Emmis Reports Fiscal Q4 Radio Revenue Down 6.6%. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation announced financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter and full-year ending February 28, 2017. Radio net revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter was $34 million, down from $36.4 million from the same period in 2016 – a decrease of 6.6%. Per Miller Kaplan reporting, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, and excluding results from Los Angeles, Emmis’ fourth quarter radio revenue was down 4.8% in markets that were down 0.2%. Austin and St. Louis outperformed their markets, with St. Louis up 10% in a market that was up 1%. For the full year, radio revenue was $165.1 million, compared to $169.2 million in the prior year, a decrease of 2.4%. During the fourth quarter, Emmis closed on the sale of its Terre Haute radio cluster and the sale of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Orange Coast magazines. The company also issued pro forma results for WEPN, New York – leased to Disney’s ESPN – the Terre Haute stations, and KPWR, Los Angeles which is being sold to Meruelo Media. The pro forma net revenue for those radio operations was $26.2 million in the fourth fiscal quarter (down 5.65% from Q4 last year) and was down just 1% for the full year on net revenue of $128.1 million. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “The decision to sell KPWR was an extremely difficult one to make, but it allows us to dramatically reduce our indebtedness, leading to much needed financial flexibility during challenging times for the U.S. radio business. Our industry needs a catalyst and we remain convinced we have it in NextRadio. The NextRadio-developed Dial Report, which provides robust data measurement and big data analytics for radio campaigns, has been a huge hit with advertisers and agencies since its introduction in January of this year.”
Saga Communications Leaves TV Biz; Buys Seven Radio Stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina. This deal will deliver all of Saga’s television holdings – KAVU-TV, Victoria, Texas; KMOL-LD, KQZY-LP, KUNU-LP, KVTX-LP, KXTS-LD in Victoria; KVCT-TV, Victoria; KOAM-TV, Pittsburg, Kansas; and KFJX-TV, Pittsburg, Kansas – to Madison, Wisconsin-based Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million. The same day Saga files the TV sale with the FCC and SEC, it announces it has entered into an agreement with Apex Broadcasting to buy eight stations and four translators in the Charleston and Hilton Head markets for $23 million. The stations are country WCKN, hot AC WMXZ, urban contemporary WXST, adult hits WAVF, and Gospel WSPO-AM, and translators W261DG and W257BQ in the Charleston market, plus adult hits WVSC, classic hits WLHH, hot AC WALI, and translators W256CB and W293BZ in the Hilton Head/Savannah market. Saga expects this transaction to close in the third quarter of 2017.
iHeartMedia Elevates Hudson to Area President, Names McNair to NOLA Market President Post. Rising to area president for iHeartMedia’s Baton Rouge/New Orleans markets is Michael Hudson. Concurrent with that is the addition of Steve McNair to the New Orleans cluster as market president. The nine-station cluster includes news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT “FOX Sports 1280.” McNair was previously regional sales manager at Titan Broadcasting’s KUBE-TV, Houston. Prior to that, he served as the vice president of sales for CBS RADIO’s Houston operations.
WSKO, Syracuse Brings ‘Bud and the Manchild’ Back. The Cumulus Media sports talk station is announcing that the “Bud and the Manchild Radio Show” will once again be heard on its airwaves starting May 30. The independently produced show – co-hosted by retired Syracuse Post Standard sports columnist Bud Poliquin and Central New York radio and TV pro Jim “The Manchild” Lerch – will air on WSKO “The Score 1260” weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The program launched in 2002. It exited WSKO in 2015 and, until recently, was heard on Galaxy Communications’ crosstown WTLA. Jim Lerch states, “A change was needed to get the show back on track in terms of our core values. Cumulus Media and ‘The Score 1260’ were great partners in the past and we are very excited to join forces with them again. It was very tough leaving ‘The Score 1260’ in 2015, and we consider that decision a mistake. We are thrilled to be working with Cumulus Media once again.”
Cantore Exits ‘Mighty 1090’ in San Diego. It was a short stint at Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” for longtime San Diego radio personality Chris Cantore. He joined the station early last month to host the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show on the station. He’d most recently been with Entercom’s alternative KBZT in mornings with co-host Steven Woods. He’d also worked at KPRI and alternative XETRA “91X.” NBCSandiego.com reports the company is offering “no comment at this time.”
Trump Comey Firing Aftermath, Trump-Lavrov Meeting, W. Va. Capitol Police Arrest Reporter, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats, New Orleans Confederate Statue Removals, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/10). The aftermath of President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey; President Trump meets with Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov; the West Virginia Capitol Police arrest a reporter for asking questions of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price; the Republican plan to replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un’s allegations the U.S. tried to assassinate him; controversy over the removal of Confederate memorials in New Orleans; 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.
Trump 100 Days Event Draws Full House in Sarasota. In the photo above, Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher appears on the large video screen joining fellow SRN personality Larry Elder and local hosts at last night’s sold-out “Trump’s First 100 Days Event” in Sarasota, Florida. The event was sponsored by Salem-owned stations WGUL-AM and WLSS-AM. Gallagher told the crowd, “Sarasota is Trump Country and — unlike CNN and other cable networks — the audience loudly cheered the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.”
1010 WINS Anchor/Reporter Gene Michaels Loses Battle with Cancer. Friends, family and co-workers are mourning the death of WINS, New York reporter and anchor Gene Michaels (Free) who died on Wednesday (5/10) at 60 after a long battle with cancer. WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach states, “I can’t think of a single person who crossed paths with Gene over his long and incredibly successful career who didn’t find him to be among the kindest, smartest, and gentlest of human beings. Everything he touched, everyone he met, everything he did was better because of him. Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and daughter and to his entire family.” Michaels started his career in 1978 at WEJL, Scranton. He spent a decade at WALK, Long Island.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Legendary San Francisco air personality Steven Seaweed is retiring from Cumulus Media’s KSAN “The Bone 107.7” on June 30, wrapping a 44-year, on-air career. Seaweed – a Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer – started on the air at KLRB-FM, Carmel, California on New Year’s Eve, 1972. He joined KSAN in 1978, but left when it flipped to country in 1980. He served with KFAT-FM “The Wide Spot On the Dial,” KWSS-FM, KRQR-FM “The Rocker,” and KLLC-FM “Alice@97.3,” before rejoining KSAN in 1997. Seaweed says, “Forty-four years ago, nobody wanted to work at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Except me! I volunteered, got the job, and went on to have the most rewarding career in radio. I have been so lucky all these years to have worked with the most incredible people at many legendary radio stations, and with the best radio listeners on the planet. Thank you, everybody!”…..Beginning Monday, May 15, Cox Media Group’s CHR WSB-FM, Atlanta “B98.5” adds Drex Renner to the station’s morning show. He joins Tad Lemire for “Tad & Drew Mornings.” Renner previously led the “Drex, Cassidy and Tingle” show on Entercom’s crosstown hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” Lemire has been with “B98.5” co-hosting mornings since February of 2016. Kara Leigh will continue to serve as the producer and co-host for the new show, taking on a larger role and presenting a strong female voice…..At CHR KLUC, Las Vegas CBS RADIO announces midday personality Jon Que is inked to a contract extension and takes on the added duties of music director for KLUC and assistant program director and music director for 98.5 HD-2 “Da Shaka, Vegas’ Island and Reggae Station.”…..The syndicated “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” show announces the addition of three new affiliate stations: iHeartMedia’s Soft AC KTSM, El Paso “Sunny 99.9,” Little Engine Broadcasting’s classic hits WRBZ-AM/W238CE, Montgomery, Alabama, and Withers Radio’s KREZ, Cape Girardeau, Missouri “Soft Rock 104.7.”