Tag: "Franklin Resources"
Liberty Media Puts in Offer for iHeartMedia Ownership. Out of the blue, Liberty Media – controlling owner of SiriusXM and minority stakeholder in Pandora – is offering $1.159 billion for a 40% stake in the new iHeartMedia. This comes as iHeartMedia is very close to defaulting on a $103 million debt payment that could push the company into bankruptcy. As it stands, iHeartMedia is negotiating with senior creditors to arrive at a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would greatly reduce the company’s $20 billion in debt in exchange for equity. The Liberty offer is designed not to replace the current offer by senior creditors but to add Liberty to the mix. Liberty’s offer is for a 20% stake held by Liberty, another 20% held by SiriusXM, four seats on the new company’s nine-member board, and Clear Channel Outdoor would be spun off as a taxable transaction. Some experts say this offer has no chance of being accepted. Sources quoted in a New York Post story say the offer undervalues iHM’s 850 radio stations – putting its value of iHeartMedia at $7.5 billion, less than the $8.5 billion Franklin Resources places on it. Franklin is leading the senior creditors group. One source expects iHM to proceed with a bankruptcy filing on March 3.
Post Theater Columnist Michael Riedel Named WOR, New York Morning Co-Host. It’s been four months since radio talk host Todd Schnitt exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR. He’d been co-hosting the morning program with Len Berman but was unable to come to terms on a renewal agreement. Now, the company announces that New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel will join Berman on 710 WOR for the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program. In addition to his work for the Post, Riedel hosted the PBS program “Theater Talk” for 24 years and published the best-seller, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway. iHeartMedia calls the new show a “four-hour variety show, showcasing the most important stories of the day to New Yorkers, including local news, entertainment, humor, political stories, and interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.” WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “After a four-month search, we are super fortunate to have a triple-triple threat like Michael joining WOR. He has been a successful newspaper writer for decades. He co-hosted a TV show for over 20 years and now he’s joining us in a full-time capacity to pursue a lifelong passion for radio.” Len Berman is quoted saying, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Michael as my new co-host,” said Berman. I loved working with him when he was guest hosting. We come from two different worlds: Michael from newspaper and Broadway, me from TV and sports. Factor in that we don’t see eye to eye politically and I’m convinced it all adds up to entertaining morning radio.”
The Honorable Senator from California, Mr. Michael Savage? Is this just Savage shtick or is Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Michael Savage really serious about being courted to challenge Dianne Feinstein for her U.S. Senate seat? The Los Angeles Times reports Savage told his audience that “some very important people” are asking him to run for the seat as an independent, and he put the question of whether he should run to his audience. Though it’s hard to imagine the 76-year-old talk host giving up his radio show (he’d have to, right?) and traveling all over the Golden State to campaign (an exhausting business, to be sure), Savage has wasted no time in using this to express his political wish list for California. Savage says his platform would include such polarizing issues as eliminating multi-lingual ballots (English only) and building a wall on the Mexican border that would be a “citadel,” all while lowering California’s tax rate (that’s not really up to the U.S. Senate, though). The Times notes that Feinstein, who was just dealt a blow by the California Democratic Party with its non-endorsement of her as she seeks a fifth full term, has a war chest of $9.8 million.
FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes to Moderate NRB Conference Panel. The focus of the panel will be Internet censorship and will talk place Thursday (3/1) as part of the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Nashville. FOX News Radio nationally syndicated personality Todd Starnes will moderate the panel discussion with panelists including Salem Radio Network personalities Larry Elder and Dennis Prager, plus Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.
SRN’s Tom Tradup at World Premiere of New Christian Film. Christian musical artist Brandon Heath (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) last night (2/26) at the world premiere of the film, I Can Only Imagine, based on the hit song by Mercy Me. Tradup was joined on the red carpet by stars Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, and artists Mandisa, Michael W. Smith and others.
TALKERS News Notes. College station WRHU, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University 88.7 FM” is airing the Long Island Nets Coach’s Show every Friday at 4:00 pm, hosted by WRHU’s Bryan Clark and featuring Nets coach Ronald Nored. WRHU airs play-by-play of the NBA G League team that’s affiliated with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets…..SiriusXM is broadcasting games from 24 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, offering live play-by-play of 134 men’s and women’s conference tournament games to a nationwide audience. It will air every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, and Mountain West conferences, and select games from the Ivy League Tournament. Listeners also get every game of the Women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments. Conference tournament broadcasts heard on SiriusXM are produced by ESPN Radio, Westwood One, IMG, Learfield, and Compass Media.
Gun Control Debate, Parkland Shooting Investigation, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, SCOTUS Declines Trump Request on ‘Dreamers’ Policy, Universal Basic Income Proposals, Xi Jinping Power Grab, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The debate over gun control issues in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre; the investigation into prior complaints about Nikolas Cruz and whether police acted appropriately during the shooting; the NRA’s lashing out at Delta and other companies for ending their business relationships with the lobbying organization; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Supreme Court declines to rule immediately on President Trump’s wish to kill the DACA; the proposals for a universal basic income for those Americans below the poverty line; the move by Chinese president Xi Jinping to eliminate his term limit and remain president indefinitely; the post-mortem on the PyeyongChang Winter Games; and NBA 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. On-air pro Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou is named morning co-host at Entercom’s Phoenix country outlet KMLE “@ 107.9.” Niko is partnering with Nina D. for KMLE’s new “The Breakfast Buzz” program. He was most recently at the company’s New York alternative station WBMP “Alt 92.3” as APD, music director and midday personality. He also worked in NYC as evening personality at CHR WHTZ “Z100.” Niko says, “After almost 20 years in the radio industry, I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of mornings. Given the opportunity to work with such a legendary team and station, I’m excited to bring what I have to offer to Phoenix. A huge thanks to Tim Richards, Dave Pugh, Mike Moore, Chris Oliviero and Pat Paxton for the confidence in me. Nina D. and I are going to have a blast waking up the KMLE Nation.”…..In Albany, Pamal Broadcasting is announcing two new executives who’ve joined the organization. A.J. Bodden is named market manager for the six-station radio cluster in Albany. He comes to Pamal from Townsquare Media where he managed a division of the company’s corporate live events business. Simultaneously, John Damboragian is named Pamal’s new director of digital and will oversee digital sales and assets for all of Pamal’s 23 radio stations. He was most recently digital manager for Gannett Media in New York’s Westchester County.
iHeartMedia and Debt Holders Continue to Negotiate But Differences Remain. The biggest hurdle in resolving the massive debt that iHeartMedia is shouldering is that the group of lenders led by Franklin Resources is seeking a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would leave senior bondholders and term loan lenders with the bulk of the shares of the radio and outdoor businesses. But, iHM wants to restructure about $15.5 billion of the $20 billion of debt out of court. iHM’s counter-offer reportedly includes about 50% equity in iHeartMedia and an even greater stake in Clear Channel Outdoor, but no “pre-pack.” The New York Post reports that “one person close to the talks said, with the current proposal not being well received, there is a 75 percent chance of a court-supervised restructuring.” The Wall Street Journal says that where the two sides are in agreement is that senior creditors holding some $12.8 billion in priority guarantee notes and term loans would receive between $6 billion and $7 billion in new secured notes.
CBS News Radio Reveals New Programming at First-Ever Upfront Presentation. This is the first upfront presentation – taking place at the CBS Broadcast Center in NYC – by CBS News Radio to advertising executives and it includes the unveiling of new original news, finance and entertainment programming. Among the new offerings that will launch on January 1, 2018 are: daily one-minute features from CBS Television programs “Entertainment Tonight,” “Inside Edition,” “The Doctors,” “Dr. Phil,” and “Rachael Ray”; a daily one-minute feature and a two-hour weekend show hosted by CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger called “Jill on Money”; a one-minute feature and two-hour weekend show produced by veterans for veterans and their families called “Eye on Veterans”; and a new 90-second commentary from Dave Ross. CBS News CFO Charles Pavlounis comments, “We’re excited to share these new and exclusive program offerings, as well as our continuing lineup of original reporting with our colleagues in the advertising community and our affiliate stations. These programs allow our affiliated stations to deliver original, engaging content to their dedicated listeners, while our clients are able to gain maximum exposure for their messages on news, talk and music formats around the country.” “Welcome Home” is the theme of the upfront event that is being co-hosted with Skyview Networks, the distribution, inventory management and sales partner of CBS News Radio.
Townsquare Media Signs Kevin Miller to Four-Year Extension. Talk radio pro Kevin Miller will continue serving as brand manager and morning drive personality at Townsquare Media’s KIDO, Boise for the next four years after signing a contract renewal with the station. The station says, “For Miller, radio is community, using his daily show and digital platform to find solutions for the many Treasure Valley community needs. He’s been known to go ‘all in’ on issues dear to his heart, including a week-long, live-in fundraising campaign for the Canyon County Animal Shelter when it faced the threat of closure. The ‘Kevin In the Kennel’ live broadcast was nationally recognized by Rachael Ray and the ASPCA, resulting in a $25,000 donation to save the shelter and thousands in pet adoptions.” Townsquare SVP Kevin Godwin comments, “Kevin Miller epitomizes what we look for in live and local talent. His work ethic, his commitment to providing quality local content to our audience and his ability to connect to those things most important to the community is second to none. The extraordinary current political, financial and cultural events of the time demand experience and a greater commitment to our listeners, advertisers, and the business community at large. I’m certain Kevin and ‘KIDO Talk Radio’ will continue to deliver on that commitment.”
Bob Ramsey Returns to St. Louis Airwaves on KTRS. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that market sports media figure Bob Ramsey is returning to the radio after an absence of about 18 months. He’s joining the KTRS evening show hosted by sports director Brendan Wiese. It airs from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm and Ramsey is expected to be a co-host “two or three times a week.” Post-Dispatch sports columnist Ben Frederickson is also joining the program. Caesar reports that Ramsey has been working with crosstown KFNS owner Randy Markel as a “point man for a youth baseball complex…Markel is trying to develop near the Lake of the Ozarks.” Read the Post-Dispatch piece here.
TALKERS News Notes. The Sporting News’ Michael McCarthy is reporting that there are more job cuts on the horizon for ESPN – including the radio division – and the reason is the need for cost-cutting. McCarthy’s report says between 40 and 60 positions could be eliminated in late November or early December and that they could be both on-air TV/radio people and production staffers…..Legendary sports media figure Dan Patrick is getting his name on an institute of higher learning, specifically, his partnership with Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida will open the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting at the college. Through the school, students will be able to earn undergraduate bachelor degrees. The FOX Sports Radio and NBC Sports personality consummated the deal via his agents at Playbook, Inc. Patrick is expected to call on his numerous contacts in the industry to participate in guest teaching roles…..Jacobs Media’s Seth Resler is launching a new podcast dedicated to the renaissance of Detroit titled, “The D Brief.” With co-host and local stand-up comic Mike Geeter, Resler will focus on the arts and entertainment scene, covering everything from concerts to comedy to film, festivals, food and drink. Fred Jacobs comments, “When Seth first moved to Detroit to join Jacobs Media, he took a six-month lease. He never envisioned living here permanently, but fell in love with Detroit. He’s been a podcaster since the early days, and marrying his passion for the Motor City with his podcasting skills is a perfect match.”
Trump Tax Cuts Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 23-27. The tax reform proposal from the Trump Administration and the GOP was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Clinton campaign and DNC funded Trump-Russia dossier story. Coming in at #3 was the variety of sexual harassment accusations being leveled against various public figures, followed by the Obama Adminstration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston triple A WXRV “The River” names Massachusetts native Annalisa its new afternoon drive host. Annalisa previously spent 20 years in the Bay Area hosting the midday show at Cumulus Media’s triple A KFOG. In the Boston market, she’s also served with rock WAAF and hosted the morning show at classic rock WZLX. WXRV general manager Donald St. Sauveur states, “Annalisa’s such a wonderful talent and a passionate professional. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of the thousands of artists and bands that ‘The River’ features on a daily basis. She shares stories about the songs that are the soundtrack of our audience’s lives in an irreverent and witty way that’s authentic and approachable.”…..Rock KISW, Seattle is presenting its third annual “Live Day” at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma on November 16. On this “Live Day,” both the morning drive “BJ & Migs” and the PM drive “The Men’s Room” will be performed completely live – nothing at all will be recorded – commercials, sound effects, nor music. The show hosts will be assisted by a cast of local musicians, Foley artists (the ones who make sound effects), and comedians. Entercom Seattle VP, programming and operations Dave Richards states, “Doing two full shows completely live clearly wasn’t enough of a challenge for KISW. This year, we’ll take ‘Live Day’ to a full stage production in front of a live audience.”…..Beasley Media Group announces Gregory Simonson is named the general sales manager for the company’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster that includes: adult contemporary WAZZ, country WKML, urban contemporary WZFX, rhythmic oldies WUKS, and adult hits WFLB. Most recently, Simonson has been Southeast regional VP at Inc.’s iAd division…..Milwaukee’s hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” hopes to cheer up Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers – out for the season nursing a broken collarbone – by getting fans to sign the banner you see at left being held by morning show hosts Elizabeth and Radar…..WAY Media Network program director Todd Stach announces that Steve Shore is named network music director. Shore is a WAY Media and Christian music radio industry pro, having served in various roles at WAY-FM for the past 15 years. He will continue his role as assistant network program director while adding music director duties.
Freddie ‘Boom Boom’ Cannon on KTHO, Lake Tahoe. Rock ‘n’ roll legend Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon (right) is pictured in the studios of KTHO, South Lake Tahoe, California with the station’s Insane Darryll Wayne (left). Wayne says, “Freddy’s latest single, ‘Svengoolie Stomp is fangtastic! Boom Boom’s stories of Elvis, Frank, Led Zeppelin, and of course MeTV Horror host Svengoolie, lit up our airwaves. Freddy ‘Boom Boom’ Cannon, creeps it real.”