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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

| February 23, 2022

iHeartMedia 2021 Fourth Quarter Revenue Up 14%. Reporting its financial results from the fourth quarter of 2021 and the year as a whole, iHeartMedia, Inc. says Q4 revenue was $1.06 billion, up 14% over the same period in 2020. Reporting by segment, iHeartMedia says its Digital Audio Group revenue was $273.2 million, up 59% over Q4 in 2020; Podcast Revenue was $96.6 million, an increase of 130% year over year; and Broadcast Radio revenue was $519.1 million, up 4.9%. Net income for Q4 of 2021 was $112 million compared to net income of $2.9 million in Q4 of 2020. For the whole of 2021, the company reports a net loss of $8.4 million compared to the net loss of $1.9 billion reported for all of 2020. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “We are pleased to report another strong quarter and to wrap up a very strong year, further evidence of our momentum and the continuing digital transformation of iHeartMedia into a data-led, digital business with important new platforms like podcasting built on the unparalleled scale and audience reach of our broadcast radio assets. We believe that this strong performance in Q4 and full year positions us well for continued growth in 2022.”

 

Audacy Q4 2021 Revenue Climbs 8%. The company reveals that net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $344.7 million, an increase of 8% over the same period in 2020, led by double digit growth in both digital and spot radio. Audacy reports that core spot revenue (local plus national excluding political) was $218.4 million, up 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 while digital revenue was $68.1 million, up 16% year over year. Operating income for the quarter was $48.1 million, compared to an operating loss of $204.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Audacy reports Q4 2021 net income of $21.4 million compared to the net loss of $162.3 million reported in Q4 2020. For the whole of 2021, Audacy reports a net loss of $3.6 million compared to the net loss of $242.2 million reported for all of 2020. President and CEO David J. Field states, “In 2021, we accelerated our organizational development through a number of important strategic acquisitions, organic growth initiatives, structural improvements, and content and senior talent additions. This was also the year in which we rebranded the company to reflect our evolution into a leading, multi-platform audio content and entertainment company with scaled audience reach and important leadership positions across the full spectrum of the dynamic, growing audio market. Our 2021 acquisitions of Podcorn and AmperWave, plus BetQL just prior to the start of the year, are important additions to our capabilities that will fuel accelerated growth and enhance how we serve our listeners and customers. Audacy today is well positioned to capitalize on the exciting growth opportunities within audio at the same time as we anticipate the continuing recovery of radio ad spending. We are off to a very good start to 2022 and our team is excited about the year ahead.”

 

Live From Donetsk. The Russia-Ukraine crisis has escalated to the major news/talk radio topic on the table triggering a scramble for hosts to sort out the facts from the fiction as a variety of perspectives – some quite controversial – are being aired out in the national conversation. WABC, New York all-night host Frank Morano provided the listeners of his program “The Other Side of Midnight” with something to think about early Monday morning (2/21) in terms of the “other side” of the story.  He conducted a long-distance, live phone interview with a man named Russell Bentley, an American expat and avowed communist who has lived in Donetsk for eight years after moving there to fight, alongside the separatists, against the Ukrainian government. Morano tells TALKERS, “I think Bentley did a good job not only describing what’s happening there with Russian troops being on the ground, but also explaining the mentality of how people there feel. I think it’s so unique compared to what folks are doing with this in talk radio. Russia’s recognition of Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic has drawn global condemnation, with the U.S. and several European countries agreeing to move quickly to respond with economic penalties. This was truly something different.” To listen to the entire interview, please click here.

 

Round One of January PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2022 PPM survey is released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2022 sweep covered January 6 – February 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR rose seven-tenths to a 2.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) to finish ranked #13 while Red Apple Media’s crosstown news/talk WABC-AM/WLIR-FM also rose seven-tenths to finish with a 3.0 share good for the #12 rank in the market. Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM, Chicago is back in the #1 spot after adding a full share for a 5.7 share finish. Across town at Nexstar’s news/talk WGN-AM, a 1.7 share increase gives the station a 5.2 share finish good for the #4 rank in the market. After a series of declines, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta tacks on 1.1 shares for a 6.9 share finish that pushes it up to the #3 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

 

 

WOR-AM, New York Turns 100. Pictured above is the staff of iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR-AM, New York celebrating the station’s 100th anniversary on the air. It was on February 22, 1922 that the station first went on air and the celebration included on-air reminiscences from past WOR personalities including: John R. Gambling, George Meade, Joan Hamburg, Shelly Strickler, Bill Korbel, and Daria Dolan. Above are (from l-r): assistant program director Scott Lakefield, creative services director Howard Hoffman; morning co-host Len Berman, morning show executive producer Natalie Vacca, morning co-host Michael Riedel, midday host Mark Simone, and program director Tom Cuddy.

 

 

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Broadcast from Mar-a-Lago. The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk program “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” did a live remote broadcast from The Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach on Tuesday (2/22) during which former President Donald Trump joined the program for a full hour to talk about subjects including the current crisis in Ukraine, COVID mandates, Democratic contenders in 2024, the Canadian Trucker protests, his future political goals and more. Trump also complimented the duo on the success of their show, saying “Congratulations. You’re knocking it dead. And that’s good. Rush would be proud of you.”

 

Michael Harrison Discusses the Concept of the “Media Station” on New PodcastTALKERS founder Michael Harrison presents a detailed explanation of the emerging concept he calls the “media station” in the debut installment of a new podcast titled, “Masters In Media,” hosted by Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick of the firm, Goldman/McCormick Public Relations. Harrison explains the impact multimedia cross-platform branding is having on 20th century analog entities such as radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, magazines, movie theaters and record companies. He states, “All these different entities operated within their own lanes and were quite isolated from each other in terms of their mother platforms. Now there is no solitary mother platform for any media organization and companies cannot put all their ‘eggs in one basket.’ Today’s radio station is actually a media station. So are today’s newspapers and the like. They are all in the business of producing and distributing audio, video, graphics, text, information and entertainment.” Harrison also discusses what it takes to make it these days as a radio talk show host. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Radio syndication pro Adam Wilbur is promoted to SVP of affilaites sales & operations at Compass Media Networks. Wilbur continues to be based out of the company’s Los Angeles office and continues to spearhead the company’s affiliate sales, affiliate marketing, affiliate technical operations, and select content relationships. He says, “This 13-year journey has been an incredible ride. Thank you to all the hosts, producers, colleagues, affiliates and potential affiliates that make each day unique and unpredictable. I love it.”…..CNN Audio expands its podcast programming with the upcoming debut of “Diversifying” on February 28. Fostering insightful discussions about how the financial system can work for us, instead of against us, host Delyanne Barros creates a welcome space for people of color, women, single households, and others who have traditionally been left out of conversations around personal finance. Throughout the series, Barros speaks with real people, as well as with money experts, who are faced with the challenge of balancing cultural expectations with their own financial needs. Whether that’s struggling to negotiate pay as a woman of color, or supporting one’s parents as they enter retirement, “Diversifying” offers listeners actionable steps toward better financial health, all while validating struggles with money, no matter what the starting point.

 

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, SCOTUS Trump Ruling, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Arbery Verdict/Floyd Case, Inflation/The Economy, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/22). The Western condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine incursion after his recognition of separatist provinces; the slowing rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., Canada’s prosecution of trucker protesters, and threats of a trucker protest in Washington, DC; the Supreme Court rules against Donald Trump in his bid to keep his records from the January 6 committee; November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the jury deliberates in the federal hate crime trial of the three men found guilty if killing Ahmaud Arbery; the soaring rate of inflation and the sliding financial markets; and the frigid winter weather affecting much of the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

| September 28, 2011

Glenn Beck’s Bold Pioneering Media Station Draws Attention and Scrutiny from Consumer Media.  Glenn Beck’s new two-hour live video program that is the lynchpin of his online media initiative is just two weeks old but it is garnering significant attention from the consumer press as talk media and TV practitioners rightfully watch with intense interest.  Two important aspects of this stand out: the concept of a multi-media, specifically themed digital destination – a media station – once given thought as a quaint notion of what the future might hold is being developed by Beck full throttle; and the idea that everything on the internet must be free – because in a post-Napster world no one is willing to pay for any content on the internet – is being turned on its head.  There are obviously others who are crafting media stations that provide video, audio, text and more and Glenn Beck is not necessarily the first talk media personality to pursue this model (Dial Global progressive talk host Thom Hartmann and the maverick Alex Jones have gone down this pioneering path as well, among others).  However no one in the talk world with Beck’s media profile, large loyal following and tendency to get press is pushing this as zealously as he is.  Beck is the subject of a recent piece by McKay Coppins at the Daily Beast that outlines for consumers some of the inside-the-business details that make GBTV a case study to watch.  Since leaving Fox News Channel and launching GBTV, Beck has reportedly convinced some 230,000 P1s to pay $9.95 per year to view his content.  Although that audience is a fraction of his former FNC audience, Beck grosses almost $2.3 million from the venture.  If those subscriber numbers approach 1 million, Beck could be pulling in almost $10 million per year.  As the Daily Beast story reveals, Beck has many more content ideas he’s developing.  How many concepts make it to launch remains to be seen but it is clear that Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts company (a purposefully ironic name) is operating with the freedom to take Beck’s unique brand and run wild with it.  And as media professionals debate the future of radio and television as we know it, Beck’s own words to the Daily Beast indicate he believes he’s creating something different.  “What you see in the next 12 months on GBTV will transform the way news and information…is consumed,” Beck proclaims.  It may appear Beck is foretelling the death of cable news/talk TV with that statement but it is more likely that Beck is at the forefront of a wave of content creators who are building a new business model for a medium that will co-exist alongside the older media – radio and television.  And if that happens how long will they co-exist?  Only time will tell.  As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison puts it, “Talk media practitioners should put their personal opinions about the political and social specifics of Glenn Beck’s content aside and focus on the mechanics and methodology ‘clinic’ that he is demonstrating.  Regardless of whether or not he succeeds, what Beck is doing is a living example of where things are likely heading.”

Young Conservative Talk Up and Comer Andy Dean Joins Roster at Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum.  Premiere Networks syndicated newcomer Andy Dean is the latest high-profile talk star to join the stellar roster of more than 30 industry heavyweights set to speak at the forthcoming Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum being presented in L.A. by TALKERS in conjunction with the Los Angeles Press Club on Thursday, October 20 between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.  The young Premiere Networks syndicated host will join such luminaries as Larry King, Norm Pattiz, Bill Handel, and dozens of other movers and shakers including the program directors of the region’s top talk radio stations at this groundbreaking event that is being described as a “Who’s Who of Southern California Talk Radio.”  Dean’s remarks will be presented during his introduction of the panel “The State of Talk Radio in Southern California (and Slightly Beyond).”  Although the LARTF is already filled to capacity, unregistered media professionals interested in attending can put their names on an active standby list.  For complete details, click here.

TRN’s Michael Savage Clears in Chicago.  Just two weeks after Joseph J. Gentile-owned WJJG, Chicago announced TRN-FM’s Mancow Muller was returning to the airwaves in the Windy City, the station adds Michael Savage to its lineup.  WJJG general manager Matt Dubiel says the new lineup – beginning October 3 – will feature Mancow from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, Savage from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Mancow again from 1:00 pm  to 4:00 pm.  In a release, Dubiel says, “It’s interesting that Dr. Savage has been pigeon-holed as a political talk show host.  Michael is an artist.  He’s a best-selling author and a storyteller who’s as likely to discuss making rigatoni as he is the events of the day.  We paint our radio shows and formats into a corner and then wonder why we struggle.  Chicago listeners enjoy Michael Savage so we’re giving them Michael Savage.  If Michael can sell millions of books, imagine what he can do for local businesses here!”  WJJG is a daytimer with 760 watts at 1530 on the dial.  Savage had aired on Salem Communications’ crosstown WIND but was dropped to make room for local personality Steve Cochran.

WBAP-AM/FM, Dallas General Manager Out as Cumulus Consolidates.  The industry is waiting to see how Lew Dickey follows through on his promise to create “$50 million in synergies” and a first wave of job consolidation is starting.  WBAP-AM/FM, Dallas general manager Keri Korzinewski is reportedly let go leaving Dan Bennett the sole manager for the six Cumulus properties in the Big D that also includes talk KLIF and sports KTCK-AM/FM.

John Gordon Calls Last Twins Game Tonight.  John Gordon has been the voice of the Minnesota Twins for the past 25 years.  At age 72, he’s hanging up his headphones to “see what’s outside the world of baseball” as he tells KARE-TV, Minneapolis.  Gordon and partner Dan Gladden are heard on the Twins baseball network based out of Hubbard Radio’s flagship sports station KSTP.

 

GOP Presidential Hopefuls, Iran Naval Maneuvers and Obama Jobs Bill Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/27).  The cast of GOP candidates for president in 2012, Iran’s plan to send warships to the Atlantic Coast of America and President Obama’s jobs bill were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.