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Thursday, August 1, 2019

| August 1, 2019

Urban One Posts Strong Q2 Numbers; Net Revenue Up 5.5%. It was “a very strong quarter from an advertising revenue standpoint,” says Urban One, Inc. CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins III. The parent company of Radio One reports second quarter 2019 net revenue was approximately $121.6 million, an increase of 5.5% from the same period in 2018.  Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $46.3 million, an increase of 4.5% from the same period in 2018.  Urban One reports operating income of approximately $30.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to approximately $24.8 million for the same period in 2018.  Net income was approximately $6.6 million or $0.15 per share (basic) compared to net income of approximately $23.6 million or $0.51 per share (basic) for the same period in 2018.  Liggins says, “Radio advertising was up 6.8%, TV advertising was up 9.4%, and digital was up 16.8%.  Our radio division is also pacing up approximately 8% for the third quarter, with robust demand for national business in our larger markets… Reach Media benefited from another successful cruise event, with the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage posting 12% year-over-year revenue growth… Overall, I am happy with our progress this quarter, and believe we can carry this positive momentum into the second half of the year.”

Sanchez Joins KDWN, Las Vegas for Evening Program; ‘The Vegas Take’ Moves to Mornings. Talk radio host Steve Sanchez announces he’s signed a four-year deal with Beasley Media Group to host the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm weeknight show on news/talk KDWN-AM/K268CS, Las Vegas, effective August 12.    Sanchez will continue to host his nationally syndicated weekend talk program distributed by Genesis Communications Network.  Sanchez’s arrival on the KDWN program schedule comes as the station moves “The Vegas Take” with Brian Shapiro and JD Sharp from evenings to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  Ray Lucia, who announced recently that he’s retiring from his radio show, had been heard in late mornings on the station.

Former KSL-FM, Salt Lake City Host Jay Mcfarland Running for Congress. Talk radio personality Jay Mcfarland gave up his “JayMac News Show” on Bonneville’s KSL-FM, Salt Lake City in order to run for congress in the Utah 4th Congressional District.  In a story posted at KSL.com, Mcfarland says he wants to become a national voice for conservatism.  He hopes to win the Republican primary to challenge the state’s only Democrat – Ben McAdams – and believes that this seat that is so important to Republicans will be a high-profile race nationally.  He’s quoted saying, “I got into radio to be able to impact the public debate.  Just over the last couple of years, I felt like our political discourse has degraded to such a horrific level, it’s not enough for me to talk about it.” Mcfarland hosted his radio show on KSL for the past nine years.

Bob Pittman Reminisces About MTV Launch on Michael Berry Show. Today (8/1) is the 38th anniversary of the launch of MTV. Back on August 1, 1981, 27-year-old Bob Pittman and his colleagues at MTV debuted the network that would transform television and music in ways that few had foreseen. The iHeartMedia chairman and CEO spoke on the KTRH, Houston-based, nationally syndicated Michael Berry program today about MTV and its place in history.  Pittman told Berry and his listeners “creating an identity for the NETWORK” was the most important reason for its success, sayin the one word which best described MTV was “cool.”  He also said MTV gave artists an identity to their fans.  Prior to that, with album covers largely artistic drawings, fans did not know what their favorite band looked like.  The video component gave them an insight into those bands, and their fashion.  Hear the whole interview here.

Kim Guthrie to Lead New Cox Media Group.  When Apollo Global Management agreed to acquire a majority stake in Cox’s radio stations earlier this year, it was assumed that most of its executives would remain with the new Cox Media Group since Apollo said it wanted to maintain the successful operating structure of the radio, TV, CoxReps and Gamut businesses.  Now, Cox is confirming that current Cox Media Group president Kim Guthrie will lead the new company as chief executive officer.

West Virginia Radio Renews with Nielsen Audio. After a time without subscribing to Nielsen Audio’s radio ratings service, West Virginia Radio Corporation reached a new agreement for measurement in the Charleston, West Virginia market.  Company president and CEO Dale Miller says, “In a time when audience metrics are so important, Nielsen remains the only ratings currency that consistently reflects the value of our radio stations.  Having reliable research is more important now than at any other time, and we feel that Nielsen Audio is a partner in our business, allowing us to generate true ROI.  We tried plan B for a time, but you can budget cut yourself out of the business.”

iHeartMedia Proposes Private Offering of $500M of Senior Secured Notes. Today, iHeartMedia, Inc. is offering – via its wholly-owned subsidiary, iHeartCommunications, Inc., $500,000,000 aggregate principal amount of Senior Secured Notes due 2027 in a private offering.  The Notes and related guarantees will be offered only to persons reasonably believed to be “qualified institutional buyers.”  They will be guaranteed on a senior secured basis by iHeartCommunications’ direct parent, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, and the subsidiaries of iHeartCommunications that guarantee iHeartCommunications’ term loan facility.  iHeartCommunications intends to use the proceeds from the Notes, together with cash on hand, to prepay at par a portion of the outstanding borrowings under its term loan facility, to pay accrued and unpaid interest thereon to, but excluding, the date of prepayment, and to pay fees and expenses related to the offering of the Notes and the use of proceeds therefrom.

TALKERS News Notes. WEPN-FM, New York personality and New York Yankees radio voice Michael Kay is being told to stay silent for at least another 10 days after his recent vocal cord surgery.  The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand writes that Kay had hoped to return to the broadcast booth tomorrow (8/2) but his doctor says he needs more time to heal. ESPN New York general manager Tim McCarthy says they want to be careful with Kay’s return and is fine with Kay “taking the whole summer.”  For Yankees games, Ryan Ruocco will sit in next week with Bob Costas calling one of the two Yankees-Red Sox games on Saturday…..In what is becoming an informal series of appearances, talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh will join fellow Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk media star Sean Hannity on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” tonight (8/1) to talk about the Democratic debates and “the latest developments regarding former FBI director James Comey.”  Limbaugh – who appears to choose his television appearances carefully – has done several one-on-ones with Hannity during the past year.  Of course, Hannity rose to national fame filling in for Limbaugh back in the late 1990s…..CBS News Radio names Allison Keyes to the position of Washington, D.C.-based correspondent.  CBS News Radio VP and general manager Craig Swagler announces that Keyes will be integral to the network’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election.  She will also focus on covering stories on diversity and equality issues.  Her reporting will be heard daily on CBS News Radio affiliates around the country.  She has served as a freelance reporter for CBS News Radio since 2014.  Prior to that, she was a reporter for NPR in Washington, where she was a guest host for the program, “Tell Me More with Michel Martin.”…..The nationally syndicated “Tony Katz Today” program is added to the air schedule at Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot, effective August 5. Katz says, “With our Midwest focus, being with KFOR could not be more perfect.  Working with PD Rob Kelley, going into an election year and highlighting how big news stories affect us locally, this is gonna be amazing!”  In addition to his syndicated show, Katz is the morning drive personality at Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis…..Digital audio aggregator TuneIn appoints Juliette Morris CEO.  She’s been with the company as chief marketing officer since March of 2018…..NRG Media’s sports talk KOZN, Omaha “1620 The ZONE” remains the flagship radio station for Creighton University’s men’s basketball for the next three season and gives “The Zone” exclusive rights to broadcast play-by-play for all home and away games as well as pre-game and post-game coverage.  Creighton’s home games will also continue to be broadcast live on NRG’s sister classic rock KOOO-FM “101.9 The Keg” as part of the contract extension.  KOZN afternoon talk host John Bishop continues to handle play-by-play duties while a number of former Bluejays, including FOX Sports Radio talk show host and national college basketball television analyst Nick Bahe, will continue to provide color commentary.

Rebecca Thomas Takes on More Duties at CORE Voice Imaging and Sound Design as Media Affiliates Director. For the past 12 years, Rebecca Thomas has been doing voice work for projects and accounts at her husband’s well-known imaging firm.  Now, she adds the official role of media affiliates director to her responsibilities at her husband Sandy ThomasCore Voice Imaging and Sound Design as media affiliates director.  She tells TALKERS magazine that their audio branding company does imaging for all radio formats.  Rebecca can be reached at: CORE@ThomasVoiceImaging.com.

2020 Presidential Race/Detroit Debates, Reagan-Nixon ‘Monkeys’ Controversy, Immigration Policy/Border Conditions, Capital One Hack, and China-Hong Kong Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the debates in Detroit; the controversy over the recording of Ronald Reagan referring to blacks as monkeys in conversation with Richard Nixon; the Trump Administration’s immigration and asylum policies and conditions at border detention centers; the aftermath of the hack of Capital One; and the tensions between China and Hong Kong in the wake of the recent protests were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Premiere Networks and Hollywood Unlocked Launch New Show. A new, two-hour weekly show from Premiere Networks and Hollywood Unlocked is debuting on 50 iHeartMedia urban contemporary stations nationwide, in addition to iHeartRadio.   The show is “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee” and is co-hosted by Melyssa Ford and DJ Damage.  The program is targeted to hip hop fans by staying on top of hip hop culture and pop culture with “celebrity news, information and gossip, along with candid conversations with the stars who will bring truth to the latest stories and rumors.” Additionally, Lee’s podcast, “Hollywood Unlocked Uncensored,” which is also co-hosted by Ford and Damage and has more than 33 million views on its YouTube channel, is now available on iHeartRadio.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

| November 2, 2016

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 5.6%; Caroline Beasley Named CEO.  Today’s third quarter financial report comes the day after Beasley Broadcast Group closed on its acquisition of Greater Media’s stations.  Beasley estimates that going forward, the acquisition will “more than double Beasley’s beasley-logorevenue base.”  This quarterly report reflects the operation of the 52 stations owned as of September 30.   Net revenue for the quarter was $27.7 million, an increase of 5.6% over the same period a year ago.  At the same time as this report is being released, the company announces that, effective January 1, 2017, B. Caroline Beasley will begin serving the company as CEO, removing the interim from her title.  Caroline Beasley takes over for her father, George Beasley, who’s been onbeasleycaroline medical leave.  He maintains his role as chairman of the board.  Also, Marie Tedesco, who presently serves as the company’s vice president of finance, will assume Caroline Beasley’s chief financial officer position, effective January 1, 2017.  Speaking about the Greater Media deal, Caroline Beasley says, “The transaction immediately and significantly broadens our local radio broadcasting and digital platform, tedescomariegeographic footprint and revenue base by adding leading stations and great brands that are complementary to our existing operating base, while presenting the opportunity for synergies with the company’s existing station portfolio.  Specifically, the transaction increases our broadcast portfolio by approximately 33% and more than doubles our audience reach as we enter four new markets with nine stations – Detroit; Middlesex, Monmouth, and Morristown, New Jersey – and adds nine other stations in Philadelphia and Boston where we already operate… Looking forward, we plan to apply our historical focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to the newly acquired stations as these strategies support strong ratings and market leadership.  While we’ll record initial contributions from the new stations in the fourth quarter, Beasley will realize the value of the transaction beginning in 2017 as we extract operating and cost synergies, enhance sales practices, and apply our proven operating disciplines.”

Porth Upped to PD at WPRT, Nashville.  Nashville sports talk duo WPRT “ESPN 102.5 The Game” and WBUZ-HD3/W235BW “94.9 The Game 2” names Ryan Porth program director for the stations.  Porth has been serving as wprtlogoassistant PD and rises with the recent departure of Jeremy BennefieldThe Cromwell Group general manager Jana Hampton states, “It’s great when you can hire from within.  Ryan Porth has exceeded expectations as the APD and has proven himself worthy of the elevated role.”  Porth comments, “There’s a lot of talent with our newly constructed weekday lineup on ‘102.5 The Game’ and I’m looking forward to being a part of the continued growth of our stations.”

WFNZ, Charlotte’s Jim Celania Retires from Sports Talker.  Nineteen-year WFNZ, Charlotte air personality Jim Celania retired from the station on Monday, telling the Charlotte Observer he doesn’t want to be one of “those macattack16lgguys” who hangs around too long.  The 67-year-old media pro tells the paper, “I’ve seen it in TV and in radio – those guys who hang around too long.  I didn’t want to be one of them.  That’s the truth.  It was time to get off the bus.”  Celania (pictured, left) retired the day before Entercom took control of the station under an LMA as it prepares to close on acquisition of the station from Beasley Broadcast Group.  Celania, who worked on several shows at the station over the years, most recently co-hosted “The Mac Attack” morning show with Chris McClain (center) and T-Bone (right).  He worked for WCNC-TV prior to joining WFNZ in 1999.

Galaxy Names Pam Levine Chief of Galaxy Events.  Recently Galaxy Communications announced the creation of a new division – Galaxy Events.  Now, we learn that Pam Levine – the wife and longtime business galaxycommunicationspartner of Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine is heading the division as president/CEO.  Ed Levine says, “Pam Levine started this division 10 years ago with a vision of what it could become.  A decade of many successful events later, the vision has become reality.  As we now expand across New York State and soon the entire country, this new title is overdue.”  Galaxy Communications owns 14 radio stations in Syracuse and Utica-Rome and also owns many of the area’s biggest community events including Wine and Chocolate Festivals, K-Rockathon, Taste of Syracuse and many more.

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the daily “Bernie & Sid” show – isrosenbergsid hosting the promotion “Sid, Sports, ‘n Stuff” at NYY Steak on West 51st Street in New York City on Monday, November 28.  The 7:00 pm event will consist of a night of sports, sports trivia, steak, guest athletes, special surprise guests, and prizes…..Digital audio service TuneIn is offering play-by-play of all of this season’s NBA games live via its TuneIn NBA station.  It will offer original shows such as “NBA Gametime,” “Open Court,” and “The Starters,” plus is partnering with the Golden State Warriors to launch the “Warriors Sound” radio station.  TuneIn is working with additional teams to create similar stations as a destination for free, unique, team-specific content to fans wherever they are…..SiriusXM is launching a new show hosted by Florida State golf coach Trey Jones on its SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel.  The show is called “Beyond the Tips” and will feature co-host Jeff Cameron and Jones each Wednesday at 9:00 pm ET for an hour covering NCAA golf.

Rick Jakle Selling Three Signals to William Pollock.  Broadcaster (and banker) Rick Jakle is selling his three radio stations to William Pollock for an undisclosed sum.  The stations are: WRMN, Elgin, Illinois; WBIG, Aurora, Illinois; and KSHP, Las Vegas.  The move marks Jakle’s 50 years of serving the Elgin community.  Jakle comments, “The greatest privilege in my professional life was coming to WRMN as a young 24-year-oldjaklerick broadcaster in 1966.  I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to build and operate great local radio facilities and I am proud to have created and developed the Radio Shopping Show concept 34 years ago.  None of what we have accomplished would have been possible without my team of dedicated broadcasters.  If there’s any secret to our success — simply stated, it’s our remarkable people.”  William Pollack’s companies own radio stations in Missouri as well as TV stations in California and Louisiana. He also owns movie theaters in various markets.

The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, U.S. House and Senate Races, U.S.-Philippines Relations, the World Series, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/1).  The presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the FBI’s renewed investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; the state of U.S.-Philippines relations as the result of Rodrigo Duterte’s mercurial behavior; the Cubs-Indians World Series; 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.

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‘Too $hort’s Boombox’ at Popfest in LA.  The photo above captures the PodcastOne show “Too $hort’s Boombox” being recorded live last Saturday (10/29) at Entertainment Weekly’s Popfest in Downtown Los Angeles.  Also recording their PodcastOne show at the podcast stage on Saturday was “LadyGang,” hosted by the Insider’s Keltie Knight, Glee’s Becca Tobin and fashion designer Jac Vanek.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Bobby “Loco” Spencer, Leli Hernandez, Evelyn Gonzalez, Michael Rapaport and Too $hort.