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Tag: "Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio"

Monday, August 1, 2022

| August 1, 2022

Beasley Broadcast Group 2022 Q2 Net Revenue Rises 8.8%. The first radio-based audio firm to report 2022 second quarter financial data is Beasley Broadcast Group, which reveals net revenue of $64.8 million, an increase of 8.8% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports an operating loss of $5.4 million and a net loss of $14.5 million and explains the losses saying, “The operating loss in the second quarter of 2022 primarily reflects an $8.6 million non-cash impairment loss due to an increase in the discount rate used in the analyses to estimate the fair value of FCC licenses and goodwill in a rising interest rate environment. For the comparable three months ended June 30, 2021, the company recorded $1.5 million of other operating income, net from life insurance proceeds related to the death of George Beasley, the company’s former chairman. As a result of these factors, Beasley reported a net loss of $14.5 million, or a negative $0.48 per diluted share, in the three months ended June 30, 2022, compared to net income of $0.2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, in the three months ended June 30, 2021.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Beasley delivered another period of strong top-line results in the second quarter, reflecting solid year-over-year growth across all of our revenue sources. Net revenue increased 8.8%, inclusive of a 4.3% rise in audio revenue and a 34.3% rise in digital revenue, with digital accounting for 16.5% of second quarter net revenue. Digital remains a central component of our revenue diversification strategy, and the momentum we are seeing in our digital business is further underpinned by our ability to grow digital revenue 37% on a quarterly sequential basis, while also improving our digital margin. Our new business performance was robust this quarter, as we recorded $7.8 million in new business revenue, representing a 60% increase from the first quarter of 2022 and 16% growth over the comparable prior year period. In addition, we acquired a small white label digital agency at the end of June, which will immediately contribute positive cash flow and synergies. We believe these results continue to demonstrate the inaccuracy of the perception that radio is more challenged than other segments of the technology, media, and telecom sectors… We are keeping a close eye on the declining economic environment and initiated cost reductions beginning in the second quarter. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on controlling what we can control, maximizing our growth opportunities, managing our expenses and capital structure, serving our audiences and advertisers and delivering results for our stockholders.”

Monday Memo: Review Airchecks…Later. As “automation and syndication have made radio less-local,” consultant Holland Cooke calls talent coaching “a lost art”; and he uses this week’s column to offer tips “for hosts and DJs who feel neglected.” Read more here.

 

Pending Business: The One Thing Every Advertiser Should Know. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that any radio seller who wants to be successful has to answer the following question: “What is the one ‘thing’ every advertiser should know about my on-air talent?” In other words, what is the unique selling point that can be connected to your on-air talent and only the talent you represent. Read his column here.

Alex Silverman to Lead Programming at All-News KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles. News radio programming pro Alex Silverman is moving to Audacy’s KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles to serve as director of news and programming, effective September 19. He’s been serving with the company as brand manager for the company’s all-news KYW-AM/FM, Philadelphia since 2018. Prior to that, he was assistant director of news and programming at Audacy’s WCBS-AM, New York. In his new role at KNX, Silverman will “oversee the station’s editorial strategy and newsroom, including broadcast and digital operations, with an eye towards audience and revenue growth and engagement on all platforms.” Silverman states, “KNX News is iconic. I can’t wait to work with the amazing team to build the future of the brand and set the agenda for news coverage in Southern California. Thank you to Jeff Federman, Chris Ebbott, Jeff Sottolano and Bill Smee for their confidence in me and commitment to impactful local journalism.” Silverman is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He serves on the board of directors of the Radio Television Digital News Association and has been an adjunct instructor at Fordham University, where he designed a course titled, “Social Media for Journalists.” Silverman takes over the role from Ken Charles, who did not renew his contract with the company.

Dwight Jaynes Joins Afternoon Show on ‘Rip City Sports Radio 620.’ Sports talk host Dwight Jaynes is joining Chad Doing at iHeartMedia’s KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” as co-host of the “Rip City Drive” program that airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Jaynes, also known as “The Godfather,” spent 25 years as a sports columnist for the Oregon Journal and The Oregonian covering the NBA’s Trail Blazers and has co-written two books about the team. He also spent 11 years at NBC Sports Northwest, hosting “Talkin’ Ball” and “Posting Up.” Prior to that, Jaynes hosted the “Morning Sports Page” show alongside Doing on KXTG-FM, Portland. Doing says, “I am thrilled to be reunited with my former partner. Dwight is a Hall of Famer for good reason – no one has more experience covering Oregon sports. I look forward to making compelling radio with him every day. His sports knowledge and storytelling are unmatched.” Jaynes comments, “I am beyond excited to return to sports talk radio – especially with my old partner Chad Doing – who I believe to be one of the best in the country. The best part of our shows has always been our willingness to take on the tough issues – sports or otherwise – and find creative ways to shape discussion and opinion. At the same time, you never quite know what we’re going to do next… because we don’t!”

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Interview Trump at LIV Golf Tourney in Bedminster, New Jersey. Pictured above with former President Donald Trump are Premiere Networks syndicated talk hosts Clay Travis (left) and Buck Sexton (right) at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the site of the LIV Golf tournament. Trump joined the duo live on their show discussing such topics as recession, China and Taiwan, and whether he’ll run for president in 2024, about which he said, “Very hard for me not to run to be honest. And also the polls indicate from the Republican standpoint it would be easy. And I think I was up 11 points on Biden the other day… I don’t know why 11… If you guys ran, you’d be up more than 11… In my mind, I’ve already made the decision.”

Stacey Thomas Named Director of Marketing for iHeartMedia Philly. Eighteen-year iHeartMedia Philadelphia staffer Stacey Thomas is promoted to director of marketing and promotions for the cluster that includes sports talk WDAS-AM “The Gambler” and WTEL “BIN: Black Information Network.” In this role, Thomas will oversee the Philadelphia brand portfolio and will be responsible for developing, planning, and directing all marketing and promotions efforts. She previously served the cluster as media integration director. iHeartMedia Philadelphia market president Jeff Moore says, “It has been remarkable working alongside Stacey and watching her persevere through numerous changes and challenges. A tireless worker who puts the needs of iHeart Philly above all else will now get the chance to put her stamp on the promotions department in a time when making deep and meaningful relationships with our audiences and partners couldn’t be more important.”

Ava Lynn LaRue Named Inaugural MIW Mentee in Minnesota. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc and the Minnesota Broadcasters Association announce that Ava Lynn LaRue is named the inaugural mentee for the “MIW Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota” program. This partnership between the two organizations is led by MBA president Wendy Paulson and is MIW’s newest mentoring opportunity and the start of its three-to-five year strategic plan to partner with state broadcast associations across the United States and assist in building in-house, ongoing programs devoted to coaching and guiding the next generation of radio professionals. LaRue is the station manager for Q-Media Group, LLC in Red Wing, Minnesota. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “Lightning struck twice! Partnering with Wendy has been positive, productive, and way fun. And then to meet the powerhouse Ava LaRue and have the opportunity to work with her is what the MIWs are all about. Thanks MBA, Wendy, and Ava!” Paulson adds, “A huge ‘thank you’ to all of the incredible women who applied to participate in the 2022 ‘MIW Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota’ program! The judging committee was blown away by the depth of talented women that applied to be part of this pilot mentorship program!”

Biden’s Energy & Health Bill, Inflation Reduction Act, November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, COVID-19/Biden Positive Again, Pelosi’s Asia Trip, Russia-Ukraine War/Global Food Crisis, Deadly Kentucky Floods/Western Wildfires, Monkeypox, and Nichelle Nichols & Bill Russell Die Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The fate of President Joe Biden’s energy & healthcare bill; debate over the SchumerManchin authored Inflation Reduction Act; November’s midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race; the rate of BA.5 subvariant infections in the U.S. and Biden’s testing positive again; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Asia and China’s threats if she visits Taiwan; the Russia-Ukraine war and its effects on the global food supply; the continuing threats of flooding in Eastern Kentucky and the Western wildfires; the growing monkeypox epidemic; and actress Nichelle Nichols and basketball legend Bill Russell pass away were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  

Friday, June 10, 2022

| June 10, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “2022 ½,” is a special edition of the program that looks back at the first six months of 2022. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/podcaster, MDEdge Psychcast; Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; and Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston/founder Samicide.com. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

 

TALKERS 2022 Convention Takes Place Today at Hofstra University. The 25th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, largest and most important convention, TALKERS 2022, is taking place today on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio. Its speaker lineup and attendees comprise a “who’s who” of the talk media industry and its agenda will boldly address the most compelling industry issues of the modern era. For video coverage of the convention, be sure to check in with TALKERS magazine every day in the coming weeks.

 

Stephan’s Show Rebrands, Moves to USA Radio Networks. In addition to jettisoning the title of his program from “The DJV Show” to its original “Good Day” moniker, Doug Stephan will segue his program to the USA Radio Network. Officially re-launching next Monday (6/13), “Good Day” with Stephan and co-host Jai Kershner will merge with USA’s “Daybreak.” The show Stephan launched in 1988 will continue to air in the morning and remains designed to time-shift to other dayparts. Affiliation will be handled by USA Radio Network, with that web’s president Chip Miller stating, “I’m excited to welcome Doug and ‘Good Day’ to the USA Radio Network family. Doug is an iconic fixture in morning radio throughout the country and we look forward to working with [him] and the ‘Good Day’ team. The lifestyle, non-political content ‘Good Day’ offers is something we feel more stations will welcome during a time when there’s so much going on in the world and in our society. Doug and ‘Good Day’ will serve as the cornerstone for an exciting growth plan for the network. This is our first programming change and show addition since acquiring the network in December 2021.” Stephan comments, “We’ve been hearing from some of our more than 300 affiliates of their frustration with how negative many news/talk programs have become. This move enables us to continue to present the news you need to know, along with our opinions, in addition to the positives that we see every day.” There will be no change in the format clock; technical; traffic; or sales partners. Stephan is the longest running syndicated host of a daily talk show and appears at #29 on TALKERS’ 2022 “Heavy Hundred.”

 

Guthrie Named iHM Florida Division President. Former six-year Cox Media Group president/chief executive officer Kim Guthrie is set to become iHeartMedia’s Florida division president. In that position, she will succeed Linda Byrd, who retires next month (7/15). Guthrie will report directly to iHeartMedia Markets Group president Hartley Adkins, who states, “At iHeart, we pride ourselves on being a ‘talent first’ company; this decision reflects that commitment. It’s rewarding to find someone who both understands what our listeners need and how to operate in a multi-platform environment. Kim checks every box and more. We’re thrilled she chose to bring her talents to iHeart. Her CEO experience at Cox Media Group makes her uniquely-qualified for this position.” Guthrie adds, “I am very excited to announce my ‘un-retirement.’ iHeart has become a true employment destination and I’m thrilled to be part of America’s #1 audio company. iHeart’s leadership has built a culture of respect, transparency and innovation. The entire team has made me feel like I can make a difference here.” Guthrie joined Cox Media Group in 1998 as vice president/general manager for its Long Island radio station group and later became executive vice president of CMG’s national ad platforms. As Cox Media Group’s CEO, she had complete oversight of the company, including nearly 100 broadcast radio and television stations; dozens of digital assets; and newspapers. She started her career as a television news reporter and anchor for several ABC affiliates. Guthrie was named “Woman of Distinction” by the March of Dimes and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In addition, she won the “Trailblazer Award” from Mentoring And Inspiring Women In Radio and the “Women Who Lead” honor from the Alliance For Women In Media.

 

Radio Mercury Awards Winners Announced. The 31st annual such event was held last night (Thursday, 6/9) in-person at New York’s Sony Hall, as well as virtually. This year’s “Best of Show” award was presented to FCB Chicago for its “Go RVing” radio commercial. Other winners included: Mockingbird, iHeartRadio App, The Studio at iHeartMedia (“Creative Radio Promotional Spot or Campaign by a Radio Station or Group”); Great American Settlers, Spreaker.com, The Studio at iHeartMedia tied with Kiddie Pool, The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Water Park, The Studio at iHeartMedia (“Creative Radio Commercial by a Radio Station or Group”); Tick Suck, Steve’s Pest Control, Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group; Dog Years, Motel 6, Barkley (Creative Radio Commercial by an Agency, Production Company, Or Advertiser); and Moolah, Georgia Lottery, BBDO Atlanta. Radio Mercury Awards chief judge/Campbell Ewald executive creative director Ale Ortiz comments, “It’s been an honor to be at this year’s Radio Mercury Awards and to award the incredible lineup of winners. The final round jury and I were very impressed by the winners’ ability to not only entertain listeners, but tell stories through radio and audio.” According to Radio Advertising Bureau president and chief executive officer/Radio Creative Fund chair Erica Farber, “This year’s awards once again proved the power of sound and demonstrated the strength of radio and audio in conveying a brand’s message. This was an incredible night for radio. It was so great to celebrate with everyone both in person and online.” Presenters from this year’s final round jury and advisory council included: freelance creative consultant Larissa Kirschner-Chaney; Josh Grossberg (McCann Health); Nicky Lorenzo (Taylor Global); Ciro Sarmiento (Weber Shandwick); and Joyce King Thomas (King Thomas). Event sponsors of this year’s event were Audacy and iHeartMedia. Dedicated sponsors included CBS News Radio, Hubbard Broadcasting and World Wide Wadio. General sponsors were Beasley Media Group; Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Katz Media Group; Salem Media Group; Skyview Networks; Sound and Fury; and WideOrbit, along with Friends of the Mercuries sponsors Forcht Broadcasting; Neuhoff Media; Nielsen; Triton Digital; and vCreative. For the complete list of winners and to listen to their work, go to www.RadioMercuryAwards.com. Shown in the photo are (left to right): Ale Ortiz; FCB Chicago’s Justin Enderstein and Andrés Ordóñez; and Erica Farber.

 

WTOP Partners With Greater DC-Maryland’s National MS Chapter. Through a series of on-air and online promotions, Hubbard Radio Washington, DC’s all-news WTOP will raise awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Announcements will highlight various MS events in the community in an effort to increase registrations – and ultimately – donations. WTOP general manager Joel Oxley states, “We wanted to do everything we could to help amplify the critical mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Our hope is that, through this partnership, we can help those in their journey with MS and work towards a world free of this devastating disease.” National MS Society Greater DC-Maryland Chapter president Chartese Berry remarks, “We are sincerely grateful [to] WTOP and their amazing partnership in joining our quest towards a world free of MS. Their strong reach in the region will help immensely in raising much needed awareness and funds to support the nearly one million people in the United States living with MS.” WTOP senior sports director Dave Johnson and WTOP anchor/reporter Mike Murillo were diagnosed with MS in 2019 and 2016, respectively. The two will contribute to the campaign by sharing their stories about how MS has effected them and their families. Johnson declares, “MS: Look out we are coming after you. We have the community and we have the support. My mom lost her battle to MS in 1979, and now with my WTOP family and the MS Society we are going to finish the fight.” Murillo adds, “I am so thankful to have benefited from new treatments for MS, but there is so much still to do including finding ways to repair the damage the disease can cause. With your help, I truly believe there will soon come a day when we can say there’s a cure for MS.” WTOP will highlight volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Veteran NPR reporter/political correspondent Juana Summers is named one of the rotating co-hosts for the network’s flagship afternoon news program, “All Things Considered.” Summers has been covering politics, race, and justice for the network. She joins Alisa Chang, Mary Louise Kelly, and Ari Shapiro. Summers succeeds Audie Cornish, who departed NPR in January for CNN. According to VP/news programming Sarah Gilbert, “Propelled by her authoritative reporting expertise, versatile journalistic talent, and drive to explore and interrogate the most challenging questions of the moment, Juana emerged as the top candidate.” Summers states, “In my work as a political correspondent, I spend a lot of time talking with young people about the country and the world that they are inheriting. It’s made me think about the future of our audience and the opportunities that we have to grow. I’m excited to play a role in introducing a new, diverse generation of listeners to the blend of powerful storytelling, accountability journalism and culturally relevant conversations that can only [be found] on NPR.” Summers – who previously worked at Politico, CNN, Mashable and The Associated Press – begins her new duties in just over two weeks (6/27) … Housing and Urban Development secretary Marcia Fudge guested this past Sunday (6/5) on Multicultural Broadcasting-owned KBLA “Talk 1580,” Los Angeles’ “A More Perfect Union.” The HUD secretary and KBLA’s chief national political analyst, Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, discussed the city’s homelessness problem; the need for affordable housing; and creative ways for first-time buyers to purchase a home and down payment assistance. Fudge commented that HUD is committed to equity by eliminating redlining of “certain kinds of neighborhoods.” … Effective next Monday (6/13), Randy Cable commences as director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Fort Myers/Naples cluster, which includes sports talk WBCN “ESPN Southwest Florida.” Vice president/market manager AJ Lurie comments, “The more people I asked about Randy, the more excited I got about having him on our team. I think he will be a perfect complement to our brands, products, and family here in Southwest Florida.” Spring Valley, New York native Cable notes, “I am thrilled to join the Beasley family and look forward to working with the incredible team in Fort Myers. I am passionate about helping our team help local businesses thrive and prosper with great ideas and our ability to develop/execute powerful fully-integrated radio and digital campaigns.” Cable formerly was integrated sales manager for Cox Media Group’s Miami and Jacksonville stations, and spent eleven years as director of sales for Audacy Greenville (South Carolina) … The Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association (CAPBA) recognizes Your Public Radio-owned public radio news/talk WYPR, Baltimore with five (5) first-place awards and seven (7) second-place awards for work done in 2021. Its first-place citations are in “Outstanding News Series”; “Outstanding Public Affairs”; “Outstanding Specialty Reporting”; “Outstanding Documentary/In-Depth Reporting”; and “Outstanding Serious Feature.” The CAPBA awards ceremony was held last Saturday (6/4) in Ocean City, Maryland. … In addition to hosting afternoon drive on iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO “News Radio 1040,” Simon Conway has been doing morning drive on similarly-formatted Orlando sibling WFLA “News Radio” and today adds a national assignment, filling in for Joe Pagliarulo. Conway’s PM drive program is simulcast on iHM’s WMT-AM “News Radio AM 600,” Cedar Rapids and WOC “News Talk 1420,” Davenport (Iowa). … Among the Delta Radio Greenville, Mississippi properties McConnell “Man@Large Adams will oversee as the newly-appointed operations director is WNIX “News Talk.” Adams most recently was director of content for Townsquare Media Lansing (Michigan).

 

Primaries and Trump & the GOP Top News/Talk Stories This Week. This week’s primary races – as well as the recall election of San Francisco’s progressive district attorney – combined as the top news/talk story for the week of June 6 – 10. At #2 this week was the U.S. economy, including the high price of gasoline and food, plus the concerns about a recession, followed by the January 6 Committee hearings at #3. The Talkers Ten 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. See this week’s complete chart here.

 

The Road Ahead. With TALKERS 2022 taking place today (Friday, 6/10) on the campus of Hofstra University, this marks our publication’s biggest day on the calendar. We’re right back at it again though next week, as TALKERS vice president/executive editor Kevin Casey leads team coverage of TALKERS 2022 highlights; in addition, we will post regular Monday morning memos from Holland Cooke and Steve Lapa. Later in the week, editor/publisher Michael Harrison reveals his latest guest on “The Michael Harrison Podcast,” while managing editor Mike Kinosian begins his four-part series on “Takeaways” from Nielsen Audio’s May 2022 survey period.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

| May 10, 2022

Townsquare Media Reports Q1 Net Revenue Up 13%; Tops Pre-COVID Net Revenue by 7%. For the first quarter of 2022, Townsquare Media is reporting net revenue of $100.2 million, an increase of 13% over the same period in 2021 and an increase of 7% over the same period in Q1 of 2019. Townsquare is also reporting net income of 2.74 million for Q1 of 2022 compared to the loss of $6.1 million it reported in the first quarter of last year. Townsquare reports in three segments: 1) Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions – including its subscription digital marketing solutions business, Townsquare Interactive. That segment reported revenue of $21.8 million, an increase of 15% over Q1 of 2021; 2) Digital Advertising – marketed externally as Townsquare Ignite that includes digital advertising on its owned and operated digital properties and its digital programmatic advertising platform. That segment reported revenue of $29.2 million, an increase of 16.6% over last year; and 3) Broadcast Advertising – including the company’s local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast (plus other miscellaneous revenue associated with the broadcast advertising platform). That segment’s revenue was $48.1 million, an increase of 7.7% over the same period a year ago. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “I am proud to announce our strong start to 2022, with net revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and net income increasing year-over-year by +13%, +10%, and $8.9 million, respectively. In addition, net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA exceeded our previously issued guidance due to strong growth and strong margins. As a Digital First Local Media Company, our first quarter performance was driven by our digital platform and solutions, with total digital revenue increasing +16% year-over-year in the first quarter (representing 51% of our total Q1 net revenue) and total digital Adjusted Operating Income increasing +11% year-over year (representing 55% of our total Q1 Adjusted Operating Income). As we move forward, we expect double-digit digital net revenue growth to continue at strong margins, fueling our overall growth and subsequent debt reduction, from 4.66x net leverage today to 4.0x by year end. We are also pleased to re-affirm our 2022 guidance and our 2024 digital revenue target of at least $275 million. These results and confidence in our outlook are due, in part, to the fact that Townsquare is the only local media and digital marketing solutions company of scale focused principally on markets outside of the Top 50 in the United States, a vital differentiator for our company. Our new reporting segments highlight the profit characteristics of our digital platform, which is essentially equal to those of our broadcast platform, each with profit margins of approximately 30%. While we view local radio as an extremely valuable asset with significant and attractive cash flow properties, unparalleled consumer reach, and an important and trusted local connection to our audience and communities, it is not our primary growth driver. With approximately half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, we have a strong digital growth engine that will drive significant and consistent growth in the coming years. It is our belief that as a Digital First Local Media Company providing a detailed breakout of our digital revenue and digital profit, Townsquare should be afforded a sum-of-the-parts valuation that gives credit to our digital assets.”

 

MIW Launches State Broadcasters Partnership Program. The non-profit organization Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc., dedicated to the advancement of female leadership in radio broadcasting, announces a new national program designed to create mentorship opportunities in every state in the union. This three-to-five-year strategic plan exponentially expands the organization’s mentoring outreach across the United States. The first pilot program partners MIW with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association to create, “Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota.” MIW’s long term plan includes establishing close working relationships with leadership from all interested state broadcasters associations and broadcasters across the country to create mentorship curriculums for female professionals in radio broadcasting. With MIW’s guidance, these state-centered programs will be based on the tenets, structure, and best practices of MIWs broad array of successful and established mentoring opportunities. MIW Board president Ruth Presslaff says, “This program is designed to dramatically expand our mentorship outreach. We couldn’t ask for a better first partner than president Wendy Paulson and the Minnesota Broadcasters Association as we work toward a mentee in every state. Cheers to the first. Forty-nine to go!” Find out more here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. When the Radiodays Europe conference takes place in Malmö, Sweden May 15-17, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley will take part in two sessions. She will participate in a special one-on-one session titled, “American Regional Radio in the Digital Age,” hosted by Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes. In addition, Beasley will take part in the “Audio Summit” panel, featuring Sibyle Veil (CEO Radio France), Linda Pamgren (CEO Bauer Media Sweden) and Cathinka Rondon (head of Radio-NRK). The session will be moderated by Folder Media creative director Matt Deegan…..The nationally syndicated, weekend shooting sports program “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” adds WBIN Media’s WTPL-FM, Hillsborough, New Hampshire and Berkshire Broadcasting Corp’s WLAD-AM/W231DJ, Danbury, Connecticut to its roster of affiliate stations. The program is syndicated by Talk Shows USA…..Chicago-based MediaTracks Incorporated sells “Radio Health Journal” and “Viewpoints Radio” to American Urban Radio Networks, LLC. The two weekly public affairs programs are syndicated on a total of nearly 1,500 stations in more than 200 U.S. markets. Bob Heymann of the Chicago office of Media Services Group served as the exclusive broker for the seller in this transaction…..Audio content, marketing, and advertising services firm Gemini XIII, joins forces with Diversion Podcasts through an investment that will grow Diversion’s offerings under a new premium podcast network called Diversion Audio. Diversion Audio will become Gemini XIII’s content division. The division will leverage sister company Diversion Books’ publishing assets and author relationships to offer a focused content model it says is unique to podcasting: expanding IP from books, authors, and personalities into the podcast medium as original audio content across both high-frequency episodic shows and engrossing narrative limited series. Gemini XIII co-founder and CEO Spencer Brown says, “Through Diversion Audio, we will build upon the successful franchises and proven track record that Scott [Waxman] and his talented team have created at Diversion Podcasts. Together with our recent acquisitions of Phantom Producer and The Infinite Agency, Gemini XIII is well-positioned to optimize these premium assets and capabilities to build and grow a new breed of audio company. The creation of Diversion Audio advances that strategy considerably. We think podcast listeners and readers alike will love what they hear as we launch new podcasts tied to Diversion’s expansive intellectual property library.”

 

The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Roe v Wade, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Vicky White/Casey White Manhunt, and Western Drought/Texas Wildfire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9). The falling Dow and NASDAQ, the high price of gas & food, and concerns about a full-blown recession; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns about Vladimir Putin’s health and willingness to use nuclear weapons; the aftermath of the leak of a draft of the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v Wade; the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rate of cases, hospitalizations & deaths from COVID-19; the manhunt for Alabama corrections officer Vicky White and convict Casey White ends; and the drought in the U.S. West and the Texas wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

| April 19, 2022

Bingham Promoted at Salem Media Group. Rising from his vice president of mobile and digital acquisitions position to vice president of operations and business development at Salem Web Network is David Bingham. In this new role with Salem Media Group, Bingham will oversee operations of Salem Web Network and continue to drive business development. Bingham has been with Salem for ten years, initially as director of mobile before being promoted to vice president of mobile and digital acquisitions in 2017. Salem Web Network EVP Rick Killingsworth says, “Since joining us in 2012, David Bingham has been exceptional at spearheading numerous mobile app acquisitions and brand growth initiatives that have expanded Salem’s presence in the mobile computing space. David has proven himself to be a passionate leader and negotiations professional who has a legacy of coaching high performing teams and generating results for the business and our clients.” Bingham comments, “It is a time like no other in our company to work on exciting new initiatives. There are so many opportunities in video, subscription services, podcasting, as well as the continued tradition of outstanding content, to support our users in their daily walk. I am so fortunate to get to work with a high-level group of dedicated individuals. The future is very bright for Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.”

 

Tavis Smiley and KBLA, Los Angeles to Mark Anniversary of Rodney King Verdict with Live Remote Broadcast. Station owner and air personality Tavis Smiley – with co-host Dominique DiPrima – will host a live remote broadcast on April 29 to remember the 30th anniversary of the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the beating of motorist Rodney King. The KBLA, Los Angeles broadcast will take place at the intersection of Florence and Normandie which is considered “ground zero” of the civil unrest that followed. Smiley says, “Historic anniversaries, to my mind, are only worth pausing to commemorate if our reflections are instructive, informative and empowering for how to make America a nation as good as its promise.” KBLA says that Smiley and DiPrima will be joined by family members of King, community organizers, faith leaders, elected officials and everyday people to discuss, dissect and deliberate on the factors that led to a boiling point of civil disturbance, and if the city has healed from it. DiPrima adds, “We want to take this opportunity to amplify the voices of the African American community in this moment of solemn reflection and continue the quest for accountability.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. This Thursday at 7:00 pm ET, Townsquare Media’s “New Jersey 101.5” (WKXW-FM) is presenting the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts to help New Jersey residents navigate life in the Garden State. New Jersey 101.5’s Eric Scott will lead a panel of economists, business leaders, policy experts, and business owners to explore how the workplace has changed since the start of the pandemic, and how it will function moving forward. Scott says, “Both the physical workplace and the dynamic between employer and employee has changed. There are lessons to be learned from both sides.” The program’s on-air panel will feature Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association; Peter Chen, senior policy analyst with New Jersey Policy Perspective; and Maria Heidkamp, director of program development and a senior researcher at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University…..“The Lisa Wexler Show,” heard daily from 10:00 am to 12:000 noon on Connoisseur Media’s WICC-AM/W297CP, Bridgeport, Connecticut, wins five awards from the Connecticut Press Club’s 2021 Communications Contest. The program won First Place for Best Newscast: Radio; Second Place for Talk Show; and three Third Place awards for On the Scene Reporting, Radio & Television Interview, and Electronic Newsletter. Lisa Wexler comments, “I am thrilled that our show was honored by my colleagues at the Connecticut Press Club on a variety of topics. When Congressman Jim Himes came on our show the morning after he experienced what happened at the Capitol on January 6th, I felt that history was being made in real time. When callers related their stories of near-drowning incidents, we shared the importance of water safety. I thank the judges at the Connecticut Press Club for recognizing the importance of storytelling in the talk radio format.”…..Radio Advertising Bureau, BMI, and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc., announce that the 14th annual Rising Through the Ranks will be held in 2022 as a hybrid event. The program will begin with two virtual sessions taking place on July 26 and August 2, prior to participants meeting in person August 9-11 in Nashville. As in years past, BMI will offer 20 scholarships for this year’s program. The scholarships will cover the cost of the professional development course, which is geared to foster and educate current and emerging female radio managers in broadcast radio. BMI VP, industry relations Dan Spears says, “BMI continues to be proud supporters of Rising Through the Ranks and the work our partners at the RAB and MIW do to support rising female executives in the radio industry. The scholarships provided by BMI give these talented women invaluable training from some of the top executives in the business. We’re so thrilled to have everyone back together again in Nashville this year and look forward to a successful event.” Find out more about Rising Through the Ranks here.

 

Washington, DC News Personality Wendy Rieger Dies at 65. Longtime WRC-TV, Washington “News4” anchor and reporter Wendy Rieger died on Saturday (4/16) after a long battle with brain cancer. Rieger, who had recently retired from News4 after 20 years as anchor of the 5:00 pm news, also worked in radio earlier in her career, serving at both public radio WAMU-FM and all-news WTOP in Washington. See News4’s video montage of Rieger’s career here.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Mask Ruling/COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Extreme Weather/Climate Change, School Curriculum Battles, Elon Musk vs Twitter, and Weekend Shootings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/18). Russia’s intensifying attacks on Ukraine, NATO’s response, and the global economic effects of the war; a U.S. judge rules the airline mask mandate is illegal, keeping an eye on the BA.2 variant, and lockdowns in Shanghai and Hong Kong; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; recent extreme weather events in U.S. and the debate over anthropogenic climate change; policies in several states designed to prevent discussion about non-traditional gender & family situations and critical race theory; Elon Musk’s continuing attempt to take Twitter private; and the weekend’s spate of shootings were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, January 17, 2022

| January 17, 2022

Talk Radio Legend Michael Jackson Passes at 87. Talk radio host Michael Jackson, who achieved legendary status during his career in Los Angeles, died on Sunday (1/16) at his home in L.A. at the age of 87. Jackson, who retired from radio in 2007, had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for the past 10 years. He is best remembered for his iconic work at KABC, Los Angeles that lasted from 1966 to 1998. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (who served as a talk show host on rocker KMET in Los Angeles between 1975 and 1986) issued the following statement: “Michael Jackson was one of the all-time greats – a founding father – of talk radio. During his 32-year run at KABC, his very presence gave the station prestige and national stature as one of – if not THE – first very rare commercial outlets fully committed to the spoken-word format. Michael Jackson and KABC were synonymous with the phrase ‘talk radio.’ It should also be pointed out that his heyday in the format began prior to the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 which, in my opinion, marked the beginning of the modern era of talk radio.  That made him the member of an exclusive club of radio performers whose historical relevance and influence on things to come in the broadcasting industry are incalculable.” Jackson’s longtime producer Lyle Gregory remembers Jackson in a piece you can read here.

Monday Memo: Podcasting ‘Will Continue to Explode.’ In a marketing piece to the advertising community, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman sees “no signs of growth abating.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines opportunities at the station level. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Early Warning. According to the “sales calendar,” January is over, and the first quarter is headed toward spring. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says it’s time for an early review of your sales game plan. “Like any other performance skill, practice, evaluation and repetition makes for improvement. The skills required for success in today’s sales environment may be different from the last few years.” Read about Lapa’s six questions you can ask yourself here.

Chicago Sports Personality Les Grobstein Dead at 69. Windy City sports media personality and WSCR “The Score” overnight talk host Les Grobstein was found dead at his home in suburban Elk Grove Village on Sunday, according to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder. He reports that WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen said Grobstein had been away from his show since last Wednesday due to illness. During his career, Grobstein was sports director at WLS-AM, Chicago for 10 years. He served at sports talk WMVP from 1991 to 1997. He began his overnight stint with WSCR in 2009.

Pioneering Talk Host Susan Bray Dies at 79. A number of news outlets are reporting that former talk host Susan Bray (pictured here on C-SPAN) died in her native Australia last week at age 79. The Des Moines Register has a nice story written by her longtime friend Julie Gammack, who would replace her on WHO-AM. During her career, Bray worked at such outlets as WHO-AM, Des Moines and WWDB-FM, Philadelphia. She earned the nickname the “Saucy Aussie” because of her ribald sense of humor. After a long talk radio career in the U.S., Bray, who had married American Ed DeLong, returned to her hometown of Mudgee, Australia where she and DeLong ran a bed and breakfast.

Maine Station Fires Sportscasters After Body Shaming Incident. The owner of Houlton, Maine radio station WHOU-FM has fired two sportscasters who were caught on a hot mic body-shaming female basketball players during a game between two high school teams. Jim Carter and Steve Shaw were calling the game while watching it on a livestream and made comments about the weight of some of the teenage girls. Carter is a former coach from another school and Shaw had been the athletic director at one of the schools playing in the contest that night. Carter told the Portland Press-Herald that he has apologized to the superintendent of one of the schools, adding, “I don’t even know what to say. Hopefully everybody can get through this and be OK.” Northern Maine Media owner Fred Grant posted a notice of the pair’s dismissal on the station website saying, in part, “Our mission has been to highlight the best of our communities, our schools, the programs we love, and most importantly – our students.  Last night, two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong.  Those broadcasters were terminated… We’ve heard from many of you, and many have shared clips of the event in question. While it’s wrong that it happened, I’m going to ask each of you to help us shift the focus back on the excellence we see every day in our students. If you’ve shared the video post, I’m hoping you will take it down, not to downplay the incident, but to better help all of our students move on to the important work and events in their lives.”

MIW Names Three to Board of Directors. Three new members are joining the board of directors for Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio. Haley Jones of MRC Data, Melissa Mitchell of Bonneville International, and Brittney Jackson of Urban One/Radio One are joining the board of the organization that “consists of top-level female radio professionals who use their experience, influence, and resources to help other women in radio develop management and leadership skills.” Jackson currently serves as the general and digital sales manager for Urban One/Radio One in Richmond where she is responsible for recruiting and developing new talent, leading multi-platform sales efforts, and increasing annual revenue. Jones serves as head of independents for MRC Data where she oversees independent labels, small radio groups, and managers with music intelligence for today. Mitchell is Bonneville International’s director of finance, corporate controller and is based in their Denver market. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “We are extremely fortunate to have not one, but three powerhouses join our board. Their success speaks for itself; it’s their willingness to pay it forward for the good of women and our industry that makes each so special and appreciated. I’d be remiss in not thanking the three members leaving our board as their terms end: Kay Olin, principal of Olin & Associates, and past MIW spokeswoman, whose constant leadership, dedication, and long term participation profoundly impacted MIW and me personally; Valerie Blackburn, principal at VKB Consulting, whose financial expertise led MIW through the arduous process of establishing a formal 501(c)(3) status; and Beth Neuhoff, president & CEO Neuhoff Media who provided invigorating energy and challenging ideas that MIW will push ever forward.”

Cowboys Great Chad Hennings Takes Part in SRN News Series. Pictured here is Salem Radio Network VP of news Tom Tradup (left) with three-time Dallas Cowboys Superbowl champion Chad Hennings. Hennings is in the SRN studios working with Tradup on a special, week-long series on SRN News aimed at getting men involved in Christian ministries. The five-part series titled, “Get Off the Bench,” begins airing today (1/17)

Tuscaloosa Sports Talker Jay Barker Arrested on Assault Charges. Former University of Alabama star quarterback Jay Barker was arrested in Nashville and charged with aggravated assault after allegedly trying to ram the car his estranged wife was riding in. Barker hosts the midday show on Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTUG-HD2/W256CG, Tuscaloosa “Tide 100.9” and is married to country artist Sara Evans. She filed for divorce from Barker in August.

COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Texas Synagogue Assault, Djokovic Booted from Australia, NFL Playoffs, Winter Weather, and Martin Luther King, Jr Day Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The high rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Joe Biden vaccine mandate; the battle for control of Congress in November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence in the GOP; the Texas synagogue hostage incident; Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is kicked out of Australia ahead of the Australian Open after violating the country’s COVID protocols; the NFL’s Wild Card weekend; intense winter weather hitting the Eastern U.S.; and the Martin Luther King, Jr weekend and holiday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.