John Hancock Signs New Deal with WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. Afternoon drive personality John Hancock signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. Hancock began his career at WBT in 1990. Over the course of those 27 years, he’s broadcast on almost every daypart on the station. Earlier this year, he was inducted into the “WBT Hall of Fame” and carries the distinction as the only Hall of Fame member who is still actively broadcasting. Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “John represents one of the most unique radio personalities in America today. He’s a WBT Hall of Famer and still delivers a contemporary message every day that the listeners can count on.”
iHeartMedia Third Quarter Radio Revenue Basically Flat. Reporting 2017 third quarter financial numbers, iHeartMedia’s consolidated revenue was down 1.9% compared to the same period in 2016. But the radio division was up a hair — $2.4 million or 0.3% — compared to the third quarter of 2016. For the first nine months of 2017, the radio division is up 1.5%. COO and CFO Rich Bressler notes that the positive figure for the radio division extends “year-over-year revenue growth to eighteen consecutive quarters.” Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “As a true multi-platform, 21st-century media company, we continue to expand the innovative ways for us to engage consumers and to reinvent how we do business with our advertising and marketing partners. At our iHeartMedia business, in addition to building out a data-first programmatic advertising platform, we are continually growing our content offerings, including iHeartRadio’s podcast platform, with virtually all of the top 200 U.S. podcasts.”
Salem Media Group Q3 Broadcast Revenue Dips 5.1%. For the third quarter of 2017, Salem Media Group reports total revenue decreased by 8.2% to $65.4 million from $71.3 million during the same period in 2016. Breaking down the company by segments, net broadcast revenue was $48.4 million, a decrease of 5.1% from $51.1 million in 2016. Digital media revenue decreased 12.9% to $10.4 million from $12.0 million the year prior. Salem’s publishing revenue was down 20.2% to $6.6 million from $8.2 million in Q3 of 2016.
Saga Reports Revenue Increase in Third Quarter. Reporting third quarter financials, Saga Communications says net revenue was up 1.3% to $30.3 million compared to the same quarter a year ago. Station operating expense was flat compared to Q3 2016 at $21.8 million and operating income was $5.5 million compared to $6.8 million for the same period last year, with the reduction primarily due to a gain of $1.4 million recognized from the sale of one of the company’s towers in Norfolk, Virginia during the third quarter last year. On a same-station basis, net revenue declined 1.1% to $29.6 million.
PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four reports on the performances of stations based on data from the October 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. Today, Kinosian reports on public news/talk radio. He says, “Almost half the stations on this public news/talk panel improve September 2017 – October 2017 (47%, 6+) while roughly one of every three is down (34%); the remaining 19% of the sample remains flat (6+).” When comparing 6+ numbers year-over-year, “Not quite two of every three stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up (63%,), meanwhile, approximately one in four (27%) decline; the remaining 10% are unchanged.” Ten public radio news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in October and two ranked #1. KQED hit the #1 spot in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets while KUOW was #1 in Seattle. See Kinosian’s complete report here.
Virginia and New Jersey Gubernatorial Elections, Trump China Visit, North Korea Nuclear Tensions, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, Saudi Arabia-Iran Conflict, Sexual Assault Cases, NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7). Yesterday’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey; President Trump’s visit to China; the ongoing nuclear tensions between North Korea and the U.S.; the aftermath of the church shooting in Texas that claimed the lives of 26; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; Saudi Arabia’s claim Iran fired a missile at Riyadh from Yemen; the sexual assault case of actor Kevin Spacey and the report of Harvey Weinstein’s hiring spies to track actresses and journalists; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Bohannon Visits Janesville Affiliate. Pictured above is Westwood One syndicated late-night personality Jim Bohannon (left), Mark Finnegan of the veteran’s organizations Vetsroll.org (center), and Tim Bremel, operations manager and host of “Your Talk Show” on WCLO Janesville, Wisconsin at a remote broadcast at a Culver’s Restaurant. WCLO is an affiliate of Bohannon’s program.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Reno radio pro “Big Chris” Hart is named program director at Cumulus Media’s classic hip hop KNEV, Reno “95.5 The Vibe.” Hart previously served in the market programming and serving on at KWFP and, before that, working at KUUB. Hart says, “This is one of those opportunities that you dream about in this business. I’ve competed against and known the Cumulus team in Reno for 17 years. Now, it’s my distinct pleasure to be joining the best team around and do some great, fun, plain ol’ kick-butt radio with Cumulus, KNEV and the good people of the greatest market in the universe, Reno!”…..Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show’ is joining the American Forces Network beginning Monday (11/13). The KYSR, Los Angeles “Alt 98.7”-based Woody Show will be added to the lineup on the AFN alternative music channel…..iHeartCountry and Premiere Networks are presenting multi-platform coverage of tonight’s “The 51st Annual CMA Awards.” In addition to carrying the ABC-TV telecast audio across the 80-some iHeartCountry radio stations, for the first time, iHeartCountry will, among other things, present a Facebook live broadcast of the red carpet arrivals hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan.