Townsquare Media Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 13.6%. For the second quarter of 2022, Townsquare Media is reporting net revenue of $121.9 million, an increase of 13.6% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $4.9 million, a decrease of $5.2 million from Q2 of 2021. Townsquare’s financial data is broken in to three primary segments: Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions, Digital Advertising, and Broadcast Advertising. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment includes its subscription digital marketing solutions business, Townsquare Interactive. The Digital Advertising segment, marketed externally as Townsquare Ignite, includes digital advertising on the company’s owned and operated digital properties and its digital programmatic advertising platform. The Broadcast Advertising segment includes its local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast, and other miscellaneous revenue that is associated with the broadcast advertising platform. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment’s net revenue rose 13.7%, the Digital Advertising segment’s net revenue was up 25.4%, and the Broadcast Advertising segment’s net revenue rose 1.0%. Company CEO Bill Wilson states, “I am proud to share that the Townsquare team delivered another quarter of strong revenue and profit growth, and in doing so, we achieved all-time record highs for both net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. Our performance clearly demonstrates the strength and differentiation of our digital businesses and our legacy broadcast business. Townsquare’s second quarter net revenue increased year-over-year by 14%, exceeding our guidance range, and Adjusted EBITDA increased 7% year-over-year, meeting our guidance range. In addition, our digital revenue growth accelerated from the first quarter (Q1 +16% year-over-year), with second quarter total digital revenue increasing 21% year-over-year. Our strong top-line growth, margin profile, and cash generation characteristics have contributed to the reduction of our net leverage, now at a historical low of 4.65x as of June 30th, including the repurchase and retirement of $19 million of our Senior Secured Notes at or below par in Q2. We are also pleased to announce that we are raising our FY 2022 guidance following the close of the Cherry Creek acquisition on June 17th. Our updated full-year guidance reflects the ongoing momentum of our business and the strength of our performance to date, fueled by our differentiated digital platform. As a Digital First Local Media Company focused principally on markets outside of the Top 50 in the United States, we have a resilient digital growth engine supported by subscription digital marketing solutions, with a large addressable market and limited competition. As we move forward, we expect double-digit digital net revenue growth to continue at strong margins, reaching our digital revenue target of at least $275 million in 2024. With half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, it is our belief that over time as digital continues to meaningfully grow, Townsquare should and will be afforded a sum-of the-parts valuation that our digital assets deserve.”
70 Years of WGN-AM, Chicago Audio Archived at Northwestern University. As the result of a gift from WGN-AM, Chicago’s parent company Nexstar Media Group, a 70-year swath of the radio station’s audio archive now resides at Northwestern University Libraries in the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives. The station says, “The archive, with materials covering 1941 to 2011, includes more than 15,000 items, primarily magnetic media (open reel tapes, compact cassettes, continuous-loop “carts,” U-matic videocassettes and VHS tapes) as well as other media such as grooved discs, CDs and minidiscs. The bulk of the audio dates to the 1980s and 1990s, a period of innovation and surging popularity for the station.” Scott Krafft is curator of special collections at Northwestern and he says that the archive contains thousands of hours of audio that will need to be cataloged and, where necessary, digitally preserved before they can be made publicly available. He adds, “It’s a remarkable collection that represents a significant sampling of Chicago history, including local and national news. In addition, the voices of WGN Radio’s most popular programs are represented here, making this an important archive for the history of the entire field of radio broadcasting.” WGN Radio VP and general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle comments, “Given the long and storied connection between WGN Radio and Northwestern University, it is most fitting that this audio collection, drawn out of 70 years of our broadcast history, will be under their care. While digitizing it will be a substantial undertaking for the Northwestern Libraries, ultimately, this will be a permanent and invaluable repository and resource for years to come. We trust their expertise and are proud they are the caretakers in this endeavor.”
Triton Digital Streaming Ranker for June 2022 Released. The monthly ranking of the top-performing streaming audio stations has been released for the month of June by Triton Digital. The ranking is based on Average Active Sessions which is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period. In the period of 6AM-12AM Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is far and away the #1 streamer again this month with 301,251 Average Active Sessions. Continuing in the #2 spot this month is NPR Member Stations (72,476 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (68,570 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,562 AAS). Other streamers of note in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,663 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,151 AAS), and Salem Communications at #11 (8,677 AAS). See the complete chart here.
TALKERS News Notes. Former WTMJ, Milwaukee air personality Jane Matenaer, who exited the station last month after six and a half years with the Good Karma Brands news/talk outlet, is staying with the company as producer and news reporter for sister progressive talk WAUK-AM/W266DR, Waukesha “The ‘Sha 101 FM” on the “As Goes Wisconsin” early afternoon program hosted by Kristen Brey…..Cumulus Media appoints Derek Falter VP/market manager for its Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Michigan markets that include sports talk WJRW-AM, Grand Rapids “The Ticket” and seven music-formatted stations. Falter, who was most recently regional VP for Curtis Media Group, comments, “I’m beyond excited about the opportunity the leadership team at Cumulus Media is giving me to work alongside the dynamic crews in Grand Rapids and Muskegon! Thanks to Mary Berner and Bob Walker for bringing me back to a part of the country that is so meaningful to my family.”
Al-Zawahiri Killed, Pelosi’s Asia Trip, Biden’s Climate/Health Bill, Manchin-Schumer Bill, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, January 6 Sentencing, Deadly Kentucky Floods/Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1). 9/11 orchestrator Ayman al-Zawahiri is killed in drone strike in Kabul; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan and China’s threatening response; the fate of Joe Biden’s climate and health bill; the Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer-authored Inflation Reduction Act; November’s midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the still-high price of gasoline and food and concerns about a recession; Guy Reffit is sentenced to seven years in prison for his part in the January 6 Capitol attack; the deadly Kentucky floods and threats of more rain to the region plus the ongoing wildfires in Northern California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Monday Memo: Save Those Benjamins. Even with gas prices now inching down, almost everything else is “SO expensive that listeners (and we) are coping.” Wrapping-up his month-long series – “Inflation Hacks” – Holland Cooke presents 9 money-saving tips, “AND a fabulous radio prize!” Read it here.
Pending Business: The Great Resignation. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says “The Great Resignation” is having an effect on the radio/audio sales business, too. He writes, “The Pew survey says the top three reasons for ‘The Great Resignation’ are: low pay, lack of advancement opportunity, and feeling disrespected at work. Does it sound like the grumbling before the Monday morning sales meeting? My marketing work puts me in direct contact with sales reps across the country and ‘The Great Resignation’ did extend into our radio/audio sales community. On the radio side more so in the larger market stations.” He offers some suggestions for navigating this era of economic uncertainty. Read it here.
Radio HOF Welcomes Nine Inductees. A voting participant panel comprised of more than 800 industry professionals honorees determined six honorees; the other three were voted on by the Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee. Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig Kitchin comments, “Our forthcoming inductees have made a wonderful impact on the lives of their listeners and our industry. We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate their respective careers and honor them with an induction to the Radio Hall of Fame.” According to co-chair Dennis Green, “This was our highest voter participation ever. The radio industry picked an amazing, diverse class of broadcasters and executives that we are proud to call Hall of Famers. These individuals have made a lasting impact on this amazing industry, cementing their place as part of the legacy that makes radio special.” In alphabetical order, the nine inductees are: radio executive Marv Dyson; “Country USA” host Lon Helton; iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” morning personality Ellen K; Audacy New York classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” afternoon drive talent Broadway Bill Lee; “Gospel Traxx” host Reverend Walt “Baby” Love; iHeartMedia New York classic rock WAXQ “Q 103.4” talent Carol Miller; Sirius XM sports talk host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo; Emmis Communications president/chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan; and New York Yankees Radio Network announcer Suzyn Waldman. The 2022 Radio Hall of Fame inductees will be honored in-person November 1 at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. The Radio Hall of Fame was founded by the Emerson Radio Corporation in 1988; The Museum of Broadcast Communications took over operations in 1991. This year’s confidential ballot was conducted by Votem.com and overseen by Miller Kaplan’s Andrew Rosen.
Radio Resources Unit Debuts Today. Tailored for medium to small market owners and operators, Radio Resources was launched today (Monday, 7/25) by parent company Gen Media Partners. Director of products and services Alex Quintero notes, “Until now, radio station owners and operators had to deal with multiple providers and retrofit the pieces together. The Radio Resources toolkit offers broadcasters one central point of contact and stewardship for a wide array of products and services, streamlined across critical departments to deliver a more efficient, productive, and seamless experience. We’re the only company that can aggregate such a broad range of radio products and services and provide this level of multi-resource support. Our independent standing gives us the freedom to seek out the best providers to service our radio clients.” Among other things the Radio Resources suite includes: Programming and Content; Workflow Solutions; IT and Cyber Security; 24/7 Formats; Sales Strategy; Imaging and Production; Research; Online and Digital Integrations; and Back-Office Operations. Radio Resources products and services are available for cash, barter or a combination of both.
Pickup Truck Slams Into Cumulus Media Indy Building. Two vehicles were involved in a crash last Thursday (7/21) at approximately 5:45 pm with one, a pickup truck (pictured above), striking the Cumulus Media Indianapolis building on North Shadeland Avenue. No one in that structure was hurt, although the building received extensive damage. According to a Facebook posting, Cumulus Indianapolis continued from its backup studio. The driver of one vehicle in the accident was taken to a hospital and is listed in serious condition. In addition to sports talk WXNT “CBS Sports 1430 AM,” Cumulus Indianapolis consists of WFMS “95.5 The Country Station”; classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5”; WNDX “93.9 X – Indy’s Rock Station”; hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix”; and CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL.”
Windy City Readying For Rock Radio Revisited. Longtime “The Larry King Radio Show” executive producer Pat Piper is producing The Museum of Broadcast Communications’ “Rock Radio Revisited,” which will be held August 14 at 3:00 pm at The Des Plaines Theatre. Museum of Broadcast Communications board chair David Plier notes, “The heyday of rock radio in the 60’s and 70s’ was centered around the booming personalities of [Chicago on-air talents such as] Larry Lujack, John Records Landecker, Yvonne Daniels, Bob Sirott and Steve King. Every city had their favorite local radio station and the voices behind them. This will be an incredible celebration of the personalities and music that made that era of rock and roll so memorable.” Landecker, Tommy Edwards, Bob Stroud and Dyana Williams will reminisce about “the golden age of rock radio.” In addition, there will be vintage airchecks, as well as stories about the on-air personalities, fans, and gimmicks. Those making special appearances include: Gary Burbank; “Cousin Brucie” Morrow; Kris Erik Stevens; and Connie Szerszen. Among the “presenters” of the Wendy Snyder-hosted event is Nexstar Media Group Chicago news/talk WGN “Radio 720”; cross-town Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WLS-AM “890 AM” is one of the “sponsors.”
TALKERS News Notes. Most recently working as ABC Audio’s manager of digital audio, Josh Cohan is promoted to director of podcast programming for ABC News. His first venture into podcasting was as part of the team that launched “10% Happier with Dan Harris” in 2016. He also helped create ABC’s flagship daily news podcast, “Start Here,” which won the 2022 Webby Award for “Best News and Politics” podcast. Cohan joined ABC News Radio in 2007 as an intern and served as a producer and coordinating producer before transitioning to podcasting … As a result of signing a multi-year contract, WHPT “102.5 The Bone” 6:00 am – 10:00 am talent Mike Calta continues his role at the Cox Media Group Tampa news/talk outlet. Regional vice president/general manager Keith Lawless remarks, “Mike is arguably one of the most successful and talented broadcasters on the air in America today.” WHPT’s director of branding & programming, John Brennan, comments, “Mike Calta is simply the best radio talent in Tampa. I couldn’t be more excited that he will continue to call ‘102.5 The Bone’ home for many years to come.” Calta – who joined WHPT in 2007 – adds, “I’m grateful and proud to be continuing my radio career with CMG in my home of Tampa Bay. At 50 years old, my window to being a male dancer has surely closed, so this contract is extra special to me and my family.” … Two-year Max Media Norfolk vice president/operations and programming Eddie Haskell exits the five-station cluster, which includes sports talk WVSP “94.1 ESPN” and business talk WGH-AM “Money Talk 1310 and 100.9.” He formerly was senior vice president/programming for nine iHeartMedia stations in Ft. Collins (Colorado).
Salem Media Group Seeks Producers. Attention producers! Salem Media Group is looking for producers. Salem has great radio stations, the Salem Radio Network, the Salem Podcast Network, and the Salem News Channel, and we always need producers to help us create our great products. If you have experience producing radio or TV shows, please send your resume and keep ‘em coming to: Phil Boyce, Senior VP of Spoken Word Formats, Salem Media Group Philip.email@example.com. Salem is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Steve Cochran to Host Morning Drive on WLS-AM, Chicago. Chicago media personality Steve Cochran is joining Cumulus Media to host the morning drive show on news/talk WLS-AM, effective June 15. Cochran served as morning drive host at Nexstar Media’s crosstown news/talk WGN-AM from 2013 to 2019. He’s been producing two podcasts since his exit from WGN – one titled “Live from My Office” and another with Patty Steele called “The Deep 6 with Patty Steele – both of which he says he’ll continue to produce, according to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder. Cochran is taking over the morning show from Bruce St. James, who was brought in from Phoenix in December of 2020 to host the morning show after Erich Mancow Muller exited the station. WLS program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “I’m delighted to welcome Steve to our team, where I know he will bring his wisdom, wit, and political prowess to morning drive. Our listeners need a place to feel safe to express their opinions while having a destination for entertainment, news, and, of course, conservative conversation. Steve will provide that for our Chicagoland audience. I’m looking forward to growing 890 with Steve Cochran in the mornings.” Cochran comments, “Like thousands of others, I did my homework listening to The Big 89 WLS when I was a kid. It’s an honor to say those call letters, and I can’t wait to get started.” Cochran is represented by John McConnell at Workhouse Media.
Cumulus Names Lisa Waks SVP Digital Partnerships and Business Development. Digital media pro Lisa Waks is named SVP, digital partnerships and business development, in which she’ll lead Cumulus Podcast Network’s content acquisition strategy and content pipeline development, with a focus on personality-driven brand franchises in the news; business, money & tech; sports; and entertainment verticals. Waks was most recently head of global media partnerships, strategy, and operations for TED Conferences, where she expanded their digital business, streamlined operations, and launched the TED Audio Collective. Cumulus EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Lisa is a trailblazer who has spent years creating new businesses, building new revenue streams, and forging successful and enduring partnerships. We are excited for her to bring this fire and focus to Cumulus to help us continue to expand the Cumulus Podcast Network with innovative, interesting, and unique content that is craved by listeners and partners alike.” Waks comments, “I am thrilled to begin the next chapter in my career with such a long-standing and prestigious organization. Cumulus is best-in-class, leading the audio industry with a wide range of voices and premium content. I believe in the power of the spoken word, and through smart collaborations we will successfully deepen connections and community.”
Adrian Warren Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Jacksonville. Radio sales pro Adrian Warren is named vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville cluster, effective June 13. The company says that in this role, Warren will be responsible driving revenue across the market’s entire broadcast and digital cluster, with a specific focus on WJBT-FM, WSOL-FM and the Black Information Network. Warren most recently served with Radio One in Indianapolis as digital sales manager and local sales manager. iHeartMedia area president for North Florida Paul Rogers comments, “I’m really excited to have Adrian join our leadership team here on the First Coast of Florida. His track record, personal character, and specific experience with some of the same diverse brands we represent here in Jacksonville were a perfect fit for us, and we were fortunate to get him. I’m confident he’ll help us get back to our market-leading revenue position.”
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Lizzie Baumgartner is returning to Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM to serve as managing editor of podcasts. Most recently, she’s been serving the company as audio production coordinator for its alternative rock and country stations. Her previous role with WBBM was as assistant producer…..A number of executive promotions are taking place at Triton Digital. Stephanie Donovan is now global head of revenue. Alex Fournier is named chief technology officer. Benjamin Masse rises to chief product officer, and Molly Glover Gallatin joins the executive team as SVP of marketing and Jelli customer experience. Triton says the promotions “further support the company’s recent integration of Jelli to accelerate the development of innovative technology that serves the entire audio ecosystem across radio, streaming, and podcasting.”…..SiriusXM is presenting coverage of the Belmont Stakes, the third and final jewel of thoroughbred racing’s 2022 Triple Crown, this Saturday, June 11 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Belmont Stakes is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network.
Making Dreams Come True. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (right) before a Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game. Katz says, “Being the number one talk radio personality in Central Virginia brings some perks like being asked to throw out the first pitches for the area’s two big baseball teams – the Tri-City Chili Peppers and the Richmond Flying Squirrels. I got those calls but realized there is something better than doing it yourself and that’s making a dream come true for someone else. So, citing my health issues like ‘outgrown hair and a torn rotator cufflink,’ I asked Emily Morrissey (second from left) if she’d be willing to help him. Emily is a 23-year-old young lady with cerebral palsy and other challenges, but she brought the heat and did a great job as my ringer at both Shepard Stadium in Colonial Heights, Virginia and The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia. Emily personally makes beautiful bracelets which are available at www.emilysbracelets.com and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Special Olympics of Virginia. Each player on the Chili Peppers and the Flying Squirrels wore one of her bracelets in their respective team colors during their games.”
Primary Elections/Donald Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Gun Violence-Legislation, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/7). Tuesday’s primary elections for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Thursday’s hearings before the January 6 Committee; the soaring price of gasoline & food, plummeting tech stocks and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its effect on the global economy; reactions to the recent episodes of gun violence and attempts at gun legislation; and the status of COVID-19 in the U.S. were some of most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.