Entercom Net Revenue Up 3% in First Quarter of 2019. Net revenue for Entercom Communications Corp. was $309 million in the first quarter of 2019 – an increase of 3% over the $300.6 million figure for the same period in 2018. Operating income soared to $30.4 million, up from $5.7 million in the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, total operating expenses decreased 5.6% from last year to $278.6 million. Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered another strong quarter of performance as revenues increased 3% and Adjusted EBITDA surged 42%. Our transformational investments in new products and capabilities and the hard work of our team are beginning to pay off as we capitalize on our scale and the abundant growth opportunities in audio. Second quarter revenues are pacing up by more than 4% and we are excited about our progress across multiple areas of the business and by the dynamic future ahead.” Today’s report also states that “later today, the company expects to issue $325 million in 6.50% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027. The company plans to use the proceeds of the issuance, as well as cash on its balance sheet and borrowings under its revolver, to repay $425 million of its senior secured Term Loan and to pay fees and expenses related to the issuance.” At the end of the first quarter, Entercom had outstanding $1.29 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes. The company reports having $68 million in cash on hand.
Nielsen Reports Q1 Financials; Audience Measurement Revenue Up 1.5%. As the company’s board of directors continues to consider selling all or part of Nielsen Holdings plc, the company reveals its revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was down 2.9% (on revenue of $1.56 billion), however was up 0.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018. The company recently renamed its Watch and Buy segments. They are now Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, respectively. During Q1, revenue in the Nielsen Global Media segment increased 0.2% to $826 million, or 1.3% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018. Revenue in Audience Measurement increased 1.5%, or 2.2% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to continued client adoption of Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement system, partly offset by pressure in local television measurement. Nielsen CEO David Kenny states, “Our first quarter results were ahead of our expectations, reflecting solid execution and continued focus on improving operational and financial rigor across Nielsen. While I’m pleased with our first quarter results, we have a significant opportunity to accelerate our growth rate over time as we leverage and build on our incomparable data assets, our global footprint, and the critical role we play in the media and FMGC (fast moving goods company) industries. We have begun our transformation into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions that drive greater value for our clients and for Nielsen.”
Report: Erick Erickson Planning New Late Morning Show on Athens News/Talker. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta personality Erick Erickson noted on his Facebook page that he’s planning a new talk show for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart that would focus on Georgia news and politics. Ho reports that WSB program director Pete Spriggs says the show is in the planning stages right now and the company’s news/talk WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens would be the show’s flagship. Erickson would continue to host his afternoon show at WSB. Erickson says he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.
Lars Larson Receives Honor from Right to Work Organization. KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson – also heard nationally via Compass Media Networks – is being given the “Lewis and Annabelle Fetterman Right to Work Communication Award” from The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. The annual honor goes to an individual for their work in highlighting the injustices of compulsory unionism. Larson says, “When my flagship station, FM News 101 KXL hired me, I got my first taste of forced unionism. I arrived at my shiny new $9/hr job as afternoon anchor and editor in March of 1980. A big talk guy, whose name I have forgotten, walked up to me and introduced himself as the shop steward and told me in no uncertain terms, ‘You will join the union.’ I told him I had no interest in unions and no intention of joining. He told me, ‘You’ll join or our contract says you’ll be fired in 30 days.’ Needless to say, I joined, paid the union and endured its extortion. Years later at KXL, I happily joined an effort to decertify the union (it took two years but it succeeded). I believe that every American worker should have the right to join a union or to decline union membership. 27 states now recognize this ‘right to work’ philosophy. Nearly all of the Democratic Party candidates for president of the United States have vowed to kill section 14b of the Fair Labor Relations Act that allows for the ‘right to work.’ I have now worked 44 years in radio and television and have spent most of those years NOT IN A UNION by choice. Every American should have that choice.”
WGN-AM and Crain’s Chicago Strengthen Relationship. This enhancement of the content integration between Tribune’s WGN Radio and Crain’s Chicago Business will bring Crain’s reporters to the air on WGN live from their Chicago newsroom, beginning Monday (5/6). Each weekday, “The WGN Radio Crain’s Chicago Business Desk” will feature Crain’s reporters twice daily on WGN during newscasts at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, in addition to listeners hearing the top business news of the day at 12:50 pm during the “Wintrust Business Lunch” program. Crain’s publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk says, “We’re very happy to expand our relationship with WGN. The station’s unique relationship with its listeners is a natural for Crain’s as we continue to look for ways to grow our journalism beyond our traditional platforms.”
Entercom and Waze Enter into Multiplatform Partnership. This deal between Entercom and traffic app Waze will – among other things – allow users of both Waze and Entercom’s RADIO.COM app to benefit from each other’s content. As part of the deal, RADIO.COM will be integrated into the Waze app, so that Waze drivers can get audio content – including local news and sports, local broadcast traffic reports, and the music stations – with ease. They’ll have access to the RADIO.COM playback and discovery controls, including favorite, local, and recently played stations, directly in the Waze app. The partnership also allows Entercom to integrate the Waze community-based traffic data into its live and over-the-air traffic reporting across its radio stations. Entercom stations will utilize the Waze data to provide enhanced, real-time and hyperlocal traffic reporting to listeners on all platforms.
Progressive Insurance Named ‘Radio Marketer of the Year.’ The insurance company is being honored with the “Radio Marketer of the Year” award at the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards at SONY HALL in New York City on June 6. The award is being given to Progressive Insurance “in recognition of the company’s long-term partnership with the radio industry to reach and engage consumers. Their powerful radio creative differentiates the brand in a crowded category and significantly contributes to record sales for Progressive.” RAB president and CEO and chair of the Radio Creative Fund Erica Farber says, “Progressive Insurance and its creative advertising partner Arnold Worldwide continue to be tremendous partners to the radio industry. Broadcast radio is delighted with the ongoing collaboration with CMO Jeff Charney and his team, and we look forward to their continued innovation in the audio space.” Charney comments, “Understanding the ‘art and science’ of the medium is key to putting out breakthrough radio campaigns. It allows us to produce compelling and disruptive content that pushes toward the creative edge in all the right ways. We sweat every second of each spot, and this recognition proves our company’s out-create approach drives powerful results.”
Sue McNamara Named EVP of Sales for PodcastOne. Sales pro Sue McNamara is appointed to the position EVP of sales for the Eastern U.S. for PodcastOne. She comes to PodcastOne with a resume that includes roles SVP of advertising sales at CBS Corporation, EVP of sales at Interep, and VP of sales at Total Traffic Network. PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “When looking for someone to fill this position, we spoke to a number of our advertisers, and the one name that kept coming up was Sue McNamara. After our first meeting at our Los Angeles headquarters, I understood exactly why. She knows audio. She not only understands advertisers’ goals and needs, she’s been instrumental in creating new, creative opportunities for them. She’s a perfect fit for podcasting and that makes her the perfect choice for PodcastOne.”
TALKERS News Notes. The online-only broadcasts from the sports talk hosts of “The Mighty 1090” have ended. As reported by KGTV-TV, San Diego, the sports talk format that was bumped off Mexican signal XEPRS on April 11 is no longer an online venture either. Broadcast Company of the America’s pulled the plug on the digital feed at around 2:00 pm yesterday (4/29), ending almost three weeks of online only content. The staff were asked to come to the studios and retrieve their belongings. KGTV-TV notes that BCA previously lost two other of its Mexican signals – XHPRS, formerly a classic hits station, and XEPE, also a sports talk station – after negotiations with the Mexican owners broke down…..WMFS-FM, Memphis “ESPN 92.9” sports talk personality Eric Hasseltine is exiting the Entercom station after almost eight years hosting the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program. Hasseltine is also the radio play-by-play voice for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, a position he will continue to hold. WMFS program director Brad Carson says Jeffrey Wright, producer for the station’s Geoff Calkins show, will host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart for now. Hasseltine says the decision to leave the station was entirely his and adds that it was not an easy decision to make…..Urban news/talk WURD, Philadelphia is bringing air personality Solomon Jones back to the station to host the morning drive “Wake Up with WURD” program, effective Monday (5/6). Jones tells the Philadelphia Tribune, “I’m pleased to be able to come back. I missed the audience at WURD and I’m anxious to be able to get started again and to just impact our community. Doing what I do at WURD is familiar and I think it is ministry. I want to make sure that our community is informed and engaged. There are some things that we need to really be talking about and take action on.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa hosted nationally syndicated digital expert Kim Komando at a luncheon today (4/30). KRMG invited 225 listeners to the Women in Business Luncheon presented by Community Care College. KRMG program director Levi May states, “Kim Komando is a real power player in both the media and technology fields and it’s an honor that she chose Tulsa to visit in 2019. We are thrilled to have an opportunity to put her in front of our listeners in an intimate setting where she can talk about her successes and share her tips with other women.” In addition to Komando’s appearance, KRMG news director April Hill moderated a panel discussion of Tulsa businesswomen.
77WABC’s Sid Rosenberg Speaks at NYTimes Protest. Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg (holding mic) at a protest outside the offices of The New York Times. The co-host of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program addressed the crowd gathered to protest the publication of a cartoon depicting President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that’s being called anti-Semitic.
2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Sues Banks, Dems Impeachment Talk, NYTimes Cartoon Criticism, Venezuela Political Unrest, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29). Democrat Joe Biden’s rise in the polls and the politics surrounding the 2020 presidential campaign; President Trump sues to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing personal and Trump business financial information; the talk of presidential impeachment among congressional Democrats; the criticism of the New York Times cartoon depicting Trump and Netanyahu as being anti-Semitic; Juan Guaido’s attempt to lead a military uprising against the Maduro government in Venezuela; the migrant status at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode in the HBO series’ final season; the Avengers: Endgame movie; the NBA playoffs: and MLB 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. Denver country outlet KYGO has a new program director as Bonneville names Brian Michel to the position. Michel was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the Atlanta station group…..iHeartMedia announces that Taylor Swift is joining the lineup of KISS-FM, Los Angeles’ Wango Tango concert being held on Satuday, June 1 at The Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California…..SiriusXM is getting ready to present Florida Georgia Line performing in a special invitation-only event at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The private show will be the first time the GRAMMY-winning duo has performed at the legendary venue and will air on SiriusXM on May 29…..LBI Media names Wynette Gallegos Ortiz director of sales for the Houston market. Ortiz will lead LBI Media’s sales and operations activities for all of its radio properties and EstrellaTV’s sports and event activations in Houston. Ortiz has been with LBI Media since 2001, starting as an account executive and quickly moving up the ranks and into management as local sales manager and eventually as general sales manager.