Tag: "Mark Lukasiewicz"
Cumulus Media 2022 First Quarter Net Revenue Rises 15%. Reporting financial data for the first quarter of 2022, Cumulus Media’s total net revenue for the period was $232 million, an increase of 15% over the same period in 2021. The company says it was the fifth straight quarter of sequential improvement in revenue performance versus a comparable quarter in 2019. Cumulus also reports a Q1 net loss of just $0.9 million, down from the net loss of $21.9 million reported in the first quarter of 2021. The broadcast radio segment is broken into two parts – spot, which rose 11.9% over the same period a year ago, and network, which was up 5.2%. The company’s digital segment was up 18%, led by digital marketing services (+35%) and podcasting (+22%). Cumulus president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “Our outstanding first quarter results once again demonstrate the positive impacts of our ‘audio-first’ strategy to transform the company from a one-dimensional radio broadcaster to a multi-dimensional audio media company. Following a strong 2021 performance, this quarter’s results underscore our ability to deliver value to our shareholders through sustained profitable top- and bottom-line growth and balance sheet de-levering. We delivered sequential revenue improvement for the fifth straight quarter versus the comparable 2019 quarter, grew EBITDA by 250% year-over-year, and generated continued strong cash from operations, which collectively allowed us to achieve the company’s lowest net leverage in over a decade. Given our best-among-peers balance sheet, strong financial momentum and the company’s positive 2022 outlook, we expect ongoing cash flow generation that will support a meaningful return of capital to shareholders now and in the future. Accordingly, as a first step, today we are announcing a $50 million share repurchase program with a plan to commence share repurchases in the near-term. This capital return program is underpinned by our continued belief that the company is significantly undervalued.”
Cumulus Rejects Unsolicited Acquisition Bid. The last sentence of Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner’s statement outlining its first quarter results says it all: “The company is significantly undervalued.” That was also the theme of a memo from Berner to Cumulus shareholders regarding the unsolicited offer from a consortium led by Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw to acquire Cumulus. Berner says, “The company recently received an indication of interest in acquiring the company for $15 to $17 per share. After a careful and thorough review, conducted in consultation with our financial and legal advisors, the board unanimously concluded that the indication of interest significantly undervalues the company and is not in the best interests of its shareholders. The company’s board is open to all paths that continue to drive superior shareholder value. Our strong momentum across business lines, multiple digital revenue growth drivers, operational efficiency and superior cash flow provide the company with substantial untapped upside that it expects to continue to realize on behalf of its shareholders. Given these facts and circumstances, the board unanimously believes execution of the company’s strategy will deliver significantly more value to shareholders than this indication of interest.”
Bill O’Reilly’s ‘No Spin News’ Debuts This Week. The Bill O’Reilly-hosted program from Key Networks debuts this week on 58 stations across the U.S. Key Networks says “No Spin News” is “a full hour of trailblazing journalist and bestselling author O’Reilly’s fair, smart, fact-based analysis” airing every weeknight. The one-hour show has been airing in New York on 77 WABC for over a year under the title, “Common Sense with Bill O’Reilly.” The program now joins the suite of shows syndicated by Key Networks that includes: “The O’Reilly Update,” “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition,” and “The O’Reilly Update – Weekend Edition.” O’Reilly says, “We are beyond happy that radio stations from coast-to-coast are spreading the ‘No Spin’ mantra. We provide something that’s badly needed in the USA: honest fact-based analysis.” Key Networks COO Dennis Green comments, “Based on the success of ‘The O’Reilly Update,’ the marketplace was ready for more content from Bill O’Reilly. ‘No Spin News’ provides analysis on what is happening in the world that listeners want to hear. This is content you won’t get anywhere else, and I expect stations to add Bill O’Reilly’s ‘No Spin News’ in large numbers!”
WABC-TV, New York Opens Long Island Bureau at Hofstra University. New York City’s WABC-TV is opening a new, Long Island bureau today (5/4) inside the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University. The small bureau will have a full-time reporter and two production trucks in Long Island, New York. WABC has a history of supporting the journalism program at the university, donating significant quantities of valuable equipment and providing internship and career opportunities for many students. Hofstra students will have regular exposure to WABC journalists, expanded internships, guest lectures and seminars held by WABC professionals. The Long Island bureau, located in the newsroom of Hofstra’s award-winning, student-run radio station, WRHU-88.7 FM, reinforces WABC-TV’s commitment to Long Island, as well as the Herbert School’s commitment to community journalism, including the newly launched community news site, LongIslandAdvocate.com. Lawrence Herbert School of Communication dean Mark Lukasiewicz states, “Our journalism program emphasizes experiential, hands-on learning and encourages our student journalists to engage with Long Island communities to tell impactful stories. The Eyewitness News Long Island bureau, located alongside WRHU’s newsroom, will provide that kind of hands-on opportunity – a daily chance for students to observe and learn from great local journalists doing the work of New York’s top broadcast news operation.”
TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Rob Carson Show” joins the 1400 Investments, LLC-owned Nevada Talk Network. The program, syndicated by Newsmax and airing in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart, is being heard on KELY-AM, Ely; KNNR-AM, Sparks-Carson City; KDJJ-FM, Fernley-Fallon; KPKK-FM, Amargosa Valley; KAVB-FM, Hawthorne; and KPVM-TV 25.6, Pahrump…..The syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” – airing live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET – adds new affiliate station KTXW-AM/FM, Austin “The Bridge” to its roster of affiliate stations…..FOX Nation – FOX News Media’s “on-demand streaming service designed to complement the FOX News Channel experience with a members-only destination for its most passionate and loyal super fans” – is premiering a documentary series about music and television industry star Sharon Osbourne in September. Titled “Sharon Osbourne: To Hell & Back,” the four-part program features “a candid and heartfelt look into Osbourne’s personal and professional life, highlighting how she found herself in the crosshairs of the cancel culture movement after exiting CBS’s ‘The Talk.’”…..SiriusXM is presenting nationwide, comprehensive coverage of the Kentucky Derby this Saturday (5/7). The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network.
Roe v Wade Leak, Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/3). Reactions to the leak of a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade; the primary elections in Ohio and Indiana, the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the activity on the world’s financial markets, the supply chain woes, and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the effects across the globe; and concerns about new Omicron variants and the possibility of a serious summer COVID wave were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pending Business: Future Sales. Sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in today’s column about the numerous types of content that today’s account executives are being asked to sell – traditional on-air, streaming, podcasts, live events, and more. He says, “As you present multiple distribution platforms to your advertisers, the goal is to show the impact your talent makes with the audience. Sometimes you are positioned to sell the total distribution and sometimes specialists step in. Maybe you also sell podcasts that are re-purposed radio shows or maybe you sell original content podcasts (now commanding high audio CPM). No matter what your sales role, stay focused on what makes your value proposition different and better than your competitor.” Read his column here.
Megyn Kelly to Host Live Midday Talk Show on SiriusXM. The new 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm talk show starring former FOX News Channel and NBC News journalist Megyn Kelly will debut on SiriusXM on September 7. Kelly and the satellite radio company signed an exclusive agreement for her show to air on its Triumph channel. After exiting NBC News in 2018, Kelly launched her own podcast via her Devil May Care Media company. SiriusXM says, “Megyn Kelly is one of the most respected, accomplished journalists in the news industry. A world-class broadcaster with millions of dedicated fans, her current successful podcast has a large and passionate audience in the U.S. as well as internationally, where Kelly is one of the world’s most recognized news stars. Fans will now be able to listen to Kelly on SiriusXM – the only place to hear her live and engage with her directly. Her singular voice joins an array of talent that bolsters SiriusXM’s commitment to offering the broadest range of political and news programming in all of audio.” Beginning August 16, SiriusXM’s Triumph channel will air best-of shows from Kelly before the program’s live premiere on September 7. Kelly comments, “I’m thrilled to be taking our program to the next level by broadcasting it live for SiriusXM’s massive audience. My team and I have been grateful to see our show, in less than a year, become one of the most successful podcasts in America – proving that there is a thirst for open, honest and more meaningful conversations about current events. I can’t think of a better partner to help us expand that reach even further than a blue-chip brand like SiriusXM, which has always been a leader in predicting market trends and is perfectly positioned for the evolving manner in which Americans consume their news.” As part of the multi-platform agreement, SiriusXM subscribers will gain access to video of the show, which will be available on the SXM App and social platforms. In addition, following its premiere on the Triumph channel, “The Megyn Kelly Show” will be made available as a podcast to Kelly’s listeners on the SXM App, Pandora, Stitcher, and all other major podcast platforms. Red Seat Ventures, which previously handled production and distribution of “The Megyn Kelly Show” podcast, will continue to produce Kelly’s new SiriusXM program.
TALKERS 2021 Conference Video Posted – “Luncheon Addresses.” The fifth video, under the direction of Art Vuolo, from the TALKERS 2021 Conference that took place at Hofstra University on June 11, is posted. This relatively brief installment features welcoming remarks from Mark Lukasiewicz, dean of Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and a special address by Lawrence Jones, enterprise reporter, “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison provides the introductions. TALKERS will be posting a new video from TALKERS 2021 each business day until all 10 are archived and available for on-demand viewing.
TALKERS News Notes. Today (7/6), Atlanta morning personality Frank Ski led a town hall discussion about the increase in crime in the region. Ski hosts the morning drive show on Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR-FM “KISS 104.1.” The program featured panelists including: Atlanta police chief Rodney Bryant, Gwinnett County sheriff Keybo Taylor, Fulton County sheriff Pat Labat, and DeKalb County sheriff Melody Maddox to get answers to questions such as What are the police doing to stop crime? And What are city officials doing to support police? Ski and panelists also took phone calls from listeners…..The USA Radio Networks nationally syndicated “Dan Sileo Show” is being added to the program lineup at JVC Media’s “Florida Man Radio” heard on WDYZ-AM/W288CJ in Orlando and WZLB-FM, Fort Walton Beach…..The “U.S. Phenomenon” program hosted by Mario Magana is being added to the program schedule at news/talk KVI, Seattle airing at 10:00 pm. Station program director Rick Van Cise says, “We are excited to welcome Mario and U.S. Phenomenon to KVI’s weekend lineup! It is a natural segue from Arts Bell’s popular “Somewhere in Time,” now giving KVI’s Saturday night listeners five hours of entertaining exploration into all things weird and unexplained.”
First Half of 2021 in Review. Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke devoted the Independence Day weekend installment of his RT America TV program, “The Big Picture” to looking back at the most-talked-about stories of the first half of 2021 in addition to looking ahead at what might be in store for the nation going forward. He was joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison who took an optimistic position in his prognostication. To see the show, please click here.
COVID-19, Fourth of July Holiday, Spike in U.S. Gun Violence, U.S. Exits Afghanistan, The Economy/Inflation, Trump Org Legal Battle, Florida Condo Demolition, and Threat of Tropical Storm Elsa Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rate of COVID-19 vaccination in the U.S. and concerns about the spread of the Delta variant; observation of the Fourth of July holiday; the spike in gun-related violence in America’s big cities and the more than 150 people killed over the holiday weekend; analysis of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after almost 20 years; the economy’s recovery from the pandemic and the inflation being felt by consumers; the Manhattan DA’s prosecution of the Trump Organization; the demolition of the remainder of the Surfside Condo in Florida; and the threat of Tropical Storm Elsa turning into a hurricane were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.