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Sunday, March 29, 2020

TOP STORY

Stuck At Home, Listeners Seek Out New Ways To Access Radio.

Updated

With tens of millions sheltering in place due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, listeners are seeking out radio on new platforms. Fresh data from Nielsen’s flash survey of 1,000 adults 18+ in the U.S. conducted this past weekend shows more than one in four (27%) say they’ve “looked for new ways to listen to my favorite radio station/personality” because of the coronavirus outbreak and its associated restrictions. And 26% indicate they used Google or other search engines to find their fave station or personality.

“There has been lot of upheaval and change to the daily routine and people are searching for their favorite content,” Tony Hereau, Nielsen VP of Cross-Platform Insights, said during a webinar for clients Thursday. “We’re expecting there to be some changes to listening as a result of this outbreak.”

And it is younger demos, by far, that are seeking alternate ways to access radio info during the ongoing health crisis. Nearly four in ten (39%) of 18-24 year-olds and 38% of 25-34 year-olds say they used Google or other search engines to find the station or personality they’re looking for. More than a third (36%) of 18-24s and 41% of 25-34s say they’ve looked for new ways to listen to their favorite station or show.

That younger listeners are seeking non-traditional ways to listen during the pandemic isn’t surprising as traditional AM/FM receivers continue to slowly vanish from homes. According to Infinite Dial 2020, from Edison Research and Triton Digital, more than half (52%) of 18-34 year-olds say they have zero traditional AM/FM receivers in their home.

The big headlines to emerge from the study are that 83% of American adults report spending the same or more time with radio as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. And 60% of Adults 18+ say they trust radio to give timely information about the coronavirus, as Inside Radio reported Wednesday.

“Trust is not something you can build overnight, it’s built over years or even decades,” Hereau told the webinar audience, which Nielsen said numbered 1,056 attendees with a nice split between broadcasters and advertisers/agencies.

Additional findings revealed during the webinar provide a more granular look at radio as a trusted source of information. Across the entire sample of adults aged 18 or older, six in ten trust radio to give them information that is timely and accurate and more than half (53%) say they trust the info they get from their favorite hosts. And 44% say they’re still finding ways to listen to radio even though they’re not commuting or working outside the house. Significantly, 42% say having access to radio – either on-air or online – has helped them deal with the virus outbreak.

Radio’s trust factor is even higher among more educated listeners. Asked if they trust radio to give accurate info about the coronavirus, the percentages rose in lockstep with education level: 49% for those with a high school education or less, 52% for some college or an associate’s degree, 69% of college graduates and 73% of those with a post-graduate degree. The percentages were similar when it came to trusting radio for timely information.

In the same vein, radio’s ability to connect with listeners is highest among those employed fulltime or those temporarily out of work due to COVID-19. Just over half (51%) of both groups agreed that “listening to my favorite radio hosts makes me feel less stressed,” compared to 29% for part-time employees and 31% of those not employed, including retirees, students and homemakers.

The findings are important for both radio sellers and buyers. AEs are looking for credible research to prove to advertisers that their audiences are still listening – even if it’s not in their cars commuting to and from work. And advertisers and agencies are eager to learn the impact that today’s work-from-home economy is having on radio listening levels.

The perceptual study, fielded from March 20-22 among a weighted sample of 1,000 adults 18+ in the U.S., found that more than half of respondents (53%) agree that listening to their favorite radio hosts during the coronavirus restrictions “makes me feel more informed about things I need to know.” Nearly half (46%) say it “helps me know about what stores are open and where I can shop.” The same portion (46%) say tuning to their favorite hosts during the pandemic “makes me feel more connected to my community” while 44% say it “makes me feel less alone.” In addition, 40% indicate it “makes me feel less stressed” and more than one third (37%) say it “makes me feel less concerned/panicked.”

Focusing on American attitudes surrounding the COVID-19 crisis and radio listening, the study reinforces the importance of efforts radio has made to keep audiences informed and entertained during the outbreak.

Increased reliance on radio during the crisis is part of a larger trend of rising media consumption. Americans are already spending almost 12 hours each day with media, Nielsen says, and that time could grow by 60% among those who stay indoors.

INSIDE RADIO HEADLINES

Story

After Complications, Rush Ends Chemotherapy For Alternative Treatment.

Updated

Rush Limbaugh checked in via phone to his radio program on Friday, March 27 and provided listeners with an update on his health as he battles advanced lung cancer.

The conservative talker said the first four weeks of a clinical trial he is in went well. But then last week, issues arose. “The stage 2 trial I’m in involves targeting with two different drugs the mutation that has caused my stage 4 lung cancer,” he said in the segment, which is posted online. “The first four weeks we were all feeling great because they warned us that the side effects of this drug could be pretty bad.” None of the described side effects occurred, such as fatigue and vomiting, Limbaugh said.

“Well, late last week I began to find it very difficult to walk,” he continues. “My muscles in both legs, from the waist down, began to retain fluid and swell up incredibly to the point that ten days ago, Monday of last week when we were away for treatment, I could barely walk in the hotel room and needed a wheelchair to get where I was going.”

He also developed a fever that peaked at 103, which he was warned was also a possible side effect. Throughout Limbaugh continued with his chemo treatments for his advanced lung cancer. He was bed ridden all of last week, “primarily because I couldn’t walk,” he explained.

Eventually it was decided to stop treatment, at least temporarily. Limbaugh said he is currently taking steroids to reverse the effects of the chemo drug, which he said was working. “It’s working so well, the doctors want me to continue doing this and put up with the leg pain,” he said.

“I can’t do this. I can’t work, I can’t think,” he told the doctors. “It’s the same old question that cancer patients have. You have to balance quality of life versus length... I’ve currently suspended the treatment and we’re looking at alternatives, and there are plenty of those. But I’ve got to get the swelling down and get this pain taken care of.”

Story

More A-Listers Join Sunday’s iHeart-Fox Living Room Concert For America.

Updated

Camila Cabello, Dave Grohl, H.E.R. and Sam Smith have been added to the bill for “Fox Presents The iHeart Living Room Concert For America,” simulcasting Sunday from 9-10pm Eastern/6-7pm Pacific on Fox, iHeartMedia radio stations and on the iHeartRadio streaming app. They join previously announced performers Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw.

With Americans stuck at home and actual concerts on hold for the foreseeable future, the two media companies partnered to air performances from some of music’s biggest artists – playing from the safety of their living rooms. Hosted by Elton John, the event is intended to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to celebrate the resilience and strength of the nation during this pandemic.

The hour-long, commercial-free concert will also feature inspirational messages from guests as well as special appearances from Ciara, Demi Lovato, Lizzo and Russell Wilson. It also will encourage viewers to support two of the many charities helping victims and first responders during the pandemic: Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

Filmed with the artists’ personal cell phones, cameras and audio equipment, the Living Room Concert will occupy the broadcast timeslot for the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which were postponed due to the health crisis.

To extend the reach of the special’s charitable component, Fox will offer the event across all of its linear and digital platforms.

Story

Adams Radio Group Employees Agree To Temporary Cut In Pay.

Updated

A number of radio groups are being forced to make difficult decisions as mandatory restrictions designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus have torpedoed the U.S. economy. Some media groups have temporarily discontinued matching 401k contributions, while others have furloughed employees or are forced to make staff cuts and others are implementing temporary salary reductions.

One such group is small and medium market operator Adams Radio Group, where CEO Ron Stone says “all employees agreed to take a ten percent temporary cut in compensation to prevent any downsizing of our staff.” In a press release, Stone did not outline the length of the pay cut but says the move was made in an effort to not eliminate jobs. “Our goal is singular. To ensure everyone in our company gets through this crisis with the least amount of harm.”

Stone calls on other groups to follow. “I sincerely hope that any company, media or otherwise, will consider overall reductions in compensation on a temporary basis rather than terminate employees,” he says. “Our most important asset is our people, and we should do all we can to keep them whole.”

Meanwhile, as radio station events and appearances are put on hold across the country, part-time and hourly “street teams” are being sidelined, with some reports of employees being let go.

Story

Z100, Empire State Building Launch Nightly Music-To-Light Shows.

Updated

The radio-light show synchronization will replay Saturday, March 28 and then again from Monday, March 30 through Thursday, April 2. It will take a breather on Sunday, March 29, when the historic building will shine in what’s described as a dynamic heartbeat from 9-10pm to coincide with “Fox Presents The iHeart Living Room Concert For America.”

To honor the first responders who battle the health crisis daily, Z100 morning man Elvis Duran will kick off every light show at 8:55pm with a spotlight interview to highlight the amazing individuals who are on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

Plans call for a new light show each Friday night that will play nightly for the following week, starting Friday, April 3.

The shows are designed by world-renowned lighting artist Marc Brickman and will be streamed on the Empire State Building’s Facebook page.

“The Empire State Building has always served as an international symbol of hope, of challenges overcome, and of New York City itself,” said Anthony Malkin, Chairman and CEO, of building owner ESRT. “With iHeartRadio, the radio network of America, she provides comfort and inspiration to New Yorkers, America, and the world.”

New York’s most iconic building and its most famous radio station have a longstanding partnership that includes music-to-light shows at Christmastime. Z100 and iHeart’s four other New York FMs also broadcast from “high atop the Empire State Building.”

“New Yorkers always find a way to unite and encourage one another during challenging times,” said Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. “Our hope is to continue to provide some comfort to our listeners through the healing powers of music, as we show our country’s resilience and strength with a music-to-light show through New York icons Z100 and the Empire State Building.”

Story

FCC: Radio, TV Can Provide Free Spots To Everyone — Except Politicians.

Updated

The Federal Communications Commission is now allowing broadcasters to give away spot time in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic without affecting their lowest unit charge (LUC).

The new guidance issued this week from the FCC’s Media Bureau lets broadcasters exclude freebies given to commercial advertisers, “provided the free time is not associated with an existing commercial contract for paid time or otherwise considered bonus spots.”

That doesn’t mean stations can’t give away free time to existing advertisers. Rather, it means that free time can’t be provided as an attachment to an existing spot buy.

In a new blog post, media attorney David Oxenford emphasizes the need for broadcasters to understand the short-term nature of the FCC’s new guidance.

“This is a limited ruling for broadcasters to use to build up good will with advertisers, and to provide them with assistance in this time of crisis,” he writes. “It is a limited, nuanced ruling that you should discuss with your counsel — but it does provide broadcasters with the opportunity to be creative in helping support their advertisers in this most unusual time.”

The COVID-19 pandemic’s associated financial turmoil, the catalyst for the FCC’s move, has resulted in a slew of advertisers cancelling existing contracts.

The guidance also eases a potential problem: As a general rule, the CommLawBlog notes, bonus spots have to be counted in LUC calculations for candidate ads during the 45 days before a primary election and the 60 days before a general election. The new guidance prevents opportunistic politicos from making a claim to free advertising based on LUC rates.

“Technically,” The Hollywood Reporter explains, “there’s nothing stopping broadcasters from filling excess ad time inventory any way they wish — well, except for the Communications Act of 1934, which allows a candidate for public office to take advantage of a station’s ‘lowest unit charge’… This means if some pharmaceutical company gets free ads, it’s possible that Donald Trump, Joe Biden or even the local sheriff could demand the same.”

Like Oxenford, the CommLawBlog notes that broadcasters should not consider the latest guidance to be the “new normal.”

“The FCC notes that because the pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation and market conditions are changing quickly, this guidance applies only to the current period and will not necessarily continue when more ordinary conditions are restored.”

Story

Being Local Grows In Importance Among Radio Listeners For 4th Straight Year.

Updated

Radio’s local orientation continues to grow in importance among those that matter the most to the medium – its core users. The portion of listeners that strongly agree or agree that radio’s local feel is one of its primary advantages increased for a fourth consecutive year to 88%, according to Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 2020. That’s up from 86% in 2019 and 77% in 2016.

“Local is a huge reason why people enjoy radio, it’s part of radio’s secret sauce,” Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs said during a webinar Thursday. “As media become more national and global, there's no question that local radio becomes more resonant.”

The results are based on the annual online survey of core radio users, conducted Jan. 7-Feb. 9, 2020.

The top reason survey respondents said they listen to AM/FM radio is its ease of use in the car, the survey found, selected by 69% of respondents. That is “a big differentiator,” Jacobs observed. “As dashboards get more complicated, that one-button solution is mighty appealing.” The second biggest reason: it’s free, selected by 62%. Personalities (59%) and music (55%) are also major drivers. But there are a host of emotional benefits that listeners cite as reasons for listening, such as feeling a connection with their favorite station (50%), companionship (42%), and mood elevation (34%). These emotional factors were more likely to be selected by women than men.

Most of the 46,000 survey respondents are members of participating radio stations’ databases. So unlike the Infinite Dial study released last week, the results are non-projectable to the entire U.S. But they do provide an important barometer of media usage trends among some of radio’s most loyal listeners. In fact, seven in ten Techsurvey 2020 respondents said they feel a connection to the station that invited them to take the survey, consistent with 2019 results. And the percentage of those saying personalities are the main reason they listen held steady at 59%. But the number jumped to 64% among Millennials, suggesting that 18-34 year-old radio listeners “are clearly rooted in its personalities,” Jacobs said.

Just like many advertisers and ad agencies, radio listeners underestimate the amount of overall AM/FM radio listening taking place in the U.S. and overestimate the amount of streaming audio and satellite radio consumption. In a perception versus reality exercise, Techsurvey 2020 asked participants to estimate the percent of American adults using four different audio platforms. While Nielsen shows AM/FM reaches 92% of the population, survey respondents pegged the number at 63%. And their perceptions for satellite radio, Spotify and Pandora were double the actual consumption figures as measured by Infinite Dial and Nielsen data. “Even radio fans discount the value, importance and impact of radio,” Jacobs noted, suggesting it could be due to not enough marketing by stations and the industry at large. “That’s a conversation that hopefully will extend beyond today,” he said.

Just under half (46%) of survey participants said they listen to streaming audio daily but those who listen weekly or more jumped to 65%, up from 59% in one year. More than three fourths of Millennials and Gen Z report listening to streaming audio at least weekly and more than half of Boomers (57%) do. In another indicator of the prevalence of on-demand content, 84% of core radio users said they subscribe to a video service but only 60% subscribe to an audio service.

Nearly two thirds listen to the stream of the station that sent them the survey, far ahead of Pandora (29%), YouTube (24%) and Spotify (23%).

Among those that have a paid audio streaming subscription, Amazon Prime Music leads by a large margin with 40% of the total sample. That’s not a stretch when you consider that millions of Americans get the service as part of their Amazon Prime membership. Amazon Prime Music enjoys a better than a 2-1 lead over Spotify Premium, which came in second with 16%, followed by Apple Music (12%), Pandora Plus/Premium (9%) and iHeartRadio All Access (6%).

But six in ten say subscription fees for audio/video services are a concern, something that could become a bigger factor as consumers tighten their purse strings in light of the coronavirus. The survey was taken before the virus erupted into a global pandemic. Concerns about subscription fees were consistent across demographic groups. “That plays into one of radio’s strengths,” Jacobs said. “A key reason for listening to AM/FM radio is it’s free, especially for progressively younger respondents.” In fact it was cited by 68% of Gen Z, 66% of Millennials, 63% of Gen X-ers and 61% Boomers. “As more people are out of work and they’re being pinched financially, radio has a great promotional advantage,” said Jacobs.

Story

Podcasts Are Becoming More Addictive, Especially Among Millennials.

Updated

More than one in four (26%) core radio listeners now consume podcasts at least every week, led by Gen Z and Millennials and fans of spoken word formats. That represents a five-percentage point gain in one year, up from 21% in 2019, with men slightly more likely than women to listen weekly. This is according to Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 2020, released Thursday.

Most of the 46,000 survey respondents are members of participating radio stations’ databases. So unlike the Infinite Dial study released last week, the results are non-projectable to the entire U.S. But they do provide an important barometer of media usage trends among some of radio’s most loyal listeners.

Among generations, Millennials are far out front in weekly podcast consumption at 43%, followed by Gen Z at 37%, Gen X (28%), Boomers (16%) and the Silent Generation (16%).

“Podcasts seem to become more addicting over time and it’s Millennials who are those most into podcasts,” Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs said during a webinar Thursday.

Broken out by formats, fans of alternative radio (41%) and sports (38%) boast the most weekly podcast consumers. Classic hits (17%), AC (17%) and variety hits (16%) are the lowest.

More than one third (34%) of public radio fans listen to podcasts, the data shows. “Podcasting is more in the realm of public radio,” Jacobs said. “They have a better and longer track record with it and many of the most popular podcasts are rooted in public radio.”

For those that consume them regularly, podcasting is becoming more habitual, the survey shows. Four in ten (41%) weekly podcast listeners say they are tuning to podcasts or on-demand audio more in the past year, in line with 40% in 2019. But podcasts are especially addictive to Millennials, with almost half of podcast listeners in that cohort saying they are listening to more of them this year.

Smartphones remain the dominant consumption platform among weekly podcast listeners – 80% say they regularly listen to podcasts on their phones. All other platforms are pretty much left in the dust, including desktop/laptop (35%), in-car audio system (27%) and tablet (22%). And despite their fast rising adoption, only 11% of weekly podcast consumers listen to them on smart speakers. “A lot of people in podcasting believe that smart speakers are going to be a great gateway for podcast distribution and I think they’re right,” said Jacobs.

But despite podcasting’s undeniable growth trajectory, 44% of the Techsurvey 2020 sample of core radio users said they never listen to them, down from 49% last year. So-called Podcast Nevers cite a lack of interest in podcasts and talk programming in general. But technical issues were also cited as reasons for not jumping on the podcast bandwagon – 18% say they just don’t know how to do it and 16% don’t know how to find them. “There is a clunkiness that comes with podcasts,” Jacobs said. “A lot of people just don’t get what they are or how to access them.”

Story

Survey: Ad Executives See Smaller Advertising Budgets On The Horizon.

Updated

A new survey from Advertiser Perceptions finds that more than two-thirds (68%) of advertising executives are bracing for reduced 2021 ad spending due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the economic damage done by COVID-19 has been substantial, the most dramatic impact will take place in Q2 of this year, according to the survey, which recorded responses from more than 200 advertisers and ad agency executives.

And for the time being, at least, responses indicate the carnage could have been considerably worse. Just 34% of ad executives have nixed a planned campaign, while only 45% have pulled an existing campaign.

Roughly half of survey respondents say they’ve delayed a campaign or “adjusted” their advertising budgets due to the pandemic.

Advertiser Perceptions’ survey is part of its “Coronavirus Effect on Advertising Report,” which it plans to update on a bi-monthly basis going forward in hopes of tracking spending patterns across media, geographies and formats.

For now, Advertiser Perceptions says its bottom line is this: The world — let alone media and advertising — was (and still is) unprepared.

“For the advertising industry, this has meant a lot of knee-jerk reactions and quick pivots to account for a host of cancelled events and sports sponsorships, a glut of e-commerce activity and new brand safety concerns as news stories and coverage of the outbreak unfolds,” its report says. “But it has also opened new doors and opportunities for those capable of flexing to meet quickly changing consumer habits and demands.”

According to the survey, some of the categories most likely to weather the economic storm caused by the pandemic include consumer packaged goods, including food and household products; online retail; alcoholic beverages; pharmaceuticals and remedies (OTC and DTC); health/healthcare; gaming; and telecommunications.

Those categories stand in stark contrast to the “out and about” industries that are currently being hammered: travel and tourism; restaurants; brick-and-mortar retail; luxury goods; apparel/fashion; automotive; and media/entertainment and arts/recreation.

“For some out-and-about brands, salvaging ad dollars will be impossible,” the report says. “But those that can stay the course may benefit long-term. Three in five advertisers said they agreed that brands that maintain advertising during economic downturns fare better when the economy improves. In contrast, only 15% disagreed with that statement.”

Advertiser Perceptions analysts participating in a webinar earlier this week said the pandemic’s effect on the advertising business has been immediate. They said that while Q1 budgets have already been affected, they expect Q2 to be the one affected most severely.

Story

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Includes $75 Million For Public Broadcasting.

Updated

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is getting $75 million courtesy of the $2 trillion emergency coronavirus economic relief package that gained Senate approval on Wednesday.

The much-needed money comes as public media stations see falling revenues.

America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), a non-profit membership group and advocacy organization, is among the organizations applauding the news.

“Corporate, foundation and individual giving to local public television stations have rapidly decreased in the wake of the economic downturn accompanying the contagion,” says Patrick Butler, the organization’s president and CEO, “even while public television stations have dramatically expanded remote learning services for millions of students whose schools have been closed in the national emergency.”

The money, Broadcasting & Cable reports, will support the facilities of noncommercial TV and radio stations, in addition to helping stations — especially rural ones— maintain operations.

The current economic crisis is likely to dramatically reduce pledges and corporate sponsorships, which make up about 85% of non-commercial budgets.

The money, in addition to shoring up station support, also acknowledges the role that public stations play in their local communities. APTS, for example, notes that public stations in more than two-dozen states are already providing high-quality educational resources via PBS Kids and PBS LearningMedia.

“Many stations are devoting their entire daytime schedules to age-appropriate educational programming,” Butler said in a news release, “and stations are also providing online services, learning games, teacher and parent guides, and other resources.”

Story

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Includes $75 Million For Public Broadcasting.

Updated

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is getting $75 million courtesy of the $2 trillion emergency coronavirus economic relief package that gained Senate approval on Wednesday.

The much-needed money comes as public media stations see falling revenues.

America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), a non-profit membership group and advocacy organization, is among the organizations applauding the news.

“Corporate, foundation and individual giving to local public television stations have rapidly decreased in the wake of the economic downturn accompanying the contagion,” says Patrick Butler, the organization’s president and CEO, “even while public television stations have dramatically expanded remote learning services for millions of students whose schools have been closed in the national emergency.”

The money, Broadcasting & Cable reports, will support the facilities of noncommercial TV and radio stations, in addition to helping stations — especially rural ones— maintain operations.

The current economic crisis is likely to dramatically reduce pledges and corporate sponsorships, which make up about 85% of non-commercial budgets.

The money, in addition to shoring up station support, also acknowledges the role that public stations play in their local communities. APTS, for example, notes that public stations in more than two-dozen states are already providing high-quality educational resources via PBS Kids and PBS LearningMedia.

“Many stations are devoting their entire daytime schedules to age-appropriate educational programming,” Butler said in a news release, “and stations are also providing online services, learning games, teacher and parent guides, and other resources.”

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Deal Digest

Deal Digest - March 26, 2020

SALES – STATIONS

San Diego – iHeartMedia files a $1.2 million deal to buy news-talk KFMB (760) from Local Media San Diego. iHeartMedia will operate KFMB under a local marketing agreement until closing and it is currently simulcasting news/talk “News Radio 600” KOGO. As part of the sale, iHeart pledges to file for new call letters before the sale closes. iHeartMedia already owns seven stations in the San Diego market including classic rock KGB-FM (101.5), CHR “Channel 93.3” KHTS-FM, hot AC “Star 94.1” KMYI, urban “Jam’n 95.7” KSSX, “Rock 105.3” KIOZ, “Xtra 1360 Fox Sports” KLSD and “News Radio 600” KOGO. Local Media San Diego just acquired KFMB and adult hits KFMB-FM (100.7) in a $5 million deal with Tegna this month. It retains KFMB-FM and it also programs alternative rock “91X” XETRA-FM. Broker: Kalil

Rapid City, SC – Carolyn and Doyle Becker’s Riverfront Broadcasting files an $80,000 deal to buy oldies KDSJ, Deadwood, SD (980) from Loren and Pace Maier’s 4 Paws Broadcasting. It is a quick turnaround for 4 Paws Broadcasting which closed a deal to buy KDSJ for $405,000 in December. Riverfront Broadcasting already owns five stations in the Rapid City market including AC “Star 106.3” KZLK, “X-Rock 101.1” KDDX. Country “95.9 Eagle Country” KZZI, classic hits “Q-92.3” KQRQ and “News Radio 1380” KOTA.

Kansas – Divine Mercy Radio files a $52,000 deal to buy the currently-silent KRMR, Hays, KS (105.7) from Randy Michaels’ Radioactive. Divine Mercy plans to convert the station to noncommercial status. It already owns three other Kansas stations including religious “Divine Mercy Radio 88.1” KVDM in Hays.

SALES – TRANSLATORS

Nashville – Bud Walters’ Cromwell Group files a $30,000 deal to buy the Franklin, TN-licensed translator W292ED at 106.3 FM from Educational Media Foundation. The filing says Cromwell Group plans to simulcast rock “102.9 The Buzz” WBUZ on the signal. Once the sale closes, EMF will still own contemporary Christian “K-Love” affiliate WLVU (97.1) in the Nashville market.

CLOSINGS

Long Island, NY – New York Public Television WNET-TV/WLIW-TV has closed a $944,834 deal to buy adult alternative/news WPPB (88.3) from Peconic Public Broadcasting. The station is licensed to Southampton, NY and covers Long Island’s East End. New York Public Television doesn’t own any other radio stations. The deal includes a three-year non-compete agreement preventing Peconic Public Broadcasting from starting a new station that would compete with WPPB. Broker: Public Media Company

Georgia – C.T. Barinowski’s Good News Network closes a $575,000 deal to buy the currently-silent WVGC, Westminster, SC (96.7) from Art Sutton’s Georgia-Carolina Radiocasting. Religious operator Good News Network already owns 13 stations in Georgia. Broker: Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage

Wyoming & Idaho – Scott Anderson’s Jackson Hole Radio closes a $550,000 deal to buy four full-power stations and four FM translators in Jackson, WY from Rich Broadcasting. The signals include “Country 93.5” KJAX; adult alternative “Mountain Radio” KMTN (96.9); classic rock “KZ-95” KZJH; and regional Mexican “La Nueva” KSGT (1340). The translators including the Jackson, WY-licensed K242BU at 96.3 FM which simulcasts KZJH; the Teton Village, WY-licensed K265DA at 100.9 FM which simulcast KZJH; the Driggs, ID-licensed K239AU at 95.7 FM which simulcasts KZJH; and the Driggs, ID-licensed K281BH at 104.1 FM which simulcasts KJAX. A promissory note for the full purchase point is included. The sale of the stations is tied to the bankruptcy of Rich Broadcasting. Four other stations were sold to Magic Valley Media in a pending $475,000 deal. Rich Broadcasting has been in bankruptcy since late 2016 and has been overseen by trustee Mark Hasimoto since March 2017.

Michigan – Billy Sours’ Madsun Investments closes a $230,000 deal to buy classic rock “Buzz 102.5” WBZV, Hudson, MI from Friends Communications. Broker: Patrick Communications

Portland, OR – Irina Baranova’s PIN Investments closes a $200,000 deal to buy ethnic Chinese KXPD (1040) from James Su. PIN Investments will operate the station under a time brokerage agreement until closing. KXPD will change its programming to serve the Russian community in the Portland market. Broker: Kozacko Media Services

Oregon – Tom Hodgins and Chris Jacky’s Xana Oregon closes a $155,000 deal to buy classic hits “The Boss 100.7” KPPT-FM, Depoe Bay, OR and “News Talk 1230” KCUP, Toledo, OR from Agpal Broadcasting. Xana Oregon already owns there stations in the Tillamook area: “Country 95.9” KTIL-FM, hot AC “Coast 105.5” KDEP, and “Good Time Oldies 1590” KTIL.

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