Wednesday, July 8, 2020

ESPN Debuts New Radio Line-Up August 17

ESPN Radio will unveil a powerful new weekday lineup beginning Monday, Aug. 17, featuring signature, multi-platform personalities, all of whom either currently work on or previously hosted shows on ESPN Radio.

Mike Greenberg, who co-hosted one of the most successful sports talk radio shows in history for 18 years, will return to host The Mike Greenberg Show from noon-2 p.m. ET.

“In radio there is an intimacy in the relationship with the audience that is different from any other medium,” Greenberg said. “I have always enjoyed that and am really looking forward to rediscovering it.”

All hosts will also appear across ESPN’s TV and digital shows, podcasts and more to further compelling, informative and entertaining discussions on key topics for fans throughout the day. All ESPN Radio shows will feature newsmakers and topical sports and celebrity guests in addition to fan interaction via calls and on social media.

“Our new lineup will provide sports fans informative and engaging content throughout the week from hosts who all have radio experience,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president & executive editor, production. “They know how to connect with fans and keep them invested in the programming. Our listeners will hear diverse perspectives on key topics from some of the most talented, knowledgeable and contemporary voices in the industry.”

David Roberts, ESPN senior vice president, production, added, “This lineup and approach underscores our commitment to expanding the scope and impact of some of our industry’s most versatile voices throughout the day and night”

➤Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin: 6 – 10 a.m.

The schedule begins with the premiere of ESPN Radio’s new morning show, Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin, from 6-10 a.m. NFL Live analyst and Super Bowl Champion Keyshawn Johnson will co-host, alongside NBA and college basketball analyst Jay Williams and SportsCenter anchor Zubin Mehenti. The trio will discuss the morning’s top stories and overnight developments with their own perspective and analysis. Johnson – who has headlined a morning show for 710AM ESPN in Los Angeles since 2016 – will regularly appear on Get Up and First Take. Williams – who is regularly heard as a guest across ESPN Radio’s studio show lineup – will continue his role on NBA Countdown and appear across the network’s TV studio programming. Mehenti has been a consistent weekend voice on ESPN Radio in recent months and will also continue to host select editions of SportsCenter going forward.

➤The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz: 10 a.m. – Noon

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz will follow from 10 a.m.-noon. The show has been part of the national ESPN Radio weekday lineup since 2015 and features Dan Le Batard – host of Highly Questionable and the South Beach Sessions podcast – and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner – host of the Stupodity podcast – connecting with listeners through their unique blend of self-deprecating humor, insightful guests, and thoughtful conversation. Given the show also has a very engaged digital following, Le Batard will continue to expand his reach in the podcast space through the Le Batard and Friends Network.

➤The Mike Greenberg Show: Noon – 2 p.m.
Host of ESPN’s morning show Get Up, Mike Greenberg makes his highly anticipated return to ESPN Radio. The show will regularly feature his unique take on many of the trending topics from that morning’s Get Up. Greenberg previously co-hosted Mike & Mike for almost two decades and was inducted in to the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2018.

➤The Max Kellerman Show: 2 – 4 p.m.

Featured commentator on ESPN’s marquee morning debate show First Take and host of Max on Boxing Max Kellerman will make his national ESPN Radio debut with The Max Kellerman Show from 2-4 p.m. Kellerman will regularly expand on the most-timely debates from that day’s edition of First Take from his point of view, further discussions on the latest boxing news and much more. Kellerman previously hosted shows for ESPN Radio in both the Los Angeles and New York markets.

➤Chiney and Golic Jr.: 4 – 7 p.m.

Two-time WNBA All-Star Chiney Ogwumike will be joined by ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Jr. from 4-7 p.m. for Chiney and Golic Jr. The duo – who regularly contribute to ESPN’s digital shows surrounding major events and the network’s additional studio programming – will engage with fans while discussing topics of the day and looking ahead at the night’s events. Ogwumike will also regularly appear on SportsCenter, Get Up, First Take, WNBA and NBA programming and provide analysis for men’s college basketball.

Ogwumike said, "I cherish this moment and opportunity, now more than ever. To co-host a daily, national platform is a reflection of ESPN's understanding that voices like mine matter. I am thrilled to represent this rising generation alongside my new teammate Golic Jr., a close friend and exceptional talent."

➤Spain and Fitz: 7 – 9 p.m.

From 7-9 p.m., award-winning writer for espnW and ESPN Radio host Sarah Spain – who also appears on the network’s Highly Questionable and Around the Horn – will be reunited with former co-host Jason Fitz – who will also continue as a leading commentator for ESPN’s digital shows and special event programming. Spain and Fitz – which the duo previously hosted together from January 2018-May 2019 – will pick up where it left off, entertaining listeners with insightful conversation on the day’s trending topics and under-the-radar stories.

➤Freddie and Fitzsimmons: 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

The weekday lineup culminates with Freddie and Fitzsimmons, led by veteran radio host Freddie Coleman and football sideline reporter and analyst Ian Fitzsimmons, from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Coleman and Fitzsimmons take fans inside the sports news and events of the day with inviting conversation, strong opinions and reactions as that night’s events unfold.

ESPN Radio’s weekday lineup can be heard nationally on SiriusXM, the ESPN App and as well as via digital distributers Apple Music, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.

R.I.P.: Allan Loudell, Longtime Delaware Radio Newsman

Allan Loudell
Longtime Delaware radio newsman Allan Loudell has died at the age of 64, according to

Louden joined WILM Newsradio in Wilmington in 1987, working there for 18 years as Program Manager before joining WDEL in 2005, hosting morning and afternoon magazine-style programming during his time as an anchor and host before his departure in 2020.

"Allan was someone who was admired and respected, and by far the most interesting person I've ever worked with," said Chris Carl, Director of News & Programming for WDEL-FM/AM. "From his knowledge about news and current events to his varied hobbies, you always had an interesting conversation with Allan. And he truly cared about radio and the news profession."

"I'm very sad to hear that Allan has passed away. I tell people that, in my 30 years of public service, I've developed a list--just a personal list of good guys and gals, people that were really good to work with," said Governor John Carney.

"Allen was one of those guys who knew the issues in a very, very detailed kind of way. He was always very fair about his questions. He always covered his subject matter in a way that most reporters didn't.

Loudell founded the Suburban High School Radio Network, hosted high school journalists during his time at WDEL and WILM, covered the Gulf War, Soviet coup-attempt, and was a master at elections coverage. He grew a stable of local, national, and international journalists around the world to cover news in every corner, earning the moniker "Man of a Million Sources" from Delaware Today in 2011.

"Allan Loudell was quite possibly the quirkiest man I've ever met and always the smartest guy in the room," said WDEL Assistant News Director Amy Cherry. "He was an expert interviewer, loved a good game of trivia, but really truly loved radio and adhered to the highest journalistic standards. We're like a family in the newsroom, and we'd poke fun at Allan, and he'd always respond with a phrase we came to love: 'Too much frivolity!' But you know, he loved it."

He won numerous awards over his lengthy career, including from the Delaware Press Association, a national Crystal award, "Best Radio Newscast" from the Society of Professional Journalists, "Best Radio Star" from Delaware Today, the National Federation of Press Women, and the "People Helping People" award from the Delaware Chapter of People to People International.

#July 8 Radio History

➦In 1954…Radio DJ Dewey Phillips of WHBQ 560 AM Memphis played an acetate disc pressing of "That's All Right" on his "Red Hot & Blue" rhythm & blues show. Due to audience response, the song was immediately played 14 more times. Callers to the station insisted that the singer, a local boy named Elvis Presley, must be a black man. Presley, who knew of the planned airplay in advance, hid out at a local movie theater, but with the help of Elvis' parents, Phillips was able to track him down for a live radio interview later in the evening.

Dewey Phillips
Phillips started his radio career in 1949 on WHBQ, and was the city's leading radio personality for nine years and was the first to simulcast his "Red, Hot & Blue" show on radio and television.

Phillips' on-air persona was a speed-crazed hillbilly, with a frantic delivery and entertaining sense of humor. However, he also had a keen ear for music the listening public would enjoy, and he aired both black and white music, which was abundant in post-World War II Memphis, a booming river city which attracted large numbers of rural blacks and whites (along with their musical traditions). He played a great deal of rhythm and blues, country music, boogie-woogie, and jazz as well as Sun Records artists.

Phillips briefly hosted an afternoon program on WHBQ-TV/13 in the mid-1950s. It mostly consisted of Phillips playing records while he and others clowned around in front of the camera.

Though Phillips was not involved in the payola scandals of the time, he was fired in late 1958 when the station adopted a Top 40 format, phasing out his freeform style. He spent the last decade of his life working at smaller radio stations, seldom lasting long. A heavy drinker and longtime drug user (mainly painkillers and amphetamines, which contributed to his manic on-air behavior), Phillips died of heart failure at age 42.

➦In 1957...Radio Personality Herb Oscar Anderson debuted at 77 WABC (1st time, before station flipped to Top40.)

➦In 1960...Storer Broadcasting Company purchased 1010 WINS radio in New York City for $10 million.

It was the highest price paid for a radio station at the time. Many great radio personalities including Murray the K, Bruce Morrow and Alan Freed were stars on WINS Radio. WINS, under Storer ownership, also aired some very clever promotions, including the clay tablet, ostensibly of Egyptian origins, found in the back seat of a taxicab.  Upon closer examination, it read, “Everybody’s mummy listens to 10-10 WINS!”

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, as the transistor radio became popular, especially with young people who could carry radios with them everywhere, rock and roll solidified as a genre, thanks in large measure to what became known as Top 40 radio. In New York, four stations battled in the category: 570 WMCA, 1050 WMGM, 770 WABC, and WINS. While WMCA was only 5,000 watts, it was at the bottom end of the dial, which gave it better coverage than might be expected for its power. The other three were all 50,000 watts, but only WABC was both non-directional and a clear channel station. Of those three, WINS was the most directional (aimed straight at New York's inner boroughs), with a weaker signal than the others toward the New Jersey suburbs and the Jersey Shore.

1962 Newspaper Clipping

In 1962, WMGM adopted a beautiful music format under its previous call letters, WHN, while WINS was purchased by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. WMCA enjoyed some early success after WINS and WMGM left the Top 40 format. But WABC became the dominant Top 40 station in New York City by 1965. On April 18, 1965, around 8 p.m., WINS bowed out of Top 40 competition with the song "Out in the Streets", by The Shangri-Las,

On April 19, 1965, after weeks of speculation, WINS changed its format radically. It became the third radio station in the United States to attempt all-news programming, going with the new format around the clock. WINS immediately established a template for its format with an easily identifiable, distinctive Teletype sound effect playing in the background. Most other all-news stations later dropped this, but WINS continues to use it to this day despite Teletype machines themselves becoming obsolete by the mid-1980s. WINS used memorable slogans such as "All news, all the time"; "The newswatch never stops"; "Listen two, three, four times a day"; and "You give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world". The latter tagline was a reference to WINS's format clock, which returns to the top stories every twenty minutes.

➦In 1979…Radio-TV quiz show host John Reed King died at age 64 following a heart attack.

King was one of the announcers for The American School of the Air on CBS, and he had one of the top-rated radio shows of the 1930s in New York City with Missus Goes A-Shopping. He was also an announcer for the radio version of Death Valley Days and for The Jack Berch Show.

He worked at KDKA radio and television in Pittsburgh during the 1960s. He was a morning news anchor and hosted a daily talk show on television. In 1970, he was a news anchor at KGO 810 AM and KGO-TV, the ABC owned-and-operated television station in San Francisco, California.

Maya Hawke is 22
  • Singer Steve Lawrence is 85. 
  • Drummer Jaimoe Johanson of The Allman Brothers is 76. 
  • Actor Jeffrey Tambor is 76. 
  • Actress Kim Darby is 73. 
  • Actress Jonelle Allen (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”) is 72. 
  • Children’s singer Raffi is 72. 
  • Actress Anjelica Huston is 69. 
  • Actor Kevin Bacon is 62. 
  • Country singer Toby Keith is 59. 
  • Guitarist Graham Jones of Haircut 100 is 59. 
  • Keyboardist Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode is 59. 
  • Singer Joan Osborne is 58. 
  • Actor Rocky Carroll (“NCIS”) is 57. 
  • Actor Michael B. Silver (“Instinct,” ″NYPD Blue”) is 53. 
  • Actor Billy Crudup (“Almost Famous”) is 52. 
  • Actor Michael Weatherly (“NCIS,” ″Dark Angel”) is 52. 
  • Singer Beck is 50. 
  • Country singer Drew Womack of Sons of the Desert is 50. 
  • Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco is 47. 
  • Guitarist Stephen Mason of Jars of Clay is 45. 
  • Actor Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us,” ″Gilmore Girls”) is 43. 
  • Actor Lance Gross (“House of Payne”) is 39. 
  • Actress Sophia Bush (“Chicago P.D.,” ″One Tree Hill”) is 38. 
  • Guitarist Jamie Cook of Arctic Monkeys is 35. 
  • Actress Maya Hawke (“Little Women,” ″Stranger Things”) is 22. 
  • Actor Jaden Smith (“The Pursuit of Happyness”) is 22.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Nielsen To Exit Markets, Slash 3,500 Staffers

Nielsen Holdings plc today announced a broad-based optimization plan to drive permanent cost savings and operational efficiencies, as well as to position the Company for greater profitability and growth.

Nielsen is prioritizing resources to focus on key strategic initiatives, higher margin products and services, and greater efficiency. As part of the plan, the Company will exit several smaller, underperforming markets and non-core businesses in the second half of 2020. Nielsen expects the plan to be substantially completed in 2020 and for restructuring actions and other permanent cost-saving initiatives to drive approximately $250 million in pre-tax annual run-rate savings.

David Kenny
David Kenny, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Across Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, we are making progress on increasing our operational and financial discipline, including zero-basing our cost structure as we move toward the planned separation of Nielsen Global Connect. As discussed on our earnings call in April, we have increased our focus on platform consolidations, further automation, optimizing our global footprint, and ensuring that our resource allocation aligns with high-margin essential services. Today's plan encompasses, accelerates, and expands on those initiatives. These restructuring actions will further expedite our transformation to a more efficient, agile, and scalable organization and are designed to drive sustained margin expansion and increased cash generation. As part of the optimization plan, we have made the difficult decision to exit selected businesses and markets and permanently reduce our workforce. While these are important actions to take, I recognize the impact they have on our people, and I am grateful for the important contributions made by these talented associates during their time at Nielsen."

Nielsen now expects 2020 pre-tax restructuring charges of $150 to $170 million versus guidance of $120 to $140 million provided in April 2020. Approximately half of these charges were incurred in the second quarter and are mostly employee severance costs. The optimization plan includes a global reduction in force of approximately 3,500 employees. Cash payments for the severance costs will continue into late 2021.

The guidance provided on April 30, 2020 already incorporated the impact of the optimization plan, with the exception of the market and business exits announced today. These exits are the primary driver of the higher guidance range for 2020 restructuring versus previous expectations. The impact of these exits is expected to be no more than 100 basis points to 2020 revenue growth, with an immaterial impact on 2020 adjusted EBITDA. Nielsen also estimates $40 to $50 million of non-cash, pre-tax impairment charges in the second quarter related to these planned exits.

Nielsen expects overall second quarter financial results to be in line with commentary provided on the first quarter earnings call. The company plans to provide a detailed update on second quarter results and the 2020 outlook on the second quarter earnings call on August 5, 2020.

The Rundown: Miami Shuts Down

USAToday 7/7/20
➤CORONAVIRUS HOSPITALIZATIONS RISE; MIAMI CLOSINGS REIMPOSED; MASKS ORDERED IN WEST VIRGINIA: Hospitals are moving closer to capacity as coronavirus cases have been surging across states in the South and West, with cases rising in 41 of 50 states and the percentage of tests coming back positive also increasing in 39 states. In California, coronavirus hospitalizations have risen 56 percent in two weeks, and in Texas they are up fourfold over the past month. Hospitals in Arizona are at 89 percent capacity as confirmed cases passed 100,000.

In response to the surges, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Monday ordered closed indoor dining at restaurants, gyms and vacation rentals, seven weeks after they reopened. In West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice ordered that face masks be worn indoors, saying, "[I]f we don’t . . . do this now, we’re going to be in a world of hurt." Those moves came as U.S. deaths passed 130,000 yesterday, according to Johns Hopkins University's county, and confirmed cases were more than 2,936,000.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced yesterday that she'd tested positive for the coronavirus. The 50-year-old tweeted, "COVID-19 has literally hit home. I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive." Bottoms said her husband and one of her four children had also tested positive. Bottoms is among the women who've been named as a potential vice presidential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Three Percent of Americans Have Moved Due to the Coronavirus: The coronavirus kept many of us locked down in our homes, but for some people, it caused them to move where they were living. A new Pew Research Center survey found that three percent of U.S. adults moved permanently or temporarily due to the pandemic, and six percent had someone move into their home. Young adults were the most likely to have moved due to the coronavirus, with nine percent of those ages 18 to 29 saying they'd done so. Among the reasons for moving, 28 percent said it was to reduce their risk of getting the virus, 23 percent said they had to move when their college campus closed, 20 percent said they wanted to be with family, 10 percent had financial reasons other than jobs loss, and eight percent said it was due to job loss. About 61 percent moved in with a family member, 13 percent moved to a second or vacation home, and nine percent rented or bought a new place.

➤WEALTHY, WELL-CONNECTED AMONG THOSE WHO GOT PPP LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: The federal government on Monday released information about some of the 650,000 recipients of loans from the Payroll Protection Program, which was passed by Congress to allow small businesses to keep their workers employed during the pandemic. While mostly small businesses and nonprofits got money through the program, which has given out $521 billion, there were also wealthy and well-connected recipients. Among them were: Kanye West's clothing and sneaker brand; the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform; companies owned by the family of President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner; California Rep. Devin Nunes' winery; family companies of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, considered to be the state's richest person; Washington, D.C., political strategy companies; legal firms, and big-money hedge funds. The Treasury Department only named companies that got more than $150,000, which made up less than 15 percent of the companies that received loans.

➤GEORGIA GOV. DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER VIOLENCE, CALLS UP NATIONAL GUARD: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Monday (July 6th) after what he said was, quote, "weeks of dramatically increased violent crime and property destruction in the city of Atlanta," and called up as many of 1,000 members of the National Guard.

Kemp said more than 30 people were shot over the July 4th holiday weekend, five of whom died. The governor also referred to protests in Atlanta following the death of George Floyd, several of which were followed by looting and vandalism. He said, "Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead. This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city." The order says the National Guard will provide support at state buildings like the Capitol and Governor's Mansion so state police can increase patrols.

➤ICE: FOREIGN STUDENTS MUST LEAVE U.S. OR TRANSFER IF SCHOOL'S CLASSES ARE ONLINE: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued new guidelines Monday (July 6th) that require foreign students going to college in the U.S. to leave the country or transfer to another school if their college or university will be holding classes entirely online this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. The guidelines put more pressure on colleges to fully reopen, as President Trump has been insisting that schools and colleges return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. The American Council on Education, which represents university presidents, called the guidelines "horrifying" and said they will lead to confusion. They could also be financially devastating to some colleges, since many depend on tuition from international students, who typically pay higher rates.

Ghislaine Maxwell
➤EPSTEIN COMPANION TRANSFERRED TO NEW YORK AFTER ARREST: Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who was the former girlfriend and longtime close associate of Jeffrey Epstein, was transferred to a jail in Brooklyn, New York, Monday after being arrested in New Hampshire last week, where she'd been secretlyholed up in a $1 million estate. The 58-year-old is facing charges that she recruited underage girls, one as young as 14, for Epstein to sexually abuse. Maxwell has denied the claims, which she called "absolute rubbish." She will have a remote appearance in Manhattan federal court next week. Epstein killed himself in jail last August as he awaited trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

➤SUPREME COURT RULES STATES CAN REQUIRE ELECTORS TO VOTE FOR POPULAR VOTE WINNER: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday (July 6th) that states can require presidential electors to vote for their states' popular vote winner in the Electoral College. The decision leaves in place such laws in 32 states and Washington, D.C. "Faithless electors," who vote for someone other than who won the popular vote in their state, are rare, and have never affected the outcome of a presidential election, but they potentially could in a close election decided by just a few electoral votes. The legal issue came from lawsuits filed by three 2016 Hillary Clinton electors in Washington state and one in Colorado who refused to vote for her in the Electoral College despite her popular vote win in both states.

NY Post 7/7/20
➤MAHOMES AGREES TO 10-YEAR, $503 MILLION EXTENSION WITH CHIEFS: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who led the Kansas City Chiefs to their first championship in 50 years in February's Super Bowl, has agreed to a 10-year extension with the team worth up to $503 million. Mahomes is already under contract with the Chiefs for the next two seasons, so the extension will start in 2022. The contract for the 24-year-old reigning Super Bowl MVP is the biggest in pro sports history, topping centerfielder Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with MLB's Los Angeles Angels.

➤MLB RELEASES 2020 SCHEDULE, PLAY TO BEGIN JULY 23RD: MLB released the schedule for its coronavirus-shortened season on Monday, which shows that opening day will be Thursday, July 23rd, with two high-profile match-ups between the World Series champion Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees, and the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Francisco Giants. There will then be 14 games on July 24th. Games will be played without fans.

The NHL and the Players' Association on Monday announced a tentative deal on returning to play after its coronavirus suspension, as well as on a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement. It both are ratified by owners and players, games would resume on August 1st, with the NHL going straight to its expanded 24-team playoff format. The hub cities for play will be Canada's Toronto and Edmonton for the qualifying round and at least the first two playoff rounds, AP reported.

➤PGA TOUR, MEMORIAL CANCEL PLANS TO HAVE SOME FANS AT TOURNAMENT: The PGA Tour and the Memorial canceled plans Monday to have a limited number of fans at the golf tournament next week because of what it described as the quickly changing dynamics of the coronavirus pandemic. The Memorial, hosted by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus at his Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio, was set to be the first tournament with fans in attendance since golf resumed on June 11th.

Pandemic Results In Dip In Broadcast Deals

U.S. broadcast station mergers and acquisitions (M&A) volume reached a total of $90.9 million in the second quarter of 2020 as tracked by Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence. This constitutes the sector’s lowest quarterly deal volume in Kagan’s records, which go back 37 years to 1983.

While first quarter results were largely unaffected by the current crises caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the deal market all but collapsed in April.

The last large deal was announced on April 3. Mission Broadcasting Inc. agreed to acquire three digital TV stations from Marshall Broadcasting Group Inc. for $49 million, to be applied against Marshall’s existing loans payable to Mission. Mission Broadcasting then entered shared services agreements with Nexstar Media Group for all three stations.

This transaction, negotiated largely before the COVID-19 outbreak, accounts for more than half (53.9%) of the second quarter’s total U.S. broadcast M&A volume.

On May 28, four companies, fully or partially owned by Mr. George S. Flinn, Jr., announced the sales of their six TV stations to Radiant Life Ministries, Faith Community Television and Memphis Educational Television for a total of $5.7 million. On the same day, Gray Television reported the acquisition of two low-power TV stations in Alaska for $1.5 million.

On June 26, Sinclair Television Group Inc. announced the $8.5 million acquisition of two Class-A TV stations in the Washington, D.C., market from WMTM LLC, a unit of Loop Media Inc.

Those were the only noteworthy TV transactions in the second quarter. We do not expect the TV M&A market to pick up again with large transactions until after the November 2020 elections.

The radio market had even less to report. In a forgiveness of about $3.0 million in debt, three FM stations in or near the St. Louis, Mo., market were transferred from Mr. Dennis Wallace to East Central Broadcasting LLC.

Only four other transactions exceeded $1 million each.

In the Philadelphia market, VP Broadcasting announced the acquisition of an AM station with an FM translator from Aztec Capital Partners for $1.5 million.

In the small La Crosse, Wis., market, an AM/FM combo is being sold from Mississippi Valley Broadcasters LLC to Magnum Communications Inc. for $1.4 million.

A similar $1.4 million will be paid for a Crooksville, Ohio, FM station, sold by Y Bridge Broadcasting Inc. to AVC Communications Multimedia Group LLC.

A non-rated AM/FM combo with two FM translators in non-rated Washington, Ind., is going to be sold from DLC Media Inc. to Shake Broadcasting LLC for $1.35 million.

There were another 88 radio transactions in the second quarter, but none of them exceeded a million dollars and more than three quarters of them (67) took place in small markets and non-rated areas. Depending on the duration of the current situation, we expect a growing number of small radio station owners to exit the business, but we also expect a swift return to larger transactions once the crisis is resolved.

WWOne Insights: Radio Adds Reach To TV Buys

Pierre Bouvard
This week’s Westwood One blog looks at how AM/FM radio adds incremental reach to TV campaigns using multiple cross-media case studies from Nielsen. 

Nielsen examined the TV and AM/FM radio campaign deliveries of a quick service restaurant, a home improvement retailer, a courier services company, a wireless provider, and a retailer. 

According to a new study by marketing effectiveness experts James Hurman and Peter Field, as the number of media channels used in a campaign increases, effectiveness grows. Adding AM/FM radio to a digital plan, a TV plan, or a digital and TV plan can have stunning impact.

  • Adding AM/FM radio to the TV plan generates a +20% lift in incremental reach. While each campaign utilized varying levels of TV and AM/FM radio investment, putting AM/FM radio into the media plan consistently increases campaign reach.
  • The younger the demographic, the greater the increase in incremental reach generated by AM/FM radio. Across the five categories, AM/FM radio generated an average +13% incremental lift TV reach among persons 55+ and a +26% increase in TV reach among persons 35-54. Among persons 18-49, reach grew by +33% and among persons 18-34, reach increased by +41%.
  • AM/FM radio generates large reach lifts in bigger households with children. Across the five case studies, AM/FM radio drove greater reach growth with larger households with kids and teens.
  • Hispanic and Asian audience reach soars with the addition of AM/FM radio. Nielsen finds putting AM/FM radio in the plan significantly lifts reach among Hispanic (+29%) and Asian (28%) audiences.
  • Reach among employed consumers gets a major boost when AM/FM radio is added to the plan. A larger percentage of TV viewers are retired. Most AM/FM radio listeners are employed. That’s why AM/FM radio is known as “the soundtrack of the American worker.” If a brand target includes the workforce, AM/FM radio is the ideal addition to the media plan.
  • The major source of AM/FM radio’s incremental reach are light TV viewers. Over the five studies, Nielsen found nearly two-thirds (63%) of the incremental reach generated by AM/FM radio is from light TV viewers. Across the five studies, AM/FM radio lifted reach among light TV viewers by an average of +78%.

Charleston SC Radio: AJ Punjabi To Manage iHM Cluster

A J Punjabi
iHeartMedia has announced AJ Punjabi has been named Market President for Charleston.

As Market President, Punjabi will work closely with the programming, business and sales teams and will oversee all of iHeartMedia’s radio stations in the Charleston market. He will report to Ron Hill, Area President of iHeartMedia Carolinas.

“We’re excited to have AJ join iHeartMedia as our Market President in Charleston,” said Hill. “He’s a dynamic leader with a proven track record of building strong relationships and success for his company and their clients. AJ’s experience and leadership skills make him one of the best executives in our business, and he’ll be an excellent addition to our team serving the Low Country.”

Punjabi joins iHeartMedia Charleston from Cox Media Group in Miami, where he most recently served as the general sales manager. He also served as the digital sales manager for Cox Media Group in Atlanta and Athens, Georgia and as an account executive and senior digital strategist for WSB-TV in Atlanta. He is a graduate of Indiana University.

“What an honor it is to be working alongside the successful sales and programming teams in Charleston while representing some of the most iconic brands in the market,” said Punjabi. “My mission is to continue building on a winning culture that positively impacts our employees, stations and the communities we serve. Many thanks to all those at iHeartMedia for this incredible opportunity.”

SBS Reports 5 Percent Drop In Radio Revenue

Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. Monday reported financial results for the three-months ended March 31, 2020.

"While our first quarter results were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to make operational and strategic progress," commented Raúl Alarcón, Chairman and CEO. "Our audio stations held the top rankings across key demos in the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago markets according to Nielsen Audio's May 2020 PPM Report. This strong showing, together with our expanding digital and social media metrics, drove notable aggregate audience growth in the quarter."

Raul Alarcon
"We've taken significant steps to safeguard our personnel while also aligning our cost structure with current market conditions. In addition, as a leading Spanish-language multi-media company and certified minority business enterprise, we have placed total emphasis on helping Latino communities navigate what has proven to be one of the most difficult periods of their lives. We cherish our audience and understand they know and trust our brands and have strong connections with our innovative formats, on-air content and leading talent."

"Looking forward, any marketplace uncertainty will be met with an ironclad commitment to continue serving our Latino community, in any and all ways possible."

"We will be working with the federal government and its representatives, as well as with all state and local authorities, in order to inform and assist our communities and thus continue providing a voice for untold millions of our nation's citizens during these unprecedented times."

Quarter Ended Results

For the quarter-ended March 31, 2020, consolidated net revenue totaled $36.3 million compared to $37.4 million for the same prior year period, resulting in a decrease of 3%.  The radio segment net revenue decreased $1.5 million or 5% due to decreases in local, special events revenue, and barter sales which were partially offset by increases in national, digital and network sales. Additionally, local radio segment revenue includes the negative impact of ad related spot cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our television segment net revenue increased $0.5 million or 14% due to the increases in local, national and barter sales, which were offset by decreases in sub-channel rental and subscriber fees revenue.

Operating loss totaled $5.9 million compared to operating income of $5.6 million for the same prior year period, representing a decrease of approximately $11.5 million. This decrease in operating income was primarily due to the impairment charges partially offset by gain from the sale of assets.

Spokane Radio: Kent Jones Joins Stephens Media As O-M

Kent Jones
Kent Jones has joined Stephens Media Group as Operations Manager in Spokane, WA.

The Spokane cluster includes Classic Hits “Key 101” KEYF, Variety Hits “Bob FM” KBBD, Country “93.7 The Mountain” KDRK, CHR “Now FM” KZBD, Sports & Hip-Hop “103.5 The Game” KGA and Rock “94.1 The Bear” KJRB-AM/FM.

Kent Jones, a graduate of Ohio University, moves from Oklahoma City, where he served as Program Director at KOMA for 31 years. He also hosted the top-rated “Lisa and Kent” morning show.

According to Stephens Media Group SVP Programming Bob Thornton, “Kent has been an independent contractor for us over the past 4 years so this feels a little bit like a promotion from within. Kent has been a key part of our family already, which made this decision a no-brainer. His success in both morning drive and programming made him an incredible candidate for this position.”

Jones will host morning drive on KEYF and will serve as Program Director for KEYF and KBBD.
“The opportunity to join Stephens Media Group and move to Spokane is very exciting. This is a great group of stations and I’m looking forward to working with the team here. Radio is such a fun business and this is a beautiful part of the country. I’m really going to enjoy being here,” said Kent.

Kent and his wife, Barbara have been married for 34 years and now live in Spokane Valley. Their daughter, Melanie resides in Seattle.

SiriusXM ThisClose To Stitcher Deal

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. is near a deal to buy E.W. Scripps Co.’s Stitcher Inc. podcasting unit for around $300 million, according to The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter.

The satellite-radio giant is working to expand into the rapidly growing podcasting industry, following similar moves by media and tech companies including Spotify Technology SA and iHeartMedia Inc.

Stitcher runs a free podcast listening app and a premium $4.99 monthly service that lets subscribers listen to podcasts without ads. It also owns podcast networks including Earwolf and Stitcher Podcasts, with 50 shows including “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” and “Freakonomics Radio.” In partnership with outside networks and shows, Stitcher distributes and sells advertising for more than 250 podcasts—including “My Favorite Murder,” “WTF With Mark Maron” and “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations”—through its Midroll Media advertising unit.

Sirius generates most of its revenue from subscriptions to its satellite radio service but in 2018 agreed to buy internet-radio streaming company Pandora Media Inc. for $3 billion—adding a business more reliant on advertising and with podcast aspirations of its own to its lineup.

Last year Sirius signaled its intent to expand its podcast business with a deal in which Walt Disney Co. ’s Marvel Entertainment is creating exclusive podcasts for the company’s satellite radio and streaming services.

Scripps bought Stitcher in 2016 for $4.5 million in cash and then combined it with Midroll Media, the podcast-advertising company it had acquired the year before for $50 million.

Spotify's Big Money Podcast Deals May Not Pay-Off

Spotify has signed a slew of headline grabbing, multimillion-dollar deals for podcasts from Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian and sportscaster Bill Simmons — but the music-streaming giant won’t likely see a return on its investment, reports The Ny Post citing a media analyst.

This spring, Spotify shelled out nearly $200 million for Simmon’s popular sports podcast firm, “The Ringer” and more than $100 million for the exclusive rights to Rogan’s “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Last month, it inked a buzzy deal with Kim Kardashian West for an original podcast on criminal justice reform, as well as a deal with DC Comics for a slate of original scripted podcasts based on their superheroes.

The exclusive deals have caused media watchers to draw a parallel between Spotify and video streaming giant Netflix, pushing the music firm’s stock up 70 percent since mid-May, adding over $20 billion to its market cap.

But despite the volume of original programming, Juenger said Spotify’s podcast unit won’t “generate much earnings,” and downgraded its stock to “underperform” on Monday.

“It’s tantalizing to draw a parallel between Spotify moving into exclusive, original podcasts with Netflix’s successful move into exclusive, original TV series and movies,” Juenger said. “The situations, however, are not analogous in at least one very important way – consumers don’t have to pay for a Spotify subscription in order to listen to the exclusive podcasts. They just need to download the app. In that way, it’s exactly the opposite of what Netflix did.”

Unlike Netflix, which costs $8.99 a month for its most basic membership, Spotify is free with ads and $9.99 a month without ads. Juenger explained that had Netflix followed Spotify’s playbook, i.e. making its hit shows free in hopes that consumers would subscribe to watch non-exclusive, reruns that the market would have “heavily punished” it.

Further complicating matters for Spotify is the competitive landscape. Unlike Netflix, Spotify has real rivals with big bucks that aren’t likely to allow the Swedish firm to grab massive market share.

Fargo Radio: KOYY Adds Amy Kaye To Morning Playhouse

The Y94 Morning Playhouse: Zero, Jamie Mac and Amy
Midwest Communications Top 40 KOYY 93.7 FM Y94 shuffles the deck and moves its former Afternoon superstar, Amy Kaye, to The Y94 Morning Playhouse. Amy joins the existing team of Jamie Mac and Playhouse veteran Zero.

Kaye comments, “When the opportunity came for me to move to the legendary Morning Playhouse with Zero and Jamie I had to take it! I’m so excited! Plus, it’s amazing to be a part of a 3 person show with 2 out of the 3 hosts being female. It’s not something you see a lot in radio”.

Amy slides into the role most previously held by male personalities. 17-year veteran “Rat” exited Y94 and The Playhouse July 2019, the seat was filled temporarily by Elliot “E” Hoekstra who has since moved to the Brand Manager role on sister country KVOX-FM, Froggy 99.9.

FM Operations Manager Corey “Zero” Schaffer, a 12-year Playhouse staple, comments, “I’m the one person more pumped than Amy that she’s joining The Playhouse, she brings an unmistakable energy and enthusiasm that’s going to help elevate the show to new heights!”

This change concludes Amy Kaye’s grand tour of the Y94 airwaves, having previously succeeded in Nights, Middays and most recently Afternoons on the station.

K-C Radio: KCUR Goes Classical

Classical music has returned to radio in Kansas City.

91.9 Classical KC began broadcasting June 30 and is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The music service also can be streamed through a new website at

The station is an enterprise of KCUR 89.3, Kansas City’s public radio station, which purchased the signal at 91.9 FM from William Jewell College in late June. KCUR is an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which holds its broadcasting license.

Adding a second radio station to its portfolio fits well with KCUR’s history of supporting Kansas City’s rich arts culture, said Sarah Morris, interim general manager.

“We see Classical KC as a cultural institution in the making,” Morris said. “Over time, we want the new station to be Kansas City’s ambassador for all things classical, and this is a fundamental step in that direction.”

Morris pointed out that the purchase of the station would not have been possible without the generous support of several key funders in Kansas City.

“We are supremely grateful to those wonderful funding partners who enthusiastically agreed to make initial investments in this vital project,” Morris said.

For the past 20 years, Kansas City has been one of the few metropolitan areas of its size without a full-time classical music radio station. But, with the launch of the new music platform, KCUR intends to do more than simply play classical compositions.

91.9 Classical KC will be a local service with a focus on Kansas City, its arts institutions, its home-grown musicians, its audiences and its schools. The new station will act as an ambassador for the classical community and will partner with area arts organizations such as the UMKC Conservatory, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Kansas City Symphony to promote their work.

Danny Beckley, executive director of the Kansas City Symphony, said he looks forward to working with the staff at Classical KC to develop innovative ways to share classical music with as broad an audience as possible.

“We must democratize this music just as the ‘foodie’ movement has democratized our cultural taste buds,” Beckley said. “If we could commit to a collaborative partnership unburdened by more traditional siloed models of radio and orchestra, I believe such an effort could be transformational for Kansas City’s appetite for classical music.”

Disney Signs Production Deal With Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick and Walt Disney Co. have reached a deal that brings together the activist quarterback and the entertainment giant to produce content about the racial and social topics Kaepernick has championed.

The Wall Street journal reports yhe new venture brings together Disney, one of the NFL’s biggest financial partners via its ESPN networks, and Kaepernick, an outspoken critic of the league. Kaepernick has gone unemployed as a football player for three years after launching player protests during the national anthem against police brutality and systemic racism.

The Disney-Kaepernick partnership will include “scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity,” the parties said in a release, and will “showcase the work of Black and Brown directors and producers.” The content will be available on platforms including ESPN, Hulu and The Undefeated, the ESPN platform that covers racial and cultural issues.

The deal’s first project is a docuseries chronicling Kaepernick’s last five years, when his demonstrations rocked the country’s most popular sports league. Kaepernick, who has been virtually silent in public about his clashes with the league, will tell his story from his perspective in the series.

“I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing,” Kaepernick said in a statement.
In the statement, Disney executive chairman Bob Iger positioned the deal as part of Disney’s ongoing commitment to promoting diverse content. Last week, Disney said a new visual album from Beyoncé titled “Black is King” will come out in July on Disney+ in a project that celebrates Black resilience and culture.

The deal adds to Kaepernick’s growing portfolio of business endeavors at a time when the country has been immersed in protests against police brutality and systemic racism since George Floyd’s killing.

Consumer's Favorite Tech Gadgets Revealed

Tracking the top tech devices over the past decade, Deloitte research shows just how much consumer preferences have changed. It also serves as a reminder that businesses must keep abreast of technology in order to maintain market advantage.

The winner: More than any other technology device, the smartphone defined the 2010s, according to Deloitte research. The proportion of U.S. consumers who rank it as their most valued device grew from 6% in 2010 to 36% in 2019. That surge makes the smartphone the decade’s most important device, with a huge lead over the runner-up device (flat-panel TV) by 2019. Its popularity is even higher among Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X, with more than 40% of those consumers ranking smartphones as their most preferred device at decade’s end. Close to a third (32%) of surveyed Gen Z and millennials spend four or more hours per day on their smartphones.

The ones that lost favor: Due to technology advances and changing consumer behaviors, several devices—the basic mobile phone, portable music players, non-flat-panel TVs, and the DVR—disappeared from the top 10 list over the past decade, the survey shows. While the exploding popularity of smartphones doomed basic mobile phones and portable music players, the rise of streaming drove the decline in DVR popularity. In addition, the arrival of smart TVs made non-flat-panel TVs obsolete.

The survivors: In 2010, desktop and laptop computers ranked first and second, respectively, in terms of perceived value. While both experienced a significant decline in popularity over the course of the decade, smartphones didn’t fully replace the functionality offered by laptops and desktops, particularly in the business market. As a result, while just 13% of consumers rated them as their most valued devices in 2019, laptops still ranked third overall (tied with desktops), according to the Digital Media Trends Survey.

The flat-panel TV is another device that earned a strong ranking in 2019 after experiencing a series of twists and turns earlier in the decade. The revival of flat-panel TVs can be at least partially attributed to the emergence of streaming devices and internet-connected TVs. Whether flat-panel TVs, laptops, and desktops can hold their places over the next decade is an open question.

McClatchy Newspapers Likely To Get Hedge Fund Owner

Reuters photo
In keeping with a trend that has placed hundreds of American news outlets in the hands of the finance industry, the McClatchy Company and its 30 newspapers are likely to end up the property of a hedge fund, The NY Times reports.

The publisher of The Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer and The Kansas City Star filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, after more than a decade of layoffs and plummeting revenue. Bids for McClatchy were due last week, with an auction supervised by U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan to start on Wednesday.

The company, which is led by the family scion Kevin S. McClatchy and Craig Forman, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and Yahoo executive, is scheduled to inform the court of the winner by July 15.

A likely outcome is that McClatchy, one of the country’s largest newspaper chains and a consistent winner of prestigious journalism awards, will be owned by a New Jersey hedge fund, Chatham Asset Management. Under the deal, McClatchy, a publicly traded company, would go private.

Chatham, which is the principal owner of American Media, the parent company of The National Enquirer, became a large McClatchy shareholder and assumed much of the company’s debt in 2018. In April, McClatchy said Chatham had made a bid to take over the company. Other bidders could emerge at auction time.

“We have continued to engage with a number of parties over the past few weeks and are encouraged to see the interest expressed in McClatchy,” a company spokeswoman said.

Although cutbacks have become all but unavoidable in the ailing newspaper industry, many journalists and civic leaders are rooting for McClatchy to end up with benevolent ownership that will not lead to further cost cuts.

Fox News Apologizes For 'Mistakenly' Cropping Trump Out of Photo

Fox News apologized Monday for what it said was a mistake in cropping President Trump out of a photo with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of helping Epstein recruit girls he then sexually abused.

The Hill reports the photo, which was shown Sunday evening on Fox News, showed Epstein, Maxwell and Melania Trump but not the president. The photo was taken in 2000, before Melania Trump was married to President Trump.

Original version
A Fox News spokesperson said in a statement that the report on Maxwell "during Fox News Channel's 'America's News HQ' mistakenly eliminated President Donald Trump from a photo alongside then-Melania Knauss, Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell."

"We regret the error," the spokesperson added.

Epstein killed himself in a prison cell last year as he faced charges of sex trafficking.

Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and longtime associate, was arrested Thursday in New Hampshire for her alleged participation in Epstein’s sex trafficking circle. She was transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn after spending the weekend in a New Hampshire jail.

She faces four counts related to procuring and transporting minors for illegal sex acts and two counts of perjury for allegedly lying about her involvement.

Epstein, a New York financier, had a number of political, media and other social connections before his downfall, including President Trump and former President Clinton.

Milwaukee Radio: WTMJ Radio, NBA Bucks Renew Partnership

The Milwaukee Bucks and WTMJ Radio have renewed their long-standing partnership. WTMJ Radio will remain the radio home of the Bucks for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

The flagship station of the statewide BMO Bucks Radio Network, WTMJ Radio will continue to bring Bucks games to 15 cities on 18 different frequencies across Wisconsin. Bucks games that will not air on 620 AM or 103.3 FM because of conflicts will air on 94.5 ESPN, a partner of WTMJ Radio.

As part of the renewed partnership, the one-hour Bucks Weekly show will continue to air on WTMJ Radio during the season, and the 90-minute Bucks and One postgame show, which debuted this season, will once again follow each Bucks game during the 2020-21 season on 94.5 ESPN.

“We are thrilled to continue our more than 50-year partnership with the premier radio station in the state,” said Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin. “We are excited to share more Bucks basketball with our great fans on WTMJ Radio.”

“We are proud to continue the tradition of Bucks basketball on WTMJ with extended coverage on 94.5 ESPN Milwaukee,” said Good Karma Brands Vice President and Market Manager Steve Wexler. “We’re looking forward to bringing Bucks basketball to fans for years to come.”

Rush Limbaugh On Treatment Update: "Get Extra Innings"

Rush Limbaugh website screenshot
Radio show host Rush Limbaugh on Monday said he's on his third round of cancer treatment and that he's confident he'll get "into extra innings," a reference to baseball, Newsmax reports.

Limbaugh, who has been battling lung cancer, said one round "nearly killed him."

"My first two at-bats were horrible," Limbaugh said during his radio show.

"One was a targeted therapy of clinical trial drugs, which worked but nearly killed me in the process. And so we had to get off of those. But on my third at-bat, the third attempt, I managed to get on base. I hit a solid single and then stole second. I am currently on second base hoping to slide into third and eventually make it all the way home. We're in the bottom of the ninth. If I get all the way home we get extra innings. And that's what we're shooting for here."

Limbaugh also said he's feeling "extremely good" right now, though he was cautious about saying so.

"Who knows what tomorrow's gonna bring. Good days and bad days. But I told you I would share information with you, and I told you I would keep you abreast of it. And so that's pretty much it," he added.

"The bottom line is I'm entirely capable of being here today. My energy level is great. I'm doing extremely well. And I don't think anybody would mind if I told you honestly that I am doing better at this stage than I thought I was gonna be doing."