt and equity, while also simultaneously investing in the future of our digital growth engine. This repurchase is immediately accretive to shareholders and we thank our board of directors for their vote of confidence in our medium and long-term business plan to grow revenue and profits.”

Industry News

Cumulus Announces Modified Dutch Auction to Purchase Class A Common Stock

Cumulus Media Inc reveals in a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission that it is commencing a “modified Dutch auction” tender offer to purchase up to $10 million of shares of its Class A common stock, or such lesser number of shares of its Class A common stock as are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn, at a price not greater than $3.25 and not less than $2.85 per share of Class A common stock, to the tendering shareholder in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest (the “Offer”). Theim Offer will expire at Midnight, New York City time, at the end of the day, on June 9, 2023 (the “Expiration Date”), unless extended or earlier terminated by Cumulus. The “modified Dutch auction” allows shareholders to select the price, within a price range specified by Cumulus, and the number of shares they are willing to sell at that price (or, should a higher price be determined as the “purchase price,” such higher price). The Offer is being made under Cumulus’s previously announced $50 million share repurchase program. The purchase price will be the lowest price per share (in increments of $0.05) of not greater than $3.25 and not less than $2.85 per share, at which shares have been properly tendered and not properly withdrawn, that will enable Cumulus to purchase the maximum number of shares having an aggregate purchase price not exceeding $10 million (or, if the Offer is not fully subscribed, all shares properly tendered and not properly withdrawn). Promptly after the Expiration Date, Cumulus will, on the terms and subject to the conditions described in the offer to purchase, determine the single per-share purchase price that Cumulus will pay, subject to proration and conditional tender provisions, for shares properly tendered at or below the purchase price in the Offer and not properly withdrawn, and accepted for payment, taking into account the number of shares tendered pursuant to the Offer and the prices specified, or deemed specified, by the tendering shareholders.

Industry News

LiveOne Extends PodcastOne Spin-Out Date to April 20

LiveOne states that its previously announced plan to spin-out PodcastOne as a separate, publicly traded company is being extended to April 20. LiveOne also says that it anticipated that shares will open at between $8 and $12 per share. The good news for LiveOne shareholders is the company expects to increase the dividend of PodcastOne shares to between 12% and 16%. After completion of the successful spin-out – which the company notes is not guaranteed to happen – LiveOne will own approximately 86.3% of the PodcastOne common stock. LiveOne also reports that PodcastOne has repaid $1 million of its debt convertible at $3 and expects to repay an additional $1 million to $2 million. LiveOne intends for PodcastOne stock to be traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker symbol PODC.

Industry News

Saga Announces Dividend and New Variable Dividend Policy

Saga Communications, Inc announces the declaration of a quarterly and special cash dividend and a new variable dividend policy. The company’s board of directors declares a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share and a special cash dividend of $2.00 per share on its Class A common stock. The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the combined quarterly and special dividends will be approximately $13.6 million. The quarterly and special cash dividends will be funded by cash on the company’s balance sheet. Including this dividend, the company will have paid over $106.6 million in dividends to shareholdersGraphic design - Trademark since the first special dividend was paid in 2012. The board also adopts a new variable dividend policy for the allocation of cash flows aligned with the company’s goals of maintaining a strong balance sheet, increasing cash returns to shareholders, and continuing to grow the company through strategic acquisitions. Under the new policy, in addition to any quarterly and special dividends paid, the company will declare an additional dividend in the second quarter of each year of 70% of the preceding year’s annual Free Edward K Christian - Saga CommunicationsCash Flow, as reported in the company’s fourth quarter earnings release, net of acquisitions, special and quarterly dividends, debt paydowns and debt issuance costs, and stock buybacks. Saga president and CEO Christopher Forgy states, “We are very pleased that our strong capital position and operating performance allowed us to declare another regular quarterly cash dividend and a special cash dividend. We are excited to continue our commitment to provide a meaningful cash return to our shareholders through the declarations of these dividends. In addition, we have made tremendous progress during what has been a period of transition for our board of directors and executive management team. Our sustained financial strength has put us in a position to meet operational goals and to support efforts to return value to our shareholders. The cash dividends announced today, along with the new variable dividend policy, express the confidence of our board of directors and executive management team in Saga’s future.”

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Cumulus Media 2022 First Quarter Net Revenue Rises 15%. Reporting financial data for the first quarter of 2022, Cumulus Media’s total net revenue for the period was $232 million, an increase of 15% over the same period in 2021. The company says it was the fifth straight quarter of sequential improvement in revenue performance versus a comparable quarter in 2019. Cumulus also reports a Q1 net loss of just $0.9 million, down from the net loss of $21.9 million reported in the first quarter of 2021. The broadcast radio segment is broken into two parts – spot, which rose 11.9% over the same period a year ago, and network, which was up 5.2%. The company’s digital segment was up 18%, led by digital marketing services (+35%) and podcasting (+22%). Cumulus president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “Our outstanding first quarter results once again demonstrate the positive impacts of our ‘audio-first’ strategy to transform the company from a one-dimensional radio broadcaster to a multi-dimensional audio media company. Following a strong 2021 performance, this quarter’s results underscore our ability to deliver value to our shareholders through sustained profitable top- and bottom-line growth and balance sheet de-levering. We delivered sequential revenue improvement for the fifth straight quarter versus the comparable 2019 quarter, grew EBITDA by 250% year-over-year, and generated continued strong cash from operations, which collectively allowed us to achieve the company’s lowest net leverage in over a decade. Given our best-among-peers balance sheet, strong financial momentum and the company’s positive 2022 outlook, we expect ongoing cash flow generation that will support a meaningful return of capital to shareholders now and in the future. Accordingly, as a first step, today we are announcing a $50 million share repurchase program with a plan to commence share repurchases in the near-term. This capital return program is underpinned by our continued belief that the company is significantly undervalued.”


Cumulus Rejects Unsolicited Acquisition Bid. The last sentence of Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner’s statement outlining its first quarter results says it all: “The company is significantly undervalued.” That was also the theme of a memo from Berner to Cumulus shareholders regarding the unsolicited offer from a consortium led by Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw to acquire Cumulus. Berner says, “The company recently received an indication of interest in acquiring the company for $15 to $17 per share. After a careful and thorough review, conducted in consultation with our financial and legal advisors, the board unanimously concluded that the indication of interest significantly undervalues the company and is not in the best interests of its shareholders. The company’s board is open to all paths that continue to drive superior shareholder value. Our strong momentum across business lines, multiple digital revenue growth drivers, operational efficiency and superior cash flow provide the company with substantial untapped upside that it expects to continue to realize on behalf of its shareholders. Given these facts and circumstances, the board unanimously believes execution of the company’s strategy will deliver significantly more value to shareholders than this indication of interest.”


Bill O’Reilly’s ‘No Spin News’ Debuts This Week. The Bill O’Reilly-hosted program from Key Networks debuts this week on 58 stations across the U.S. Key Networks says “No Spin News” is “a full hour of trailblazing journalist and bestselling author O’Reilly’s fair, smart, fact-based analysis” airing every weeknight. The one-hour show has been airing in New York on 77 WABC for over a year under the title, “Common Sense with Bill O’Reilly.” The program now joins the suite of shows syndicated by Key Networks that includes: “The O’Reilly Update,” “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition,” and “The O’Reilly Update – Weekend Edition.” O’Reilly says, “We are beyond happy that radio stations from coast-to-coast are spreading the ‘No Spin’ mantra. We provide something that’s badly needed in the USA: honest fact-based analysis.” Key Networks COO Dennis Green comments, “Based on the success of ‘The O’Reilly Update,’ the marketplace was ready for more content from Bill O’Reilly. ‘No Spin News’ provides analysis on what is happening in the world that listeners want to hear. This is content you won’t get anywhere else, and I expect stations to add Bill O’Reilly’s ‘No Spin News’ in large numbers!”


WABC-TV, New York Opens Long Island Bureau at Hofstra University. New York City’s WABC-TV is opening a new, Long Island bureau today (5/4) inside the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University. The small bureau will have a full-time reporter and two production trucks in Long Island, New York. WABC has a history of supporting the journalism program at the university, donating significant quantities of valuable equipment and providing internship and career opportunities for many students. Hofstra students will have regular exposure to WABC journalists, expanded internships, guest lectures and seminars held by WABC professionals. The Long Island bureau, located in the newsroom of Hofstra’s award-winning, student-run radio station, WRHU-88.7 FM, reinforces WABC-TV’s commitment to Long Island, as well as the Herbert School’s commitment to community journalism, including the newly launched community news site, Lawrence Herbert School of Communication dean Mark Lukasiewicz states, “Our journalism program emphasizes experiential, hands-on learning and encourages our student journalists to engage with Long Island communities to tell impactful stories. The Eyewitness News Long Island bureau, located alongside WRHU’s newsroom, will provide that kind of hands-on opportunity – a daily chance for students to observe and learn from great local journalists doing the work of New York’s top broadcast news operation.”


TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Rob Carson Show” joins the 1400 Investments, LLC-owned Nevada Talk Network. The program, syndicated by Newsmax and airing in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart, is being heard on KELY-AM, Ely; KNNR-AM, Sparks-Carson City; KDJJ-FM, Fernley-Fallon; KPKK-FM, Amargosa Valley; KAVB-FM, Hawthorne; and KPVM-TV 25.6, Pahrump…..The syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” – airing live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET – adds new affiliate station KTXW-AM/FM, Austin “The Bridge” to its roster of affiliate stations…..FOX Nation – FOX News Media’s “on-demand streaming service designed to complement the FOX News Channel experience with a members-only destination for its most passionate and loyal super fans” – is premiering a documentary series about music and television industry star Sharon Osbourne in September. Titled “Sharon Osbourne: To Hell & Back,” the four-part program features “a candid and heartfelt look into Osbourne’s personal and professional life, highlighting how she found herself in the crosshairs of the cancel culture movement after exiting CBS’s ‘The Talk.’”…..SiriusXM is presenting nationwide, comprehensive coverage of the Kentucky Derby this Saturday (5/7). The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network.


Roe v Wade Leak, Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/3). Reactions to the leak of a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade; the primary elections in Ohio and Indiana, the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the activity on the world’s financial markets, the supply chain woes, and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the effects across the globe; and concerns about new Omicron variants and the possibility of a serious summer COVID wave were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.