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Thursday, April 29, 2021

| April 29, 2021

RTDNA/Newhouse School: 2020 A Dangerous Year for Journalists. The annual survey of broadcast newsrooms from the RTDNA and the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University notes that during the past year, the job of seeking and reporting the truth became increasingly dangerous. “Journalists were threatened, assaulted and arrested at an alarming rate while on the job. We faced unprecedented levels of verbal and physical violence at the hands of civilians, police and the leaders we are meant to hold accountable.” This is the first year that the survey included a section on media safety. The survey’s research team says it wanted to understand how repeated, targeted acts of violence have impacted newsrooms across the country and learned that one in five television news directors reported attacks on employees. 86% of news directors changed newsroom procedures to protect employees. They purchased bullet-proof vests and gas masks and more often sent security teams with reporters. As far as radio is concerned, the study concludes, “Not surprisingly, the level of attacks at radio stations and on radio news people is much lower. Four percent of radio news directors and general managers reported attacks on newsroom employees. It was primarily a problem in major markets, with one million and more people, where 13.8% of news directors and general managers reported attacks on employees.” You can see the complete survey here. Commenting on the study, National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Broadcast journalists play an essential role in documenting pivotal moments in American history from the front lines. That has never been more important than during the past year. NAB is gravely troubled by this study reporting the unprecedented level of harassment, intimidation and violence directed at journalists covering the historical events of 2020. These unacceptable attacks on our nation’s free press undermine our very democracy by preventing journalists’ ability to report the facts and keep the public informed. We are grateful to the dedicated broadcast journalists bringing the truth to Americans during these dangerous times.”

Nick Craig to Host Mornings on WAAV-AM, Cape Fear. Beginning May 3, Nick Craig begins hosting “Wilmington’s Morning News with Nick Craig” on Cumulus Media’s news/talk/sports WAAV-AM, Cape Fear, North Carolina “980 The WAAV.” The station says the show is “a live and local morning show hosted by fresh conservative talk personality Nick Craig. The show focuses on the day’s biggest stories including Wilmington and the Cape Fear region. The show will feature a wide variety of topics, guests, and listener interaction.” Cumulus Wilmington VP and market manager Eric McCart comments, “We’re excited to have Nick join our 980 WAAV Cumulus family! He brings a fresh new energy and excitement to weekday mornings that our listeners will really enjoy. If it’s happening in Wilmington and the Cape Fear region, it’s happening on Wilmington’s Morning News with Nick Craig!” Craig adds, “Traveling on the road paved by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, I’m excited to bring the next generation of conservative talk to the Wilmington region and beyond. To be part of a legacy talk station like WAAV and Cumulus Media is quite the opportunity at my age. Looking forward to using these platforms to engage and interact with traditional talk listeners and the next generation.”

Ron Slay Joins WGFX-FM, Nashville’s Afternoon Drive Show. Nashville sports talker WGFX-FM “104.5 The Zone” announces that former University of Tennessee basketball star Ron Slay is joining the “3HL” afternoon drive program alongside current hosts Brent Dougherty and Dawn Davenport. Paul Mason is program director for the Cumulus Media station, and he says, “Our listeners have made it clear that they want us to hire Ron Slay. I am happy to say we listened, and we are thrilled Ron Slay will be joining Brent Dougherty and Dawn Davenport on ‘3HL.’ ‘3HL’ is already a great show and I look forward to seeing it go to even higher levels.” Slay comments, “I am both delighted and eager to join the ‘104.5 The Zone’ and ‘3HL’ families. I hope to bring joy, energy, and insight to Nashville sports enthusiasts each day.”

SiriusXM Reports 2021 Q1 Financials; Revenue Up 5%. Satellite radio and digital audio broadcaster SiriusXM releases its financial data for the first quarter of 2021 and reports total revenue of $2.06 billion, a 5% increase from the $1.95 billion reported during the same period a year ago. However, net income for the quarter was $219 million, a decline of 29% from the $293 million reported in Q1 of 2020. SiriusXM added 126,000 self-pay subscribers to hit its all-time high of 31 million self-pay subscribers. New chief executive officer Jennifer Witz comments, “I am pleased to announce SiriusXM has started the year impressively – we added 126,000 self-pay net subscribers, an 83% increase as compared to the period a year ago, saw a first quarter record-low churn rate of 1.6%, and are reporting a new record-high quarterly adjusted EBITDA figure.  These strong results reflect the value we bring to our listeners through the breadth and depth of our content. Our advertising revenue grew 24%, driven by robust monetization of both on- and off-platform opportunities, as well as the growing podcast market. While we are benefiting from the broader reopening of the economy and the acceleration of consumers’ digital adoption, the meaningful long-term investments we’ve been making are also paying off. This includes creating and delivering compelling content, strengthening our digital product experiences, and scaling a full suite of end-to-end distribution and monetization solutions for content creators and publishers. We are extremely focused on achieving our 2021 goals and reinforcing our long-term position as North America’s premier audio entertainment company. Across SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher, we have added new channels, shows, hosts, and podcasts, enhancing the expertly curated audio entertainment experience across all formats from music to sports… We are working with highly regarded creators on new podcasts; earlier this week we announced the acquisition of 99% Invisible, the acclaimed and popular podcast from Roman Mars and his creator team. This was our first year as the exclusive audio broadcaster of the Masters Tournament, and we have expanded our streaming rights with both the NBA and MLB. We also created special music and talk programming that honored both Black History and Women’s History months back-to-back.”

RAB Announces ‘Radio Works for Automotive’ Presentations. As part of RAB’s Business Accelerated initiative, it is presenting a two-part live series for May’s featured automotive category, one of radio’s most important advertising categories. The first presentation titled, “What’s Driving the Auto Industry?” takes place at 1:00 pm ET on May 19. As Americans return to school and work, the demand for vehicles grows. Parts shortages, as well as chip scarcity, are hindering inventory on lots and yet, auto sales remain high despite the supply-demand imbalance. In this presentation, hear from experts in both automotive and auto dealership industries including Tyson Jominy, vice president, data and analytics, J.D. Power, and Dick Parrish, dealership management consultant, NADA, who will share insights into the auto industry’s growth and challenges. The second live presentation will feature broadcasters discussing automotive client success stories to help sellers prospect and support their clients. The session, titled “Radio Works for Automotive Part 2,” takes place at 1:00 pm ET on May 26. The presentation will also be available for on-demand viewing. Both presentations are free for RAB members. You can register here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Media Sales Institute announces its strategic alliance with Media Staffing Network that will bring MSN’s media recruiter’s expertise to the MSI curriculum at the 2021 NABOB MSI, being held at the Atlanta University Center and hosted by Morehouse College from October 25 to November 4, 2021. Media Staffing Network founder and CEO Laurie Kahn comments, “With our tutelage, we can better prepare the MSI graduates to address the position for which they are applying. Sadly, many colleges and universities are not as up to date on what a recent graduate should include on their resumes. Nor do they teach their students how to best stand out and showcase their value when they have little to no work experience.”…..iHeartMedia and media personality Chelsea Handler have entered into a deal for a new podcast called “Dear Chelsea” to be produced as a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast.  The comedian, best-selling author, and television host will give listeners the opportunity to submit questions about life and get candid answers on the podcast. “Dear Chelsea” – also featuring Handler’s co-host and longtime assistant Brandon Marlo – debuts on May 6. Handler says, “iHeartRadio has been a great place for me to share all of my wild, unvarnished thoughts. I’m excited to start this journey with ‘Dear Chelsea’ to help people figure out what they need in life – I’m more than happy to be that kick in the pants or shove that will give someone a new perspective on a situation and help them to make a decision.”…..SiriusXM announces it is again offering listeners nationwide comprehensive coverage of the Kentucky Derby this Saturday (5/1). SiriusXM, through its broadcasting agreement with Horse Racing Radio Network, airs all Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network and produced in collaboration with HRRN.

Biden Addresses Congress, COVID-19, Police Violence, Fed Search Giuliani’s Home and Office, John Kerry Iran Allegation, Feds Investigate Direct Energy Attack, and Boris Johnson Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28). President Joe Biden’s address to Congress and his wide-ranging $1.8 trillion “American Families Plan”; the rate of COVID cases in the U.S., the rollout of vaccines, and the exploding cases in India; the spate of high-profile cases of deadly police violence against citizens; the FBI’s search of former NYC mayor and former Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s home and office in an investigation of his ties to Ukraine; the allegation that then-Secretary of State John Kerry shared Israeli military intelligence with Iran; the Pentagon’s investigation into a mysterious “direct energy attack” near the White House; and the scandal over Boris Johnson’s refurbishing of 10 Downing St. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

| January 11, 2018

Emmis Fiscal Q3 Report: Pro Forma Revenue Down 3%.   The August sale of KPWR, Los Angeles – along with the sale of some of its magazine assets – don’t allow for a true year-over-year comparison for Emmis Communications.  But, today the company reports that its pro forma radio revenue in the third quarter would have been down 3%.  As it stands, Emmis reports radio net revenue for the third fiscal quarter was $34 million, down from $42.5 million in the fiscal third quarter a year ago.  Emmis pro forma radio revenue per Miller Kaplan (which excludes barter and syndication revenues), was down 4% in markets that were down 2%.   Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Overall it was a disappointing quarter, but I am encouraged going forward by the ratings trends at our radio stations.  This fiscal year, our radio stations have been growing their ratings vis-à-vis our competitors, which should manifest itself in better revenue performance in Q4 and into the next fiscal year.”  Smulyan also says that he’s pleased with the progress of the NextRadio app.  “This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NextRadio announced a first-to-market connected car solution: JVCKENWOOD has adopted NextRadio’s technology to provide an enhanced local FM radio listening experience.  Samsung, the largest Android handset maker in the world, is the latest device OEM to continue its support for NextRadio by unlocking the FM chip in upcoming smartphone models in the U.S. and Canada.  In addition, NextRadio recently had a significant win when a major prepaid wireless carrier in the United States agreed to begin preloading NextRadio on its devices starting in early 2018.  These are terrific wins and sustain our momentum.”

SiriusXM Teases Q4 Financial Numbers.  As it has done in recent quarters, SiriusXM is revealing some general news about its quarterly achievements ahead of its actual quarterly financial report release.  The satcaster signals that it will announce that it’s beaten guidance for both financial measuring sticks – net revenue, free cash flow, EBITDA and more – as well as subscribers.  SiriusXM says it will have wrapped the year 2017 with 27.5 million self-paying subscribers.  The total subscriber base will be 32.7 million.

Save the Date – TALKERS 2018 Set for NYC. The date has been set for the 21st annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention. TALKERS 2018 will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City. Initial details covering venue, registration and sponsorship information will be posted here on Talkers.com this Friday. Save the date, this promises to be one of the most exciting and dynamic installments in the history of this iconic radio-oriented event.

Soechtig Named Market Manager for iHeartMedia Tampa.  There’s a change in management at iHeartMedia Tampa Bay as Chris Soechtig succeeds Sam Nein as market president for the cluster that includes news/talk WFLA and sports talk WDAE.  iHeartMedia North Florida Region president Linda Byrd comments, “I am thrilled to bring Chris home to Tampa Bay.  He’s back where he started his career and now as the market president.  Chris is an amazing leader with a track record of success in every position he has held in iHeartMedia. We’re so happy to have him on the North Florida Region team.”  Soechtig most recently served as the market president for the company’s West Palm Beach/Treasure Coast markets.

New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Announces Call for Entries. The 2018 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards is now open for entries.  The New York Festivals began in 1982 and annually presents honors to radio programs from numerous platforms and genres.  NYF president and executive director Rose Anderson says, “From podcasts to audio books and every length in-between, today’s radio audiences are thoroughly invested in listening.  Our new categories embrace that dynamic participation and emphasize the wide range of engaging topics storytellers everywhere are exploring.”  New categories for 2018 include: Best Digital Documentary, Best Digital Special Event, Best Original Music and Miniseries.  The competition also expanded the number of categories focusing on journalism to include Best Extended News Coverage, Best Drama Feature, Best Music Feature, Best News Feature, and Best Sports Feature.  See the rules and how to enter here.

Trump-Russia Probe, Trump DACA and Immigration Policy, Bannon-Breitbart Split, Fire and Fury Book, Joe Arpaio Senate Bid/Birther Claim, Oprah Presidential Run Chatter, DOJ Renews Narcoterror Investigations, Government Shutdown Threats, Bezos Wealthiest Man in the World, Deadly California Mudslides, NBA Action, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/10). The ongoing Robert Mueller-led probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s decision to deport 200,000 Salvadorans and the administration’s immigration policy; Stephen K. Bannon’s exit from Breitbart News, controversy over the Fire and Fury book; former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bid for the U.S. Senate and his renewing the questions about Barack Obama’s U.S. birth; the chatter surrounding a presidential run by Oprah Winfrey; the Department of Justice creates new team to investigate narcoterror operations; the threat of a federal government shutdown; Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos is the world’s wealthiest man; the California mudslides that have taken 17 lives; NBA action; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Oklahoma City news/talk KOKC names morning show producer Mac Mullings as co-host of the afternoon drive program “The Ride,” alongside Chad Alexander.  He replaces the departing Jason Doyle.  KOKC program director Tod Tucker comments, “I’m ecstatic that Mac has agreed to split his day and remain with Frosty the Snowflake and me on the morning show, as well.”…..ESPN Audio launches a new podcast called “Sports? with Katie Nolan.”  ESPN says the show will be “curious and fun.  Guests will include sports fans from all sorts of industries: comedy, film, television, and who knows, maybe even science.  Nolan’s first guest is Adam Pally, the actor, comedian and writer who is most widely known for starring as Max Blum in the ABC comedy series ‘Happy Endings’ and as Dr. Peter Prentice in ‘The Mindy Project,’ and who is currently starring in the off-Broadway play Cardinal.”

SRN’s Mike Gallagher Stumps for GOP Candidate.  Pictured above are Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher (left) with WIND, Chicago talk host Dan Proft (right) in suburban Chicago yesterday (1/10).  The two were stumping for conservative Illinois state representative Jeanne Ives, who is challenging incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner for the GOP nomination.

Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley, Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In a wide-ranging discussion covering many aspects of radio broadcasting – past, present and future – Caroline Beasley talks to the TALKERS founder about her company’s colorful history and its ongoing plans for continued “disciplined” growth in the future saying, “The last thing we want to do is over-extend ourselves.” She discusses her company’s devotion to its employees, whom she describes as “its greatest asset” as well as its core values as recently expressed in its mission statement. She also emphasizes the importance of air personalities in terms of the future of music radio’s ability to remain competitive. Other subjects include her view of the role of women in broadcasting and the monetization of digital cross-platforms. To listen to this fascinating and informative podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

MIW Group Mentoring Program Application Window Extended.  The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group is extending the deadline for applications to January 22, 2018.  This program pairs up-and-coming women who currently work in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2018 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate and one spot designated for a digital candidate. For mentee criteria, and instructions on how to apply, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The pop-centric iHeartRadio Music Awards has announced nominees for the 2018 edition of the awards show to be held on March 11 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  As in past years, the program will be simulcast on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.  iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes says, “We have a guiding principle at iHeartRadio that fans rule.  In our fifth year, we are still holding true to our original vision of staging an awards show that truly reflects the music fans loved listening to on iHeartRadio all year long.”  Artists receiving multiple nominations include Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber, DJ Khaled and The Chainsmokers. See the full list of categories here.…..At KCAL, Riverside, SBR Broadcasting makes changes to the rock station, cutting a number of on-air personalities, including morning drive cast members James “Jimbo” Smith and Tiffany Angelo, as well as morning show producer Steven Kono.  Night jock Michael “Stu Man” Stewart was also let go.  Station GM Jeff Parke says, “The ownership decided they just couldn’t keep operating KCAL with such high expenses.  All of the people we had to let go are like family to me.  This has been really tough, to say the least.”…..The Ace & TJ Show and The Radio Button Network, announces that Tracey Millman is promoted to VP of community relations/sales.  She has been with the show for more than three years in which she has moved from director of operations to this newly created position.  In addition to being lead for network sales for the show and other Radio Button Network partners, she’ll head the outreach program for the newly created charity, Ace & TJ’s Radio Family Charity.