E.W. Scripps to Acquire Triton for $150 Million. Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Company may not want to operate radio stations anymore (in August it announced a deal to sell its remaining 19 radio stations to SummitMedia for $47 million), but it likes the digital audio space enough to pony up $150 million for digital audio tech and measurement services firm Triton. Scripps says that the move helps it “advance its strategies for near- and long-term value creation.” Triton provides measurement in the digital audio space as well as hosting and advertising infrastructure (including dynamic ad insertion). Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson says, “Triton positions Scripps well to expand its role in the fast-growing global digital audio marketplace. Triton’s efficient business model, multiple growing revenue streams, competitive advantages and expanding international footprint made this an attractive opportunity.” He adds, “The acquisition of additional television stations remains our number one M&A priority, with the goal of enhancing our national scale and in-market depth for our Local Media portfolio. On the National Media side, acquiring Triton complements our strategy of owning growth businesses that capitalize on the evolving habits of media consumers and furthers our commitment to margin expansion.” Triton powers or measures streaming music and podcasting for media companies including: Pandora, Spotify, NPR, iHeartMedia, Entercom, Cumulus Media, Prisa (Spain), Mediacorp (Singapore) and Karnaval (Turkey). This is a cash transaction and Scripps notes that Triton’s 2018 revenue is projected to be approximately $40 million, with EBITDA projected in the mid-teen millions. Triton’s 2019 revenue is projected to grow in the low to mid-teens percent range over 2018. Triton co-founder and CEO Neal Schore and his management team will continue to lead Triton.
WOWO, Fort Wayne Names Kayla Blakeslee New Morning Host. News director Kayla Blakeslee is named as the new morning drive host at Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO-AM/W298BJ in Fort Wayne. Longtime station morning personality and market legend Charly Butcher died unexpectedly in August and the station had been searching for his replacement. Blakeslee returned to WOWO as news director in 2016 after a year away from radio. She’d been with the station previously from 2011 through 2015. WOWO afternoon host Pat Miller announced Blakeslee’s appointment on his program yesterday (10/16).
Rosati Named President of Binnie Media. New England media company Binnie Media promotes EVP of New Hampshire and Maine radio Massimo Rosati to president of the company. Rosati joined Binnie in 2015 as regional sales manager after having previously served with iHeartMedia and Saga Communications. Binnie Media owner Bill Binnie says, “Massimo joined us five years ago and was responsible for regional sales before taking responsibility for New Hampshire radio sales and eventually all of the radio sales. I am confident that Mass’ creativity, energy, and passion for the business will be crucial to our success.”
Cristina Mayer to Serve as iHM Washington-Baltimore Marketing Director. Marketing pro Cristina Mayer is named marketing director for iHeartMedia’s Washington DC/Baltimore operations. She comes to iHeartMedia from Mimi Brown Studio in New York where she was production manager. In this position, Mayer will be responsible for developing and creating marketing strategies in order to increase brand awareness, enhance business relationships, and assist with driving in revenue for the region. Washington/Baltimore RVP of programming Jeff Kapugi says, “Cristina’s extensive experience across many different types of media and entertainment organizations made her the perfect person to oversee marketing & promotions for iHeartMedia Washington DC/Baltimore.”
TALKERS News Notes. At suburban Chicago news/talk WCGO, Evanston, the “Citizen Kelly” show hosted by William J. Kelly moves to the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart. At the same time as the show time change is announced, Kelly takes the opportunity to announce the filing of his paperwork to run for mayor of Chicago. He says, “As the only Republican candidate in this race against 15 Democrats, I can win this race with the 133,000 Trump voters in Chicago alone. My callers support me 100%.”…..Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ Radio is again presenting its holiday radio show “The Night Before Christmas,” starring Milwaukee media personalities Gene Mueller, Jane Matenaer, Jeff Wagner, and a cast of WTMJ hosts and local voices. The annual show will be presented Monday, November 26 at Turner Hall. It will be recorded in front of a studio audience and replayed on WTMJ and WTMJ.com throughout the Christmas season. Five dollars from every ticket sold will benefit Kids2Kids Christmas…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that ESPN hires former Chicago Tribune and New York Times sports reporter Malika Andrews to serve as an NBA reporter for ESPN.com and WMVP, Chicago “ESPN1000.” She’ll cover the Bulls as well as the Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves. She takes over for Nick Friedell who’s moving to NoCal to cover the Golden State Warriors for the company…..PodcastOne launches the new podcast, “Life Reboot,” hosted by television personality Leah Messer, self-empowerment speaker and teacher Lindsay Rielly, and celebrity journalist Brian Scott. The podcast will guide listeners in learning to transform and live their best lives through personal stories, guest interviews, and tips from the Live Your Standard life coaching program…..iHeartRadio and HowStuffWorks are debuting a new iHeartRadio original podacast titled, “The End of The World.” It’s developed and hosted by fan-favorite Josh Clark, co-host of the beloved podcast “Stuff You Should Know”. This program “tackles the existential risks humankind faces and how today’s technological advancements will contribute to our survival.” Clark is joined by a number of top experts including, astrobiologists, philosophers, and economists…..There’s a new senior vice president for news at NPR as Nancy Barnes fills the role left vacant by Mike Oreskes last fall after allegations of misconduct from his past arose and forced him to resign. Her background is in newspapers. She’s served as executive editor of the Houston Chronicle.
Saudi Journalist Case, Elizabeth Warren Criticism, T.I. ‘Melania’ Video, November Midterms/2020 Presidential Race, Trump-Russia Report, Trump-Stormy Daniels Spat, Canada Legalizes Pot, Hawking ‘No God’ Conclusion, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/16). The case of presumed-dead Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Trump Administration’s response; criticism over Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage video; rapper T.I.’s video that depicts a Melania Trump look-alike doing a striptease; the battle for control of the house and senate in the November midterms and speculation about who will run for president in 2020; news that after the November elections, Robert Mueller will release his findings so far in the Trump-Russia investigation; the legal and social media spat between President Trump and Stormy Daniels; Canada becomes the second nation in the world to legalize marijuana; Stephen Hawking’s final book concludes there is no God; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs 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. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports on Windy City radio pro Kathy Hart’s guest stint on news/talk WGN-AM over the weekend in which she spoke – to some degree – about her tumultuous end at Hubbard Radio hot AC WTMX. While co-hosting with WGN weekend personality Frank Fontana, Hart disclosed she underwent medical treatment for what ended up being Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome during the time she was off the air leading up to her exit. But when asked why she ultimately did not return to the very successful “Eric & Kathy” show, she declined to explain…..Southern California sales pro George Herrera joins Meruelo Media as local sales manager for hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” and urban contemporary duo KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario. Previously, he served as an account executive at alternative KROQ…..Envision Networks announces the return of the Wink Martindale-hosted program “The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” for holiday programming. This 10-hour show counts down from 100 to 1 the top-selling, highest-charted, and best-loved Christmas songs ever released…..The Radio Music License Committee announces that Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger is elected chairman of the RMLC. He succeeds Ed Christian and John VerStandig, who had been operating as RMLC co-chairs for the past year. Atsinger, no stranger to music licensing committees, previously served as chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters Music Licensing Committee for many years. Ed Christian comments, “Given my vested interest in seeing to it that the RMLC continues to thrive, it’s reassuring that we now pass the baton to an experienced chairman who is perfectly positioned to hit the ground running.” Atsinger adds, “I am fortunate to be assuming the mantle of chairman of the RMLC at a time when Ed Christian and a talented executive committee have worked so hard to build a solid foundation for the group and to enhance the RMLC’s stature in the industry. That said, it’s no secret that there are multiple challenges facing the industry right now and I am anxious to get to work with a great RMLC team that has already distinguished itself in many ways. We will continue the fight to maintain reasonable license fee levels during difficult economic times.”…..Pictured at right are “Steve Harvey Morning Show” cast members Shirley Strawberry (left) and Carla Ferrell (right) joining the more than 4,000 people who took part in the 2018 Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk in Chicago this past weekend organized by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WVAZ “V103,” hip hop WGCI-FM, and Gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390.”…..Sun Broadcast Group appoints of Rich O’Brien vice president of programing & affiliate relations. O’Brien comes to SBG with more than 25 years of experience in national radio syndication, having served as a VP of radio programs for Superadio Network…..Sad news from the Motor City as former WRIF air personality Mike Clark passed away on Monday (10/15) at age 63. Clark was one half of the “Drew and Mike” show (with Drew Lane) that aired on the rock station in morning drive for more than two decades. Lane is quoted in the Detroit News saying, “He had some medical issues the past couple years, but I’m still very surprised because we were texting yesterday and he was in typically good humor.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) during her appearance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” show with Robin Roberts (right) to talk about her latest book, One Heart At A Time, (2018, Rosetta Books). During the book tour, she’s also appearing on “Megyn Kelly TODAY” and is featured on the cover of Women’s World Magazine and Guideposts magazine.