Townsquare Media Reports Q1 Net Revenue Down 6.4%. But this decrease was consistent with the guidance previously issued for the first quarter of 2017. Townsquare Media reports its business in two segments – Local Marketing Solutions and Entertainment – with its radio stations included in the former category. Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “2017 has started off well, with first quarter net revenue of $88.4 million, net loss of $3 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $10.1 million, in line with our expectations. Our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which increased 1.2% over the prior year period, and 2.5% excluding the impact of political revenue, continues to show consistent, organic growth demonstrating the strength of our local products and services. Our local digital offerings have been especially strong, and we believe we will see continued strength as we begin to utilize our first party data capabilities in combination with our digital platform.” Townsquare also reports that it paid down $6.7 million against its long-term debt.
Radio One Officially Changes Company Name to Urban One. On the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the company’s initial public offering on May 5, Radio One, Inc. changes its name to Urban One, Inc. In a press release, the company says, “Reflecting its longstanding, rich history as the most trusted source to inform, entertain and inspire the African-American community, Urban One will continue to provide culturally relevant integrated content through its iconic brands and platforms – TV One, Radio One, Reach Media, iOne Digital and One Solution.” Chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III adds, “More than 35 years ago, we proudly began representing Black culture by lifting our voices boldly, courageously and unapologetically. Urban One’s mission is to enhance and maintain our position as the largest distributor of urban content in the country.”
TALKERS News Notes. WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host Rich Stevens is off the air at the Alpha Media talk station as he battles a blood clot in his brain. Stevens hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway has another triple shift today. In addition to his regular WHO show and the morning drive program he hosts at iHeartMedia’s sister news/talk station WMT, Cedar Rapids, Conway is sitting in for San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo on his nationally syndicated program…..The news/talk programming on United Broadcasting’s KTKK-AM and KBJA-AM – both licensed to Sandy, Utah (Salt Lake City market) – continues to be heard on KBJA and the company takes KTKK silent…..In the Chicago market, local media reporter Robert Feder writes that Memphis-based Pollack Broadcasting is buying Kovas Communications-owned WCGO, Evanston for $3 million. Pollack purchased WRMN, Elgin and WBIG, Aurora last year. Read Feder’s column here.
Vanity Fair and DGital Media Partner for Podcast Series. A new podcast series is launching featuring Vanity Fair special correspondent Nick Bilton. The program is a collaboration between Vanity Fair’s Hive and DGital Media. Hive editor Jon Kelly says, “As we prepare to enter our second year at the Hive, the goal is all about expanding to new platforms and modes of storytelling. So creating a podcast for Nick was an easy and obvious decision. Audiences will appreciate his curiosity and cogent analysis of the bizarre, temple-scratching world in which we live. And DGital Media was a no-brainer for a partner. From Peter Kafka’s ‘Recode Media’ podcast to Crooked Media’s ‘Pod Save America,’ these guys are making some of the absolute best content anywhere.”
Yates’ Russia Testimony, GOP Health Care Plan, Kushner Family-China Investors Issue, North Korea Nuke Threats, French Presidential Election Aftermath, Trump Travel Ban Arguments, MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8). Former Attorney General Sally Yates’ Monday testimony about Michael Flynn’s contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; the GOP’s efforts to repeal ObamaCare and implement their own plan; controversy over the Kushner family’s business efforts to woo Chinese investors using the EB-5 visa program; North Korea’s nuclear program and the country’s threats against the U.S.; the aftermath of Emmanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election; the arguments in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals over President Trump’s travel ban; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Brian Joyce Emcees ‘Scenic City Sing-Off.’ Pictured above with the contestants of the first annual “Scenic City Sing-Off” in Chattanooga is WGOW-FM midday talk host Brian Joyce (wearing vest), who emceed the event. The competition benefits the Chattanooga Girls Choir which will be heading to New York City this summer to perform at Carnegie Hall. The winning singer, Ivy Hall, won the grand prize of $1,000. Joyce also hosts the afternoon drive program on Cumulus Media‘s WYAY-FM, Atlanta.
Emmis to Sell ‘Power 106’ in LA to Meruelo Group for $82.75 Million. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications, as the result of recently renegotiated terms with lenders JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon, agreed to divest of $80 million of its radio assets. That looks like it will be accomplished with the just-announced deal to sell stand-alone hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” to the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million. Meruelo will begin operating the station under an LMA following the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. Emmis chairman Jeff Smulyan states, “‘Power 106’ has been part of the Emmis family for more than 32 years, so this day is bittersweet, but I am confident that the station and our team are in good hands. The Meruelo Group will be great owners of this historic brand, and take it to even greater heights.” Meruelo Media acquired KWHY-TV, Los Angeles in 2011 and radio station classic hip hop KDAY-FM, Los Angeles in 2014. Meruelo Group chairman and CEO Alex Meruelo comments, “The acquisition of ‘Power 106’ is a game-changer for our group and our media division. As a fan and someone who has had a business relationship with this station for more than 30 years, I understand the importance of ‘Power 106’ to this community. We are committed to bringing the resources, talent and passion necessary to make this legendary brand the #1 radio station in Los Angeles.” Emmis purchased KPWR-FM from Century Broadcasting in May 1984.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Phil Kukawinski is named program director at Times-Shamrock Communications’ alternative, taking over the recently departed Tom Ferguson. Kukawinski was most recently midday personality, music director and APD at Bell Media’s alternative CIMX, Windsor/Detroit…..At Max Broadcast Group’s rhythmic AC KJHM, Denver “Jammin’ 101.5,” Tracy Taylor is promoted to host of the midday show from her part-time/fill-in role…..Sales and management pro Josh Riley joins One Putt Broadcasting as general manager for the company’s six-station cluster that includes CHR KWDO “99.3 NOW FM,” triple A KJWL “K-Jewel 105.5,” alternative KFRR “New Rock 104.1,” oldies KYNO, and sports talk KFIG. Riley previously served as director of sales for American General Media in Albuquerque…..iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is presenting its Music Seminar – a music industry event that will “bring singers, songwirters, producers and record label executives to downtown Milwaukee to discuss how to succeed in the industry.” The program will include two panel discussions: The New Way to Get in the Music Business, featuring Empire Distribution; and Music Marketing & Management. A personal Listen & Critique session will be held for attendees to have music industry professionals listen to their music. Industry professionals will provide feedback on ways to continuously improve their craft and insight on how to get the attention of labels as a professional artist.