Top Story

    There’s more evidence that radio listening is rebounding in May after declining last month due to stay-at-home orders enacted to stem the spread of the coronavirus. More than one in four core listeners (26%) say they’re listening more, compared to 15% who indicated less, according to an online survey conducted in mid-May by Jacobs Media. Read more

    Inside Radio News

    Urban One reported first quarter 2020 revenues of $94.9 million, down 3.6% from $98.4 million in the same period in 2019. Radio segment billings decreased 5% or -5.7% on a same-station basis minus political. Revenues at syndication unit Reach Media dropped 4.1%, cable TV segment TV One was largely flat while digital tumbled 14.8%. A bright spot: EBITDA, a measure of cash flow, increased 16.6 % to $32.3 million from $27.7 million one year earlier. Read more

    Entercom abandons CHR in Boston and launches adult hits “Big 103” WODS, playing cross-genre hits from the 80s, 90s and 2000s from artists such as Guns N’ Roses, Prince, Journey, Madonna, Pearl Jam, The Notorious B.I.G., AC/DC, Britney Spears and Blink-182. The new station displaces “103.3 Amp Radio” and rolls out jockless and with a “2-Minute Promise” to keep the music flowing. Read more

    There are new ripples in radio’s ongoing performance royalty battle this year as efforts in Congress to update federal music copyright laws may engulf the decades-long issue of whether AM-FM airplay should trigger payments to artists. Broadcasters and the music industry are leaning on familiar arguments in making their case to lawmakers. But what’s different is the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on conversations. And that could work in radio’s favor. Read more

    Treefort Media’s The No Sports Report, the podcast launched two months ago by radio veteran Jensen Karp after the COVID-19 outbreak wiped the sports calendar clean, is joining the iHeartPodcast Network. The Monday-through-Friday podcast features one-on-one interviews with athletes, coaches and commentators from across the sports world who, just like their fans, are desperately missing the games they love. Read more

    The NAB Leadership Foundation announces the finalists for the 2020 Celebration of Service to America Awards, recognizing outstanding community service by local broadcasters. One winner from each category will be announced during the Celebration of Service to America Awards program, which has been reimagined as a pre-recorded event that will be accessible online and available for broadcast radio and TV stations to air in late August. Read more

    The newly-formed Loud Media beefs up its station portfolio in the Knoxville area with the purchase of hot AC “The River 106” WJRV and “Good Time Oldies 104.9” WTNQ from Momentum Broadcasting. Loud Media was formed earlier this month with the combination of Border Media and A&J Radio and the subsequent purchase of Pine Tree Broadcasting’s AC combo in New York and Vermont. Read more

    Two-thirds of Stitcher podcasts are streamed not downloaded, and Washington state punches above its population when it comes to contributing listening hours to the app. Those are two of the findings in the Stitcher Podcasting Report, an analysis of the company’s podcast consumption that offers insights into the state of the industry overall – including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

    With the cancellation of its annual flagship event, the “XPoNential Music Festival,” University of Pennsylvania adult alternative WXPN Philadelphia (88.5) is bringing the celebration online and over-the-air this summer. Archived festival performances will be posted online on “XPNFest Fridays,” while an “XPNFest Weekend” (July 24-26) will also include new and exclusive performances from some of the artists that were scheduled to perform this year. Read more

    Nearly three months into the coronavirus pandemic, fresh research quantifies the growing size of radio’s audience that is working from home – or not working at all. An online survey of 16,000 core radio listeners, conducted by Jacobs Media in mid-May, shows 15% are currently unemployed. And among commercial radio listeners who have a job, 41% say they are working from home. The findings have long-term implications for radio listening. Read more

    People Moves

    Sherri Powers is upped to Chief Engineer at Beasley Media Group Detroit. Powers, who has been with the cluster for 22 years, most recently served as Assistant Chief Engineer. Read more

    Dee Dee Renee exits middays at Alpha Media urban AC “The Big DM 101FM” WWDM Columbia, SC. Renee, who had been with WWDM for eight years, previously co-hosted “The Doug Banks Show.” Read more

    Marion, OH radio veteran Charlie Evers has died at the age of 85. Evers radio career began in 1949 at WMRN, “watching the station’s tent at the Crawford County Fair,” the Marion Star reports. He then became the station engineer and then hosted the morning show, beginning in 1968. Evers also worked for WDIF and most recently had been with WWGH. Read more