Friday, July 19, 2019

As Nielsen continues to work through the strategic review it has been conducting for nearly a year, one Wall Street firm expects it to soon come to some sort of a conclusion, “albeit outcome unknown,” says BMO Capital Markets equities researcher Daniel Salmon. “We expect [Nielsen] management to offer a bit more than a simple no comment.” Read more

Revenue soared 171% at Audioboom during the first six months of the year as the podcast company reports first half billings of $9.8 million, compared to $3.6 million during the same period a year ago. “Revenue is up, EBITDA loss is down and we’re getting closer to break-even,” COO Stuart Last said. Read more

With the travel season revved up for the summer season, tourism bureaus are turning up the heat to attract visitors to their cities, towns and beaches. Traditional media are reaping the benefits, as network television, cable TV and radio stations take in thousands of national ads. Leading the charge at radio is the Idaho Division of Tourism Development, with 6,645 spots run nationally. Read more

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Surrounded by the company’s top executives, Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler rang the opening bell this morning (July 18) at the NASDAQ MarketSite as iHeartMedia began trading on the stock exchange’s Global Select Market. “iHeartMedia NASDAQ Listed” said the sign on the podium as the Chairman/CEO and President COO/CFO pressed the button for the opening bell ceremonies at 9:30am, marking its return to the public markets under the ticker “IHRT.” Read more

Wasting no time, Meruelo Media flips its newly purchased KXOS Los Angeles to “Cali 93.9 Reggaton y Mas” (Reggaton and More). The former regional Mexican outlet will go by the new call letters KLLI, with DJ E-Man serving as Interim PD and Irma Barrios adding General Manager oversight of the new station. Meruelo closed on its $35 million purchase of KXOS on Wednesday (July 17). Read more

Entercom owns three out of the five stations nominated in the Legendary Station of the Year category for the 2019 NAB Marconi Awards, announced Thursday by the National Association of Broadcasters. The awards will be presented to winners Sept. 26 at the NAB Marconi Awards Dinner & Show during the 2019 Radio Show in Dallas. Read more

In the latest “Math & Magic” podcast from iHeartMedia’s Bob Pittman, the CEO sits down with “Disco Danny,” a.k.a. Daniel Glass, President and Founder of Glassnote Records—who in his early days as a music aficionado, spun records at legendary New York City disco club Regine’s. “I had to go out and get Faded Glory jeans and cork high heel shoes… it changed my world,” he says. Read more

Entercom “Sports Radio 610” KILT Houston unveils a new on-air lineup with the departure of longtime afternoon co-host Rich Lord. A new afternoon show, “Clint & Kamla,” comprising Clint Stoerner and Rick Kamla, will take over afternoons, effective July 22. Lord’s former afternoon host Sean Pendergrast will co-host mornings with Seth Payne as the re-christened “Payne and Pendergrast” show. Read more

Pride Radio, iHeartRadio’s music channel targeting the LGBTQ community, will now have a spoken word companion thanks to an alliance between iHeart and America’s largest publisher of magazines targeting the community. Pride Media, which produces Out, The Advocate and Pride magazines, will bring a slate of podcasts to iHeartRadio beginning later this year. Read more

In one fell swoop, Meruelo Media said late Wednesday it has closed on the purchase of two Los Angeles FMs in a pair of separate transactions: a $43 million deal to buy rocker KLOS (95.5) from Cumulus Media and a $35 million purchase of regional Mexican “Radio Centro 93.9” KXOS from 93.9 Holdings, Mexican radio giant Group Radio Centro’s U.S. subsidiary. Read more

Radio stations that appeal to Millennial and Gen X-aged men are swimming in a pool of avid podcast listeners. “Power” podcast listeners, defined as those who spend 5+ hours a week with the medium, are mostly 25-49, male, affluent and newcomers to podcasting. This is according to the Westwood One-commissioned Podcast Download-Spring 2019 Report, conducted by research firm Audience Insights in conjunction with MARU/Matchbox. Read more

Another radio station has been dealt a blow by a ransomware attack. Nathan B. Stubblefield Foundation adult alternative WMNF (88.5) Tampa noticed that a computer in one of its studios was acting strangely, before a digital message was displayed: “Your files have been encrypted. Pay us, and you can have them back.” Read more

For decades programmers have strived to make their station the top at-work listening choice. Now new research shines a light on how significant that opportunity is. At-work audio listeners are more likely to listen to broadcast radio for more hours and more days, according to new data from NuVoodoo. Its latest study reveals that 24% of respondents spend at least an hour a day with AM/FM– and the number jumps to 41% among those who listen at work. Read more

The much-hyped self-driving car of the future, so far, continues to be more Jetsons than anything close to reality, as “carmakers and technology companies have concluded that making autonomous vehicles is going to be harder, slower and costlier than they thought,” according to a story in The New York Times. Read more

“It isn’t your imagination. Over the last five years, newly launched podcasts have been getting shorter,” says Megaphone data analyst Luke Riley. He’s just released the results of his investigation showing more than a third of the podcasts were a half hour or less. That’s twice as many as a year ago. However the most common show length remains in the 30-45 minute range. Read more

As its financial backers seek to cash out of their $13.7 billion investment, Univision Communications face hurdles in finding a buyer, according to analysts, as Inside Radio reported. The Hispanic broadcaster’s legacy TV business may be a less attractive proposition in a media world where growth is coming from over-the-top streaming video services. Other business publications are now weighing in, including stories in The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. Read more

With three stations in Orlando, Salem Media Group will still operate in market No. 31. But it’s opted to let go one of its AMs in the market in a sale to JVC Media. Also this week, EMF adds on in Portland, OR and Atlantic City, NJ. And a TV group is down to one radio station. Check out the details and a look at radio’s other transactions in this week’s Inside Radio Deal Digest. Read more

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

There is no official announcement yet, but according to reports, Entercom country “US99” WUSN Chicago is expected to announce Jason Pullman as its new morning host. Pullman, who would be partnered with Katie Bright, succeeds “Stylz & Roman,” who exited the station in May. Other changes at the station include new night talent Marci Braun.

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With little more than a week until the House of Representatives is scheduled to begin its summer recess, advocates of a resolution that would block passage of legislation adopting a performance royalty on AM/FM radio have picked up the support of three more House members and a senator. Meanwhile, supporters of a radio royalty remain silent about whether they plan to reintroduce legislation to create a performance right on AM/FM airplay. Read more

To pay down debt and reduce its leverage ratio, Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger told investors in March that the Christian media and conservative talk-focused company made a hit list of potential stations to sell. Today, the latest in a series of divestitures has been revealed. Salem has cut a $900,000 deal to sell talk “660 The Answer” WORL Orlando to JVC Media. Read more

Podcasters are hoping to win over U.S. automakers as the industry’s upfront, dubbed Podfront, touches down today (July 17) in the Motor City. Reps from Cadence13, ESPN, iHeartRadio, NPR, PodcastOne, Stitcher and Wondery are making presentations to advertisers, agencies and the media in Detroit, unveiling their latest partnerships, talent and programming slated for the second half of 2019. Read more

A partnership between digital audio technology company AdsWizz and Tapad, which provides digital identity resolution, will allow marketers to engage and measure streaming audio consumer interaction across multiple devices. In essence a consumer that streams audio on one device and moves to another can be identified so marketing preferences will carry over from device to device. Read more

WMGK Philadelphia presents “Gimme Shelter” to benefit Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, Aug. 17… AOL and MTV veteran Dermot McCormack has been named President of LiveXLive… The syndicated John Clay Wolfe program has been added to the Saturday morning lineup at KBPI… A number of sports radio personalities make Morning Consult list of most-loved sports media personalities. Read more

Connoisseur Media has completed a management buyout in which members of the radio company’s executive team will now own almost all of the company. Led by CEO Jeff Warshaw, the company has purchased the stake held by Perot Holdings, which bought a big piece of Connoisseur in July 2015. Read more

With the continued buildout of its corporate digital department and expansion into podcasting and eSports, Beasley Media Group is taking the next step towards monetizing these efforts. The company is searching for a Chief Digital Officer to drive its digital media business. It’s the latest in a series of moves the company has made as it works on a plan to diversify its revenue streams. Read more

Townsquare Media has just submitted page after page of flow charts to the Federal Communications Commission as it works to explain changes to the complex ownership structure of the radio group’s biggest backer. Brookfield Asset Management has struck a deal to buy 62% of Oaktree Capital, the private equity firm that holds majority control of Townsquare Media. Read more

Long happy to be the pipeline between podcasters and listeners, Apple is reportedly looking to expand its efforts in the medium to include developing content with media partners. Bloomberg reports Apple has reached out to executives at several media companies, expressing an interest in buying exclusive rights to podcasts. The move appears to be aimed at defending Apple Podcast’s roughly 60% share of podcast listening. Read more

The burgeoning popularity of streaming services, emerging artificial intelligence-enabled devices and in-vehicle technology are driving the U.S. consumer technology industry to a record-breaking $401 billion in retail revenues in 2019. That adds up to +2.2% growth year-over-year, according to a new report from the Consumer Technology Association. Read more

A coalition of low-power FM advocates and stations are asking the Federal Communications Commission to delay implementation of new translator interference rules next month until their petition seeking to reverse a May decision is considered. The LPFM Coalition says the rulemaking fails to comply with federal law and would put inner-city low-power stations at a disadvantage. Read more

Scholarship recipients for this year’s Rising Through the Ranks program have been announced and will be honored at this year’s seminar at the BMI Nashville office Aug. 13-15. The Rising Through The Ranks scholarships are presented annually by the Radio Advertising Bureau, BMI, and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW). Read more

Record spending is expected for the 2019 back-to-school rush, as students—and their parents—prepare to stock up for primary school and college. From pencils and backpacks to computers and dorm refrigerators, total spending for K-12 and college is projected to reach $80.7 billion, according to an annual survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics. Read more

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Second quarter earnings season for radio doesn’t begin until early August but preliminary results disclosed by the industry’s largest company offer promising signs. The preliminary unaudited estimates were disclosed in a regulatory filing as iHeartMedia prepares to meet with investors this week ahead of its listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange this Thursday. Read more

Two of the top five podcasts on Podtrac’s latest ranker of the most listened-to shows are daily news shows. ESPN will test whether a similarly-styled sports podcast can score as big. ESPN confirms that it will launch The ESPN Daily podcast in early-October. ESPN also says it drew 5.8 million podcast listeners in June. That was a 10% increase compared to a year earlier. Read more

A bullet and a pierced window at the iHeartMedia Washington, DC offices are at the center of an investigation of a pair of incidents ultimately resulting in damage to three windows at the building. Located in Rockville, MD, it is the home to WASH, WIHT, WMZQ-FM, WBIG-FM and WWDC. Employees have been warned to keep away from the windows. Read more

After spending five years in a studio that was already decades old when he arrived in Nashville, Bobby Bones unveiled a brand new studio Monday, July 15. Bones and his crew broke in the new digs with a performance by country artist Chris Janson, who performed a medley of some of his hits and a song he wrote for Tim McGraw. Read more

Southern California Public Radio has become the latest public radio entity to launch a dedicated unit geared toward developing podcasts. And it is leveraging the news website LAist which it acquired last year. LAist Studios aim to put a Southern California spin on podcasting, with shows about issues that the region is talking about. SCPR has hired former NBC executive Angela Bromstad as a senior advisor to the project. Read more

Sisanie, co-host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” adds correspondent duties at KNBC-TV’s “California Live” … Westwood One News will provide live, anchored coverage of the Democratic Presidential Debates from Detroit, July 30 and 31… The Alabama Broadcasters Association (ABA) will induct four new members into the ABA Hall of Fame during its annual conference Aug. 10. Read more

Apollo Global Management’s proposed buyout of a majority stake in Cox Media Group’s radio portfolio isn’t likely to close anytime soon. That’s because the Department of Justice has formally requested the FCC defer any action on the deal that would give the private equity firm a 77% controlling interest in the company. Cox Enterprises would retain a 23% minority stake under the transaction pending at the Commission. Read more

Moody Radio is the latest broadcaster to sell off a group of AM stations with plans to use the proceeds to invest in more promising ways to distribute its content. The Christian radio network has announced three AMs are for sale, including historic flagship WMBI (1110) Chicago, which became the first noncommercial educational and religious radio station in 1926. Read more

Denver has a new outlet for news/talk, this one specializing in big name national hosts. “Freedom 93.7” launched today (July 15) on iHeartMedia’s KDFD (760), simulcast on the Lakewood, CO-licensed translator K229BS at 93.7. The flip had been expected after iHeart dropped the “Orange & Blue 760” Denver Broncos-centric format on the AM signal last week and adopted the new KDFD calls. Read more

In the highly competitive automotive insurance industry, GEICO is typically within the top two or three among radio advertisers each week. For the tally ending July 14, it sits in typical position just behind The Home Depot. But this week the Berkshire Hathaway-owned carrier is pulling out all stops: It is also the week’s top national advertiser at both National TV and Cable TV, according to Media Monitors. Read more

Public radio fans outpace the U.S. population when it comes to the use of such audio platforms as podcasts, smart speakers and streaming audio, according to new data from the Radio Research Consortium. Looking at how public radio listeners have used audio media over the past 30 days, RRC looked at figures of the U.S. population vs. the public radio audience. Read more