Tag: "Erika Beasley"

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

| March 12, 2019

Townsquare Media Reports Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up 12%; Net Revenue Rises 4.7% for Full Year of 2018.  Note that those figures are not pro forma – they include the revenue from Townsquare Media’s July 2018 closing on three Trenton stations that didn’t exist for the company in 2017 – and they also include political advertising.  Pro forma net revenue for the fourth quarter was $109 million – up 9.7% over the same period in 2017.  Excluding political revenue, the figure was $103.3 million, an increase of 5.2%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $430.6 million.  That’s up 4.7% from all of 2017.  The pro forma figure for the whole of 2018 was $434.2 million, up 3.7%.  Excluding political revenue, the yearly figure was $420.6 million, an increase of 2.8% over 2017.  For all of 2018, Townsquare reports a pro forma net loss of $30.6 million, as compared to $8.2 million in the same period in 2017.  The company says the decline in net income was driven by an increase in non-cash impairment charges in 2018, due in part to the revision of certain assumptions in the company’s annual testing for intangible impairment as a result of the company’s depressed stock price and market capitalization as compared to the prior year, among other factors.  Net income was also impacted by a $9 million decline in income tax benefit, primarily related to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act.  Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “In 2018, we delivered net revenue growth of approximately 5% and Adjusted EBITDA growth of over 7%, driven by the impressive growth of our digital businesses, which now total $120 million in annual net revenue and thus nearly 30% of our total net revenue.  Further, we beat our previously issued 2018 revenue guidance.  The fourth quarter delivered the strongest year over year growth in 2018, with net revenue growth of 12%, and we saw sequential improvement in our advertising business throughout the year.”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 4.7%. Reporting on both the fourth quarter and the full year of 2018, Saga Communications indicates net revenue was $32.9 million – up 4.7% — in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2017.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $2.3 million to $6 million compared to $3.7 million last year.   Operating income increased $2.1 million to $6 million and station operating expense increased $523 thousand to $23.8 million for the quarter.  During the fourth quarter of 2017 Saga recognized an income tax benefit of $11.2 million compared to an income tax expense of $1.7 million for the same period in 2018. The income tax benefit in 2017 was primarily due to an $11.5 million reduction in our deferred tax liability as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Looking at the full-year 2018 report, net revenue increased 5.7% to $124.8 million.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $3.1 million to $19.4 million compared to $16.3 million last year.  Operating income increased $2.5 million to $19.7 million and station operating expense increased $6 million to $93.7 million for the twelve-month period.  On a same station basis for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 net revenue increased 1.1% to $116.5 million. Operating income increased $2.6 million to $19.4 million and station operating expense increased $642 thousand to $86 million.  Saga Communications reports total bank debt of $20 million as of December 31, 2018 and had $40.7 million cash in hand as of March 11, 2019.

Erika Beasley Moves to Corporate Digital Content Director Role. Most recently, Erika Beasley has been serving as vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Now, she takes on the Tampa-based position corporate digital content director for local markets, reporting to chief digital content officer Lori Burgess.  In this role she’ll be responsible for leading the company’s digital content expansion at the local level as well as working in tandem with digital program directors, programming teams, and talent on locally relevant content development and marketing initiatives.  Burgess says, “Erika brings a positive, can-do attitude, and locally-centric focus to our digital initiatives.  She was quick to embrace the company’s content transformation this past fall and expanded Fayetteville’s digital presence and audience growth for both WKML and WZFX.  We fully expect Erika to leverage her experience to further our live and local mission in an effort to grow digital value for consumers and advertisers alike.”

Beasley Promotes Kent Dunn to RVP for Augusta and Fayetteville. Radio management pro Kent Dunn has been leading Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia station group that includes news/talk WGAC-AM/FM and sports talk WRDW since December of 2017.  Now, he takes on leadership of the company’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster as Erika Beasley moves into a corporate position (see story above).  Prior to returning Augusta, Dunn served as vice president and market manager of the company’s Tampa cluster.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley states, “It is a privilege to promote Kent to the position of Regional Vice President within the company.  His vast experience and leadership continue to raise the bar within the organization.  We look forward to him continuing to lead Augusta and now Fayetteville into the future.”

Cumulus Star Larry O’ Connor Joins the Washington Examiner as Podcaster and Columnist.  Bi-coastal, local talk radio host Larry O’ Connor, who is heard in mid-mornings on KABC, Los Angeles and in afternoon drive on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC, is expanding his media footprint to the Washington Examiner news organization where he will be launching a regular print column and audio podcast.  O’ Connor will also be helping spearhead a new Washington Examiner podcast channel that is currently on the drawing board.

Jennifer Keiper Lands at All-News WBBM in Chicago.  Just a day after reporting news pro Jennifer Keiper had exited Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM, Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that Keiper has signed with Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM as a news anchor and reporter.  Keiper served with WBBM in the past as a traffic reporter and part-time anchor/reporter. The Chicagoland native had done two stints with WLS-AM as well as having served as a Midwest correspondent for FOX News Radio.

WJR, Detroit Grabs Numerous Honors at MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards. Detroit news/talker WJR was honored with the Radio Station of the Year honor from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters at last week’s Great Lakes Media Show in Lansing.  The Cumulus Media station has won the award three out of the last four years.  WJR also took home nine other Best awards – including for Best Breaking News Story, Best Morning Show Broadcast (Frank Beckman), and Best Weekday Broadcast, Personality or Team (Mitch Albom) – as well as seven Merit awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “We here at Cumulus Detroit couldn’t be prouder of our WJR team.  The level of creativity and professionalism at all levels rivals that of any station in the country.

Sook Honored at 2019 Golden Mike Award Gala. Pictured above is honoree Perry Sook – the founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Media Group – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2019 Golden Mike Award gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The event raised more than $450,000, a record-breaker, including a $100,000 personal donation from Sook and his wife, Dr. Sandy Sook.  The evening was hosted by NBC News’ Craig Melvin and featured a performance by country superstar duo Sugarland. Pictured above are (from l-r): BFoA chairman Dan Mason, Melvin, BFoA president Jim Thompson, Perry Sook, and his wife Dr. Sandy Sook.

Comrex Announces Firmware Updates. Users of Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs should know that the company is releasing firmware version 4.3-p6 that includes an experimental version of a new HTML5-based user interface along with bug fixes and improvements.  The company says that given that Adobe has announced the end of Flash support, and because most browsers disable Flash by default, it is providing an alternative to the Flash-based GUI with this new, fresh, more user-friendly interface.  All current Comrex IP audio codecs by default still use the Flash interface, as well as Toolbox, Codec Commander, and Fleet Commander.  Users who try the new HTML5 interface are encouraged to send a note to techies@comrex.com if they notice potential bugs not listed in the “known issues” section of the 4.3-p6 Changelog.  Firmware version 4.3-p6 also includes Comrex’s new HotSwap feature that lets users back up studio-to-transmitter links (STL) or other dedicated links with a wireless modem.  ACCESS NX Rack and ACCESS MultiRack will both have the new HTML5 user interface, and will be featured at NAB 2019.

Trump Budget Request/Border Wall Funds, Sanders Press Briefing, Pelosi Impeachment Comment, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Young Dems Socialist Movement, Boeing 737 Max 8 Worries, Brexit Vote, Carlson-MMA Flap, Venezuela Blackout, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The 2020 budget proposal from President Trump and the inclusion of funds for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; yesterday’s contentious press briefing from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement declining to consider impeachment of President Trump; the group of Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination and the related socialist movement of younger Democrats; Boeing’s troubles with the new 737 Max 8; today’s Brexit vote and concerns Britain’s exit from the EU may never actually happen; FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson’s spat with Media Matters over past radio show comments; the blackout in Venezuela continues as the U.S. recalls diplomatic staff; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Thursday night’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, the Backstreet Boys, Ella Mai, lovelytheband, and Marshmello with special guest Lauv will perform.  Additionally, Travis Barker and Yungblud will join Halsey as special guest performers.  The awards show takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being broadcast live on FOX Television and iHeartMediastations across the country…..Syracuse radio personality Scott “dXn” Dixon was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) Hall of Fame on Thursday, March 7.  Dixon is afternoon personality, APD/MD, and “Locals Only” show host at Cumulus Media’s alternative WAQX “95X.” Dixon has been covering and supporting the local music scene in Syracuse for the past 20 years…..Programming pro Chris Patyk is leading the curation of alternative and rock stations for TuneIn. He was most recently with Entercom in the San Diego market programming alternative KBZT “ALT 94.9” then-CHR KEGY “Energy 97.3” and adult contemporary KYXY…..Cox Media Group names David Abel vice president/market manager of its six San Antonio music-formatted radio stations.  Abel joins the CMG San Antonio team from his most recent position as vice president of radio with Tulsa-based Griffin Communications…..LARadio.com is reporting the death of former KMET-FM, Los Angeles program director Richard Kimball.  He was believed to have been 82.  Programmed KMET and KWST “K-West” in the mid-1970s.  He managed music acts including Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and David Cassidy before returning to radio with Westwood One in 1980.  He later founded Artist Acquisitions Service Kompany…..Pictured below you can see the WWPR, New York-based, Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Breakfast Club” show as guests on FOX News Channel’s “FOX News @ Night” with anchor Shannon Bream.  The trio of (from l-r) DJ Envy, Angela Yee & Charlamagne Tha God talked about their role hosting presidential candidates on their influential radio program.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

| September 13, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  Almost 63% of all-news station saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares go up compared to the July 2018 PPM survey.  Comparing August 2018 data to that from August 2017, more stations were down than up this year with Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit leading the pack with an improvement of almost a full share.  Five all-news stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the August survey: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was the sole all-newser to rank #1 in its market; Entercom’s KCBS-AM was #2 in both San Francisco and the adjacent San Jose market; WWJ, Detroit and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento ranked #3 in their respective markets and iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston ranked #5.  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia to Acquire Podcast Firm Stuff Media.  The companies are not commenting on the price, but The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a source familiar with the deal says iHeartMedia is paying $55 million for Stuff Media LLC, producer of the HowStuffWorks podcasts.  Today’s press release notes that HowStuffWorks was founded in 1998 as a reference site.  “HowStuffWorks pioneered the podcast space and was one of the first companies to turn podcasting into a revenue-generating business, bringing the medium to a mainstream audience with its informative, easy-to-understand explanations of how the world works.  Today, Stuff Media is one of the nation’s largest podcast publishers, with more than 61 million global downloads and streams per month.” Its signature podcast, “Stuff You Should Know” surpassed 500 million downloads this year.   iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “This strategic acquisition will pair Stuff Media’s wildly popular content and strong creative capabilities with iHeartMedia’s extensive resources and massive scale through our digital platforms, social reach, and broadcast radio stations, introducing podcasts to the vast majority of the country and offering even more unique opportunities for advertisers to reach their consumers.”  Stuff Media president and CEO Conal Byrne will join iHeartMedia as head of its podcast division and will report to iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis.

Beasley Fayetteville, North Carolina Preps for Hurricane Florence.  As stations all across the Southeast (hopefully) prepare to serve their listening areas during Hurricane Florence’s arrival, Beasley Media Fayetteville, North Carolina checks in to share its preparation. Vice president and market manager Erika Beasley and operations manager Randy Bliss state, “Our stations are in full preparation mode here in Fayetteville.  This is the time we as local broadcasters do what we do best, serve our local communities that we live and work in!  The Beasley Fayetteville cluster has a very robust plan in place for our six radio stations. Of course, this region is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Mathew that took place less than two years ago.  We are developing a timeline for going into full, wall-to-wall coverage, and have TV partners in the Raleigh market that we will be using for additional information…Essential personnel staff will most likely be coming in Friday morning and staying for some time.  We have made arrangements for water, food, and other important necessities. The stations all have newly updated mobile apps and we are actively pushing downloads of the apps, that will allow folks to stay tuned in even after they lose power.  Our team plans to continue to broadcast via streaming should any or all of our stations face off-air situations.  We also have a contingency plan to combine some our brands into a simulcast at some point so we can consolidate staff and pool our efforts together.

FOX News Announces New Streaming Video Service.  The conservative news organization announces that in the fourth quarter of this year it will debut FOX Nation – an on-demand, subscription-based streaming service that will feature its top talent, including Sean Hannity, Laura IngrahamTucker Carlson, and more.  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley says, “FOX News has an incredibly loyal audience and we are confident our super fans will enjoy exclusive content helmed by the personalities they know and trust, which they will have access to watch anytime and anywhere.”  On demand access will be available on phones, tablets, computers, smart TVs, and anywhere else that allows streaming video.  The company says that “FOX & Friends” co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, “The Five” co-hosts Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters, Dana Perino and Judge Jeanine Pirro will all play significant roles on the platform, as will online commentator Tomi Lahren.

Zena Burns Named to Futuri Media’s Executive Team. Media executive Zena Burns joins Futuri Media’s executive team as SVP, strategic marketing and brand development.  Futuri says Burns has “a 20-year history of developing strategies for driving growth for traditional media properties through digital innovation.  After running all entertainment editorial for the print edition of PEOPLE Magazine’s iconic TEEN PEOPLE Magazine, as well as overseeing its digital properties, she joined the company now known as iHeartMedia as the radio industry’s first digital program director in 2006.  Later, she became a key part of the team that developed and launched the iHeartRadio brand and app before founding the consulting agency Moxie Coalition.”  Burns will retain her equity in the company which will remain active under the leadership of associates.  The company says that in this newly created role, Burns will lead high-level marketing initiatives for Futuri, direct its marketing and communications investments, and collaborate with CEO Daniel Anstandig and Futuri’s leadership team on the development of Futuri’s suite of audience engagement and sales intelligence technology solutions.  Burns will remain based in Chicago where she will spearhead the opening of a Futuri office in the major media market for the Cleveland-based company.

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ extends its deal with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to continue serving as the flagship station for the BMO Harris Bucks Radio Network.  Added to the agreement this time are two new programs: a one-hour “Bucks Weekly Show” and a half-hour “Coach’s Show” that will air on WTMJ each week during the season.  WTMJ and sister country WKTI are owned by E.W. Scripps but are in the process of being sold to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma BrandsTed Davis and Dennis Krause are the radio play-by-play on-air team…..Entercom announces two new football podcasts – one for Oakland Raiders fans titled, “The Silver and Black Podcast,” and one for the San Francisco 49ers faithful called, “Overtime.”  Both are available on Bay Area sports talker KGMZ 95.7 The Game’s website and via the company’s digital platform Radio.com.  “The Silver and Black Podcast” air every Monday and Friday throughout the season and is hosted by “95.7 The Game” on-air host and Oakland Raiders Radio Network sideline reporter Chris Townsend.  “Overtime” airs weekly and will be co-hosted by KGMZ personalities Bonta Hill and Joe “Butcher Boy” Shasky…..Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson is launching a new talk show on SiriusXM.  The weekly program is called “Swing Away with Reggie Jackson” and airs Saturdays at 11:00 am on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel.  SiriusXM says, “Fueled by his love of all sports, Jackson will cover a broad spectrum of sports topics on ‘Swing Away,’ and he will be joined regularly by well-known athletes and celebrities on his program, where they will discuss the headline news in baseball, football, basketball, golf and much more.”

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russian War Games, Kavanaugh Nomination, Fager Exits ‘60 Minutes’/Moonves Allegations, Positive U.S. Economic News, New iPhones Revealed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the reaction to Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Russia’s war games and China’s joint participation; the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice; embattled “60 Minutes” producer Jeff Fager is fired and the sexual misbehavior allegations leveled at Les Moonves; the positive U.S. economic news; Apple unveils new iPhones; the week’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the immediate build-up to the 2018 American Music Awards on October 9, official national radio partners Westwood One and Cumulus Media will present special programming as it covers the fan-voted awards show.  The program takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being aired live on ABC-TV.  Westwood One will produce “Backstage at the AMAs” for more than 25 local stations and network groups.  Through its partnership with the American Music Awards and dick clark productions, WWO will also create exclusive AMA branded long-form and short-form content leading up to and following the awards…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that the Reach Media nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show is returning to Chicago radio on Future Vision Entertainment’s “95.1 FM Clubsteppin” heard on WLEY-HD2 and translators W236CF, Chicago and W236CG, Bolingbrook in the market.  LaMont Watts owns Future Vision and tells Feder, “Bringing Tom back to Chicago was just as important as the launch of this historic station. Tom is Chicago. The listeners love him and 95.1 is excited to welcome him home.”…..Imaging pro Mark Rider is joining Entercom’s alternative WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark” to handle imaging voice duties. Station PD John O’Connell says Rider has “a unique, versatile and powerful voice that fits the alternative format like a glove.  His delivery and style are warm, yet authoritative and that’s what set him apart from the rest.”…..Dick Broadcasting is now simulcasting CHR WKZL, Greensboro morning show “Jared and Katie in the Morning” on its Savannah, Georgia CHR WGCO “HOT 98.3.” The show consists of hosts Jared Pike and Katie Tesh with cast members Matt Wells, Thomas Marvin, and Jason Goodman…..SiriusXM is launching the limited-run Rod Stewart Radio channel on September 20.  The channel will feature music from all aspects of Stewart’s career, including from his new album, Blood Red Roses.