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Monday, June 15, 2020

| June 15, 2020

Monday Memo: Profiting from the Pandemic. “Turning lemons into lemonade,” as consultant Holland Cooke puts it. In this week’s column he lists six retail opportunities his client stations are selling to right now. Read it here.

De-Fund Police Movement/Rayshard Brooks Killing, Seattle ‘Autonomous’ Zone, Trump Health, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Confederate & Colonial-Era Statues, U.S.-China Relations/Outbreak in Beijing, Presidential Race/Trump Tulsa Rally, Financial Markets/Jobless Claims, and MLB Negotiations Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The concept of de-funding police departments as demanded by some protestors and the cop shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta; the controversy over the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle; the health of President Trump after his apparent unsteady gait at the West Point graduation on Saturday; the regions of the U.S. that are experiencing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases; the movement to remove public statues commemorating Confederate or Colonial-era figures; the tense U.S.-China relations and a new COVID-19 outbreak appears in Beijing; the November presidential race, concerns about voting practices, and Trump’s planned rally scheduled for Tulsa on Saturday; the activity in the world’s financial markets and the recent jobless claims figure for the U.S.; and negotiations between the players and the league as the MLB tries to salvage its season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Time to Practice. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that “every performance-driven activity you can think of requires some form of practice. Athletics, the performing arts, public speaking, teaching, bar mitzvahs, all require practice. Even your doctor, dentist, and lawyer required practice before they could open their… practice. So, what about the professional sales rep? Sellers, especially in today’s warp-speed changing environment must practice.” Read his column here.

Beasley Reports Flat Q1 2020 Net Revenue; Net Loss of $8.8 Million. Reporting on its first quarter 2020 financial numbers, Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. – parent of Beasley Media Group – announces its net revenue was flat at $57.7 million compared to the same period in 2019. However, after posting operating income of $6.8 million in Q1 of 2019, the company posted and operating loss of $7.1 million in Q1 of this year. Beasley reported a net income of $1.4 million in Q1 of 2019 and this year is reporting a loss of $8.8 million. Beasley’s flat net revenue figure “reflects strong political advertising revenue, an increase in digital advertising, and esports revenue and contributions from the August 2019 acquisition of WDMK-FM, partially offset by a year-over-year decrease in commercial advertising revenue and other revenue related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Despite these challenges, first quarter net revenue was $57.7 million, primarily reflecting strong performance across our station clusters in seven markets during the months of January and February driven by robust political ad spending and contributions from WDMK-FM, as well as significant growth in digital and esports revenue. However, our top-line growth was not able to fully offset the acute challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic during the three-month period, resulting in a year-over-year decline in first quarter SOI and Free Cash Flow. During the first quarter, we continued to advance our digital transformation and revenue diversification initiatives across the company. In this regard, Beasley generated digital revenue growth of approximately 49% on a year-over-year basis, with digital accounting for approximately 9% of total first quarter revenue, compared to 6% of total revenue in the prior year period. In addition, Beasley launched the first major esports event featuring the Houston Outlaws, which the company acquired in November 2019, securing several new sponsorships as the team began competing in Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League matches in February. With our focus on quality content production and consumer engagement, we are growing audience share across our digital and esports platforms while delivering multi-platform turnkey marketing solutions to advertisers and brands. Overall, we are pleased with the momentum and trajectory of these digital and esports initiatives, which have been less impacted by COVID-19, and look forward to this growth trend continuing throughout the remainder of the year and beyond.”

Townsquare Media Q1 Down 1.4%; Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 0.5%. The company says it will file its first quarter 2020 report on or before June 25 but issues some preliminary figures and held an investor conference call this morning (6/15). Townsquare Media, Inc CEO Bill Wilson says, “While our first quarter started strong with high single-digit net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA growth in January and February, beginning in March we experienced a significant negative business impact to our Advertising and Live Events segments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, offsetting the momentum we established in 2019 and early 2020. First quarter net revenue increased 0.5% on a pro forma basis resulting in our 9th consecutive quarter of pro forma net revenue growth. In addition, Q1 2020 marked the first time our digital revenue exceeded 40% of our total net revenue, up from 35% in 2019, powered by Townsquare Interactive and Townsquare Ignite. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced a significant decline in our Advertising revenue in March, but we were still able to generate positive first quarter year-over-year Advertising net revenue growth. Our Advertising net revenue declined further in April but has shown sequential improvement in both May and June to date. We also cancelled or postponed our live events scheduled in March, April, May and June, which negatively impacted our net revenue. Thankfully, our Live Events segment is a much smaller component of our company today after we had the foresight to sell our large, out-of-market live event assets, including North American Midway Entertainment and several multi-day music festivals over the past two years. We have taken a number of steps to reduce our cost base in an effort to help mitigate the decline in revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  In total, we have enacted approximately $1.7 million of monthly fixed cost savings and anticipate the reduction of variable costs related to the decline in revenue.  In addition, we have reduced our planned capital expenditures, and our board of directors has elected to cease paying our quarterly dividend moving forward.  All of these actions have strongly bolstered our liquidity position.”

Midwest Communications’ WNFL, Green Bay Airing Content from WRNW-FM, Milwaukee. In a content deal with iHeartMedia’s sports talk WRNW-FM, Milwaukee “97.3 The Game,” Midwest Communications’ WNFL, Green Bay is replacing its daytime programming with the daytime lineup of “The Game.” The new WNFL lineup is: Steve Czaban in morning drive, John Kuhn (from WNFL’s studios) with Brian Butch in late mornings, Ted Davis and Dario Melendez in early afternoons, and “Drew & K.B.” in afternoon drive. Gone from the WNFL airwaves is the statewide syndicated Bill Michaels show. FOX Sports Radio rounds out the evenings, overnights, and weekends. Midwest operations manager Jason Hillery says, “We’ve signed a deal with Milwaukee’s ‘The Game’ and have picked up 12 hours of their amazing Wisconsin-focused programming each weekday. We’re excited about this lineup, and we’re excited about the future of this radio station.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Springfield News-Leader reports that Zimmer Radio has inked a letter of intent to buy the five-station cluster currently owner by Meyer Communications that includes news/talk KWTO-AM, sports talk KWTO-FM “JOCK 98.7,” and two music brands. Zimmer Radio co-owner Don Zimmer tells the paper they are in the early stages of due diligence. “There’s nothing set. We’ll see how things go with regards to the due diligence, and with five stations, it’ll probably take a while.”…..In recognition of the 48th anniversary of the passing of Title IX, ESPN is launching “espnW Presents: When We Play,” a three-day, women’s sport-centric, multi-platform initiative that will be anchored by more than 125 total hours of female-focused programming across ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. Additional content will be available on ESPN.com, ESPN Audio and the espnW social handles. “espnW Presents: When We Play” will run from Sunday, June 21 through Tuesday, June 23…..HRN Media Network, a Gen Media Partners company, is expanding its platform and the result is one of the largest Hispanic audio networks in the U.S. All of Gen Media Partners’ Hispanic assets – including Sun Latino and GLR – will now operate exclusively under the HRN umbrella, creating an easy one-source solution for advertisers, agencies, and radio stations for all things Hispanic…..Public media organization WGBH names Pam Johnston general manager for news. Johnston is currently senior director of strategy and audience for “FRONTLINE,” the investigative documentary series produced by WGBH. She will succeed Phil Redo who is retiring at the end of this month. WGBH president and CEO Jon Abbott says, “Pam has deep roots in Boston news, and with her public media and multiplatform experience she is ideally suited to lead the WGBH news team into the digital future. Her expertise across all forms of media will build on the quality and award-winning local journalism WGBH has become known for under the leadership of Phil Redo. We’re grateful for the strong foundation he established and we’re excited about the innovation Pam will bring to how we serve our community.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Norfolk, Virginia hot AC WMVN “MOViN’ 107.7” launches the new “Valentine in the Morning Show” starring Valentine and co-hosts Jillian Escoto and Kevin Manno. Station PD DJ Fountz says, “We’re thrilled to introduce ‘Valentine in the Morning’ to the people of Hampton Roads. The show is polished, the crew has great chemistry, and we know that they’ll be the perfect way to get our listeners movin’ in the mornings.”…..iHeartMedia names DJ Loui Vee program director for hip hop WBZY, Atlanta “105.3 The Beat.” iHeartMedia Atlanta SVP of programming Meg Stevens says, “Very excited to have DJ Loui Vee in Atlanta. He is an exceptional talent who will continue to build the brand of ‘105.3 The Beat Atlanta.’ His creativity and passion along with his incredible leadership skills make him the perfect talent to program ‘105.3 The Beat.’”…..Morning personality Guy David exits Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver. Co-host Tracy Dixon continues to host mornings along with producer Patrick Knight for now…..On-air pro Scott Fisher announces his retirement from iHeartMedia’s classic hits KODJ, Salt Lake City where he hosted middays. Fisher thanked his listeners in a message on the station’s website. He also notes that his weekend talk show, “Extreme Genes – America’s Family History Show,” will continue to air on the company’s sister news/talk station KNRS-FM.

Friday, November 11, 2016

| November 11, 2016

nielsen-meter nielsen_logo-2Nielsen Audio Acknowledges Connectivity Issues. Clients were informed yesterday (Thursday, 11/10) that 8% of installed Nielsen Audio devices across its 48 PPM-markets became inactive. The situation began in week one (11/3 – 11/9) of the December PPM monthly survey. According to a Nielsen spokesperson, “Our panel relations specialists have already been in contact with these homes and all affected panelists have now been sent new PPMs; 49% of the replacement meters are back online. We expect the balance to come online in the next several days.” The spokesperson further notes, “We forecast the percentage of installed and fully operational meters eligible for in-tab will be 97% for the month of December and 92% for week one of December across the aggregate of markets; weighting will adjust for demographic and geographic imbalances.” Lower in-tab, the spokesperson stresses, “doesn’t equate to lower ratings; however, temporarily higher weights may contribute to more variation during the period of time it takes for these panelists to be back in-tab.” Nielsen Audio is doing an analysis to evaluate panel representation and impact to audience estimates and the company plans to share those results during the week of November 21.

philips-bobCBS Radio Promotes Philips to Chief Revenue Officer. The company’s senior vice president of sales since late last year – Bob Philips – is elevated to CBS Radio‘s newly created role of chief revenue officer. CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez states, “Bob’s extensive radio and sales experience make him ideal to accelerate our efforts as we enter a new phase of the business. His deep understanding of corporate, customer, category, and channelcbs-radio-logo strategies will be instrumental in generating new revenue opportunities and ensuring our ability to deliver top-tier financial results.” Philips opines, “It is an exciting time for the radio industry. We have never had more assets at our disposal to meet our clients’ needs and extend their iconic brands. Our radio stations, digital assets, and events are only the tip of the iceberg.” Philips, who currently serves on the RAB Advisory Board and is an officer for the Maryland-D.C.-Delaware Broadcasters Association, previously was the 15-year market manager of CBS Radio’s four-station Baltimore cluster, which includes adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” hot AC WWMX “Mix 106.5,” and sports outlets WJZ-AM, and WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan.” He has held leadership positions at Infinity Broadcasting and American Radio Systems.

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SiriusXM Adds Ramsey. Starting next Monday (11/14), SiriusXM subscribers get to hear financial advice via “The Dave Ramsey Show” on Sirius channel 145 and XM channel 207. According to SiriusXM senior vice president of digital, talk and content strategy Jason Schramm, “Dave Ramsey is a huge force in the world of personal money management and a significant addition to SiriusXM. Between his immensely popular program and dave-ramsey-colo-springs-300x196bestselling books, Dave has proven himself a top expert in his field. I am thrilled that he has found a second home at SiriusXM, where our subscribers will now be able to get direct feedback about their own finances.” Ramsey Media vice president Brian Mayfield comments, “We are honored and excited to join the SiriusXM family. We are looking forward to experiencing the future growth of this platform and its audience.” Speaking of Ramsey, he sold out his “Smart Money” event yesterday (Thursday, 11/10) in Colorado Springs, where he promoted the event with his affiliate there, News-Press & Gazette Company‘s KRDO. The station’s general sales manager JoAnne Rowley notes, “A Dave Ramsey live event creates a lot of excitement for our audience, advertisers, staff, and attendees. The synergy is amazing.” Pictured from left to right are Rowley, Ramsey, KRDO program director Mike Lewis, and station talk host Chris Brown. It is estimated that Ramsey’s 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm weekday show is heard by more than 12 million listeners each week.

mlb-logo2kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2016 PPM survey period, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian unveils his final look this year at the performances of Major League Baseball flagships. In this special feature report, you will find charts listing stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from September 2016 to October 2016; ratings comparisons from October 2015 to October 2016; how MLB key stations ranked in their respective markets; and how they did by league/division. Another component – new to this cycle – is a quick-view chart of each flagship’s performance from the start of the baseball season to the conclusion. See it all here.

kiro-fmKIRO-FM Partners to Provide 300 Beds for Area Children. Joining Bonneville Seattle talker KIRO-FM in the “Beds for Kids Project” are the Seattle Police Department, with the support of the Seattle Police Foundation, and Sleep Train. KIRO-FM afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) hosts “Ron & Don” have been dedicated advocates for the project since its inception twobeds-for-kids years ago, with Ron Upshaw stating, “I am really excited about this opportunity. The thought of a young person not having a bed just breaks my heart. Think about a six-year-old or seven-year-old kid never sleeping in a bed. This will be the first time they ever have their own bed. That’s a big deal for a kid, so I’m very proud to be a partner of this really great event.” Semi-trucks filled with 300 mattresses, box springs, sheet sets, comforters, and pillows were delivered to the Seattle Police Department yesterday (Thursday, 11/10); all mattresses were donated by The Dream Bed. Selected area families will receive their new beds tomorrow (Saturday, 11/12). Seattle police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher created the “Beds for Kids Project” in 2014. Seattle’s latest (October 2016) Nielsen Audio PPM report finds KIRO-FM finishing second (5.7, 6+) behind Hubbard CHR KQMV (6.9, 6+).

drew-cuthbertsonCuthbertson Appointed Entercom Digital Audience Engagement Manager. Midday personality of Townsquare Media Group alternative KMAX “94.3 The X,” Fort Collins-Greeley (Colorado) Drew Cuthbertson is named Entercom‘s digital audience engagement manager. Vice president of digital audience engagement Kim Reis comments, “I am so excited to have Drew on our corporate team. His organizational and analytical skills, combined with his digital creativity and on-air experience, makeentercom him the perfect candidate. I am sure the local teams will be jazzed by Drew’s energy and positive attitude.” Cuthbertson comments, “For my entire professional life, I have been committed to creating great digital content. I am beyond thrilled to bring my passion to a company like Entercom. There are great things on the horizon for us.” Cuthbertson will use data analytics to find opportunities on social media, websites, mobile, apps, database, podcasts, and streaming players. The Colorado State University grad is the founder and director of DC Vocals and was a sales associate and customer service representative for Babies R Us.

talkersten-logoElection Related Stories Dominate Talkers TenTM for Week of November 7-11.  Naturally, Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the presidential race was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Close behind was the GOP’s keeping control of both the House and the Senate at #2.  At #3 was ongoing talk about Hillary Clinton’s email problems, followed by the push for marijuana law reform in several states 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.

barrie-allisonWestwood One, Barrie Begin Tactical Talk. Podcast “Tactical Talk with Allison Barrie” debuts today – Veterans Day (11/11). The counter-terrorism expert/television commentator will feature men and women who have served in the United States military, intelligence, and first responders’ space; Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One is providing ad sales representation. Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of corporate marketing  Suzanne Grimes states, “Allison is awestwood-one powerful addition to our podcast and on-demand network. She is an astute civilian insider with unique access to defense information and technology that translates into extremely compelling content. We look forward to the high-level guests and storytelling she will bring to our 245 million listeners and our valued advertising partners.” Barrie comments, “I plan to introduce America to ultimate insiders so my listeners can know what they know. Since the guests are my friends, America will get very real, up close and direct experiences. There will be exclusive content, access and reveals, but also lots of humor, courage, adventure, and a whole lot of fun. Westwood One is such a great fit for this authentic, special content. The host of “Fox Firepower,” Barrie writes the weekly Fox Firepower front-page column at FoxNews.com.

blackstone-audioAudio Book Publisher Seeks Talk Show Content.  Not books per se, but noted audio book publisher Blackstone Audio is looking for alternative content to add to their already impressive library, which includes over 12,000 of the world’s most famous book titles brought to life in the audio book format. They have already taken numerous syndicated radio shows, podcasts, and a series of educational classes on various subjects and made them available to consumers through the nation’s libraries, bookstores, and over a dozen online merchandisers as well as Blackstone’s own site www.downpour.com. They invite hosts, stations and syndicators to look through old show archives, current shows and podcasts – including anything from health to automobiles – for consideration.  The path is open to content not previously believed to be audio book possible. Those interested must provide enough content to have more than one eight- to ten-hour volume and no music, unless owned by the contributor.  Blackstone pays a favorable royalty for all sales.  For more information, phone Blackstone Audio representative Larry Harris at 360-809-0224 or email him at talkharris@olypen.com.


thank-youOdds & Sods
. Today’s (Friday, 11/11) “Operation Thank You” on Emmis talker KLBJ-AM, Austin will benefit the Fisher House at Carl R. Darnell Army Medical Center at Fort Hood. The drive will feature remote broadcasts by station personalities Todd Jeffries & Don Pryor (“Todd & Don”), Mark Caesar, Charlie Hodge, Jeff Ward, and Ed Clements ….. Starting next Monday (11/14), Jason Hillery takes on added duties as operations manager for Midwest Communications’ stations in Northeast Wisconsin, which include Green Bay mainstream CHR WIXX willobee“Your #1 Hit Music Station” and Neenah-Menasha country outlet WNCY “Y-100.” Already programming Appleton country station WGEE “Duke FM,” Neenah-Menasha adult hits WYDR “Jack FM,” and sports WNFL, Hillery will program talk WTAQ, as well ….. Owing to the fact his director of broadcast operations position has been eliminated, Willobee will depart Shamrock Communications Reno (Nevada) in three weeks (12/2). Willobee joined the Shamrock Reno cluster seven years ago. He previously spent five years as operations manager/program director of WEQX, Albany, New York.

burney-marytagstation

TagStation Names Burney National Sales Director. National account executive of iHeartMedia Detroit Mary Burney joins TagStation LLC, the parent of NextRadio, as national sales director. NextRadio vice president of sales Tom Doran comments, “Mary is a perfect fit for this position because she understands broadcast radio consumption, and national advertisers’ need for real time campaign performance. Mary is known for establishing relationships with key decision-makers at national brands and their agencies. The new position of national sales director comes as we are seeing rapid growth in demand for our campaign data. NextRadio data brings detailed insights to advertising campaign effectiveness, helping brands make data-driven decisions about radio buys. Among many others, AllState, Disney, The Home Depot, and Starwood Hotels’ Aloft brands have used NextRadio data to measure audience exposure, lift, demographic reach, and other metrics.” Prior to iHeartMedia, Burney was an account executive with Windsor, Ontario’s Bell Media Radio. She also worked at Clear Channel radio sales; Radio One Detroit; and Interep National Radio Sales.

westwood-one-nfl“Stable” Audiences for NFL National Radio Broadcasts. The network radio partner for the National Football League, Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One, analyzed ratings for the first 13 games in each PPM local market where a national broadcast aired. It found adult 25-54 AQH radio ratings for 13 national primetime NFL games that aired during the September 8 – October 5 PPM survey period are down on average 3.5% compared to corresponding broadcasts a year ago. Factoring out the September 26 national NFL broadcast that ran opposite the first presidential debate, however, the 12-game average NFL radio rating change on Westwood One was -1.3%. According to Nielsen, almost as many people have tuned into NFL games on television this season as last season. A Westwood spokesperson writes, “Time spent watching the NFL on TV might be off due to the election coverage, but the NFL continues to be America’s most powerful media property. Recent radio ratings further showcase the power of NFL programming for advertisers to engage fans. The NFL on Westwood One provides incremental reach and enhanced campaign frequency to TV campaigns.”

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallAd Man Dave Marinaccio Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Noted advertising executive and innovator Dave Marinaccio is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Marinaccio, a 30-plus year veteran of the advertising industry, is the co-founder and creative director of the Arlington, Virginia-based agency LMO Advertising and has been the artistic force behind numerous marketing campaigns for major, household-name companies and product brandsmarinacciodave including restaurants, hotels, rental cars, transportation services, and branches of the military, among others.  He is also a best-selling author, whose most recent book is Admen, Mad Men, and the Real World of Advertising: Essential Lessons for Business and Life (Arcade, 2015).  Marinaccio also wrote All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Watching Star Trek (Harmony 1995).  Harrison and Marinaccio discuss changes in advertising techniques and challenges that have occurred during the transition from the analogue era to the digital age including the cultural differences between Boomers and Millennials, the role of music in advertising, the nature of creativity and much more.  And, yes, they also talk a bit about Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.