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Emmis Fiscal Q2 Revenue Down 7%. Financial data from the second fiscal quarter of Emmis Communications’ year (ending August 31) is released and the company reports pro forma revenue was down 7% in markets that were down 4%. The recent sales of KPWR, Los Angeles in August of 2017 and the St. Louis cluster on April 30 of this year make year-over-year figures not comparable. Net revenue for the 2018 second fiscal quarter was $30.7 million, down from $41.8 million in the same quarter of 2017. The company says underperformance is principally due to weather-related issues for New York’s Summer Jam in June, which led to its June revenues declining 16% for the month. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “Emmis’ radio revenues were up 2% in both July and August, and Emmis’ third quarter is off to a strong start with September revenues up 1% and October pacing up double digits, which would be our strongest month in four years. Ratings remain strong in New York and continue to improve in Indianapolis. Austin has rebranded KGSR as “Austin City Limits Radio,” the result of a multi-year licensing agreement with Austin City Limits Enterprises, LLC, creating an eclectic format sure to connect with Austin listeners. Also, our dynamic pricing business, Digonex, has seen a surge of new clients in the last couple of months and we are more excited than ever about the prospects for that business moving forward.”
Smulyan Says Future of NextRadio and TagStation in Limbo. In his comments about Emmis Communications’ fiscal Q2 numbers, CEO Jeff Smulyan gives an update on the status of the NextRadio and TagStation projects. He says, “For the past several months, Emmis and other companies in the radio industry have been working diligently to form a consortium that would own and operate the NextRadio and TagStation businesses. The participating companies envisioned using their collective scale and resources to build an attribution platform for the radio industry that would have provided the common language and measurement that radio advertisers are demanding. Unfortunately, the consortium has not been formed and these efforts appear to have been unsuccessful. Because Emmis is unwilling and unable to continue to fund the NextRadio and TagStation businesses as they are currently structured, we plan to dramatically reduce the operations of these businesses and explore other means of eliminating the operating losses from these businesses in the coming months.”
PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on all-news. While Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit shows a marked improvement of almost a full share over its 6+ weekly AQH in September of last year, most of the country’s all-news stations declined year-over-year. Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was again the only all-news station to rank #1 in its market, but Entercom’s KCBS-AM ranked #2 in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets, while WWJ, Detroit ranked #3 in September. See the entire report here.
Dow Drops 800+, Hurricane Michael Hits Panhandle, UN Climate Change Report, Clintons Speaking Tour, Astronauts Emergency Landing, Missing Saudi Journalist, First Man Film, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/10). The Dow dips more than 800 points on fears of interest rate hikes; Hurricane Michael slams into the Florida panhandle causing devastating flooding; reactions to the UN climate change report that heightens urgency for controlling carbon emissions; Bill and Hillary Clinton’s plan to launch a speaking tour after the November election; U.S. and Russian astronauts survive emergency landing in failed launch to International Space Station; concerns about Saudi deception in case of missing journalist; this weekend’s opening of the film First Man; the weeks’ 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.
TALKERS News Notes. Fans of Howard Stern and Opie & Anthony will certainly get a kick out of the latest “Opie Radio” podcasts. Gregg “Opie” Hughes recently hosted former Stern cast members “Stuttering John” Melendez, and Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling (along with “Opie Radio” regular Carl Ruiz) for what is being produced as a two-part podcast. Westwood One says the podcasts reveal “personal stories about backstabbing and redemption in a post-Howard Stern satellite radio world. This double-episode also covers the complicated history between the Howard Stern show, the Opie & Anthony show, ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,’ and the revealing books available now from John and Jackie.”…..In a related story, Anthony Cumia is publishing a book that promises to tell all about his break-up with Gregg “Opie” Hughes, his suspensions and firings from radio gigs (including SiriusXM), and much more. It’s called, Permanently Suspended: The Rise and Fall… and Rise Again of Radio’s Most Notorious Shock Jock (2018, Post Hill Press) and is to be published on November 20. Cumia is currently producing and hosting his eponymous online program…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WTMX morning star Kathy Hart is going to make some appearances on Tribune’s news/talk WGN this month. Hart exited her role alongside Eric Ferguson on the Hubbard Radio hot AC back in April of 2017 – a move that has never been fully explained. Since that time, she’s made a few appearances on WFLD-TV’s “Good Day Chicago” and now she’ll sit in with WGN’s Frank Fontana on his weekend show on the 14th and the 28th. The two will also sub for midday host John Williams next Wednesday (10/17)…..HRN Media Network, a Gen Media Partners company, hires broadcast and digital media expert Matt Feinberg as its chief strategy officer. HRN Media Network president Clark Logan says, “Matt is a longtime media industry veteran who has been involved with growth-oriented companies and is credited for leading their expansion across emerging technologies and platforms. As HRN looks to meet the many opportunities that go beyond broadcast radio, Matt’s experience and knowledge will be pivotal in helping us achieve results for our content partners and advertisers.”…..E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is hosting another “The Hometown Call at Turner Hall” viewing party for the Milwaukee Brewers’ NLCS game three against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, October 15. The free event features a massive movie-screen broadcast at Turner Hall Ballroom synced to Hall of Famer Bob Uecker’s play-by-play broadcast as heard on WTMJ RADIO and the Associated Bank Brewers Radio Network…..Monday night’s Westwood One broadcast of the Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers game will feature the first-ever national NFL broadcast with a father-daughter broadcast team. MNF play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan (right) will be joined by his daughter Olivia Harlan Dekker (left), who will serve as the sideline reporter. Harlan says, “It’s probably every parent’s dream to someday get a chance to work side-by-side with their child. The fact that this will be at Lambeau Field where Olivia’s grandfather ran the Green Bay Packers for more than two decades and where she used to play as a little girl and attended many games growing up, makes it even more special. To be a part of an NFL broadcast is always an honor, but to have our daughter as part of our crew is extraordinary and wonderful. I know I speak for Olivia, my wife Ann, and our three other children in saying that this will be an incredibly proud moment for our family, and we offer our sincere thanks to Westwood One and the NFL.”
Chris Stigall Hosts Ann Coulter for WPHT Speaker Series. Pictured above are WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall (left) with author and conservative media figure Ann Coulter (right) at the Broadway Theater in Pitman, New Jersey appearing before a sell-out crowd of 1,000. Coulter is on tour promoting her new book, Resistance is Futile! How The Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind. Stigall tells TALKERS magazine that the event also brought about 100 people out to protest Coulter’s appearance.
Entercom Launches LGBTQ+ Station ‘Out Now.’ The station is airing on a number of Entercom stations’ HD2 signals as well as on Radio.com. It’s launching today (10/11) to coincide with National Coming Out Day and is based at the company’s KAMP-HD2 in Los Angeles. Entercom LA SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are thrilled to launch ‘Out Now,’ a passion project for our entire team, to give a voice to the LGBTQ community and its allies. Our goal is to provide a high-quality listening experience and content for our community as well as a diverse platform with differing points of view.”
Broadcasters Foundation of America Prepared for Emergency Grants for Those Affected by Hurricane Michael. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is preparing for another influx of emergency grant applications from victims of Hurricane Michael, even as requests for emergency aid from those affected by Hurricane Florence are still coming in. Broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricanes Michael or Florence are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricanerelief/. State broadcast associations in affected areas are working with the BFoA to alert members that they can apply for aid. The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting. Emergency grants are based on financial need. Earlier this year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000. Last year, more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods. To learn more about emergency or monthly grants or to donate, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Ryan Cameron is soon to be back on the Atlanta airwaves at Urban One’s urban contemporary simulcast of WAMJ/WUMJ “Majic 107.5/97.5,” beginning November 5. Cameron will also be working with the company to “create content and strategy.” He’ll host afternoons, bumping current PM drive personalities Silas “SiMan” Alexander and Chubb Rock to the evening show…..Entercom is launching its new morning show on Twin Cities country outlet WMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” that will star Mandy James, Paul “PT” Thomas, and current AM host Mike Dubs, a.k.a. Michael Wilczynski. James was most recently host of the morning show at Townsquare Media’s CHR WZOK, Rockford. Thomas comes to WMNB from Milestone Radio’s country KLCI, Elk River, Minnesota…..The Chicago-based rock band Friday Pilots Club is the winner of Cumulus Media’s 2nd annual neXt2rock competition. Close to 1,700 artists entered the second installment of the neXt2rock franchise. The final competition event featured live performances from the top five national finalists and a special performance by Roc Nation recording artist Dorothy. The winner of neXt2rock was selected by a panel of rock music luminaries and industry professionals, including Big Machine Label Group president & CEO Scott Borchetta; fashion designer and record label head John Varvatos; musician, songwriter, and producer Desmond Child; Korn frontman Jonathan Davis; and Fozzy frontman, actor, and wrestler Chris Jericho.