Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser
Insideradio.com - Inside Radio Newsletter
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

TOP STORY

Story

Broadcasters’ COVID Playbook: Pivot, Innovate and Reinvent.

Navigating the pandemic during the past year forced broadcasters to pivot, to innovate and to reinvent how they create programming – all while keeping their employees safe and informed. Broadcast executives reflected Monday on what one called “the news story of the century” during the opening session of NAB Show Premiere, a series of webinars during the next several weeks that will touch on a variety of topics.

Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb called COVID-19 “the news story of the century” and said Hearst TV stations had to move quickly to safeguard their own employees. Within 48 hours, its TV stations in 26 markets set up the vast majority of their employees to work remotely, said Wertlieb, who also serves as Joint Board Chair of the NAB.

Striking A Balance

Salem Media Group President of Broadcast Media Dave Santrella said the Christian-focused conservative broadcaster’s radio stations worked to strike a balance between communicating the severity of the outbreak without instilling fear and panic in the minds of listeners. At the same time, on-air hosts accustomed to working in state-of-the art facilities were suddenly hanging blankets in the basements of their home to improve the acoustics of their new makeshift air studios.

Some employees were dealing with a much graver situation: the loss of family members from the deadly virus. “It was just a big ball of hair for us to deal with at the same time,” Santrella said in the panel discussion moderated by NAB Chief Operating Officer Curtis LeGeyt. Salem and other broadcasters were also moving to cope with sudden and deep losses in advertising revenue. “It was mind boggling how quickly local and national evaporated overnight,” Santrella said. “We needed to pivot our entire industry.”

Emily Barr, President and CEO of Graham Media Group, said TV viewing soared to levels not seen for 8-10 years. That was followed by a dramatic spike in online usage, in some cases increasing by 200%. TV usage has since fallen back to pre-pandemic levels but online consumption is still elevated, she added. “This is a testament to how much trust there is on the part of these local viewers and users who look to us because, for the first time, they realized, ‘I need to figure out how to deal with this here where I live,’” Barr said.

As companies and stations worked to keep audiences informed about the fast-evolving health crisis, audiences took notice, the broadcasters said. “This was a great reminder for us of the role we play in our communities,” Santrella said. It also fostered greater innovation. “It allowed us to launch some new platforms and try some new things, because we needed to find new ways to generate new revenue,” said Santrella. During second quarter 2020 the company launched Salem Now, an on-demand pay-per-view video platform. “That’s done tremendously well since its launch and that would have never happened if it weren’t for the pandemic.”

More Frequent Communication

With a rapidly changing situation, the trio of execs said they placed a greater emphasis on more frequent communication with their own employees. Barr took to writing a weekly newsletter to employees while the number of companywide wide communications disseminated by Wertlieb in the past year was more than the previous eight years combined.

While the country was trying to figure out how to cope with the pandemic, LeGeyt noted that it was also dealing with enormous issues surrounding racial injustice that came to a head with civil unrest in the streets of cities across the country. “Last year may have been one of the most important years in local journalism that I can remember,” Wertlieb said. Local broadcast media, he added, was able to give context to what was happening in its markets while remaining apolitical and not resorting to sensationalism.

Coverage of racial injustice issues underscored “the importance of broadcast radio and television better representing the diversity of the communities we serve,” said LeGeyt. Barr suggested the industry is coming to the realization that “we do not have enough representation across every level of our station operations. We haven’t done as good a job as we should have and this past year has been a very big awakening.” To address this, Graham Media last year hired a senior level Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. It has also leaned more heavily on gaining perspective from minority members of its workforce along with input from community leaders. “I want to see some substantive change on our level and I want to see it now,” Barr said.

AD - Top Story

Advertisement

INSIDE RADIO HEADLINES

Story

NAB Announces 2021 Crystal Winners, Awards Multi-Media Talent Mario Lopez.

Howard University’s WHUR-FM Washington, DC was bestowed the Crystal Heritage Award by the National Association of Broadcasters during a special awards program Tuesday, as part of NAB Show Premiere, a series of webinars over the next several weeks. “Access Hollywood” host and syndicated radio personality Mario Lopez received the 2021 NAB Television Chairman’s Award during the presentation.

The Heritage Award recognizes radio stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts. Only nine outlets have received this honor, in addition to WHUR.

“WHUR-FM has been the heart of its community,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith, during the presentation. “This station’s connection to its audience is deep and its commitment to public service is extraordinary.”

In addition, 10 Crystal Radio Award winners were announced from a roster of 50 finalists announced in March, as Inside Radio has reported. Winners were determined by a panel of judges representing the broadcast industry, community service organizations and public relations firms, recognizing radio stations for their year-round commitment to community service. 

The winners of the 2021 Crystal Radio Awards are: KSL-FM Salt Lake City; KRSP-FM Salt Lake City; KSTP-FM Saint Paul, MN; WBAP-AM Dallas; WDRV-FM Chicago; WFXE-FM Columbus, GA; WJJY-FM Brainerd, MN; WMMR-FM Philadelphia; WSB-FM Atlanta; and WWRM-FM Tampa. 

“I’m very excited to present the NAB Crystal Radio Awards,” said Smith. “They’re an annual highlight as they spotlight the amazing work some of our remarkable stations do across the entire country… for extraordinary commitment to year-round community service.”

Lopez, winner of the 2021 Television Chairman’s Award, also announced Tuesday, is a two-time Emmy-winning host, actor and producer. This award recognizes individuals for significant achievement in one or more specific art disciplines in television. He is also host of iHeartMedia radio shows “On With Mario Lopez” and “iHeartRadio Countdown With Mario Lopez,” and boxing podcast, “The 3 Knockdown Rule.”

Lopez commented Tuesday during the NAB Show Premiere presentation, “I feel America’s local radio and TV broadcasters are always there for our communities when it matters most, especially during this pandemic.” Asked who has been the greatest influence on his career, Lopez responded—without pause—“Dick Clark. I had the pleasure of working with him on a show called ‘The Other Half’ for a couple seasons. I was proud to call him a friend. He changed my whole thinking, focusing on being a host and looking at yourself like a brand… and maybe being in someone’s family room for the next three or four decades. I said, That’s what I want to do… be the Latino Dick Clark.”

Added NAB Television Board Chair Emily Barr, “Through hard work and remarkable talent, Mario Lopez has created a unique brand that has resonated with TV audiences for decades.”

Recently, Lopez co-created and produced “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia,” which centers on a Latina robotics engineer and her family, and produced and starred in “Feliz NaviDAD,” one of Lifetime Network’s highest-rated Christmas films. Additional acting credits include NBC’s “Saved by the Bell” and “This Is Us,” the CW series “Jane the Virgin,” Fox’s “Brooklyn 99” and ABC’s “The Rookie.” He has a recurring role on Disney’s animated series “Elena of Avalor” alongside his daughter. Lopez is also a New York Times best-selling author.

The NAB TV Chairman’s Award debuted in 2009 with four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe-winning actor Kelsey Grammar as recipient. Past recipients include “This Is Us” and “Black Panther” star Sterling K. Brown, television and film actress Kristen Bell, and award-winning actor and activist Terry Crews.

Story

EMF Closes On Twin Cities FMs With Plans To Bring Back ‘Praise Live’ KNOF.

Educational Media Foundation has completed its purchase of rhythmic CHR “Go 95.3” KZGO and modern rock “Go 96.3” KQGO in Minneapolis from the Pohlad Companies. While the deal has closed, EMF has not yet flipped the formats of the two FMs. The company has, however, revealed its plans to Inside Radio.

KZGO (95.3) will bring back the KNOF call letters and “Praise Live” format it aired until Pohlad bought the station in 2016. More recently, “Praise Live” was airing on KQGO-HD2. KQGO (96.3) will transition to KMWA and carry EMF’s contemporary Christian “Air1” format.

KQGO HD2 will continue to broadcast “Praise Live” for a couple of days before changing to a transitional looping message to redirect listeners to KNOF. KQGO HD3 will be silent until further notice.

EMF’s flagship contemporary Christian “K-Love” will continue to air on a pair of FM translators in the Twin Cities: the Coon Rapids-licensed K260BA at 99.9 and the Bayport-licensed K288GR at 105.5. “L-Love” also airs on EMF’s KMKL (90.3) north of Minneapolis in North Branch.

The deal signals the radio exit for Pohlad, the company founded in 1950 by Carl R. Pohlad that owns the Minnesota Twins and more than 30 businesses in the Twin Cities.

“We have decided to exit the radio business," Ben Hawn, Pohlad Companies chief of staff, said when the deal was announced in December. "We are deeply grateful to the talented team at Go Radio and proud of their engagement within our community. We also sincerely appreciate the loyal support of our audiences over the years."

KZGO is a 900-watt Class A licensed to St. Paul. Doing business as Northern Lights Broadcasting, Pohlad bought the station from Christian Heritage Broadcasting in 2016 for $7.95 million when it was religious “Praise FM” KNOF.

KQGO is a 19,000-watt Class C licensed to Edina, MN. Pohlad bought it from Radio One in September 2007. For a time, Twins games were carried on KQGO.

Story

LeadsRx And Triton Team Up With Eye On Podcast Ad Attribution.

Marketing attribution provider LeadsRx is aligning its advertising attribution platform with Triton Digital's Omny Studio podcast platform and Tap Advertising Server. As a result, LeadsRx says it will now be able to provide attribution studies for podcasts hosted on the Omny Studio platform, as well as for ads served by Triton's Advertising Platform. 

Triton Senior VP Daryl Battaglia says the LeadsRx attribution will help with understanding how podcast advertising contributes to outcomes alongside other channels that marketers use for ad campaigns. “It’s important to bring the other media types into the mix,” he said. “That’s why I’m a fan of the LeadsRx approach. It does take a multimedia approach and captures many of those touchpoints with the listener and takes them all into account,” Battaglia said on LeadsRx’s Attribution Marketing Podcast.

LeadsRx has been ramping up its podcast capabilities during the past few years as marketer interest in the medium has grown. Last June it began to offer advertisers real-time podcast advertising data alongside other advertising mediums. LeadsRx says the capability means advertisers will more easily evaluate their return on podcast advertising and make mid-campaign changes that will help reduce wasted ad spend. 

Because LeadsRx receives information about podcast advertising the moment an ad is played or when the podcast is downloaded, the system in turn provides real-time feedback on campaign performance. This allows marketers to adjust, such as changing advertising messaging, during the campaign period to reduce the chance advertising budgets are exhausted on poorly performing ads.

LeadsRx Director of Marketing Lucas Sommer said it puts podcasting on even footing with radio, television, Facebook, and Google. “The value of the podcast advertisement that got the brand name into the consumer’s head or reminded them of the product or service existed, is not getting credit because the digital tool – the Google analytics – isn’t aware that the podcast happened,” he said on the company’s podcast.

How does it work? LeadsRx says it can connect the dots between a podcast ad and an in-store or online visit that ends up as a purchase through a five-step process. First, it receives information from the podcast server that anonymously identifies the individual when the podcast is downloaded or streamed. Then, depending on how and where the podcast is consumed, identifiers may include an IP address, timestamp, episode ID, and an advertising ID from the individual’s mobile device. LeadsRx stores that information and later compares it against similar identity data it receives from people who visit physical businesses. By matching the data, LeadsRx can attribute the in-person visit back to the podcast advertising campaign that helped drive them there. Finally, those optimization insights are made available in real time allowing for in-flight marketing changes to podcast advertising campaigns. Those outcomes, or “conversions,” often result in revenue for an advertiser and are therefore highly valued as Key Performance Indicators by marketers. 

“The growth has been tremendous, but it feels like the big wave hasn’t even come yet, both in terms of content creation and in terms of advertisers,” said Sommers.

While return on investment is a growing focus, Battaglia said the growth of advertising to date has been less focused on attribution. “Any brand or their ad agency just wants to be where consumers are, where they’re watching or listening,” he said. “And podcasts have clearly taken off.”

Advertisement

Story

Veritone Extends AI-Powered Analytics Agreement with Audacy.

Audacy, formerly Entercom, has extended its agreement with Veritone. The company will use Veritone’s AI-powered content search and analysis application to ingest, index, organize and analyze its content. The result will put into Audacy’s hands in-depth analytics visibility into their content performance and data about how brands, advertisers and other stakeholders are performing. Audacy will also be able to visualize and correlate advertising efficacy for over 230 stations in 47 markets nationwide. 

“Veritone’s AI solutions have deepened our analytic capabilities and what we’re able to offer our clients and partners,” said Bob Phillips, Chief Revenue Officer at Audacy. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with Veritone, as together we continue to unlock the power of audio,” he said in the joint announcement. 

The agreement will also allow Audacy to leverage the recent updates to Veritone Discovery. These include new earned media monitoring features, expanded audience data analytics, updated reporting customization features with AI engines that will continue to learn and scale to drive Audacy’s next period of growth as an organization. 

“We are currently processing over two million hours of Audacy content annually,” said Drew Hilles, Senior VP at Veritone, “and we are honored to extend our long-standing relationship with Audacy to help drive the next phase of their growth with our AI solutions.” 

Story

A Second Board Member Steps Down at CMG Parent Apollo.

Only weeks after Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black stepped down, a second Apollo board member has followed suit. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has left the board of the private equity giant that owns a majority stake in Cox Media Group.

An Apollo board member since 2014, Kraft quietly relinquished his seat last week, according to a regulatory filing. The filing didn’t provide a reason for the resignation. However, the New York Post, citing a source close to the situation, said the decision was Kraft’s and he wasn’t pressured to exit. Apollo said it would reduce the size of its board to 12 directors, two thirds of which continue to be independent directors.

Kraft is said to be a friend of Black, the billionaire who stepped down from his role as CEO of Apollo March 22, several months earlier than his originally announced departure date. Black’s abrupt decision to exit followed an investigation into his relationship with Jeffery Epstein by a group of independent board members. The review revealed “larger-than-expected payments” to the disgraced financier that it still deemed justified, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Kraft informed Apollo’s board on Jan. 26 that he would give up his seat on June 1, his 80th birthday. That came one day after Black first announced he would step down as CEO on or by July 31, his 70th birthday.  Black originally said he would remain Chairman of the Board, but he also relinquished that role on March 22.

It’s not immediately known what prompted Kraft’s decision to move up his departure date by nearly two months. In January the board asked him to stay on while Apollo completed a “transition” of the company, the Post reported.

Black’s surprise exit on March 22 came days after at least four directors on the PE giant’s board learned of accusations of sexual harassment against him by a woman Black claimed was trying to shake him down over what he called a “consensual affair,” the Post reported last week. In a statement Black denied the sexual harassment allegations. He said his earlier-than-planned exit was due to his wife’s ailing health and his own health problems.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Kraft was among the four directors that learned of the allegations against Black, which were revealed in a series of tweets by a former model who claimed to have been “forced to sign an NDA in 2015” relating to allegations that Black “sexually harassed and abused ” her, according to unnamed sources cited by the Post.

The months-long review of Black’s relationship with Epstein by the law firm Dechert LLP found no evidence that Black was involved in the criminal activities of the late financier, who was indicted in 2019 on federal sex-trafficking charges stemming from an alleged scheme to exploit underage girls. He died in prison while awaiting trial from an apparent suicide.

Story

Broadcasters’ COVID Playbook: Pivot, Innovate and Reinvent.

Navigating the pandemic during the past year forced broadcasters to pivot, to innovate and to reinvent how they create programming – all while keeping their employees safe and informed. Broadcast executives reflected Monday on what one called “the news story of the century” during the opening session of NAB Show Premiere, a series of webinars during the next several weeks that will touch on a variety of topics.

Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb called COVID-19 “the news story of the century” and said Hearst TV stations had to move quickly to safeguard their own employees. Within 48 hours, its TV stations in 26 markets set up the vast majority of their employees to work remotely, said Wertlieb, who also serves as Joint Board Chair of the NAB.

Striking A Balance

Salem Media Group President of Broadcast Media Dave Santrella said the Christian-focused conservative broadcaster’s radio stations worked to strike a balance between communicating the severity of the outbreak without instilling fear and panic in the minds of listeners. At the same time, on-air hosts accustomed to working in state-of-the art facilities were suddenly hanging blankets in the basements of their home to improve the acoustics of their new makeshift air studios.

Some employees were dealing with a much graver situation: the loss of family members from the deadly virus. “It was just a big ball of hair for us to deal with at the same time,” Santrella said in the panel discussion moderated by NAB Chief Operating Officer Curtis LeGeyt. Salem and other broadcasters were also moving to cope with sudden and deep losses in advertising revenue. “It was mind boggling how quickly local and national evaporated overnight,” Santrella said. “We needed to pivot our entire industry.”

Emily Barr, President and CEO of Graham Media Group, said TV viewing soared to levels not seen for 8-10 years. That was followed by a dramatic spike in online usage, in some cases increasing by 200%. TV usage has since fallen back to pre-pandemic levels but online consumption is still elevated, she added. “This is a testament to how much trust there is on the part of these local viewers and users who look to us because, for the first time, they realized, ‘I need to figure out how to deal with this here where I live,’” Barr said.

As companies and stations worked to keep audiences informed about the fast-evolving health crisis, audiences took notice, the broadcasters said. “This was a great reminder for us of the role we play in our communities,” Santrella said. It also fostered greater innovation. “It allowed us to launch some new platforms and try some new things, because we needed to find new ways to generate new revenue,” said Santrella. During second quarter 2020 the company launched Salem Now, an on-demand pay-per-view video platform. “That’s done tremendously well since its launch and that would have never happened if it weren’t for the pandemic.”

More Frequent Communication

With a rapidly changing situation, the trio of execs said they placed a greater emphasis on more frequent communication with their own employees. Barr took to writing a weekly newsletter to employees while the number of companywide wide communications disseminated by Wertlieb in the past year was more than the previous eight years combined.

While the country was trying to figure out how to cope with the pandemic, LeGeyt noted that it was also dealing with enormous issues surrounding racial injustice that came to a head with civil unrest in the streets of cities across the country. “Last year may have been one of the most important years in local journalism that I can remember,” Wertlieb said. Local broadcast media, he added, was able to give context to what was happening in its markets while remaining apolitical and not resorting to sensationalism.

Coverage of racial injustice issues underscored “the importance of broadcast radio and television better representing the diversity of the communities we serve,” said LeGeyt. Barr suggested the industry is coming to the realization that “we do not have enough representation across every level of our station operations. We haven’t done as good a job as we should have and this past year has been a very big awakening.” To address this, Graham Media last year hired a senior level Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. It has also leaned more heavily on gaining perspective from minority members of its workforce along with input from community leaders. “I want to see some substantive change on our level and I want to see it now,” Barr said.

Story

RAB: Radio's Rebound Driven By Listener Motivation.

The importance of understanding what motivates radio listeners at various times of the day is the focus of the Radio Advertising Bureau's latest entry in the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) “Marketing Maestros” blog. “Radio is seamlessly experienced throughout a consumer's day, regardless of platform, with motivations for listening ranging from companionship to escapism to mood elevation,” RAB Senior VP of Business Development Tammy Greenberg says. “Listeners rely on the medium to connect them to the content they desire when they want it, how they want it, and where they want it.”

Citing research from Nielsen, Audacy and Jacobs Media, Greenberg shows how the combination of listener loyalty, trust in radio personalities and the importance of stations' local focus have fueled a post-pandemic rebound for the medium.

According to Audio Amplification: Defining Engaged Impressions, Audacy's study in partnership with Alter Agents, over-the-air listening and streaming across all formats tend to be anytime occasions, with significant peaks in listening when people wake in the morning, and while they are out and about or commuting to work and school, while podcast listening is reserved more for time alone. “Listeners lean into the audio that suits their moods and interests,” Greenberg says. “In turn, audio has the power to improve a listener's mindset, moments, and receptivity.”

The blog post also emphasizes the importance of listener trust in radio, noting that 60 percent of adults 35–49 and 54 percent of adults 18–34 consider radio spots very or somewhat trustworthy, according to Nielsen's March 2021 Total Audience Report. “In order for brands to earn and maintain trust and loyalty among their target audiences, they need to not only look inward and toward their consumers, but to look at the environments for which their advertising is running,” Greenberg says.

A major factor in that trust, according to Greenberg, is the importance of radio personalities. Jacobs' report of its annual measurement of consumer likelihood to recommend a radio station to others reaching an all-time high in 2020 is attributed to consumers gravitating to personalities and programming they were familiar with and could count on. “Radio influencers' proven track record to drive trust, build brands, and drive word of mouth is undeniable,” Greenberg says. “Audio endorsements by radio personalities increase receptivity and consideration, with 80 percent of listeners trusting and valuing their favorite personalities’ opinion and 77 percent indicated they are influenced by a radio personalities brand and product recommendations.”

As to the renewed focus on local marketing, RAB points to research from Jacobs Media's 2021 Techsurvey reporting 49 percent of consumers strongly agree that one of radio's primary advantages is its local feel, and Nielsen's Total Audience Report showing 74 percent of urban dwellers feeling it was very or somewhat important to shop in person at local businesses, compared to 67 percent of suburban and 70 percent of rural residents. “Local advertising is more important now than it has ever been, [with] consumers recalling advertising for locally owned businesses at a greater pace than national or online retailers,” Greenberg says. “Radio is the solution for marketers to engage hometown consumers, providing the trusted environment that will build loyalty, influence decisions, and the local insight to create relevant connections.”

Story

Entravision Is Transforming Into A More Digitally Focused, International Company.

Entravision Communications has filed its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission after missing last month’s deadline. The SEC, which had issued a noncompliance notice last week, had given Entravision until September to make the filing. The report did not include any bombshells – the company had said the delay was due to unexpected bookkeeping delays related to its $29.9 million purchase of a majority stake in Cisneros Interactive in October. But the 87-page document does detail how digitally focused Entravision has become during the past year.

Revenue at the Hispanic-focused Entravision bucked the pandemic trend, increasing 26% in 2020 to $344 million. Television makes up the greatest share of the revenue at 45%, but at the current pace that TV lead will be overtaken by digital in 2021. Entravision says 43% of its revenue last year was generated by its digital segment as revenue more than doubled, soaring 108% to $143 million. And the company reported its digital revenues shot up a staggering 424% to $105 million during the fourth quarter as Cisneros was absorbed. “Our total digital revenue was about 60% of total revenue in Q4, and we expect that trend to continue in 2021,” CEO Walter Ulloa told analysts on a recent conference call. Digital now easily dwarfs radio at Entravision, which said last year’s $46 million in radio revenue accounted for 13% of its total revenue.

Historically, Entravision’s annual report notes, it was focused on increasing its television and radio presence in U.S. Hispanic markets including Texas, California, and cities along or near the U.S.-Mexico border. Based on what is happening in digital, Entravision’s acquisition strategy has evolved. “In order to enhance our product portfolio in our digital segment, we have focused our strategy more on acquisitions of high-growth digital advertising companies in new markets for us, such as Latin American and Europe,” it says.

Ulloa told analysts last month that their Cisneros Interactive deal will serve as a template. It sells digital audio and display advertising in 17 countries across Central and South America. “We are looking to grow our digital portfolio,” he explained. “In addition to growing our digital business organically, we also look to grow our digital efforts through acquisitions, including acquiring complementary businesses in similar geographic regions as Cisneros Interactive.”

Juan Saldívar, Entravision’s Chief Digital, Strategy and Accountability Officer, told Inside Radio in January that the company is also “actively looking” in emerging markets in Africa and Southeast Asia. “If you have the technology, knowhow, and process, you have to run to the last corner of the world,” said Saldívar.

Growing Global Footprint

The transformation of Entravision is already making it more of an international company with nearly as many digital full-time employees (120) in Argentina as work at Entravision Radio in the U.S. (146) as of Dec. 31. The company also has 92 digital employees in Spain, 22 in Mexico, 20 in Brazil, among dozens of others across Latin America. Including TV, four in ten Entravision employees now work outside the U.S.

As many radio groups have learned through the decades, operating beyond the U.S. borders brings less certainty to the business climate. Entravision has had a quick lesson in that as its digital operations in Spain – home to programmatic platform Smadex – as well as Mexico and Argentina, were some of the worst affected countries by COVID-19. “Nonetheless, most of our employees in our digital segment work remotely and we have not seen a significant interruption in our digital business to date,” its annual report says.

Programmatic Puts Pressure On Margins

Beyond simply targeting digital ad dollars, Entravision explains in its annual report that one reason it acquired Cisneros Interactive was in response to a growing trend seen in the U.S. as more digital buys are being done programmatically. It is an evolution it is also seeing internationally, and that is changing the digital business already.

“Advertisers are demanding more efficiency and lower cost from intermediaries like us. In response to this trend, we are offering programmatic alternatives to advertisers, which is putting pressure on margins,” the company tells investors. “We expect this trend will continue in future periods, likely resulting in a permanent higher volume, lower margin business in our digital segment,” its annual report adds.

Ulloa said an impact of the pandemic is digital usage has increased worldwide, especially in Latin America where it has accelerated internet adoption and penetration. “In 2021, Entravision will continue exploring the most prominent growth markets around the globe,” he said. “It's already 60% of total revenue.”

Story

Music Companies Ask Court To Release Money Owed Them By Owner Ed Stolz.

The coalition of record labels, music publishers and other rights holders that won a $1.3 million copyright infringement suit against Royce International Broadcasting say it has been three years since their victory and they have not seen a penny. They are asking a federal judge to release the $1.7 million that Royce owner Ed Stolz has deposited with the court to cover not only their judgement but several years’ worth of legal fees that have been amassed as Royce has repeatedly taken legal maneuvers to avoid paying them or see his three FMs sold to cover the outstanding damages.

The group, including Sony/ATV, Universal Music, and Warner Music Group, accuse Stolz of using “underhanded tactics” and “obstructionist conduct” to block the sale of CHRs “92.7 The Revolution” KREV San Francisco, “104.3 Now” KFRH Las Vegas, and “Hot Hits 97.7” KRCK-FM Palm Springs, CA and prevent payment to the music companies and other creditors. They say Stolz has deposited $1.7 million with the court to avoid being sent to jail. But he has still refused the unconditional release of the funds. The music companies say Stolz is acting as if it were a “negotiation” despite the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision ordering him to pay.

District Court Judge Jesus Bernal has scheduled a hearing for May 10 in Los Angeles on the request, which includes $107,523 in attorneys’ fees that the companies say they are “rightfully due” as they attempt to collect their lawsuit’s judgement.

The companies alleged the Stolz-owned stations had played music in their catalogs without obtaining the required licenses. Bernal earlier awarded the music companies damages for each of the eleven copyright violations named in their complaint, some dating back to 1981. Stolz appealed the judgement, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the verdict.

Now the fight over whether to release the money comes as Stolz and the music companies again wait to hear from the Ninth Circuit. Stolz has filed an appeal with the appellate court asking it to overturn the district court decision not to dismiss the receivership put into place to manage and sell the three FMs. The receiver, broker Larry Patrick, has lined up a $6 million deal to sell the stations to religious broadcaster VCY America.

The appeal may stall the sale’s finalization, but VCY America could soon replace the CHR programming on the three FMs with its religious teaching format. The broadcaster has signed a $5,000-per month local marketing agreement with Patrick to operate the stations. It has not yet said when a format change could take place, but VCY America has told the court it has spent $80,000 to buy the equipment needed to bring the stations into compliance with their licenses. It has also retained contract engineers in San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs to begin formulating a remediation plan.

Meanwhile in Washington, Patrick and VCY America on Friday again asked the Federal Communications Commission to reject an attempt by Stolz to block the proposed sale. They alleged that Stolz made “false claims” about Patrick and VCY to delay the FCC’s approval of the sale. They also request the FCC “take such further action as may be just and proper” against Stolz for the delay tactic.

If the sale of the three FMs goes through, it would leave Stolz with “790 Talk Now” KBET in Las Vegas and two FM translators in the Palm Springs, CA market.

Advertisement

Story

Music Companies Ask Court To Release Money Owed Them By Owner Ed Stolz.

The coalition of record labels, music publishers and other rights holders that won a $1.3 million copyright infringement suit against Royce International Broadcasting say it has been three years since their victory and they have not seen a penny. They are asking a federal judge to release the $1.7 million that Royce owner Ed Stolz has deposited with the court to cover not only their judgement but several years’ worth of legal fees that have been amassed as Royce has repeatedly taken legal maneuvers to avoid paying them or see his three FMs sold to cover the outstanding damages.

The group, including Sony/ATV, Universal Music, and Warner Music Group, accuse Stolz of using “underhanded tactics” and “obstructionist conduct” to block the sale of CHRs “92.7 The Revolution” KREV San Francisco, “104.3 Now” KFRH Las Vegas, and “Hot Hits 97.7” KRCK-FM Palm Springs, CA and prevent payment to the music companies and other creditors. They say Stolz has deposited $1.7 million with the court to avoid being sent to jail. But he has still refused the unconditional release of the funds. The music companies say Stolz is acting as if it were a “negotiation” despite the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision ordering him to pay.

District Court Judge Jesus Bernal has scheduled a hearing for May 10 in Los Angeles on the request, which includes $107,523 in attorneys’ fees that the companies say they are “rightfully due” as they attempt to collect their lawsuit’s judgement.

The companies alleged the Stolz-owned stations had played music in their catalogs without obtaining the required licenses. Bernal earlier awarded the music companies damages for each of the eleven copyright violations named in their complaint, some dating back to 1981. Stolz appealed the judgement, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the verdict.

Now the fight over whether to release the money comes as Stolz and the music companies again wait to hear from the Ninth Circuit. Stolz has filed an appeal with the appellate court asking it to overturn the district court decision not to dismiss the receivership put into place to manage and sell the three FMs. The receiver, broker Larry Patrick, has lined up a $6 million deal to sell the stations to religious broadcaster VCY America.

The appeal may stall the sale’s finalization, but VCY America could soon replace the CHR programming on the three FMs with its religious teaching format. The broadcaster has signed a $5,000-per month local marketing agreement with Patrick to operate the stations. It has not yet said when a format change could take place, but VCY America has told the court it has spent $80,000 to buy the equipment needed to bring the stations into compliance with their licenses. It has also retained contract engineers in San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs to begin formulating a remediation plan.

Meanwhile in Washington, Patrick and VCY America on Friday again asked the Federal Communications Commission to reject an attempt by Stolz to block the proposed sale. They alleged that Stolz made “false claims” about Patrick and VCY to delay the FCC’s approval of the sale. They also request the FCC “take such further action as may be just and proper” against Stolz for the delay tactic.

If the sale of the three FMs goes through, it would leave Stolz with “790 Talk Now” KBET in Las Vegas and two FM translators in the Palm Springs, CA market.

Advertisement

Featured

Deal Digest

Deal Digest – April 8 2021

STATION SALES

Augusta-Waterville, ME – J. Hanson Company has filed a $1.8 million deal to buy AC “The Mix 107.9” WFMX, “Cruisin Country 93.5” WCTB, and oldies “Legacy 1160” WSKW from Alan Anderson’s Mountain Wireless. Jay Hanson has operated the stations under a local marketing agreement since 2007. He also hosts mornings on WFMX.

Alaska – Matt Wilson has filed a $1.1 million deal to buy six full-power stations in Soldotna, AK area and four FM translators from John Davis. The contract attributes $300,000 of the purchase price to real estate. The stations include hot AC KKIS-FM (96.5), rock “The Fuse 106.9 FM” KFSE, classic hits KKNI (105.3), country “Q-100 The Point” KWHQ-FM, news-talk KSRM (920), and sports “ESPN 1140” KSLD. The translators include the Soldotna, AK-licensed K245DB at 96.9 FM; the Sterling, AK-licensed K239AV at 95.7 FM; the Sterling, AK-licensed K232EH at 94.3 FM; the Soldotna, AK-licensed K223DG at 92.5 FM. Among the contract’s less-standard provisions is Wilson has agreed to provide water to Davis on a lot he owns in perpetuity. Wilson also agrees to allow Davis to keep his apple orchard and raspberry patch in its current location. Davis does not own any other stations.

Washington – Bustos Media has filed a $700,000 deal to buy classic hits “Me TV FM Portland” KXXP-FM, White Salmon, WA (104.5) from Sebago Broadcasting. The deal includes a $600,000 promissory note. Bustos Media has begun operating the station under a time brokerage agreement and has changed the station’s programming to Spanish rhythmic “Urbana 104.5” which also airs in Tucson and Orlando. Bustos already owns regional Mexican “La Zeta 94.3” KZZR in the area and two of its Portland AMs overlap with KXXP including regional Mexican “La Gran D 1150” KGDD and ethnic KOOR (1010). Brokers: Jody McCoy, Mark Jorgenson

Wichita, KS – Chad Boeger’s Union Broadcasting has filed a $623,000 deal to buy country KKGQ (92.3) from Rocking M Media. The sale is the outcome of a lawsuit between Envision Broadcast Network and Rocking M Media that stemmed from a fight over control of the stations and Rocking M defaulting on a $1.5 million promissory note that was part of the Sept. 2017 deal that it signed with Envision agreeing to buy KKGQ for $2.5 million. The proceeds of the sale of KKGQ to Union Broadcasting will go to Envision, not Rocking M Media under a deal that avoided a court-ordered sale. Union Broadcasting already owns stations in the Kansas City and Louisville markets. Rocking M Media will still own the silent KIBB (97.1), KWME (92.7) and KVWF (100.5) in the Wichita market once the sale closes. Broker: Gammon Miller

Myrtle Beach, SC – Steve Clendenin’s Maryland Media One has filed a $400,00 deal to buy “Carolina Country 106.3” WYAY-FM from Jeff Andrulonis’ Colonial Radio Group. The deal includes a $325,000 promissory note. Maryland Media One earlier filed a $500,000 deal to buy “93.9 Carolina Country” WMIR-FM from Colonial Radio Group which is also in the Myrtle Beach market.

West Virginia – Andrew Miller’s ASM Communications has filed a $320,000 deal to buy “Mountain Country 104.7” WVCR-FM and gospel WVRC (1400) in Spencer, WV from Aneita Koenig and Robert Zdanek’s Star Communications. The deal also includes the Spencer, WV-licensed translator W278CP at 103.5 FM that simulcasts WVRC.

Bakersfield, CA – Precious Mayes’ Shemogul Media has filed a $315,000 deal to buy KKCA from Cold Comm. Mayes is President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacifica Hospital of the Valley. She does not own any other radio stations. Broker: Guest Technology

Las Cruces-Deming, NM – Bravo Mic Communications has filed a $190,000 deal to buy hot AC “94.3 The Mix” KDEM and country KOTS (1230) from Luna County Broadcasting. Bravo Mic Communications already owns four other stations in the Las Cruces-Deming, NM market including classic hits “101 Gold” KVLC, hot AC “Magic 104.9” KMVR, “Zia Country 99.5” KXPZ, and “News Talk 1450” KOBE.

Terre Haute, IN – American Hope Communications has filed a $179,000 deal to buy four full-power stations and three FM translators from Word Power. The stations including religious WLHW (91.5), the silent WPFR-FM (93.7), religious WKZI (800), and the silent WPFR (1480). The three FM translators include the Terre Haute, IN-licensed W292FT at 106.3 FM; the Casey, IL-licensed W234CK at 94.7 FM; and the Greenup, IL-licensed W300DD at 107.9 FM.

Florida – James Day has filed a $61,831 deal to by adult hits “104.9 The X” WXKW, Key West, FL from Butler Broadcast Consultants. Day does not own any other radio stations.

New Mexico – Tropics Inc. has filed an $8,000 deal to buy KBWK, Truth or Consequences, NM (88.7) from One Ministries. KBWK is a construction permit for a new Class C3 station.

TRANSLATOR SALES

Texas – Cathy Long has filed a $64,250 deal to buy the Lubbock, TX-licensed translator K231BE at 94.2 FM from David Cavagnaro. Long currently owns classic country KSSL (107.3) in the Lubbock market. But the filing says Long will keep in place an agreement struck by Cavagnaro to simulcast the HD4 channel of Ramar Communications’ hot AC “107.7 Yes FM” KLZKK-FM on the translator.

CLOSINGS

Long Island, NY – Yash Pandya’s Om Sai Broadcasting has closed a $1.3 million deal to buy ethnic “Radio Zindagi” WBWD (540) from Eli Madrigal and Roberto Paredes’ Metro Mex USA. The sale includes a $150,000 promissory note. The deal is a quick turnaround for Metro Mex USA which closed a deal to buy the station for $700,000 in December.

Houston – El Sembrador Ministries has closed a $725,000 deal to buy Spanish Religious KYND (1520) from Pro Broadcasting. KYND is a 25,000-watts daytime-only station. The deal includes a $325,000 promissory note. Broker: Sandi Bergman

Peoria, IL – Educational Media Foundation has closed a $170,000 deal to buy “CD Country 107.9” WCDD from Illiana Communications. EMF currently does not own any stations in the Peoria, IL market but it owns contemporary Christian “K-Love” affiliate WLKU (98.9) in the adjacent Quad Cites market.

Missouri – Dockins Communications has closed a $160,000 deal to buy contemporary Christian KELE-FM (92.5) and religious KELE (1360) in Mountain Grove, MO from Ed Smith’s Joy Christian Communications. In a separate deal, Fred Dockins has also closed a $57,500 deal to buy gospel KOZX, Cabool, MO (98.1) from Joy Christian Communications. Joy Christian Communications still owns stations in Georgia and Mississippi.

Illinois – Spoon River Media has closed a $30,000 deal to buy talk/classic hits WBYS, Canton, IL (1560) from Illiana Communications. The deal also includes the Canton, IL-licensed translator W229BZ at 93.7 FM. Spoon River Media already owns adult hits “Q-98.1” WILP in the area.

Texas – Libertad en Cristo Ministries has closed a $10,000 deal to buy religious KOGW, Hartley, TX (90.5) and religious KUHC, Stratford, TX (91.5) from Top of Texas Educational Broadcasting Foundation. Libertad En Cristo Ministries already owns Spanish-language religious KLEC, Liberal, KS (90.5). Top of Texas still owns nine stations in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

Arizona – Educational Media Foundation has closed on a swap of contemporary Christian “K-Love” affiliate KLKI, Dolan Springs, AZ (91.9) to CSN International in exchange for religious KVIR, Bullhead City, AZ (89.9). No cash will change hands as part of the deal.

People Moves

Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows is elevated to VP of Operations for Full Power Radio’s radio and streaming broadcasting companies. In the role, he will help manage stations for the company’s stations in Hartford and New London, CT; Springfield, MA and Providence, RI. Read more

Woofy Ramone

JVC Media of Florida hires Woofy Ramone as operations manager for their Fort Walton Beach cluster. Woofy has spent over 30 years in the Ft. Walton Beach/Destin market.  Woofy will oversee JVC’s "Q92", WECQ (CHR), Country station "Highway 98.1", WHWY, Classic Hits "102.1 The Wave", WWAV, and the new "Florida Man Radio 103.1", WZLB (Entertainment Talk). Read more

Kim Adams

Crawford Broadcasting's contemporary christian station, WDJC,FM, Birmingham, AL adds Kim Adams to handle the 7 pm to midnight shift, effective April 19.  Adams was most recently heard on Crawford's WMUZ in Detroit, where she has a new show also launching on April 19. Other experience includes mid-days with the former "98.7 The Breeze", WDZH, and 7 years as Meteorologist for WDIV TV in Detroit. Read more

Job Listings

Asset-image

VP/GM - SCRIPPS TULSA

Scripps has a rare opening for a VP/GM for our 5-station Tulsa radio cluster.  Read more

Job Listings

Brand/Content Manager - Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina is seeking to an outstanding individual Brand/Content Manager for our Radio/Audio operation. View details

Market Manager - Jackson, MS

Alpha Media – Jackson, MS is seeking a dynamic Market Manager to lead our organization. View details

WBAI 99.5 FM (New York) Seeks Program Director

PACIFICA Radio Station WBAI New York, 99.5 FM, is searching for a Program Director to supervise WBAI's on air program format, assure FCC compliance and oversee on-air fund drives among other responsibilities. View details

Various Management Positions

Armada Media is hiring! We have available a Market Manager and a Sales Manager position. View details

About Inside Radio

© 2015. This email is delivered to you by INSIDE RADIO, The Most Trusted News in Radio. On the web @ www.InsideRadio.com. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced, forwarded, or retransmitted in any form without written permission. Subscribe to INSIDE RADIO Here. Publisher, Gene McKay. Managing Editor, Paul Heine. Inside Radio, PO Box 567925, Atlanta GA 31156. 800-248-4242. Newsroom: 800-275-2840. Contact Us | About | Advertise Read more