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Thursday, May 10, 2018

| May 10, 2018

Emmis Communications Fiscal Q4 Report: Pro Forma Net Revenue Down 1%. Because of the recent sales of its Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Terre Haute stations, the Emmis Communications fourth fiscal quarter report can be viewed two ways.  Fourth fiscal quarter revenue was $28.4 million – down 16%.  But, pro forma for the sale of Emmis’ Los Angeles and Terre Haute radio stations, revenue as reported to Miller Kaplan (which excludes barter revenue and syndication revenue) was down 1% in markets that were down 3%.  The company says the New York and St. Louis clusters both grew their revenue in the quarter and outperformed their markets.  Looking at the whole fiscal year (ended February 28, 2018), radio revenue was $142.9 million compared to $165.1 million in the prior year – a decrease of 13%.  For the full year, Emmis’ pro forma radio revenue was down 2%.  The report notes that on April 30, the company finalized the sale of its St. Louis radio stations, and after applying the net proceeds therefrom, has less than $20 million of net credit facility debt outstanding.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “In the last 12 months, we have paid down over $120 million of senior debt, leaving us on firm financial footing and providing flexibility as opportunities present themselves.  Ratings for our New York radio stations remain strong and they are rebounding nicely in Indianapolis.  The NextRadio team has done a tremendous job rolling out Dial Report, an industry-wide data attribution platform, and we believe it is uniquely positioned to meet the growing demand for robust analytics and insights into the behaviors of radio listeners.”

Liberty Media Group Still Interested in iHeartMedia.  “At the right price” is the phrase Liberty Media Group president and CEO Greg Maffei used during yesterday’s investors conference call.  Maffei noted that Liberty owns “about $660 million” of iHeartMedia bonds.  Regarding Liberty’s interest in iHeartMedia, Maffei adds, “I think the process is evolving as they go through their Chapter 11 proceedings.  Creditors are gaining an understanding of what they are proposing to buy.  I think at some point they are going to re-engage with us, and if the price is attractive, as I said, we would be interested.  And the rationale for that is there are both – I think some opportunities around radio.  They’re still having interest toward radio and are so interested in some of the assets that we have, including serious investment in Pandora.  I think there are both synergies on the revenue side and on the cost side potentially.  And iHeart is an attractive free cash-flow generator.  The wide pricing in combination with that is those are the factors and it will be additive to our music holdings.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Schulman Named CMO at Katz Media Group. Media executive Stacey Lynn Schulman is promoted to chief marketing officer for Katz Media Group.  The company says that in this new role, “Schulman will lead a team of marketing and insight professionals across both Katz Radio Group and Katz Television Group, driving overall marketing strategy and insights for Katz’s 14 regional offices that together serve as the trusted sales partner to more than 3,300 radio stations, 800 television stations and their digital platforms.”  The company says Schulman joined it in 2014 as EVP of strategy, analytics and research.  “She quadrupled Katz’s proprietary research efforts on behalf of clients.  Schulman also introduced new marketplace tools to showcase the power of local media, including Katz’s DJ Personality Index, which helps marketers easily identify on-air personalities who already engage with their brands, and The Local Vote project, which provides political marketers with a media compass based on recent voter sentiment in local markets. Her efforts have been instrumental in bringing additional revenue into the radio sector and expanding the target-ability of local broadcast television.”

TALKERS News Notes. A piece published at CNNMoney that states Salem Media Group execs have pressured their talk show hosts to be supportive of President Trump is getting a lot of attention.  Featured in the story is former KRLA, Los Angeles morning personality Elisha Krauss, who tells writers Hadas Gold and Oliver Darcy that although she understands Salem can hire or fire any talent it wants, “They shouldn’t do it with the facade that they’re delivering multi-level opinions and they’re not puppeteering those opinions.” Krauss currently works with Ben Shapiro on his podcast programs.  The two worked together on KRLA’s “The Morning Answer.” Currently, “The Morning Answer” is co-hosted by anti-Trumper Brian Whitman and pro-Trumper Jennifer Horn.  Read the piece here…..As election season gears up, the Larry Young morning program on Radio One’s WOLB, Baltimore will participate in presenting public forums featuring candidates for office.  The station will present a gubernatorial forum on Tuesday, June 5 and a state’s attorney forum on Wednesday, June 13 as part of the Larry Young morning program.

U.S. Exits Iran Nukes Deal, Israel Strikes Syria, North Korean Prisoners Released/Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Haspel Confirmation Hearings, Stormy Daniels Case/Cohen Russian Money Allegations, Hawaiian Volcano Watch, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9). The reaction to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement; Israel’s strikes on Iranian targets inside of Syria; three American prisoners held in North Korea are released and the related planned meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump; the confirmation hearings for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel; the Stormy Daniels payoff case and allegations Trump attorney Michael Cohen received money from a Russian oligarch after the 2016 election; Hawaii’s oozing volcano and fears it may transform into a full blown eruption; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The evening program on iHeartMedia’s CHR WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” is getting a new voice as Emily Sklar takes over the daypart on Monday (5/14).  She comes to DC from her most recent gig as midday jock on the company’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955.”…..Cumulus Media names radio personality Nikki Blades co-host of “The Morning Block Party” on rhythmic CHR KWIN, Stockton-Modesto.  Blades has been hosting the midday program since January.  Blades began her career as a professional model and was featured in Maxim magazine and earlier this year, appeared on MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out with Nick Cannon.”  Station program director Daniel “Jiggy” Diaz says “We are very excited for today.  It’s not very often you find someone who fits the mold of the brand so well and is also destined for greatness.  Nikki Blades is by far the next big talent on the West Coast and I’m so excited for her to take the next step here at KWIN!”…..Entercom appoints Sean “Sonic” Leckie host of the afternoon drive show on WBMX, Chicago “104.3 Jams.”  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “Sonic brings a passion for music and drive to succeed to ‘104.3 Jams.’  We’re looking forward to having him take the helm of Chicago’s new afternoon drive show.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Josh “Bru” Brubaker to the local anchor position for “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” on WDRQ, Detroit “NASH FM 93.1.”  He joined WDRQ in 2017 as a weekend/swing talent and was elevated to production assistant shortly thereafter…..ACM-award winner and platinum-selling singer/songwriter Jake Owen is hosting Westwood One’s Annual “Summer Kick Off” Memorial Day special.  The four-hour program features music from Jake and his friends, including Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Zac Brown Band, and more. The show will also remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

| August 18, 2016

Katz: Study Says Radio Reaches Independents In Battleground States Better.  The study was done by Nielsen and commissioned by Katz Media Group and Katz says it concludes that “customizing radio messages to local markets in key battleground states is the most impactful way to swing young Independent voters in the upcoming presidential election and in critical down ballot races.”  This is the fifth wave of “The Local Vote 2016” that analyzed custom data from Independent voters across seven states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina,katzmediagroup Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado.)  Some of the key findings include: One in three battleground Independents spend more time listening to radio than watching television.  On average, these voters listen to over 2 hours of radio daily, while watching less than 1 hour of TV; and radio – across a diverse range of formats – outstrips cable news.  On a weekly basis, more Independents will listen to news/talk/sports radio stations (33%) and music formats such as adult contemporary (43%), rock (40%) and country (35%) than watch cable news channels CNN (23%), Fox News (15%) or MSNBC (10%).  As far as key local radio findings are concerned, the study indicates geographical differences.  For example, in Ohio, Independents gravitate towards different formats depending on the Ohio market they live in.  Adult/classic hits has the highest share of listening with Cleveland schulmanstaceylynnIndependents; adult contemporary garners the highest share in Columbus; and news/talk/sports and country are the strongest formats in Cincinnati.  Katz Media Group’s Stacey Lynn Schulman, EVP of strategy, analytics and research, says, “‘The Local Vote 2016’ continues to unearth important insights to help candidates and political strategists effectively use media to engage the local electorates.  Everyone is voting in the same election, but you need to speak to people where they live.  It’s a national election won by reaching local voters.  And, what we have consistently found is radio delivers better national reach with the ability to connect on a local level than any other medium.”

Trey Ware to Host Special Race Relations Show on KTSA.  The program will air tomorrow (8/19) on Alpha Media’s KTSA, San Antonio at 7:00 pm.  It’s titled “Race Relations in San Antonio and Beyond,” hosted by morningwaretrey drive personality Trey Ware.  The station says, “This is a topic that has dominated local and national news many times in the past with the police officer shootings in Dallas and the Black Lives Matter movement.  The discussion panel consists of well-known religious, law enforcement, and community leaders.  Ware comments, “Everyone has something valuable to contribute.  That is why this event is so important.  People who are different from us have so much to offer, and together we make each other better.”

CBS Philly Inks New Deal with Ray Didinger.  Philly sports media legend Ray Didinger signs a new, multi-year contract with CBS RADIO to continue his weekend program on sports talk WIP (co-hosted with Glen didingerrayMacnow) and take on new duties with the cluster.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame writer’s show will be heard on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. He’ll continue to make frequent appearances on WIP throughout the year, especially during football season. Additionally, he will also be heard on news/talk WPHT with morning host Chris Stigall on Fridays during the football season, and he’ll do commentary on all-news KYW.  Didinger says, “I’m delighted to continue my relationship with WIP.  I’ve had a great time working with so many good friends, in particular Glen Macnow, my weekend partner for many years.  I enjoy talking sports with the Philadelphia fans and I’m grateful to CBS RADIO Philadelphia for giving me that opportunity.”

iHeartMedia Realigns Northeast Division; Promotes Preacher and Carwile.  This realignment within iHeartMedia’s Northeast division is part of a dismantling of its former Mid-Atlantic region.  The Washington, DCpreachermichael and Baltimore markets will now form the new Washington, DC Region and the Virginia markets will join the existing Carolina region to form the new Virginia-Carolina region.  To lead these new regions, the carwiledavecompany has promoted Michael Preacher – formerly the SVP of Strategic Partnerships to president of the Washington, DC region and government initiatives.  Region president Dave Carwile is now president of the Virginia-Carolina region.  That region consists of the following markets: Richmond, VA; Harrisonburg, VA; Norfolk, VA; Roanoke and Lynchburg, VA; Winchester, VA; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; Asheville, NC; Greenville, SC; and Greensboro, NC.  Both Preacher and Carwile report to Northeast division president Hartley Adkins.

Bill Kelly ‘Unretires’ with Cumulus Youngstown.  Radio management pro Bill Kelly retired from iHeartMedia in February, ending his career with the company as regional president.  But on October 3 he’ll leave the ranks of the retired and join Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for the Youngstownkellybill market.  Kelly worked in the Youngstown market for 35 years, beginning with the original owners of heritage AM signal WKBN.  He helped build the six-station iHeartMedia cluster when it was first acquired by Jacor in 1997.  Kelly comments, “After meeting with CEO Mary Berner and other senior leaders at Cumulus, I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity.  I can’t thank them enough. The Cumulus brands as well as the staff are well positioned.  I look forward to helping them get to the next level.”  Cumulus owns eight stations in the Youngstown market.

nymrad logoNYMRAD Releases Q2 2016 Report.  The New York Market Radio Association releases its second quarter 2016 State of the New York Market Report.  The organization calls it’s a “comprehensive analysis of the NY marketplace…[that] assesses the New York area economy, including business drivers and provides up-to-date consumer research on music consumption, radio usage, and more.”  The report states that “New York Radio revenue showed some positive growth in the first half of 2016. Four hundred and fifty advertisers increased their spending by double-digit percentages.  Fourteen percent of these advertisers more than doubled their radio ad spend, each paying more than $100K for airwaves.  Of these larger spenders, six were in the automotive space and nine were part of the food and beverage sector.  In the entertainment category, advertisers for concerts, theatre, and movies had a 22% increase over the last six months.  Communications/Cellular spending has increased by 7%.”  Read the entire report here.

Odds & Sods.  At the Salem Media Group Denver operations, Scott Curtis is the new afternoon drive newscurtisscott anchor on the Steve Kelley and Krista Kafer program.  Curtis says, “I am excited to finally be working at a great team at Salem Media.  For a radio guy, this is a dream job!”…..NBC Sports Radio is adding tafoyamicheleEmmy Award-winning Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya as a featured contributor across NBC Sports Radio programming in which she’ll also do interviews with affiliated stations.  She says, “I began my broadcasting career in radio and I absolutely love the medium.  Sports talk radio offers a certain freedom to talk more conversationally than most formats.  NBC Sports Radio has been a fun platform for me over the past couple of seasons, so I’m looking forward to this extended role.”…..CBS Sports Radio unveils its football-intensive weekend programming that begins Saturday (8/20) with the “Eye on Fantasy Football” show.  Other shows this fall will include “Eye on College Football,”  “Sunday Morning Football,” “Fantasy Football Today,” and “Eye onknss Football.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KNSS, Wichita takes the top prize from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in the Best Complete Newscast category for Large Market Radio in the organization’s 2016 awards.  The station’s Steve McIntosh, Ted Woodward and Jad Chambers, earned honor for their work on the “Day After Hesston, KS Mass Shooting.”

The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Shooting Case, Rio Olympics-U.S. Swimmers Detained, Louisiana Floods/SoCal Wildfires, Battle for Aleppo, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the aftermath of the shooting death of an armed black man by police in Milwaukee; the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro and the controversy over U.S. swimmers’ allegations they were robbed at gunpoint; the devastating floods in Louisiana and the Southern California wildfires; the battle to retake Aleppo from Islamic State forces and Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

The Conclave Names New Board Members.  Three broadcast executives join the board of directors for The Conclave.  The new members are: Peter Bowen, vice president/market manager, Cumulus Media Chicago; Tony Coles, EVP, programming, iHeartMedia; and Melek Demir, director of radio, National Associationconclave of Broadcasters.   Cumulus Media VP, social Lori Lewis says, “As volunteers, it’s not always easy to find time to give back.  We are all busier than ever.  And because of that, I’m grateful for Peter, Tony and Melek for giving their time to Conclave.  I am also grateful for the current board members that work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure Conclave serves our industry.  We are working on dates for Conclave 42 in 2017 and will have an announcement soon!”

flaherty16cuppingWhat’s Cupping? WHMP, Northampton, Massachusetts morning personality Bob Flaherty – like many watching the Rio Olympics and noticing the dark spots on U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps – was intrigued by the ancient healing practice known as cupping.  But instead of just asking an expert about it, Flaherty decided to get “cupped” live on the air and stream it live on Facebook as well.  Flaherty is pictured here with the small glass globes still on his back while doing his program.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

| April 20, 2016

NABShow16NAB Show Day 2.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas where he’s covering the NAB Show for TALKERS magazine.  Today he writes that the convention is so dominated by discussion about digital content and social media that he was intrigued as he sat down for the session, “How Local Broadcasters Engage and Win in the Digital Age.”  It was presented by Katz Media Group EVP Strategy, Analytics & Research Stacey Lynn Schulman.  She says that “technology provides the illusion of companionship,” and says what local broadcasters can provide are “tangible experiences.”  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

nabcrystalawardNAB 2016 Crystal Award Winners Announced.  On Tuesday at the NAB Show in Las Vegas the National Association of Broadcasters announced the 10 winners of the 29th Annual Crystal Radio Awards, recognizing stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service.  The winners were selected from 50 finalists.  They are: KNDE-FM, College Station, Texas; WBAB-FM, Long Island; KNX, Los Angeles; WCCO, Minneapolis/St. Paul; KPRS-FM, Kansas City; WJBR-FM,  Wilmington, Delaware; KRLC-AM Lewiston, Idaho; WRLT, Nashville; KTAR-FM, Phoenix; and WWJ, Detroit.

murrowawards16RTDNA Announces 2016 Regional Murrow Award Winners.  The 2016 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award winners have been announced by the Radio Television Digital News Association.  Among the winners is Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington which took home five awards including for Overall Excellence and Best Website.  CBS RADIO was well represented with 11 stations receiving a total of 25 awards.  All-newsers KCBS-AM, San Francisco and KYW, Philadelphia both were recognized for Overall Excellence.  See the entire list of winners from all regions in all categories here.

joycebrianElSharqWGOW, Chattanooga’s Brian Joyce Tackles Middle East Issues (in Istanbul and the U.S.).  WGOW, Chattanooga midday talk host Brian Joyce (left) is pictured here on the set of Egyptian television news network El Sharq with the local host (right).  Joyce made the appearance during a three-day trip to Istanbul, Turkey during which he and former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Georgia) were speaking about the Middle East, terrorism, and the U.S. elections.  Not long after that, Joyce moderated a panel on human rights and democracy at Harvard Law School.  Speakers and panelists included former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former Egyptian MP Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, and representatives from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Al Jazeera.  That event was titled, “As Egypt Goes, So Goes the Middle East.”

golicgreenbergHoF16ESPN’s Mike & Mike Enter NAB Hall of Fame.  Nationally syndicated ESPN Radio morning show duo Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic were inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame yesterday at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The two have been a team on the radio for the past 15 years. On being named to the hall, Greenberg says, “It is certainly the greatest honor of my professional life.  When I see the list of people who have been inducted it is impossible to imagine being included.  But I’m thrilled and very grateful to everyone who supported us.”

The Presidential Election/New York Primary, UnitedHealthCare Exits ObamaCare Exchanges, Mistrust of Media Survey, Bathroom-Gender Laws, U.S. Immigration-Amnesty Policy, Houston Floods Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19).  The activities of the candidates for president and yesterday’s New York primary election; the exit of leading American health insurer UnitedHealthCare from most of the states’ ObamaCare exchanges; a recent American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll indicating just 6% of Americans “have a lot of confidence” in the press; the various controversies over bathroom laws and gender identification; the testimony before a House subcommittee on the public safety effects of President Obama’s executive actions; and the devastating Houston-area floods were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

esksteinwarrenLongtime Radio Host Warren Eckstein Launches ‘The Pet Insider’ on PodcastOne.  Pet expert Warren Eckstein has been working successfully in syndicated radio for 30-plus years.  Now, he joins the PodcastOne platform with his new show, “The Pet Insider.”  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “As a guy who’s often described as loving pets more than people, I love having this podcast on our network.  Warren is no stranger to me, having listened to his radio program for years.  It’s great to have him on the PodcastOne network.”