Tag: "chapter 11"
Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…” In today’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke reminds radio news people that “local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver. And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison. And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.” Read HC’s Monday Memo here.
iHeartMedia Revenue Rises 6% from January to February. Those following iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization process are aware the company has been filing monthly revenue reports since April of last year – a month after it declared Chapter 11. The most recent report filed with U.S Bankruptcy Court in Houston on March 28 shows revenue of $246.2 million for the month of February, up 6% from January. Most of the figures in the report – revenue, operating income, net income (loss) – have bounced around a lot since April 2018. Although revenue was up in February, that followed a drop in revenue of almost $100 million from December to January. Net income in February was $14.3 million, a turnaround from January’s loss of $9.5 million. Operating income was $24.1 million in February, a bounceback from January’s $7.6 million figure, the lowest reported number since April of 2018.
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk. Half of the news/talk stations on our panel improved (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the January survey to the February survey, led by Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.0). Comparing February 2018 to February 2019, about half the stations showed improvement with Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis leading the pack (+2.2) and Cumulus’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+2.0) close behind. Three stations ranked #1 in their markets in February: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
2019 Radio Mercury Awards Deadline Is Now April 19. The deadline for submitting entries for the RAB’s 2019 Radio Mercury Awards is being extended to April 19. The “biggest creative awards show for radio and audio” will honor broadcasters’ efforts in numerous categories. They include: Radio station produced commercials and campaigns; radio station produced promotional spots; creative use of audio: podcasts, branded content and activations, interactive audio, and more; creative use of sound/music: sonic branding, jingles, songs and music, etc.; integrated campaigns with radio/audio; PSA spots/campaigns; and Spanish-language spots/campaigns. You can listen to last year’s winners, learn about the prize money, get more information, and enter by clicking here.
TALKERS News Notes. Washington, DC all-news station WTOP is celebrating 50 years as an all-news radio station and features a nice, historical piece on its website that chronicles the station’s evolution. The idea for making the station a news-intensive one came from Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who’d been listening to suburban AM WAVA present an all-news format and instructed WTOP’s managers to focus on news. WTOP was owned by the Post at the time…..A piece published at NJ.com speculates about whether former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton could pop back up at the Entercom-owned sports talk station if Carton avoids jail time at his sentencing on Friday (4/5). Citing a comment by WFAN program director Mark Chernoff in Newsday in which he said the station would welcome a discussion about a chance to return if he avoids prison, writer James Kratch reports Carton’s attorneys suggest Carton would be able to pay restitution if he’s allowed to work. However, Newsday also reports that the judge is unlikely to be so lenient about such serious fraud crimes. According to a story in the New York Daily News, prosecutors are seeking six to seven years in prison…..As per Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s report, Erich Mancow Muller’s morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is starting a bit earlier as the station makes a minor schedule change. Instead of starting at 6:00 am, the Mancow show starts at 5:30, effective today (4/1)…..Sports talk radio host Dan Sileo – who hosts the morning drive show at Entercom’s San Diego sports talk station KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – is also hosting a new, two-hour weekend show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Sileo’s show – airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – debuted over the weekend. Sileo is a Connecticut native who played college football at Miami and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.
Podcasting Is Now Mainstream (or Is It?). According to a new study by Edison Research, podcasting continues to permeate and gain ground within the general public’s media usage. Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sited these latest stats on his RT America “The Big Picture” TV show (3/29) and examined their implications by interviewing TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs. To view the segment in its entirety, please click here.
Central American Aid Cuts, Joe Biden Inappropriateness Allegation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Border Wall/Immigration Issues, Mueller Report Aftermath, AOC FDR Snafu, Trump vs Obamacare, NCAA Tourney, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump administration plans aid cuts to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; allegation about inappropriate touching by Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the flow of migrants to the border; the aftermath of the Trump-Russia investigation report from Robert Mueller; Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that Republicans engineered the 22nd Amendment to force FDR from office; the Trump administration’s effort to repeal Obamacare; the NCAA tournament action; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Danita Maldonado is named afternoon personality and web/social media manager for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.” She previously served on air at country KMRK-FM, Odessa, Texas and country KFTX, Corpus Christi, Texas as well as with production companies and ad agencies in New York City…..Swick Broadcasting adds the “O’Reilly In The Morning” program with Phil O’Reilly to WLKI-FM, Angola, Indiana. This is a move of flagships for O’Reilly who most recently broadcast his syndicated show from Midwest Communications’ WNWN-FM, Battle Creek, Michigan. O’Reilly says, “I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks. My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, Michigan and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio!”…..Programming pro Brian Stephenson is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s six-station Yakima, Washington cluster that includes rock KATS-FM, CHR KFFM-FM, and country KDBL-FM…..Resonate Hawaii LLC is buying adult hits KBGX-FM, Keaau and country KKOA, Volcano from Mahalo Multimedia LLC for $550,000. Susan Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications were the exclusive brokers for this transaction…..Westwood One’s new urban AC morning stars Rick Party (left) and Sasha the Diva (center), attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend. Below, they pose for a pic with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (right).
Which Are the Strongest News/Talk Markets in America? TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the data from Nielsen Audio’s most recent PPM ratings – the November 2018 survey – and presents an overview of the PPM markets with the strongest news/talk listenership based on 6+ numbers. Whether certain markets just like news/talk radio more than others or whether it’s consistently well-programmed stations that attract and keep listeners who are likely to enjoy news/talk – or a combination of the two – is a matter up for debate. It’s interesting to note that the top two markets for news/talk listening – Milwaukee and Cincinnati – are in states that played important roles in the most recent elections. The November PPM survey showed Milwaukee’s two news/talk outlets – Good Karma’s WTMJ and iHeartMedia’s WISN – combined for a 16.3 share (6+). In Cincinnati, iHeartMedia’s WLW and WKRC combined for a 13.6 share. See the rest of Mike Kinosian’s report here.
Final Open Meeting of 2018 at FCC to Launch Quadrennial Review of Broadcast Ownership Rules. Wednesday’s 10:30 am to 12:30 pm open meeting of the Federal Communications Commission will include, among other agenda items, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would initiate the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the commission’s broadcast ownership rules and other rules. As most broadcasters are aware, the Commission “is required by law to review certain broadcast ownership rules every four years to determine whether the rules remain ‘necessary in the public interest as the result of competition’ and to repeal or modify any rule it finds is no longer in the public interest.” Of the three rules subject to the review, one is the Local Radio Ownership Rule (the other two relate to TV). Looking at radio, the review will: seek comment on whether the Local Radio Ownership Rule, which limits the total number of radio stations that may be commonly owned in a market, continues to promote competition, localism, and viewpoint diversity in today’s radio marketplace; seek comment on possible modifications to the rule’s operation, including the relevant product market, market size tiers, numerical limits, and AM/FM subcaps; and seek comment on whether to make permanent the interim contour-overlap methodology used to determine ownership limits in areas outside Nielsen Audio Metro markets and on how to treat transactions involving markets embedded within a larger Nielsen Audio Metro market. Currently, in the largest markets (45 signals or more), ownership is limited to eight stations with no more than five of either FM or AM. Earlier this year, the National Association of Broadcasters proposed the following changes: companies operating in the top 75 radio markets could own up to eight FM stations and an unlimited number of AM signals. Companies in markets 76 and up (and in unrated markets) would be allowed to operate with no limits. The NAB also added a proposal related to the incubator program that would allow companies in that program to own up to 10 FM signals in the top 75 markets.
iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Court Dates Updated. After the postponement of yesterday’s previously scheduled Confirmation Hearing for iHeartMedia’s Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization, Judge Marvin Isgur set a series of new hearing dates, starting with the December 17 hearing to address class action issues, including the question of whether the company has the authority to settle such claims. A hearing on January 10 will focus on confirmation issues; hearings on January 17 and 22 will also address the class action matters, and remaining confirmation issues will be addressed on January 23. This Plan reduces iHeartMedia’s funded debt by approximately $10.3 billion – to $5.75 billion. The Plan also provides for the separation of iHeartMedia’s radio and outdoor advertising segments.
WIBC, Indianapolis Host Tony Katz Goes into National Syndication. Talk radio host Tony Katz is syndicating a three-hour talk show titled, “Tony Katz Today” via his Tomorrow Media and his first affiliate is Star City Broadcasting’s WSHY-AM/W282CJ, Lafayette, Indiana “The Patriot 104.3 FM.” Katz hosts the morning drive program on Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis as well as the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show. He says, “The WIBC morning show has been a massive success and continues to grow. With ‘Tony Katz Today,’ I’m able to talk about the things that matter most to people across the Midwest and across America. I’m thrilled to be adding ‘The Patriot’ to the family.” Emmis Indianapolis director of programming David Wood adds, “I brought Tony in four years ago to build our morning show. He did it in two. Over the past 18 months doing middays as well, his numbers have only grown. He’s more than ready to be a part of the national landscape. He’s a perfect replacement for Laura Ingraham or for any daypart.”
NPR and Coalition of Podcasters Unveil RAD Ratings Technology. RAD stands for Remote Audio Data, the new podcast analytics technology that shares podcast listening metrics back to publishers, “with extreme care and respect for user privacy.” NPR.org has the story that explains NPR and close to 30 companies – including Acast, AdsWizz, ART19, Awesound, Blubrry Podcasting, Panoply, Omny Studio, Podtrac, PRI/PRX, RadioPublic, Triton Digital, WideOrbit, and Whooshkaa – worked to develop RAD. Podcast advertisers are naturally leery of download numbers for the obvious reason that downloads don’t equal listens. So, RAD marks the podcast filed at numerous points throughout the program to determine how long the consumer listened. The story goes on to say, “One of these working groups was focused on security and data integrity, with the goal of keeping user privacy and measurement goals in alignment. RAD’s current framework supports an anonymous session ID that persists for 24 hours and the analytics endpoints only receive the RAD events, these session IDs, IP addresses and if configured, user agent.” Acast co-founder and chief product officer Johan Billgren says, “Measurement has been one of the open challenges in the podcast industry for a long time. As the medium continues to grow, universal metrics will be key to its success.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck paid off $27,000 worth of layaway items at a Walmart in Texas on Saturday (12/8), just two days before the final payments were due. The good deed of the Premiere Networks personality was reported in the Dallas News. Beck said he was inspired by actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry, who paid off all the layaway accounts at two Atlanta Walmart stores. Beck and his family, who were on the way to a Christmas party, broadcast via Facebook live as they walked into Walmart and met with the layaway department to pay each account individually. In the video, Beck challenged other conservative media personalities, including Mark Levin, Steven Crowder, and Bill O’Reilly to do the same. Beck said on his radio show, “You don’t have to spend the money that Tyler Perry or I spent. You can just go in and just give $100, or $50, or $10. You are not going to believe what a difference it makes.”…..Comrex announces a new partnership with audioone gmbh. The latter firm serves Austria, Germany, and Switzerland supplying the latest in technology for digital broadcast, for both television and radio. Comrex says it is thrilled to partner with a distributor that shares their care for customer support. Comrex is exhibiting with audioone at “Hamburg Open,” held at Studio Hamburg MCI GmbH on January 17, 2019…..Baseball play-by-play pro Tim Neverett announces he’s not returning to the Boston Red Sox for radio broadcasts next season, exiting Entercom’s radio play-by-play team. Entercom is now searching for his replacement to sit alongside Joe Castiglione for the 2019 season…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM announce they will begin presenting “Howard 100: The Best of the Interviews” on the Howard 100 channel on Monday (12/17). Celebrity interviews that will be re-broadcast include: Cardi B, Jon Bon Jovi, Stephen Colbert, James Corden, Claire Danes, Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Lawrence, Paul McCartney, Mandy Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Schumer, Ringo Starr, Ben Stiller, and many more.
Trump Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Sentencing, Google Congressional Testimony, France Terror Attack, Time’s Person of the Year, Financial Markets Activity, Brexit Complications, Aquaman Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11). Tuesday’s White House meeting between President Trump and democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and today’s sentencing of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee about political bias, privacy matters and other issues; the terror attack in Strasbourg, France that took three lives; chatter about Time magazine’s “Person of the Year”; activity in the world’s financial markets; the political tensions in Britain over the exit from the European Union; the new Aquaman film; and the week’s NFL 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. Programming pro Cat Thomas joins Entercom to serve as operations manager for music outlets hot AC KYKY “Y98,” adult contemporary KEZK, and CHR KNOU “Now 96.3,” effective January 1. He was most recently with Cumulus Media as vice president of contemporary formats. During his career he’s also served with CBS RADIO in Las Vegas. Thomas says, “I can’t tell you how energized I am to be joining the passionate team at Entercom. I’m looking forward to working with [president of programming] Pat Paxton again, [SVP/market manager] Becky [Domyan] and the entire St. Louis operation. The dedication and positive culture the staff exude is truly amazing. We are all playing to win, and I cannot wait to be a part of the great things to come.”…..In Cleveland, iHeartMedia debuts new hip hop outlet “REAL 106.1” on WAKS-HD2/W291BV. iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We are extremely excited to add ‘REAL 106.1’ to our diverse portfolio of stations in the Cleveland market. ‘REAL 106.1’ will play the top songs from the top artists in the urban format.”…..Longtime Atlanta radio personality Christopher Rude returns to the airwaves in the region. According to a report by Rodney Ho at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Rude is now handling mornings on rock outlet WJBB-AM/W296CX, Winder, Georgia. Rude, who hosted his “Rude Awakening” morning show on sports talk WCNN for 15 years, says of working with independent owner Jeff Batten, “It doesn’t take a week and five meetings to get a segment or a promotion on the air. Reminds me a lot of what got me into radio in the first place. A group of people who are hungry to see the station grow and they all wear several hats doing it.”…..Cami Marlowe is named afternoon personality and APD at Cumulus Media’s CHR WABD, Mobile. She was most recently with New South Radio’s CHR WYOY “Y 101” in Jackson, Mississippi.
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format. The news/talk stations that saw the biggest weekly 6+ AQH share improvement over the October 2018 survey were iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+ 0.9) and Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis (+ 0.7). On the negative side, Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City was down a 1.8 share, iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver dipped a 1.1 share and Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee was off a full share. Year-over-year, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville was a big winner, up 3.5 shares. On the flip side, iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego dropped 1.9 shares since November 2017. Five news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their markets in November: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (8.6 share); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (10 share); Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee (9.4 share); Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton (8.3 share); and Cox’s WOKV, Jacksonville (11.2 share). See the entire report here.
Latest Settlement Talks May Push Back iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Exit. The latest events in iHeartMedia’s journey through Chapter 11 reorganization may push the company’s exit further into the future, according to a piece in Bloomberg Law. The story says that as the result of Monday’s court filings indicating objections to the Plan because of iHM’s settlement talks with Gamco Asset Management, the actual exit from bankruptcy protection could move past the anticipated February time frame. The piece says it appears certain creditors object to iHM and Gamco settling a class-action suit, arguing that such suits shouldn’t be settled in bankruptcy court. Today (12/11), was the original Confirmation Hearing date that’s been pushed back by the negotiations.
Maxwell Schaeffer to Host Weekend Show on WHO, Des Moines. According to a report in the Des Moines Register, longtime Des Moines radio personality Maxwell Schaeffer is returning to the airwaves hosting the Saturday morning “Maxwell & Friends” program on news/talk WHO-AM, beginning January 5. Schaeffer has been with the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster serving as director of promotions and marketing since August. Previously, he spent 23 years as morning host on Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA-FM. Schaeffer tells the paper, “I kind of want the show to feel like we’re having a brunch party. Maybe without the mimosas — or at least visually. It is the radio, after all.” WHO program director Michael Dorwart comments, “It really just seemed like the wise move for us was to let him get settled then find where’s the right place to get him in an on-air role. Saturday morning seemed like a really good fit. We’re really not looking for a hardcore talk show.”
KRLA, Los Angeles-Based ‘The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler’ Reaches 250th Episode – Now Available for Syndication Distributed via Salem Radio Network. This Sunday (12/16) will see Los Angeles’ “The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler” air its landmark 250th episode on local Salem Media Group O&O KRLA “AM870 the Answer.” The Sunday night call-in show has been airing on the SRN Southern California affiliate since March of 2013. The show is hosted by commentator/talk show host Timothy Spangler and co-hosted by Phillip Sparks and David C Fisher. Spangler tells TALKERS, “We started the show five-and-a-half years ago with a very different view on what live AM radio could and should be. We wanted our show to appeal to a much broader and younger audience than was currently being engaged by stations across the country – what we like to refer to as the #AltCenter. Fortunately, Los Angeles is a great inspiration for us.” Broadcasting live from the studios of KRLA 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT, the program covers a wide range of issues both domestic and international, punctuated by a unique blend of humor and wry observation. The show is now also available in other markets through Salem Radio Network (via XDS “SRN2 – The Bigger Picture”). For more information, check out the website www.biggerpictureradio.com.
KQTH-FM, Tucson Wraps News/Talk Format. Tomorrow, Tucson news/talk KQTH-FM flips from news/talk to a religious format as Family Life Radio closes on its purchase of the station in a divestiture from the Scripps Media–Lotus Communications transaction. The FM news/talk format was originally installed on the station in April of 2007 by Journal Communications. The station transitioned to Scripps Media with the merger of Journal and E.W. Scripps. The station was airing mostly syndicated talk in addition to local morning show “Tucson’s Morning News” with Mike Rapp.
Trump-Russia Probe, Migrant Caravan/Border Wall Issue, Clean Water Act Changes, Google CEO to Testify, Financial Markets Activity, Brexit Complications, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the battle in Washington over funding for the border wall; the EPA’s proposed changes to the Clean Water Act; Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify before a House subcommittee about bias allegations and China’s Project Dragonfly; the recent stock selloff and concerns about a bearish 2019; the Brexit complications dogging British Prime Minister Theresa May; and the weekend’s NFL 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. In the San Diego market the executive management team operating Local Media San Diego has entered into an agreement to acquire the company operating alternative XETRA “91X,” CHR XHITZ “Z90,” and rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5.” The management team consists of vice president and general manager Gregg Wolfson, chief financial officer Norm McKee, and director Steve McNeely. Wolfson says, “LMSD has always operated locally and the transition to local ownership is the final step to firmly plant our flag as San Diego’s local media provider.”…..More cuts at Hubbard Radio-owned stations as the KRWM “Warm 106.9” drops morning team Allan Fee, Ashley Ryan, and producer Kevin Justik. At sister country KNUC, evening personality Michael Kraig Mason exits…..Urban One flips Gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9” to rhythmic oldies as “Classix 107.9” while keeping the Gospel format on WPPZ-HD2…..Pictured below is WHTZ, New York “Z100”-based, Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Elvis Duran (left) on the December 7 episode of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon (right). The two discussed Duran’s taking care of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his getting engaged on the unluckiest day of the year – Friday the 13th.