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Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

Beasley Media Group Reports Pro Forma Q4 Net Revenue Down 6.9%.  Due to the number of recent acquisitions, sales and asset swaps Beasley Media Group has been involved in, the company’s financial reports can be a bit confusing.  It is reporting a $4.8 million, or 9% year-over-year, increase in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2017.  That figure reflects the inclusion of stations acquired from Greater Media in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey (announced in the summer of 2016), partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations (to Entercom, announced in the fall of 2016) and strong non-recurring political advertising revenue recorded in the year ago fourth quarter.  But the 6.9% dip in net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 is pro forma and reflects the company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group operations, the Greater Media stations, and the recent acquisition of sports WBZ-FM, Boston (exchanged with Entercom for WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million), while excluding the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM, as if all transactions had been completed on January 1, 2016.  In a press release, CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout 2017, we continued to actively manage our station portfolio to extract operating and financial synergies from the acquired Greater Media stations, while implementing our proven strategies across our platform, which are focused on delivering strong local programming, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter net revenue rose 9.0% compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the acquisitions and divestitures to our platform on a year-over-year basis.  Pro forma net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 declined 6.9% compared to the prior year period, reflecting $3.9 million in non-recurring political advertising revenue and softer national advertising revenue. The year-over-year decline was partially offset by a 6.5%, or $3.5 million, reduction in pro forma station operating expenses. As a result, Beasley’s fourth quarter pro forma SOI declined 7.8% year over year while SOI margins were relatively flat compared to the prior year period…Looking ahead to 2018, we intend to continue our strategic priorities of realizing synergy targets, reducing debt and leverage, taking advantage of political revenue opportunities, improving top and bottom-line performance and returning capital to shareholders through our quarterly cash dividend. With enhanced opportunities to monetize our strong core programming and local brands, we remain confident in the radio industry and in Beasley’s growing broadcast and digital platform. We look forward to realizing the strategic benefits of the WBZ transaction in 2018 and remain confident that our ongoing initiatives to drive sales, productivity and efficiency across our platform, combined with prudent management of our capital structure, is a proven formula for sustained long term financial growth and the creation of shareholder value.”

Dennis Miller Back in the Westwood One Fold. Comic, TV star, “SNL” alum, and former radio talk show host Dennis Miller is back with Westwood One, this time delivering two daily, one-minute programs to affiliate stations.  Miller hosted a daily, midday talk show on WW1 for eight years.  Now, he returns to the company with commentaries that present “his idiosyncratic take on topical issues, the culture, and what Americans are talking about in two distinct 60-second programs, Monday through Friday.”  Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler says, “Dennis Miller is a multi-talented, multimedia comic icon and we are thrilled to have him back on Westwood One.  Even with all his success, ‘The Miller Minute’ may be the best format yet for Dennis to entertain and inform listeners with his humor and idiosyncratic style.  He can’t wait to re-engage with his radio audience, affiliates, and advertisers.”

WGR-AM , Buffalo to Roast Bills’ Fred Jackson.  Buffalo sports talker WGR-AM is honoring former Buffalo Bills player Fred Jackson at the 4th Annual WGR Celebrity Roast this Thursday (2/15).  The event is being hosted by WGR morning show host Howard Simon and will feature an all-star panel of former teammates, including: Eric Wood, Aaron Williams, Bryan Scott and Ryan Fitzpatrick, as well as Jackson’s own twin brother, Patrick Jackson.   Entercom Buffalo SVP and market manager Greg Ried states, “The city of Buffalo is incredibly passionate about their hometown Buffalo Bills and Fred Jackson is a respected and beloved figure in the community.  Jackson was a unanimous decision by the WGR team.  For his determination, compassion and drive, on and off the field, we are excited to honor him at this year’s WGR Celebrity Roast.”  The WGR Celebrity Roast has become a signature event in the Buffalo community.  Former WGR Celebrity Roast honorees include former Buffalo Sabres players Marty Biron, Mike Robitaille and Rob Ray, as well as former Buffalo Bills player Andre Reed.

TALKERS News Notes. Former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria – now one-third of the WEEI, Boston midday show with Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni – was suspended from the Entercom station for a week and issued an apology after a bit aired in which Fauria used a stereotypical Asian accent to imitate sports agent Don Yee.  During the bit, Fauria was reading phony texts purported to be from Yee to Boston Herald sportswriter Ron Borges regarding Tom Brady’s contract situation with the Patriots…..In Philadelphia, “SportsTalk 94WIP” personality (and former Eagles player) Jon Ritchie was off the air last Friday (2/9) after being arrested for DUI and simple assault.  According to Philly.com, Ritchie was arrested early Friday morning, hours after the parade in Philly celebrating the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.  The paper does not explain the circumstances surrounding Ritchie’s arrest.  Ritchie co-hosts the midday show with Joe DeCamara…..Dayton sports talk station WING-AM has a new program director as Justin Kinner is promoted from the interim PD position.  Alpha Media says that Kinner previously worked as the afternoon drive host at WING-AM.  He also has experience as an account executive in the market.  Alpha Media Dayton OM Bo Matthews comments, “It was clear from the moment I arrived that Justin was the guy to become the new PD of WING-AM.  I wish I could bottle up his passion and excitement and pass it around.”…..Twin Cities sports media figure Patrick Reusse is leaving KSTP-AM’s “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” program that he’s been co-hosting with Judd Zulgad.  His role on the program will be taken over by KSTP Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.  Reusse – who also writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune – continues to host afternoon drive and the one-hour “SportsTalk” show he co-hosts with Joe Soucheray at 3:00 pm on the Hubbard Brodcasting station.

Rob Porter Resignation/#MeToo Movement, Trump-Russia Probe, Dow Selloff, North Korea Diplomatic Overtures, Iranian Drone Case, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over allegations of domestic violence and President Trump’s Tweet that the #MeToo movement is ruining careers; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the big Wall Street selloff that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose more than 2,000 points; North Korea’s use of the Olympic games for diplomatic overtures and criticism of the America media’s “fawning” coverage of Kim Jong Un’s sister’s appearance at the Olympic Games; Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian drone modeled after a U.S. drone Iran captured several years ago; the athletic events at the Winter Olympics; and NBA 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.  In Birmingham, Cumulus Media appoints Phillip March program director for urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.”  He was previously director of urban programming for Alpha Media’s Louisville, Kentucky stations.  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are elated that Phillip is joining our team.  He brings experience, passion, knowledge and leadership to our team.  He is a true leader and an outstanding teacher.  It is a huge win for Cumulus Birmingham and for our community as well.”…..Program director Lauren MacLeash exits Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N” after a stint of more than three years with the former CBS RADIO cluster.  The company is beginning a search for her replacement…..Beasley Media Group inks Terrie Carr to a multi-year deal to continue serving as program director and midday personality at WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey.  Carr was elevated to program director last summer.  She says, “I am both energized and honored to continue my career with my Beasley and WDHA family and for the opportunity to help lead the greatest air staff a person could ask for.  The challenges, new pathways to technology, and sheer madness of our business keep me inspired beyond my wildest dreams every day!”…..Keith Barton is succeeding Dave Paulus as general manager for Max Media’s Norfolk cluster…..Curtis Media announces Max Miller and Amy Kay are teaming up for the “Max & Amy in the Morning” program on hot AC WMGV, Greenville-New Bern “V103.3.”  Their program replaces the syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.”

Thursday, October 20, 2016

| October 20, 2016

Salem Has Deal to Buy KTRB, San Francisco for $5.1 Million.  Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group has been broadcasting the conservative news/talk format – as “860 Am The Answer” – on KTRB, San ktrbFrancisco since July of this year under an LMA.  Now, Salem’s East Bay Broadcasting is entering into a deal with station receiver Susan Uecker (she assumed control of the station from Harry Pappas in 2010) to buy the signal for $5.125 Million.  Prior to Salem’s LMA of the station, it was airing Spanish sports under the operation of David Jacobs-run Deportes Media.  Salem is programming the station with largely Salem Radio Network personalities including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder, plus Jay Sekulow, Phil Grande and Steve Deace.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, TALKERS reported that WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” morning personality Mikecaltamike Calta would begin co-hosting an afternoon show on SiriusXM with Gregg “Opie” Hughes.  That is not the case.  Calta’s agent – Tony Burton of Don Buchwald & Associates – tells TALKERS that Calta may be filling in on Opie’s SiriusXM program in December, schedule permitting, but that’s the extent of it.  Our erroneous report was based on a Tweet sent out by Calta that misled a TALKERS reporter.  Our reporter first learned about the Tweet in an article by Dan Jackson at Thrillist.com alleging the “shock jock” radio style is dead.   You can read that piece here.

WBEN, Buffalo Afternoon Drive Personality Tom Bauerle’s Incredible Tale Told in Canadianbauerletom Publication.  The strange series of events that affected the life of popular Buffalo talk radio personality Tom Bauerle are chronicled in a piece in the Canada Free Press.  This fascinating story of surveillance, cloaking technology and sleuthing that engulfed Bauerle’s life for much of the past five years can be found here.

WIP, Philadelphia Names Joe DeCamara and John Ritchie Midday Hosts.  Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM is reconfiguring its midday and afternoon shows and announces that former crosstown WPEN-FM personality Joe DeCamara is partnering with sports broadcaster and former Philadelphia Eagles player Jondecamarajoe Ritchie for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show, effective October 24.  The CBS RADIO station says that it will make an announcement regarding a new afternoon show in the coming weeks and that it will include current ritchiejonmidday personality Ike Reese, however Michael Barkann exits. CBS RADIO Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “We are thrilled to add this new show featuring Joe and Jon.  As a player, Jon Ritchie embodied the hard-working nature of our fine city.  As a host, he will connect with the fans and share their passion for our local teams.  Joe has proven himself to be a strong voice for the Philadelphia fans. We are excited to have them.”  After retiring from football, Ritchie has worked at ESPN.  He was co-host on the “Artie Lange Show” on DirecTV, served with NBC Sports Network and currently is on air all day Sundays as the color commentator for DirecTV’s Fantasy Zone channel, part of NFL Sunday Ticket.

dubrowterryheatherTerry and Heather Dubrow Launch ‘Dr. & Mrs. Guinea Pig’ on PodcastOne.  “Real Housewives of Orange County” stars Terry and Heather Dubrow (pictured at left) are starring in a new podcast on the PodcastOne platform called, “Dr. & Mrs. Guinea Pig.”  The show brings the couple’s self-experimentation to the airwaves.  PodcastOne says the couple goes “beyond their authored anti-aging secrets in this interactive show, and take calls to answer listener questions about beauty secrets, plastic surgery, exercise, style and more.  Plus, they’ll share what they’re testing and learning along the way in this variety of categories.  The first episode brings many stories and lots of advice, including conflicting views on weight loss technique.  Most surprisingly, this week’s Housewives Fireball flask wasn’t the first time Heather traded in her “champs” for shots, as the couple reveals their test process of hangover IV hydration therapy.

Anderson New NTR Director at Beasley Tampa.  Tampa radio promotions and sales pro Voncile Anderson is named director of non-traditional revenue sales for Beasley Media Group’s Tampa cluster.  Voncile has workedandersonvoncile in the market for two decades, including beginning as a promotion director at WRBQ, Tampa Bay.  She has worked with notables in the industry, including Q105’s Mason Dixon.  In this new position she’ll be responsible for assessing the area’s special event opportunities and determining the venues with greatest potential to grow revenue for the Tampa Bay cluster.   Speaking about her new gig, Anderson says, “I like to say I have earned ‘market equity’ because I have invested my entire career doing events that entertain, raise money for charities, and help our Tampa Bay businesses grow.  I’m so proud to have been chosen for this new, unique NTR opportunity!”

The Presidential Race/Wednesday Debate Build-Up, Voter Fraud/Poll Hacking Issues, Mosul Campaign, NYC Cop Kills Mentally Ill Woman, Russian Military Role in Syrian Civil Conflict, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/19).  The race for president and the build-up to last night’s debate; the concerns over potential voter fraud and poll hacking; the battle against Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Mosul; the shooting death of a mentally ill black woman by a NYC cop; Russia’s expanding military role in the Syrian civil conflict; the Major League Baseball Playoffs, and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Former NFL star Dante Hall is leaving his role as one-third of the midday show on CBS RADIO’s KILT-AM, Houston where he worked with sports talk personalities Cody Stoots and John Lopez, according to the Houston Chronicle.  The paper reports that Hall told PD Ryan McCredden that the gig “just wasn’t for him.”  McCredden will not fill Hall’s spot on the show…..SiriusXM names Jeff Cooper vice president, advertising sales sports.  He’ll report to SVP of advertising and sponsor sales Bette Rockmore.  The company says this is the first time it has named an executive to lead advertising sales across its sports related channels.  Cooper joins SiriusXMabcmielkestone16 from ESPN, where he served as publisher of ESPN The Magazine and led advertising efforts for FiveThirtyEight.com, Grantland, and more…..Pictured at right are ABC NewsBrad Mielke and Alex Stone covering last night’s presidential debate from Las Vegas.  ABC News Radio provided coverage of the third presidential debate starting with an 8:00 pm ET preview program anchored wormccarthyrose16by ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky from New York and continued with post-debate analysis until 11:00 pm ET.  Joining Katersky were Mielke, Stone, Kenneth Moton from Washington, DC, and ABC News Radio political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin.….The nationally syndicated “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” show adds new affiliate stations KKLE, Winfield, Kansas; KELE, Mountain Grove, Missouri; and WNTW, Chester, Virginia in the Richmond market.  Gresham’s program is syndicated by Talk Shows USA.….Earlier this week on the “WOR Sports Zone” with host Pete McCarthy (left), New York Mets radio voice Howie Rose (right) appeared on iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York to recap the 2016 Mets’ season on the flagship station.  Mets fans had the opportunity to call in and talk with Rose who – earlier in his career – hosted a sports talk radio show.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

| October 12, 2016

Cumulus Shareholders Approve Reverse Stock Split.  The vote among Cumulus Media shareholders took place today and becomes effective at 5:00 pm ET.  This move consists of a 1-for-8 reverse split – eight shares cumulus-logoof the company’s Class A common stock will be converted into one share – to increase the price of each share.  There will be no fractional shares issued; they will be rounded up to whole shares.  This obviously results in a reduction of the number of authorized shares of common stock.  Cumulus Media’s stock has been trading for less than $ 0.75 per share for most of the past year.

Charlie Sykes’ Exit from WTMJ, Milwaukee Presents Options for New Show.  In a piece published in the Milwaukee Business Journal, WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer says that the station will not be limiting its search Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)for a replacement for talk host Charlie Sykes to a “political host.”  Sykes’ national profile has grown over the last year due to his refusal to support the candidacy of Donald Trump for president.  As a conservative media icon in the state – Sykes founded the conservative media site RightWisconsin.com – his approach to his radio program has also been politically focused.  Langmyer has already announced that Jeff Wagner’s program will move into the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot currently occupied by Sykes, leaving the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart the one to be filled.  Referring to the station’s programming philosophy, Langmyer says, “Over the last couple of years, (we have) focused on a more inclusive feel.  We have definitely broadened our scope and appeal to what WTMJ means to the community overall.”  You can read the entire piece here.

Evening Personality Joe DeCamara Exits WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Both Crossing Broad and Philly.com are reporting that evening sports talk host Joe DeCamara has exited Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” where he’s been host of the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show since April of 2015.  DeCamara first joined thewpen-fm station in 2005.  WPEN-FM, along with the other Greater Media signals in Philly, is in the process of being acquired by Beasley Broadcast Group.  Just last month, Jon Marks exited the WPEN-FM morning program hosted by Anthony Gargano.  Three other staffers were let go at the time the Greater Media-Beasley deal was announced.  There’s no word from Greater Media about its plans for replacing DeCamara.  Staffer Matt Lombardo hosted the show last night (10/11).

oshaughnessywilliamWilliam O’Shaughnessy Goes to Bat for Billy Bush.  New York broadcaster William O’Shaughnessy pens an opinion piece addressing the character of embattled NBC-TV personality Billy Bush.  O’Shaughnessy says, in so many words, what a shame it would be for Bush to lose his position with NBC due do his role in the Donald Trump hot-mic case that’s plaguing the Republican nominee.  Read it here.

londoncallingimageNew Episode of International Talk Show ‘London Calling with Graham Mack’ Posted Today.   Episode 4 of the exciting new TalkersRadio weekly program “London Calling” is posted today (10/12).  The experimental show that swaps news, views and information between the US and Great Britain, hosted by award-winning English talk host Graham Mack, features a conversation with an icon of British broadcasting who happens to be an American, Paul Gambaccini.  Mack talks about a possible fist fight in the European Parliament and he hears from a listener named Linda Lee King in California who discovered the show via an interview Mack did on Chicago radio, plus Michael Harrison checks in from Massachusetts to discuss Brexit.  To hear the show in its entirety please go directly to TalkersRadio by clicking here.

Odds & Sods. At iHeartMedia’s Tampa sports talker WDAE, the local morning drive program co-hosted by Tampa Bay Times writers Rick Stroud and Tom Jones is cancelled in favor of ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show…..WTMJ, Milwaukee is once again producing a holiday radio show.  This year, the Scripps-owned station is doing “It’s a Wonderful Life,” featuring radio personalities Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner, Gene Mueller, Greg Matzek, Wayne Larrivee and a cast of other WTMJ hosts and local voices.  It will take place live at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall on November 29 and be replayed on the radio throughout the holiday season.

The Presidential Race/Debate and Trump Hot-Mic Aftermath, Clinton Wikileaks Docs, Syria Civil War/Russian Military Involvement, Hurricane Matthew Destruction, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Crisis, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11).  The presidential race, including the Sunday evening debate and the “Access Hollywood” hot-mic issue; the Wikileaks release of revealing emails between Hillary Clinton and John Podesta; the civil conflict in Syria and the Russian military’s role in recent deadly attacks on civilians; the destruction in the Carolinas from Hurricane Matthew; the problems facing Samsung due to the exploding Galaxy Note 7 phone; the Major League Baseball playoffs; 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.