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Insideradio.com - Inside Radio Newsletter
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

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Zenith: Internet Radio Revenue Will Grow Twice As Fast As On-Air This Year.

Updated

The consensus among the ad forecasters is radio revenue will increase this year. The only matter up for debate is by how much. The ad agency giant Zenith is out with its latest predictions and it pegs growth for U.S. radio revenue at five percent, estimating industry revenue will recover to $13.28 billion this year. The figures, which do not include radio stations’ streaming revenue, trail the $17.6 billion in revenue radio had in 2019 prior to the pandemic. But that gap will continue to close in 2022 when Zenith believes radio revenue will increase another 0.9% to $13.4 billion.

Digital audio is forecast to have bigger growth rates this year. Zenith predicts internet radio revenue will climb 11% to $2.9 billion as more dollars are spent to target mobile listeners rather than desktop listeners. And it expects podcast ad revenue to jump 26% to $830 million. And both are expected to have more double-digit growth in their future next year as Zenith predicts digital radio will grow another 10% in 2022 and podcasting will increase 18%.

Zenith forecasts overall U.S. ad spending will increase 13.1% this year to $271.6 billion. While internet advertising will grow 25.7% and outdoor revenue will increase 15.6%, radio and in-cinema advertising – which is estimated to double after last year’s theater closures – are the only other big media channels where growth is likely. Without the benefit of political revenue, Zenith forecasts television revenue will decline 4.4% Harder times are also ahead for both newspapers, which it sees losing another 20% of its revenue, and magazines, with an estimated 9.7% decline. The U.S. will be, by far, the largest contributor to global ad growth in 2021, accounting for 46% of the $67 billion added to the global ad market this year.

“After a very tough year last year, the ad market is enjoying rapid and broad-based recovery, and will end this year well above the level it achieved in 2019,” said Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at Zenith. “Digital advertising is becoming a more effective tool for brand growth as media and commerce continue to move online, attracting greater investment from large brands and small businesses alike.”

On a global basis, Zenith thinks total ad spending will increase at a slightly slower rate of 11.2% this year with global radio revenue tracking to increase four percent versus 2020. It also predicts that digital advertising will account for 58% of global ad spending this year, up from 48% in 2019. It believes that trend has been accelerated as more retail moves from bricks-and-mortar sales to ecommerce.

“Brands have responded by forming partnerships with retailers and creating new direct-to-consumer operations, using performance-driven advertising – primarily in social media and paid search – to lead consumers down the path to purchase,” said Zenith. Still, it anticipates the shift to ecommerce will slow down as coronavirus restrictions lift and economies open up again. “But [it] won’t go into reverse,” it adds.

Looking ahead to 2022, Zenith is forecasting U.S. ad revenue will grow 6.8%. While TV will benefit from a return to political ad dollars, Zenith is predicting just shy of double-digit growth for internet spending. It says the segment will be up 9.9%.

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Low Churn, Ad Rebound Help Push SiriusXM Revenues Up 15% In Q2.

Updated

Better-than-expected ad revenue from Pandora, AdsWizz and podcasting combined with a lower churn among satellite radio subscribers to push SiriusXM revenues to $2.16 billion in second quarter 2021. That’s up 15% over Q2 2020 when advertising suffered its biggest hit from the pandemic. While Pandora’s monthly active users continued their years-long decline, the satellite radio service added 355,000 net new self-pay subscribes in the quarter. That 34% year-over year increase puts the satcaster at a record high 31.4 million subscribers, on track to add 1.1 million new self-pay subs in 2021 for its best since 2018.

But the satellite broadcaster lost 378,000 paid promotional subs in Q2 due to a new vehicle trial structure, ending the quarter with 34.5 million total subscribers, up 1% year-over-year.

“Our second quarter results demonstrate remarkable continued growth across our business,” CEO Jennifer Witz told investors during the company’s quarterly results call Tuesday. “Given our strong operating and financial performance in the first half, we are raising all of our financial guidance across the board.” In addition to adding 1.1 million self-pay net subscribers in 2021, the company now expects to finish the year with total revenue of $8.55 billion, earnings of $2.68 billion and free cash flow of $1.7 billion.

"SiriusXM's second quarter results give us impressive momentum heading into the back half of the year,” added CFO Sean Sullivan.

Net income soared 78% to $433 million, including a $140 million insurance payout for the total loss of the company’s SXM-7 satellite. Earnings came in at $700 million, up 14% from the prior year period.

Investors greeted the upbeat performance by pushing shares of “SIRI” up 5% in trading in New York to close at $6.71.

In addition to rising auto sales, SiriusXM, “appears to be gaining traction with its subscriber base,” with churn falling below 1.5%, Barclays Research said in a note to clients Tuesday morning.

SiriusXM reports results in two segments: its SiriusXM business and Pandora business. Second quarter 2021 revenue for the SiriusXM unit grew 7% to $1.64 billion. The growth was driven by a 4% increase in average revenue per user to $14.57 and a 3% increase in SiriusXM self-pay subscribers.

At the Pandora segment ad revenue shot up 82% year-over-year to $383 million and rose 25% over second quarter 2019. That includes revenue from both Pandora and Stitcher. Sullivan said the largest gains were seen in the travel and tourism category but it was not alone. “Restaurant and automotive categories increased spending, and we saw large growth in entertainment,” he told analysts.

Pandora continued to bleed listeners in second quarter. Monthly Active Users fell 8% to 55.1 million from 59.6 million in the prior year period. Total ad-supported listener hours dropped 9% to 3.03 billion from 3.29 billion in the second quarter of 2020. On a positive note, Pandora added 118,000 net new self-pay subscribers to its Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium services in the second quarter. That brought the total to 6.5 million.

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Salem Media Group And Dr. Sebastian Gorka Renew Vows.

Updated

Salem Media Group inks a contract extension with syndicated host Dr. Sebastian Gorka and his “America First” afternoon program (3-6pm ET). The show has been with Salem Radio Network since January 2019.

“Dr. Gorka has proven to be a natural on the radio,” Senior VP for Spoken Word Phil Boyce said in a release. “His insight into current events, his courageous stand on the issues, and his unique sense of humor have blended together to make this one of the best shows in the Salem lineup.”

Prior to launching his radio show on the network, Gorka served as Fox News Channel’s national security strategist. Gorka has written three books and served as a security advisor to former President Donald Trump. He currently hosts a weekend show on Newsmax.

“Despite an incredibly hard 18 months for America, conservative talk radio is stronger than it has ever been and I am so grateful to Salem, my superb team and our amazing listeners for their loyalty and enduring love of country,” Gorka remarked. “I am overjoyed at the chance to continue our shared mission to tell the truth and make America even stronger than before.”

“America First with Sebastian Gorka” airs in at least 40 markets across the country including Salem talk outlets WIND Chicago (560), WGKA Atlanta (920), KSKY Dallas (660) and KNTH Houston (1070).

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Neal Weiner Rises At Westwood One; Sue Falco Returns To Network.

Updated

Westwood One elevates Neal Weiner to VP of Affiliate Sales for its 24/7 formats, while industry veteran Sue Falco returns to the network as Director of Affiliate Sales for the Music & Entertainment division.

“With more than a quarter century with Westwood One, Neal knows this business inside and out. And Sue’s new role brings her full circle back to Westwood One, along with valuable experience and strong industry relationships.” Senior VP of Affiliate Sales Stuart Greenblatt said in a release. “There are no better people to assume these roles and drive Westwood One’s affiliate sales.”

Weiner is a 26-year veteran of Westwood One and has been part of the Affiliate Sales team, working with 24/7 Formats, Music and Entertainment Shows, Sports and Prep Services. His industry career began at “Pirate Radio” KQLZ Los Angeles, which was owned by Westwood One at the time.

“We have fantastic new offerings in the pipeline for helping our affiliates to operate smoothly and efficiently, and to sound amazing,” Weiner remarked. “I’m honored to assume this role at such an exciting time.”

Falco previously spent six years at the company as part of both the News/Talk and the Country affiliate sales teams. She most recently served for ten years as Director of Affiliate Sales with United Stations.

“Westwood One is synonymous with great programming and super-sized talent,” Falco added. I’m thrilled to be back on the team with such a well-respected brand.”

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WXPN’s ‘MTV Week’ To Celebrate 40th Anniversary Of Culture-Shaping Network.

Updated

University of Pennsylvania adult alternative WXPN Philadelphia (88.5) will mark the 40th anniversary of MTV with its own “MTV Week,” Aug. 2-6, featuring special radio and digital programming.

“MTV Week will celebrate the music and highlight the impact that music videos have had on pop culture and music since the 80s,” Assistant GM for Programming Bruce Warren said in a release. “On-air and online listeners can join us in celebrating MTV’s 40th anniversary by hearing music from some of the era’s most iconic videos and MTV programs – the one-hit wonders, Yo! MTV Raps, MTV Unplugged, 120 Minutes, and more.”

Highlights of WXPN’S MTV Week include:

Monday, Aug. 2.

9am: The First 100 Music Videos on MTV

Tuesday, Aug. 3.

9am: Top 100 Greatest Music Videos of All Time

5pm: Salute to “Yo! MTV Raps.”

Wednesday, Aug. 4.

MTV Unplugged Day: Sets of music from “MTV Unplugged” releases

All day: #TBT (Throwback Thursday) featuring music from 1981, the year MTV launched.

8-10pm: “World Café” with special guest Rob Tannenbaum, author of “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution”

Friday, Aug. 6.

9am: “Friday Morning Mixtape” with Matt Pinfield, former host of MTV’s alternative music program “120 Minutes”

12pm: “XPN Free At Noon” live concert broadcast with Philadelphia’s Pat Finnerty and the Full Band performing songs from MTV’s golden age

4pm: “Funky Friday” featuring the funky soul and R&B music from MTV classics from the 80s and early 90s

7pm: WXPN host Robert Drake spins a special 24-hour marathon of 80s music, complete with a “Rock of the ‘80s Cam” that will capture the marathon and show the WXPN on-air studio festooned with ‘80s images and exclusive designs by Nicole and Nicole of Philadelphia’s South Street Art Mart.

The anniversary is also noted by iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman, who takes listeners down memory lane to his days as an MTV co-founder on an encore episode of his podcast, “Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing.” The episode tells the story of the beginning of MTV through the eyes of the people who were actually there when it happened.

Pittman is joined on the episode by iHeartMedia President of Entertainment Enterprises John Sykes, former CEO of MTV Judy McGrath, Frederator Networks founder Fred Seibert, former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, and former NPR CEO Jarl Mohn.

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Spotify Rolling Out ‘What’s New’ Feature.

Updated

To keep users aware of the latest music and podcast content added to its platform, Spotify is rolling-out a “What’s New” feed, that will be recognizable by its bell icon located at the top of the Home tab on the Spotify mobile app.

As revealed during its recent Stream On livestream event, more than 50,000 hours of content is uploaded to Spotify every day.

“What’s New makes it easier than ever to catch all the latest songs and episodes from the creators you follow,” the company said in a release. “Plus, it’s even updated in real time, so you know you’ll get to listen to new content just as it’s released.”

The new feature will roll out over the coming weeks for both iOS and Android devices and will be updated in real time, with a blue dot on the bell signifying the addition of new content. Spotify users can add artists and podcasts to the feed by tapping the “Follow” button on their respective pages.

“What’s New also includes filters that allow you to sort for new music releases or new podcast and show episodes, helping you find what you’re looking for more quickly,” the announcement continued.

TechCrunch says the new feature will be most helpful to those who consume podcasts on the platform.

“Despite Spotify’s big push into podcasts, its history as a music-focused service has meant that its apps aren’t particularly well suited for listening to episodic content,” an article describing the new feature read. “Dedicated podcasting apps, meanwhile, are designed around chronological feeds, making it easy to see when new episodes are available. Hopefully, What’s New will bring some of these benefits to Spotify.”

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Global Sports Podcasters Unite To Create The Sports Podcast Awards.

Updated

The sports podcast genre is getting its own awards show. Benchmark, the company behind the 20-year old Sport Industry Awards – has organized a new independent body called the Sports Podcast Group from creators around the globe. Its first effort will be the Sports Podcast Awards set to take place in February 2022.

The Sports Podcast Group is led by former Spotify U.K. executive Dylan Pugh, who opened his own consultancy last year. “Our ambition is to create a community of sports podcasters around the world, with the core mission of boosting discoverability for both creators and listeners,” said Pugh. “We want podcasters of all shapes and sizes to engage – through entering awards or becoming judges – and the more they engage, the more visibility it will bring to their own podcast. We’re also excited to be working with our partners to bring unique offers and benefits to any podcasters that join our community.”

The Sports Podcast Awards has begun accepting entries across 27 categories, including Sports Podcast of the Year and a Listeners Choice Award, and other awards covering a range of different sports and sub-genres. Each entry will cost $99 for professional producers or $50 for independents.

Short-listed award entries will be made public on podcast platforms and streaming services and winners will be announced via a live-streamed virtual awards event next February. Organizers say the awards will offer a level playing field, with the biggest podcast networks in the world and the bedroom content creator both having an equal chance of winning.

“We’re very passionate about the audio space and we know how much sports audio content means to fans, so we’re excited to use our legacy in sports awards programs to create something fresh and exciting, and to reward those who work tirelessly to create excellent content week after week,” said Benchmark founder Nick Keller. “We are very much looking forward to cultivating a community, to celebrate the best and to help bring the industry together.”

The advisory board for the awards encompasses some of the biggest professionals in the sports industry, including Global Sports Partnerships Director of Facebook, Peter Hutton, UK sports broadcaster Gabby Logan, and former CEO of Sky Sports Barney Francis. Also playing its part is the Beyond Sport Awards, the global organization.

“The launch of an independent body like this one is vitally important to ensure that the category continues to grow, but also to shine a spotlight on future stars as they rise through the podcasting ranks,” said Hutton.

Submit entries or get more information HERE.

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News Bites: ‘B-Dub Radio,’ ‘Country Top 40 With Fitz,’ Greg Beharrell, Jim Burress, Travis Denning.

Updated

News Bites for July 27...

...The Skyview Networks-syndicated “B-Dub Radio” reaches the 85-station affiliate mark, with the recent additions of 10 new stations. “It is a huge milestone to reach 85 affiliates and I am thrilled that the expansion of B-Dub Radio to weeknights is so well received,” Bryan “B-Dub” Washington said in a release. “Our ability to deliver on-demand local content in individual markets at a moment’s notice is a value proposition that is not easily replicated.” NRG Media country “Froggy 98” KFGE Lincoln, NE is the most recent affiliate signing, airing the program six nights a week. The network has also announced six new stations have added its “Country Top 40 with Fitz,” including New South Radio country “US96” WUSJ Jackson, MS. “We are thrilled to have Fitz and CT40 in Central Mississippi,” PD Traci Lee said in a release. “We are all about that 'hometown' feeling and Fitz has a way of making you feel so welcome.” In other syndication news, Yea Networks’ “The Greg Beharrell Show” is picked up by Waterloo Media modern rock “101X” KROX Austin. The show will air from 7pm-12am weeknights beginning Aug. 2.

...Jim Burress, afternoon host at City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE Atlanta (90.1), is taking some time off as he undergoes and recuperates from congenital heart surgery. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says Burress is scheduled to have surgery on July 30 and will spend four to six weeks recovering. “The cardiologist said once I’ve recovered, I’ll be better than new,” Burress said. “I would love to run the Peachtree Road Race. Hopefully I’m not getting ahead of myself there.”

...Travis Denning will spend a month as midday guest host for Mount Wilson Broadcasting “Go Country 105” KKGO Los Angeles starting Monday, Aug. 2. The Mercury Nashville artist will host weekdays 10am-2pm throughout the month, succeeding July guest host Parker McCollum. Denning will release his “Dirt Road Down” EP, featuring an alternate version of current single “ABBY,” on Friday, Aug. 6. Denning begins touring as direct support for Brothers Osborne’s “I’m Not for Everyone Tour” Thursday in Philadelphia.

...The radio voice for the Tampa Bay Rays Triple A affiliate Durham Bulls, Patrick Kinas, was selected to broadcast the U.S. Olympic swimming trials and preliminary swimming heats in Tokyo for NBC. Kinas was to be part of the Westwood One team that was in line to cover the original 2020 games, but when the network declined to cover rescheduled games, Kinas figured he’d remain stateside. Kinas covered the 2016 games in Brazil, a highlight of which was calling the finish of U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps’ final gold medal. Calling the 2021 Olympic Games has special significance for Kinas, who told WRAL-TV, “Parents and some coaches and teammates of these athletes, they can't go. So, all of these athletes, all of these family members, all these fans, are going to be watching this – us.” Durham Bulls games are broadcast on Capitol Broadcasting Co. sports “99.9 The Fan” WCMC.

...“Good Morning H-Town” on Radio One rhythmic CHR “97.9 The Box” KBXX Houston was voted Best Radio Morning Show by readers of the Houston Chronicle. The second annual Best of the Best highlights the best of Houston in a number of categories including entertainment and leisure, sports, beauty, health, home services and finance, kids and education, legal, people and places and shopping and more.

...“The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour,” Hillsdale College’s national, weekend radio show and podcast, has surpassed 1 million downloads of episodes since its launch in February 2019. Each one-hour program features multiple guests, including Hillsdale faculty members, college campus speakers, noted writers and thinkers, alumni and others. “It is amazing to see the extensive impact this radio program has,” VP/Marketing Matt Schlientz said in a release. “The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour has worked tirelessly to make this happen, and their efforts are paying off.” Recent affiliates who have added the program to their weekend lineup include Radio Fiesta Network talk KFIR Albany, OR (720); Sovereign Communications talk WMIQ Iron Mountain, MI (1450); Sovereign Communication talk WDMJ Marquette, MI (1320); and AMC Partners talk WCHT Escanaba, MI (600).

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Radio's A Better Bet For Sports Betting Advertising, New Study Says.

The results from a pair of MARU/Matchbox studies commissioned by Cumulus Media show that not only are AM/FM radio listeners significantly more interested, experienced and engaged in sports betting than TV viewers, their listening covers a wide span of formats as opposed to just sports programming. These findings and more, as reported in the latest Westwood One's Everyone's Listening blog, suggest that the current ad buying balance between radio and TV should be readjusted in radio's favor.

"AM/FM radio is the ideal platform for online sports betting sites to build their brands and businesses,” Cumulus Media Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says. “Compared to TV viewers, AM/FM radio listeners have far more experience with online sports betting, greater interest, greater awareness of, and greater engagement with online sports betting brands.”

The second of MARU/Matchbox's two studies, conducted in April among more than 700 adults over age 21 in the 12 states where online sports wagering is fully legalized – Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia – found that interest in sports betting skews younger and more male, with nearly half of adults 21-34, and one-third of men, very or somewhat interested in wagering. Overall, nearly one-fourth of adults 21+ say they are very or somewhat interested in online sports betting.

Across those 12 states, heavy AM/FM radio listeners significantly outscore heavy TV viewers when it comes to having ever placed an online sports bet, and interest in doing so. Along these lines, the blog also points out research from Nielsen Scarborough that AM/FM radio sports play-by-play broadcasts are almost twice as likely to attract sports bettors compared to the same broadcast on television. “AM/FM radio’s much younger age profile means it has a much larger concentration of those interested in online sports betting, [while] linear TV leans quite old, with the majority of the audience over the age of 50,” Bouvard says. “The greater the time spent with TV, the lower the interest in sports betting, [while] AM/FM radio is the opposite. As AM/FM radio time spent listening grows, so does sports betting behavior.”

Radio listeners also score higher when it comes to being able to name online sports betting brands, although unaided, more than half are not able to name a brand. “This is shocking considering that the vast majority of online sports brand advertising runs on TV,” Bouvard says, citing Kantar Media research that for every dollar spent on AM/FM, sixteen are spent on television. “A TV campaign will generate massive impressions among those who have no interest in online sports betting, [while] AM/FM radio campaigns will generate a greater proportion of impressions with those inclined to online sports betting.”

Unaided or aided, DraftKings and FanDuel show the highest awareness levels, with 22% and 19% of adults 21+ respectively able to come up with either, while when shown a list of brands, those numbers move to 71% and 69%, with higher awareness of both among radio listeners compared to TV viewers, and among adults 21-34. While running a distant third, BetMGM did run the most radio ads in measured markets in these 12 states during April 2021.

While it may be no surprise that seven of 10 listeners of Sports radio formats say they are very or somewhat interested in sports betting, that percentage is nearly matched by listeners of Urban formats, while six of 10 Alternative listeners show interest. Interest in sports betting sites is also strong among listeners of Alternative Rock, Adult Contemporary, News/Talk, Country, Top 40, and Rock formats. It's notable that while the share of ad impressions during April 2021 on Sports, News/Talk and Classic Rock is over-weighted compared to each format's listeners' level of interest in sports betting, the opposite is the case for Rock, Top 40, Adult Contemporary, and Classic Hits/Oldies. Also worth noting is the power of podcast, with Nielsen Scarborough figures in the report showing podcast listeners are 63% more likely to be sport bettors compared to the general population, and that sports bettors listen to news/government/history, comedy and society and culture podcasts in addition to just those focused on sports.

Given results showing the skew toward AM/FM listeners, MARU/Matchbox's study suggests a restructuring of sports betting ad spend to a mix more representative of, and favoring, radio vs. TV. “January through April 2021 spending in the online sports betting category skews 94% television and only 6% AM/FM radio,” Bouvard says. “This is a massive misalignment. Among those interested in sports betting, 40% are heavy AM/FM radio listeners and 30% are heavy TV viewers, a relationship that converts to a ratio of 57% AM/FM radio and 43% TV.”

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What To Expect When Townsquare And Other Broadcasters Report Q2 Results Next Week.

Next week marks the start of earnings season for radio’s publicly traded companies with seven broadcasters set to report their latest financial results. Among them is Townsquare Media which has provided a sneak peek of what to expect on its call, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 3 before the opening bell sounds at the New York Stock Exchange.

For the first half of 2021, the small and medium market specialist says it has “significantly grown” its local spot market share. Citing Miller Kaplan data, Townsquare says it increased its local spot market share by 7% year-to-date. For the month of June, the company outpaced local radio industry growth in 88% of the markets where it operates that report revenue to Miller Kaplan. “I think this raises a key point,” says Townsquare COO – Local Media Erik Hellum. “Half of our revenue is digital but we are also growing local market share in radio. One doesn’t have to come at the expense of the other. The opposite is true, in fact. The better we do digitally, the better we do in our core local business, because the digital solutions we provide to local SMB’s encourages them to trust us with their broadcast marketing budget as well.”

While 49% of the company’s revenue comes from digital – an industry high, by far – 20% is subscription-based, generated by Townsquare Interactive, which sells digital marketing services.

Townsquare says it expects digital revenue to grow by a double-digit percentage in full year 2021. The company got off to a strong start in first quarter with a 13% year-over-year digital revenue bump, which was twice the growth rate experienced in 2020. Total first quarter 2021 revenues at Townsquare Media declined 5% to $88.8 million from $93.4 million in Q1 2020, the last quarter largely spared from the ad pullbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Q2 revenues are expected to be up dramatically when compared to the same period in 2020, which marked the absolute abyss of the pandemic-caused ad pullbacks.

The more telling comparison will be to gauge its financial performance against 2019 levels, which the company has pledged to do. “Our business continues to improve each and every quarter, so much so that we feel it is most relevant to compare our financial results to pre-COVID 2019 levels, as we believe we are on the verge of a full revenue and EBITDA recovery,” CEO Bill Wilson said when reporting Q1 numbers in early May.

That is one of the key metrics to look for next week among those following the financials results action: how companies performed when compared to the pre-pandemic second quarter of 2019.

Following are the radio companies that have announced their Q2 results calls for next week, so far:

Tues, Aug. 3

Townsquare Media, 8am

Weds, Aug. 4:

Cumulus Media, 8:30am

Salem Media, 5pm

Thurs, Aug. 5:

Saga Communications, 11am

Beasley Media Group, 11am

iHeartMedia, 4:30pm

Fri, Aug. 6:

Audacy, 10am

All times are Eastern.

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What To Expect When Townsquare And Other Broadcasters Report Q2 Results Next Week.

Next week marks the start of earnings season for radio’s publicly traded companies with seven broadcasters set to report their latest financial results. Among them is Townsquare Media which has provided a sneak peek of what to expect on its call, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 3 before the opening bell sounds at the New York Stock Exchange.

For the first half of 2021, the small and medium market specialist says it has “significantly grown” its local spot market share. Citing Miller Kaplan data, Townsquare says it increased its local spot market share by 7% year-to-date. For the month of June, the company outpaced local radio industry growth in 88% of the markets where it operates that report revenue to Miller Kaplan. “I think this raises a key point,” says Townsquare COO – Local Media Erik Hellum. “Half of our revenue is digital but we are also growing local market share in radio. One doesn’t have to come at the expense of the other. The opposite is true, in fact. The better we do digitally, the better we do in our core local business, because the digital solutions we provide to local SMB’s encourages them to trust us with their broadcast marketing budget as well.”

While 49% of the company’s revenue comes from digital – an industry high, by far – 20% is subscription-based, generated by Townsquare Interactive, which sells digital marketing services.

Townsquare says it expects digital revenue to grow by a double-digit percentage in full year 2021. The company got off to a strong start in first quarter with a 13% year-over-year digital revenue bump, which was twice the growth rate experienced in 2020. Total first quarter 2021 revenues at Townsquare Media declined 5% to $88.8 million from $93.4 million in Q1 2020, the last quarter largely spared from the ad pullbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Q2 revenues are expected to be up dramatically when compared to the same period in 2020, which marked the absolute abyss of the pandemic-caused ad pullbacks.

The more telling comparison will be to gauge its financial performance against 2019 levels, which the company has pledged to do. “Our business continues to improve each and every quarter, so much so that we feel it is most relevant to compare our financial results to pre-COVID 2019 levels, as we believe we are on the verge of a full revenue and EBITDA recovery,” CEO Bill Wilson said when reporting Q1 numbers in early May.

That is one of the key metrics to look for next week among those following the financials results action: how companies performed when compared to the pre-pandemic second quarter of 2019.

Following are the radio companies that have announced their Q2 results calls for next week, so far:

Tues, Aug. 3

Townsquare Media, 8am

Weds, Aug. 4:

Cumulus Media, 8:30am

Salem Media, 5pm

Thurs, Aug. 5:

Saga Communications, 11am

Beasley Media Group, 11am

iHeartMedia, 4:30pm

Fri, Aug. 6:

Audacy, 10am

All times are Eastern.

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Deal Digest

Deal Digest – July 22, 2021

Updated

STATION SALES

Des Moines – VCY America has filed an $825,000 deal to buy religious KTIA (99.3) from Truth Broadcasting. VCY America already covers parts of the Des Moines market with religious rimshotter KVCI, Montezuma, IA (89.7).

Minnesota – Gabriel Media has filed a $200,000 deal to buy AC “The Arrow” KSKK, Verndale, MN (1070) from DeLaHunt Broadcasting. The deal also includes the Verndale, MN-licensed translator K267CU at 101.3 FM. Gabriel Media already owns contemporary Christian “Spirit 92.9” KKJM and religious “K-Yes Catholic Talk” KYES in the region.

Mississippi – Malcolm and Tamika Inniss’ New Vision Broadcasting has filed a $175,000 deal to buy blues/gospel “Live 97.7” WTYJ , Fayette, MS and its simulcast WMIS, Natchez, MS (1240) from Diana Nutter’s Natchez Broadcasting.

Dothan, AL – Brian Baker and Anthony Donelson’s Good Guys Broadcasting has filed a $32,500 deal to buy R&B “Vibe” WARB from Alarado Media. The deal also includes the Dothan, AL-licensed translator W290DG at 105.9 FM. Good Guys Broadcasting has been operating the stations under a local marketing agreement since January.

Arizona – Christmas Brick Foundation has filed to donate KMUR, Bullhead City, AZ (88.3) to Advance Ministries. KMUR is currently off the air.

TRANSLATOR SALES

Tulsa, OK – Broken Arrow Catholic Radio has filed a $350,000 deal to buy the Tulsa, OK-licensed translator K235BK at 94.9 FM from Screen Door Broadcasting. The filing says Broken Arrow Catholic Radio will continue to relay its low-power FM KPIM-LP (102.9) on the translator.

CLOSINGS

Minneapolis – Christian Heritage Broadcasting has closed a $1.225 million deal to buy religious teaching “Praise FM” KNOF (95.3) from Educational Media Foundation. Under the terms of the agreement, Christian Heritage Broadcasting will end its programming of the HD2 channel of EMF’s Christian “Air1” affiliate KMWA (96.3). Christian Heritage Broadcasting previously owned the signal from 2014 to 2015. In addition to KMWA, EMF also owns contemporary Christian “K-Love” affiliates KMKL (90.3), KKLW (90.9), and KRLP (88.1) in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro. And Christian Heritage Broadcasting already owns two “Praise FM” stations outside the Twin Cities – KBHL, Osakis, MN (103.9) and KBHZ, Willmar, MN (91.9).

Spokane, WA – Tom Hodgins and Christopher Jacky’s Xana Oregon has closed a $395,000 deal to buy country “104.5 Hank FM” KNHK and regional Mexican “Ke Buena” KYOZ (1300) from Legend Broadcasting. The deal also includes the Spokane, WA-licensed translator K239CL at 95.7 FM which at 1,300 feet throws a city grade signal over Spokane. It simulcasts KYOZ. Hodgins is currently general manager of the stations. Hodgins’ Alexandra Communications also owns five stations in Walla Walla, WA. Broker: Bob Heymann, Media Services Group (for seller) and MCH Enterprises (for buyer)

Kentucky – Tim and Leila Robinson’s Main Street Industries has closed a $350,000 deal to buy contemporary Christian WHKQ, Louisa, KY (92.3) from Stephanie Scragg’s Expression Production Group.

Kalamazoo, MI – West Central Michigan Media Ministries has closed a $150,000 deal to buy religious WMJC (91.9) from Calvary Radio Network. The deal also includes the Kalamazoo, MI-licensed translator W247AM at 97.3 FM. West Central Michigan Media Ministries already owns seven full-power stations in Michigan in addition to five FM translators all of which carry its “Strong Tower Radio” religious teaching format.

People Moves

Dusty Rhodes

Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS Washington, DC (91.9) names industry veteran Dusty Rhodes to the newly-created position of Chief Development Officer. Rhodes spent 22 years with Way Media, where he served as Senior VP and was responsible for the launch of network affiliates in West Palm Beach, Denver, Portland, Louisville, Huntsville, Charleston and Tallahassee. Read more

John Larrabee

Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 31 for St. Louis market veteran John Larrabee aka “Johnny Mac,” who passed away July 10 at the age of 73. Larrabee was with KYKY (98.1) for 21 years, where he hosted the “Cartunes” afternoon show. Read more

Mariah Lewis

University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian “Life 107.1” KNWI Des Moines recruits Mariah Lewis for middays, effective Aug. 9. Lewis, who succeeds Meredith Foster in middays, will also serve as a programming assistant and manage listener engagement. She was previously PD at Des Moines Radio Group crosstown AC “104.1 EZ FM” KQEZ. Read more

Job Listings

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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 - OK

Stephens Media Group is searching for a Market Manager. View details

Market Controller - Philadelphia

Beasley Media Group is seeking an experienced Market Controller for accounting/financial functions for the Philadelphia market. View details

General Sales Manager - PA

The GSM will provide leadership to the station’s local sales efforts by giving direction, training and feedback to the sales team. View details

Regional President

Alpha Media, a multi-media platform company with deep roots in radio broadcasting is looking for a leader of leaders.  View details

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