Jim Kirk | TALKERS magazine - “The bible of talk media.” : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Tag: "Jim Kirk"

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

| November 3, 2020

Beasley Media Group Third Quarter Report: Net Revenue Down 25%. The first radio company to report 2020 third quarter financial results is Beasley Media Group which reveals net revenue for the period was $49.6 million, down almost 25% from the $66.1 million reported in the third quarter of 2019. Obviously, the dramatic decrease is the result of a loss of advertising revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company reports operating income of $0.8 million, down from $9.4 million in Q3 of 2019. Beasley reports a net loss of $2.7 million for the quarter compared to the net income of $3 million realized in the third quarter of 2019. Station operating income was $8.1 million, a little less than half of the $16.7 million in SOI reported in the third quarter of 2019. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “The strong recovery of our business continued in the third quarter of 2020. It is clear that the immediate actions we took to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses, headcount reductions, furloughs, and negotiated discounts with landlords, service providers and partners have contributed to Beasley’s ability to rebound quickly. This focus, combined with the resumption of advertising in key categories, the experience of our teams who have managed through previous economic challenges, the quality of our content, and the role we play in the communities we serve, have all contributed to our ability to turn the corner as evidenced by the positive SOI recorded in the 2020 third quarter. Throughout the third quarter our sales teams drove monthly sequential revenue improvements with July up 8% over June, August up 24% over July and September rising 22% over August. Total net revenue for October increased in the low- to mid-single digits, and November revenue is currently pacing down in the low teens. In addition to the resumption of advertising in key categories and the benefit of the political cycle, Beasley generated continued positive results from its digital and esports investments, which have been less impacted by the pandemic. Third quarter digital revenue rose 1.8% year-over-year to $5 million and our new esports operations generated approximately $500,000 of revenue during the period. Digital revenue accounted for approximately 10.1% of total third quarter revenue, compared to 7.4% of total revenue in the prior year period. Reflecting our initiatives to address the pandemic, including reducing operating expenses and corporate overhead and realigning our company-wide cost structure, Beasley’s third quarter total operating expenses declined by 15.9% and the company expects to reduce its operating expenses through year-end by more than $32 million compared to our 2020 operating budget. We anticipate that a meaningful portion of the operating expense reductions realized since the onset of the pandemic will be recurring, as we continue to make fundamental changes to improve processes and efficiencies across the organization. While the last several months have presented unprecedented challenges for ad-reliant businesses, I am extremely proud of the way our corporate and station level leaders and valued team members rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly to enable Beasley to return to positive cash flow in the third quarter. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter and 2021, we intend to continue our focus on growing our cash flow and maintaining a strong balance sheet with liquidity at current or higher levels. Growing ratings, diversifying revenue and delivering exceptional content and services to our listeners, advertisers, online users and esports fans will remain our focus. And we believe the tremendous resilience of our team and steps we’ve taken to strengthen our financial position and achieve ongoing operational efficiencies have helped ensure that Beasley Broadcast Group remains well-positioned for near- and long-term success.”

iHeartMedia Purging Employees; WTVN’s Riley and Schmid Exit. The latest round of “headcount reduction” is taking place at iHeartMedia, with air personalities, producers and more being let go as the company deals with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the ratio of music-formatted stations to talk stations, the majority of those being laid off are from music outlets. Some of those working in talk formats who’ve been let go include WTVN, Columbus morning host Joel Riley and morning program producer Tom Schmid. Riley told Columbus Business First, “I worked there for over 26 years. It was my dream job, that morning show. I’m devastated. I will miss the listeners. They made that job special every day.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. About half of the all-news stations in PPM markets were up (6+ weekly AQH share) and half were down or flat. Gainers were led by iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (+1.1) and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+0.8). Year-over-year numbers tell a different story as 63% of all-news outlets improve. Top gainers from October 2019 to October 2020 include WTOP (+2.9), Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+2.0), WBZ-AM (+2.0), and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+1.9). See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

New Firm Major Triad Media Acquires TM Studios from Westwood One. Jingle and production house TM Studios is being acquired from Westwood One by Major Triad Media, a partnership of three TM Studios figures – creative director Dave Bethell, Chris “UK” Stevens, and jingle icon and current general manager Greg Clancy. A press release says the new company will maintain studios in Dallas, Los Angeles, and the UK. Bethell says, “From listening to TM jingles on my local radio station in England when I was a kid to becoming a fan, I’ve always wanted to work for TM. Eventually it was the place where I had my big jingle break back in 2005. I’ve written and produced for TM Studios continuously ever since. As co-owner I’m excited to tell the next chapter of TM’s incredible story with our perfect new partnership.” Stevens comments, “I’m so excited to be part of the team to take TM’s legendary name into a new chapter, and from my home country, no less. It’s been 15 years since I originally relocated from London to Dallas to work with TM. It is a dream come true to become part of the new ownership team.” Clancy adds, “I vividly remember watching my dad sing in TM vocal sessions as a kid and had my first vocal session at TM as a 12-year old boy. I began singing for Tom Merriman and Jim Kirk at 23, straight out of college. Just imagine what this moment means to me. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and can’t wait to grow and extend the TM legacy.” TM Studios will continue to work with Westwood One, with a multi-year agreement to serve as exclusive barter representative to seamlessly serve existing clients.

‘The Fisher House Story’ Available Now in Time for Veterans Day. Veterans Day is next Wednesday (11/11) and the Fisher House Foundation announces that The Jeff Wyatt Group has a fresh edition of “The Fisher House Story” for 2020 ready for download. “The Fisher House Story – A Family’s Love” is a radio special provided in varying lengths for news/talk radio stations in the U.S. and around the world. The three-hour, one-hour, 25-minute, and 30-minute radio specials are available for free. The specials are once again hosted by Mary Walter of WMAL-FM, Washington and feature stories of our nation’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey. Your listeners will hear from Ben Breckheimer, an Army combat scout whose vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while driving with his team in Afghanistan; Lt. Col. Patrick Miller, an Army officer who was shot in the 2014 Ft. Hood shooting; and Jeff Sampson, a Navy veteran who needed a double lung transplant. These are just a few of the many stories that will be told “in their own words.” A clock and demo is now available at radio.fisherhouse.org. For more information on this radio special, available cash and barter free, contact Jeff Wyatt at The Jeff Wyatt Group at 301-518-3640 or jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight, the Westwood One nationally syndicated Jim Bohannon show is presenting election coverage from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET with the help of correspondents Clayton Neville and Linda Kenyon, plus commentary from Jed Babbin of the American Spectator, political science professor Dr. Frank Sorrentino, former Indiana congressman Dave Evans, and commentator Sean Walsh…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces a partnership with Rolling Stone to market and distribute their podcasts “Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper” and “Rolling Stone Music Now.” The agreement includes the back catalogue in addition to future episodes…..Audio and spoken word agency Oxford Road announces the addition of three executive to the company. Kraig Kitchin – former Premiere Networks chief and current Sound Mind LLC principal – joins as strategic adviser. Steven Abraham is introduced as the company’s new president and Jennifer Laine is named head of marketing.

Today’s Presidential Election/Senate and House Races, Law Enforcement Prepares for Unrest, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Terror Attacks, Hurricane Eta Approaches Central America Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2). Today’s presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as well as the numerous Senate and House races; law enforcement’s concerns about and preparation for keeping voting places accessible and handling public safety in the event protests and violence break out; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and in Europe and projections the second wave could be worse than the first; the recent spate of terror attacks in France, Vienna, and Kabul; and Hurricane Eta threatens Central America with record floodwaters 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 Twin Cities, Bring Me the News reports that air personalities Steve LaTart, a.k.a. Steve-O of CHR KDWB’s morning show and hot AC KTCZ “Cities 97.1” morning host Hunter Quinn both exit as part of the current downsizing taking place at iHeartMedia across the country…..Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville names Toni-Marie afternoon drive host. Toni-Marie joins Cumulus Nashville from Entercom’s country KWJJ, Portland “99.5 The Wolf” where she was midday host and APD. She says, “I have never been happier inside of a Walmart than the day that [program director] Paul Williams called to offer me this position! I’ve had the opportunity to do country radio in some amazing markets, but getting to work with Paul and the team at 103-3 in Nashville is a dream come true!”…..Alpha Media Portland announces that Gustav will join the KINK-FM lineup as the afternoon drive host. Alpha Media Portland operations manager Gene Sandbloom says, “Gustav has been an icon in Portland radio for 25 years, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him join the KINK team in afternoons. His breadth of musical knowledge and the relationships he has forged with artists throughout his career are most welcome. For more than 50 years the KINK brand has been about serving the needs of Portland and the surrounding communities. Hats off to the Alpha Media management team for making yet another true investment in being live and local.”

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

| April 30, 2019

Entercom Net Revenue Up 3% in First Quarter of 2019. Net revenue for Entercom Communications Corp. was $309 million in the first quarter of 2019 – an increase of 3% over the $300.6 million figure for the same period in 2018.  Operating income soared to $30.4 million, up from $5.7 million in the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, total operating expenses decreased 5.6% from last year to $278.6 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered another strong quarter of performance as revenues increased 3% and Adjusted EBITDA surged 42%.  Our transformational investments in new products and capabilities and the hard work of our team are beginning to pay off as we capitalize on our scale and the abundant growth opportunities in audio. Second quarter revenues are pacing up by more than 4% and we are excited about our progress across multiple areas of the business and by the dynamic future ahead.”   Today’s report also states that “later today, the company expects to issue $325 million in 6.50% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  The company plans to use the proceeds of the issuance, as well as cash on its balance sheet and borrowings under its revolver, to repay $425 million of its senior secured Term Loan and to pay fees and expenses related to the issuance.” At the end of the first quarter, Entercom had outstanding $1.29 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes.  The company reports having $68 million in cash on hand.

Nielsen Reports Q1 Financials; Audience Measurement Revenue Up 1.5%.  As the company’s board of directors continues to consider selling all or part of Nielsen Holdings plc, the company reveals its revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was down 2.9% (on revenue of $1.56 billion), however was up 0.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  The company recently renamed its Watch and Buy segments. They are now Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, respectively.  During Q1, revenue in the Nielsen Global Media segment increased 0.2% to $826 million, or 1.3% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Revenue in Audience Measurement increased 1.5%, or 2.2% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to continued client adoption of Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement system, partly offset by pressure in local television measurement. Nielsen CEO David Kenny states, “Our first quarter results were ahead of our expectations, reflecting solid execution and continued focus on improving operational and financial rigor across Nielsen.  While I’m pleased with our first quarter results, we have a significant opportunity to accelerate our growth rate over time as we leverage and build on our incomparable data assets, our global footprint, and the critical role we play in the media and FMGC (fast moving goods company) industries.  We have begun our transformation into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions that drive greater value for our clients and for Nielsen.”

Report: Erick Erickson Planning New Late Morning Show on Athens News/Talker. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta personality Erick Erickson noted on his Facebook page that he’s planning a new talk show for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart that would focus on Georgia news and politics.  Ho reports that WSB program director Pete Spriggs says the show is in the planning stages right now and the company’s news/talk WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens would be the show’s flagship.  Erickson would continue to host his afternoon show at WSB. Erickson says he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.

Lars Larson Receives Honor from Right to Work Organization. KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson – also heard nationally via Compass Media Networks – is being given the “Lewis and Annabelle Fetterman Right to Work Communication Award” from The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.   The annual honor goes to an individual for their work in highlighting the injustices of compulsory unionism.  Larson says, “When my flagship station, FM News 101 KXL hired me, I got my first taste of forced unionism.  I arrived at my shiny new $9/hr job as afternoon anchor and editor in March of 1980. A big talk guy, whose name I have forgotten, walked up to me and introduced himself as the shop steward and told me in no uncertain terms, ‘You will join the union.’  I told him I had no interest in unions and no intention of joining.  He told me, ‘You’ll join or our contract says you’ll be fired in 30 days.’  Needless to say, I joined, paid the union and endured its extortion.  Years later at KXL, I happily joined an effort to decertify the union (it took two years but it succeeded).  I believe that every American worker should have the right to join a union or to decline union membership.  27 states now recognize this ‘right to work’ philosophy.  Nearly all of the Democratic Party candidates for president of the United States have vowed to kill section 14b of the Fair Labor Relations Act that allows for the ‘right to work.’  I have now worked 44 years in radio and television and have spent most of those years NOT IN A UNION by choice.  Every American should have that choice.”

WGN-AM and Crain’s Chicago Strengthen Relationship. This enhancement of the content integration between Tribune’s WGN Radio and Crain’s Chicago Business will bring Crain’s reporters to the air on WGN live from their Chicago newsroom, beginning Monday (5/6).  Each weekday, “The WGN Radio Crain’s Chicago Business Desk” will feature Crain’s reporters twice daily on WGN during newscasts at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, in addition to listeners hearing the top business news of the day at 12:50 pm during the “Wintrust Business Lunch” program.  Crain’s publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk says, “We’re very happy to expand our relationship with WGN.  The station’s unique relationship with its listeners is a natural for Crain’s as we continue to look for ways to grow our journalism beyond our traditional platforms.”

Entercom and Waze Enter into Multiplatform Partnership. This deal between Entercom and traffic app Waze will – among other things – allow users of both Waze and Entercom’s RADIO.COM app to benefit from each other’s content.  As part of the deal, RADIO.COM will be integrated into the Waze app, so that Waze drivers can get audio content – including local news and sports, local broadcast traffic reports, and the music stations – with ease.  They’ll have access to the RADIO.COM playback and discovery controls, including favorite, local, and recently played stations, directly in the Waze app.  The partnership also allows Entercom to integrate the Waze community-based traffic data into its live and over-the-air traffic reporting across its radio stations. Entercom stations will utilize the Waze data to provide enhanced, real-time and hyperlocal traffic reporting to listeners on all platforms.

Progressive Insurance Named ‘Radio Marketer of the Year.’ The insurance company is being honored with the “Radio Marketer of the Year” award at the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards at SONY HALL in New York City on June 6.  The award is being given to Progressive Insurance “in recognition of the company’s long-term partnership with the radio industry to reach and engage consumers.  Their powerful radio creative differentiates the brand in a crowded category and significantly contributes to record sales for Progressive.” RAB president and CEO and chair of the Radio Creative Fund Erica Farber says, “Progressive Insurance and its creative advertising partner Arnold Worldwide continue to be tremendous partners to the radio industry. Broadcast radio is delighted with the ongoing collaboration with CMO Jeff Charney and his team, and we look forward to their continued innovation in the audio space.”  Charney comments, “Understanding the ‘art and science’ of the medium is key to putting out breakthrough radio campaigns.  It allows us to produce compelling and disruptive content that pushes toward the creative edge in all the right ways.  We sweat every second of each spot, and this recognition proves our company’s out-create approach drives powerful results.”

Sue McNamara Named EVP of Sales for PodcastOne. Sales pro Sue McNamara is appointed to the position EVP of sales for the Eastern U.S. for PodcastOne.  She comes to PodcastOne with a resume that includes roles SVP of advertising sales at CBS Corporation, EVP of sales at Interep, and VP of sales at Total Traffic Network.  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “When looking for someone to fill this position, we spoke to a number of our advertisers, and the one name that kept coming up was Sue McNamara.  After our first meeting at our Los Angeles headquarters, I understood exactly why.  She knows audio.  She not only understands advertisers’ goals and needs, she’s been instrumental in creating new, creative opportunities for them.  She’s a perfect fit for podcasting and that makes her the perfect choice for PodcastOne.”

TALKERS News Notes. The online-only broadcasts from the sports talk hosts of “The Mighty 1090” have ended. As reported by KGTV-TV, San Diego, the sports talk format that was bumped off Mexican signal XEPRS on April 11 is no longer an online venture either.  Broadcast Company of the America’s pulled the plug on the digital feed at around 2:00 pm yesterday (4/29), ending almost three weeks of online only content.  The staff were asked to come to the studios and retrieve their belongings.  KGTV-TV notes that BCA previously lost two other of its Mexican signals – XHPRS, formerly a classic hits station, and XEPE, also a sports talk station – after negotiations with the Mexican owners broke down…..WMFS-FM, Memphis “ESPN 92.9” sports talk personality Eric Hasseltine is exiting the Entercom station after almost eight years hosting the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Hasseltine is also the radio play-by-play voice for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, a position he will continue to hold. WMFS program director Brad Carson says Jeffrey Wright, producer for the station’s Geoff Calkins show, will host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart for now. Hasseltine says the decision to leave the station was entirely his and adds that it was not an easy decision to make…..Urban news/talk WURD, Philadelphia is bringing air personality Solomon Jones back to the station to host the morning drive “Wake Up with WURD” program, effective Monday (5/6).  Jones tells the Philadelphia Tribune, “I’m pleased to be able to come back.  I missed the audience at WURD and I’m anxious to be able to get started again and to just impact our community.  Doing what I do at WURD is familiar and I think it is ministry.  I want to make sure that our community is informed and engaged.  There are some things that we need to really be talking about and take action on.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa hosted nationally syndicated digital expert Kim Komando at a luncheon today (4/30).  KRMG invited 225 listeners to the Women in Business Luncheon presented by Community Care College.  KRMG program director Levi May states, “Kim Komando is a real power player in both the media and technology fields and it’s an honor that she chose Tulsa to visit in 2019.  We are thrilled to have an opportunity to put her in front of our listeners in an intimate setting where she can talk about her successes and share her tips with other women.”  In addition to Komando’s appearance, KRMG news director April Hill moderated a panel discussion of Tulsa businesswomen.

77WABC’s Sid Rosenberg Speaks at NYTimes Protest.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg (holding mic) at a protest outside the offices of The New York Times.  The co-host of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program addressed the crowd gathered to protest the publication of a cartoon depicting President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that’s being called anti-Semitic.

2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Sues Banks, Dems Impeachment Talk, NYTimes Cartoon Criticism, Venezuela Political Unrest, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29). Democrat Joe Biden’s rise in the polls and the politics surrounding the 2020 presidential campaign; President Trump sues to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing personal and Trump business financial information; the talk of presidential impeachment among congressional Democrats; the criticism of the New York Times cartoon depicting Trump and Netanyahu as being anti-Semitic; Juan Guaido’s attempt to lead a military uprising against the Maduro government in Venezuela; the migrant status at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode in the HBO series’ final season; the Avengers: Endgame movie; the NBA playoffs: and MLB 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. Denver country outlet KYGO has a new program director as Bonneville names Brian Michel to the position.  Michel was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the Atlanta station group…..iHeartMedia announces that Taylor Swift is joining the lineup of KISS-FM, Los Angeles’ Wango Tango concert being held on Satuday, June 1 at The Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California…..SiriusXM is getting ready to present Florida Georgia Line performing in a special invitation-only event at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  The private show will be the first time the GRAMMY-winning duo has performed at the legendary venue and will air on SiriusXM on May 29…..LBI Media names Wynette Gallegos Ortiz director of sales for the Houston market.  Ortiz will lead LBI Media’s sales and operations activities for all of its radio properties and EstrellaTV’s sports and event activations in Houston.  Ortiz has been with LBI Media since 2001, starting as an account executive and quickly moving up the ranks and into management as local sales manager and eventually as general sales manager.