Third quarter revenues for Cumulus Media rose 3.2% on a same-station basis, clocking in at $280.8 million. But when political revenues are backed out in this non-election year, the Q3 2019 report looks rosier, with revenues up 3.9%. Cumulus has been pruning its station portfolio to pay down debt—and the “as reported” or actual revenue numbers reflect that with net revenue down 0.5%. Read more

A New Orleans judge shot down a request for a warrant to arrest former WWL night host Seth Dunlap. Magistrate Commissioner Robert Blackburn rejected a request from the New Orleans Police Department, saying he didn’t find sufficient evidence to back up a charge of extortion. It’s the latest wrinkle in the ongoing case of a homophobic tweet sent from the account of the Entercom news/talk station in September. Read more

War and food intersect in a new podcast dropping today, Veteran’s Day from the iHeartPodcast Network. In the series called Service: Stories of Hunger and War, food writer Jacqueline Raposo, a food writer and podcast producer, follows members of the military, veterans and wartime volunteers from their homes in the United States through overseas deployment and then back home again. Read more

Border Media launches classic country “K96.9” KYAP Ft. Collins. “Colorado’s Throwback Country” is playing gold-based country from Hank Williams, Jr., Chris Ledoux, Martina McBride, Le Roy Parnell, The Judds and Joe Diffie, a recent sampling of the station revealed. Broder Media is operating the station under an LMA with Appaloosa Broadcasting. Read more

WRKO raises more than $230,000 during its “DAV Radiothon.” … WMME-FM raises 8,000 pounds of food and $10,000 in cash donations during its recent “Campout Hunger.” … ABC News Radio to provide extensive coverage of the impeachment inquiry hearings… WIP-FM’s Rob Ellis to co-host sports gambling show on KYW-TV. Read more

The combination of 2% revenue growth and expanding profit margins drove Entercom’s earnings up 13% in the third quarter. Over the past 12 months, revenues ticked up 3% and earnings increased 18%. These numbers have CEO David Field feeling optimistic heading into 2020. “We feel good about our outlook for 2020, based on the strong set of organic growth opportunities we have across the business,” Field said last week. Read more

Federal appeals court rulings striking down media ownership rule revisions during the past decade have sent the Federal Communications Commission back to the drawing board. But this time, the FCC is pushing back—and broadcasters are happy to see it. The Commission last week asked the full Third Circuit Court of Appeals to review the order released by a three-judge panel in September. Read more

The Radio Hall Of Fame honored its Class of 2019 Nov. 8 in New York with WFAN New York afternoon drive host Mike Francesa MC-ing the 31st Annual Induction Ceremony and prior inductee Jim Bohannon serving as announcer of the event. The RHOF recapped some of the night’s highlights in a press release issued over the weekend. Read more

As technology continues to evolve toward a screen-less world and consumers’ reliance on voice assistants grows, marketers and brands will be more effective by prioritizing audio messaging than visual communications. With consumers listening to more audio than ever, it’s never been more important for advertisers to be on point with their audio message. So says the Interactive Advertising Bureau in a new white paper. Read more

Some radio stations apparently still haven't gotten the memo that if you use a copyrighted photo without permission, the law is coming for you. By name, that often means Long Island-based attorney Richard Liebowitz, who Inside Radio readers— and many radio groups —know quite well. In the latest trifecta of suits, Cox Media Group, Entercom and Cumulus are named. Read more

Monday, November 11, 2019

Podcast and digital audio investments are paying off for the E. W. Scripps Co., which reported third quarter revenue on Friday. It said Stitcher revenue soared 41.4% compared to a year ago. “The marketplace in digital audio is obviously growing quickly as consumer habits change,” CEO Adam Symson said. Meanwhile, Triton Digital revenue fell following its spin-off of one of its business lines. Read more

Veritone, the provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and solutions, says it just had its strongest-ever quarter for its advertising business. The combination of organic growth in the podcast marketplace and its 2018 acquisition of the podcast agency Performance Bridge are paying now off. “Our podcast gross billings were up 39% year-over-year and now nearly equal our broadcast-based business,” said Veritone President Ryan Steelberg. Read more

It will take some subtraction from the bank account before Universal Broadcasting will be able to remove a Long Island AM from its portfolio. The Federal Communications Commission says Universal will need to pay what amounts to a $5,000 fine for operating without a license before it will clear the pending sale of WTHE, Mineola, NY (1520) to Cantico Nueveo Ministry. Read more

Friday, November 08, 2019

Entercom’s stock rallied in Friday trading after the company narrowly beat Wall Street estimates in its third quarter earnings report. Shares of “ETM” jumped 17% to close at $4.32 on the news that the company’s earnings increased 13% to $98.0 million, up from $86.7 million in the prior year period. Q3 revenues rose 2.0% to $386.1 million, up from $378.5 million in the same period one year ago. Read more

You don’t have to pay $2,000 to hear predictions for 2020. Starting Monday, Inside Radio will publish Radio Industry Forecast – 2020, featuring a full week of forecasting the year ahead from top industry leaders. Each day, we’ll bring you a fresh outlook from an elite group of industry execs on the revenue, digital and general business trends that will have the greatest impact on our business in 2020. Read more

Santa’s Christmas list is getting longer as stations continue the earlier than usual migration to wall-to-wall holiday hits. Jingle bells are now ringing in Las Vegas, Denver, Portland and Central Pennsylvania, as the latest group of stations make the Christmas flip. The early adopters debut just as Nielsen’s December PPM survey kicks off (Nov. 7) and at the beginning of the last month of the Fall 2019 diary survey period. Read more

Cox Media Group Tulsa staff walks in honor of former co-worker at the Light The Night Walk to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society… KPCC announces realignment with several members of the staff let go… CBS Sports Radio’s Brandon Tierney to provide play-by-play for “Man vs. Bear” TV show. Read more

New business ventures are often focused on finding consumers and worrying about profits later. But for iHeartMedia the podcast business is growing so fast that, combined with its built-in advantages as the biggest broadcast radio company, the investment is already in the black. “The podcasting industry is growing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down,” CEO Bob Pittman said. Read more

As Nielsen plans to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies, some of the puzzle pieces of the separation are falling into place. The measurement giant Thursday announced plans to spin-off its Global Connect business, the division that measures retail and consumer behavior, into a separate company. That will leave Nielsen’s Global Media business, which measures radio, TV and other media, as its own separate entity. Read more

Urban One says a ransomware attack that occurred last winter, crippling station systems for days, was a wakeup call for the company. It has spent the past several months not only clearing computers of malware remnants but also installing new technology and personnel to help secure it from another such attack in the future. “We have beefed up our capabilities,” CFO Peter Thompson said Thursday. Read more

Digital growth was a third quarter 2019 highlight for Beasley Media Group, growing nearly 37% year-over-year and accounting for 7.4% of the company’s third quarter revenue, up from 5.4% in third quarter 2018. Digital revenue increased 22.5% on a year-to-date basis. Users and page views are up as a result of the company’s renewed focus on distributing digital content. Read more

Saga Communications posted third-quarter profit of $3.3 million, but same-station revenue fell $1.4 million to $30.3 million versus a year earlier. CEO Ed Christian expressed disappointment at the quarterly results, calling them “unsatisfying.” The executive also made a let’s-get-back-to-basics appeal during Thursday’s earnings call. Read more

Thursday, November 07, 2019

iHeartMedia reported Thursday that its third quarter revenues rose 3% year-over-year to $948.3 million and increased 4.9% excluding the impact of political revenue. All of iHeart's revenue streams grew year-over-year when the impact of political is removed, which the company pointed to as evidence of continued momentum in its business. Read more

Driven in part by billions spent on political ads, local advertising revenue in the U.S. will jump 5.8% to $161.3 billion in 2020, up from $152.5 billion this year. By a roughly 60-40 split, traditional media will grab the majority of local ad dollars next year, even as digital media billings grow at a faster pace. Traditional media outlets are forecast to bill $94.4 billion in local business in 2020, while online/digital revenue will grow to $66.9 billion. Read more

Urban One reports its radio division revenue increased 1.1% during third quarter although when the sale of urban AC “105.9 Kiss FM” WDMK Detroit to Beasley Broadcast Group is accounted for, same-station revenue was up a stronger 4.2%, according to CEO Alfred Liggins. “I was pleased that we were able to grow the radio broadcasting segment,” he said in the announcement. Read more

Progressive talk outlet WBAI New York is finally back in the hands of its local staff after Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Melissa Crane ruled in their favor. “I think it’s time to get WBAI back on the air and back to fundraising,” Crane said. WBAI returned to local broadcasting early Thursday, Nov. 7, one month to the day after Pacifica Corporation took over operations. Read more

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze is ditching its traditional cable channel at the end of the year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The conservative multimedia outfit will maintain its website, radio presence and subscription VOD service. The decision to jettison the TV channel comes after its failure to make meaningful inroads in a crowded field. Read more

NPR held onto the top spot on Podrac’s monthly ranker of the most listened-to podcast publishers in October, as iHeartMedia remained the biggest commercial publisher. The monthly ranker also saw a first-time appearance by NBC News. With across the board audience growth, Podtrac reports the top ten publishers overall experienced an average 10% month-to-month increase in their unique monthly U.S. audience in October. Read more

The decision by Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones to explore a run for Senate resulted in Jones being pulled off air after a complaint from the Republican Party of Kentucky. The complaint says Jones is using his radio show as a platform for his Senate run. Jones calls the complaint “absolute nonsense and very disappointing.” Read more

Four months after confirming its Board of Directors is conducting a strategic review, Univision offered little by way of an update on the options being explored, during the company’s third quarter earnings call Wednesday. CEO Vince Sadusky would only say it is “still ongoing” and there was nothing more to add. “We’re in the process and, like most companies, we’ll report out to you all when we have something to report,” Sadusky said. Read more

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has a message for the Department of Justice as it reviews the consent decrees that govern how radio stations and others license music from ASCAP and BMI: we’re watching you. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the Judiciary Committee has “great interest” in whether the DOJ moves to modify or terminate the decrees, and whether a legislative response is needed. Read more

Radio stations that go all Christmas usually see a cume, TSL and ratings bump, but at what cost? These increases come from new P1 listeners, who tune into the station specifically to hear the sounds of the season. Turning your station over to Burl Ives and Bing Crosby is a format change, although temporary, which could drive some of your main audience away, according to DMR Interactive. Read more

A new survey from MasterCard SpendingPulse expects retail sales in the U.S. to grow 3.1%, excluding automotive, from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 this year. That outlook is considerably less optimistic than one recently offered by the National Retail Federation, which sees holiday sales increasing 3.8% to 4.2% over last year. Read more

Spanish Broadcasting System Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón has been appointed to the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, according to a news release. The group, which consists of media and digital executives, aims to accelerate the entry of women, minorities and small businesses into the media industry. Read more

The Daily isn’t really daily. It only publishes five days a week. In fact none of the big news-driven podcasts release episodes seven days a week. NPR is now taking a step in that direction, expanding its morning news podcast Up First to Saturdays. The public radio network is leveraging the team it has in place for the “Weekend Edition” broadcast. NPR says the move is part of its commitment to provide short-form audio that listeners can easily fit into their daily routines. Read more

Horne Radio buys Bunyard Broadcasting’s Fayetteville, AR cluster. American General Media expands its Bakersfield cluster by one FM. In Orlando Salem is once again subtracting as it sells a second AM in market No. 30. Plus, the Cromwell Group expands into Michigan. And as one Dallas AM sale closes, another transfer is filed. Check out the details in this week’s Deal Digest. Read more

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Univision Communications reported revenue for its radio segment decreased 1.8% to $65.2 million in third quarter 2019, down from $66.4 million one year earlier. Ad sales for the radio division declined 4.0% to $60.4 million while core radio advertising dipped 2.3% to $58.4 million. Total company revenue increased 8.5% to $681.4 million from $628.2 million, driven by an increase in subscriber fee revenue in its Media Networks division. Read more

Nexstar Media Group on Wednesday reported a third-quarter net loss of $5.8 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with year-ago net income of $100.5 million, or $2.21 a share. The loss was the result of costs associated with Nexstar’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, which includes WGN Radio. Read more

A new partnership between digital audio ad network Targetspot and location data provider Cuebiq will help advertisers gauge how their digital audio ad campaigns drove foot traffic to brick and mortar stores. The companies say their alliance will also provide insights into the offline consumer journey to help improve media planning and optimize an advertiser’s sales cycle. Read more

Entercom has promoted Jennifer Morales, its Director of Corporate Communications and PR, to the newly added post of Senior Director of Corporate Communications and PR. The move is part of an expansion effort in the communications department, driven by the need to provide support to and the company’s two podcasting businesses. Read more

Beasley Media Group’s WRIF (101.1) has been rocking Detroit since 1971 and that 48-year history has made it one of the long-running rock stations in the U.S. With that history and connection to the genre, WRIF is launching a new podcast that will celebrate the station. The History of WRIF Podcast will feature current and past air personalities reflecting on their memories of the station and the music that it played. Read more

WTOP-FM Washington Director of News and Programming Mike McMearty exits the Hubbard news outlet after 27 years. McMearty, who is stepping down to care for his mother, started at the station in 1992 as Assistant Editor and worked his way through the ranks, eventually rising to his most recent position in 2015. Read more

Blarney Stone Broadcasting launched “North FM” on a pair of Northern Michigan signals, WYPV Mackinaw City and WWMN Thompsonville. “North FM” is the new home for the AC format and air talent most recently heard on WLDR Traverse City. Morning man Sean “Finster” Finegan and co-host Abbey Courtney made the announcement of the move via Facebook Live. Read more

WRFF secures Vampire Weekend for its sixth annual “Movember Gala.” … WBOS presents “Dave & Chuck the Freak’s .5k.” … WGCI-FM holds its annual “Music Summit” Saturday, Nov. 9… WSRV to celebrate 14th birthday with Journey and the Pretenders… Salem postpones release of Q3 results… Mark Levin’s Fox News program gets new Sunday night timeslot. Read more

A new report says legalized sports betting is giving fans new experiences and offering radio and other media outlets a chance to grow their audiences, in addition to enhanced revenues for sports media rights. According to PwC’s annual Sports Outlook report, the North American sports market will grow at a compound annual rate of 3.2%, from $71.1 billion in 2018 to $83.1 billion in 2023, with betting a key driver. Read more

Mike Francesa said he was offered a long-term contract to continue hosting afternoons on Entercom sports WFAN/AM-FM New York but declined and instead signed a three-year deal to provide daily commentary, programming and additional content for, including some non-sports responsibilities. Although not daily, Francesa will still have a presence on “The Fan.” Read more

Broadcasters are united in their effort to convince the Federal Communications Commission that more “pragmatism and equity” are needed for the agency’s EEO rules, not enforcement. But a group of more than three dozen advocacy groups isn’t yet ready to throw in the towel, and they’re pushing the FCC to instead use the tools at its disposal to help diversify the ranks of radio and television employees. Read more

Californians resoundingly chose TV and radio as their go-to news sources for information about the recent wildfires that ravaged the northern and southern parts of the state, according to a new study commissioned by the television industry trade group TVB. The survey found eight in ten (79%) respondents used local TV station news for information about the wildfires while nearly half (47%) tuned to radio. Read more

The race for the White House, at least for the time being, is largely a digital battle, according to data from Advertising Analytics. Roughly $152 million has been spent so far, according to the research firm. According to a report by Axios, that represents an unprecedented level that eclipses television's traditional dominance. Read more

A later than expected release of a technical update to Emergency Alert System (EAS) hardware used by broadcasters has led the FCC to give stations more time to install the software without running afoul of its rules. Stations were to have had the update installed by Friday, Nov. 8. But the FCC will give an extra 60 days on the clock, meaning the updates need to be in place by Jan. 7, 2020. Read more

It has been five months since the Kansas City Chiefs launched their own podcast network and so far the NFL franchise says it has had more than a half million downloads of the four shows it produces. That success has spurred the Chiefs to put two additional podcasts into development. And it’s predicting the Chiefs Podcast Network could top a million downloads next year. Read more

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Signaling a renewed effort to improve the digital content experience for listeners, industry veteran Alex Luke joins SiriusXM and Pandora as Senior VP, Digital Content. Luke will lead programming for Pandora and editorial content on the Pandora and SiriusXM digital platforms in this newly created position. Luke, who programmed KPNT in St. Louis and WKQX Chicago early in his career, most recently led global programming at Amazon Music. Read more