Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pandora Reports User Engagement Reaches Record Highs

  • Q1 2014 GAAP total revenue of $194.3 million and non-GAAP total revenue of $180.1 million, growing 69% and 54% year-over-year
  • Q1 2014 GAAP total mobile revenue of $147.0 million and non-GAAP total mobile revenue of $134.1 million, growing 92% and 71% year-over-year
  • GAAP total mobile revenue now 76% of GAAP total revenue; non-GAAP total mobile revenue now 74% of non-GAAP total revenue
  • Q1 2014 non-GAAP diluted EPS of ($0.13); GAAP EPS was ($0.14)
  • Share of total U.S. radio listening for Pandora in March 2014 was 9.1%, an increase from 8.1% at the same time last year
Pandora today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014.

Pandora started 2014 with robust momentum and continued solid growth, stated Brian McAndrews CEO, President & Chairman of Pandora. Our strong first quarter results demonstrate Pandora's deep listener engagement, accelerating monetization, and increasing leverage in our business model. Looking ahead, we will continue to invest aggressively to extend our leadership position and drive forward the future of radio.

First Quarter Financial Results
  • Revenue: For the first quarter of 2014, GAAP total revenue was $194.3 million, a 69% year-over-year increase. Non-GAAP total revenue1 was $180.1 million, a 54% year-over-year increase, excluding $14.2 million in revenue relating to our subscription return reserve. Advertising revenue was $140.6 million, a 45% year-over-year increase. Non-GAAP subscription and other revenue was $39.5 million, a 94% year-over-year increase, excluding $14.2 million in revenue relating to our subscription return reserve.
  • EPS: For the first quarter of 2014, GAAP basic and diluted EPS were ($0.14). Non-GAAP basic and diluted EPS were ($0.13), both excluding $14.2 million in revenue relating to our subscription return reserve, $17.4 million in expense from stock-based compensation and $0.2 million in amortization of intangible assets. GAAP and non-GAAP basic and diluted EPS were based on 199.9 million weighted average shares outstanding.
  • Cash and Investments: For the first quarter of 2014, the Company ended with $445.9 million in cash and investments, compared with $450.1 million at the end of 2013. For the first quarter of 2014, Pandoras cash used in operating activities was $2.2 million compared to $12.9 million used in the year-ago calendar quarter.
  • Listener Hours: Total listener hours grew 12% to 4.80 billion for the first quarter of 2014, compared to 4.26 billion for the same period last year.
  • March 2014 Active Listeners: Active listeners were 75.3 million at the end of March 2014, an increase of 8% from 69.5 million from the same period last year.

SiriusXM Reports 1Q Revenue Grew 11% YTD

SiriusXM announced first quarter 2014 financial and operating results, including revenue of $998 million, up 11% from the first quarter 2013 revenue of $897 million.  Earnings per diluted share were $0.02 in both the first quarter of 2014 and 2013.

Net income of $94 million, adjusted for a non-recurring item associated with accounting for the Liberty Media stock repurchase agreement and purchase price accounting adjustments from the Sirius and XM merger, net of taxes, resulted in adjusted net income of $121 million, a 46% increase over $83 million in last year's first quarter.  Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2014 reached a record $335 million, up 28% from $262 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Jim Meyer
"SiriusXM performed ahead of our expectations in the first quarter, with 266,799 net subscriber additions including 173,480 self-pay net additions.  For the ninth consecutive quarter we grew revenue at a double digit pace, and once again we set a new quarterly record for adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin.  Free cash flow grew 56% compared to the prior year to a new first quarter record, and we resumed our stock repurchase program, helping to drive free cash flow per share up 64%," stated Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer, SiriusXM.

"Our business continues to perform well.  New car installations and trial conversions set first quarter records, and our trial funnel stands near an all-time high at 6.9 million.  We are excited about this year's strong growth of subscribers, revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow, and we are eager to continue deploying our capital to benefit our stockholders and grow free cash flow per share even faster," added Meyer.

Additional highlights of the first quarter include:
  • Subscribers Reach a Record 25.8 Million.  Net subscriber additions in the first quarter of 2014 were 266,799.  The total paid subscriber base reached a record 25.8 million, up 6% from the prior-year period.  Self-pay net subscriber additions were 173,480, while the self-pay subscriber base reached a record high of 21.3 million, up 7% from the prior-year period. Total paid and unpaid trials were 6.9 million at the end of the first quarter of 2014.
  • Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin Reach New Record Highs.   Adjusted EBITDA climbed 28% from the first quarter of 2013 to a record quarterly figure of $335 million, and the Company's adjusted EBITDA margin reached a record 33.5% in the first quarter of 2014.
  • Free Cash Flow Per Share Climbs 64%.   Free cash flow in the first quarter of 2014 was $223 million, up 56% from $142 million in the first quarter of 2013.  Free cash flow per diluted share was 3.6 cents in the first quarter of 2014, up 64% from 2.2 cents in the first quarter of 2013.
"Last year we took steps to lower our average cost of debt, and this year we have focused our efforts on significantly increasing our flexibility to return capital to stockholders by eliminating covenants in our 5.25% Notes and increasing the threshold for restricted payments in our Credit Facility," said David Frear, SiriusXM's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

"Tomorrow, we are scheduled to repurchase 93 million shares from Liberty Media for $340 million, bringing total share repurchases for the year to 158 million shares for $550 million and leaving us with $1.7 billion remaining under our share repurchase authorization.  Total debt to adjusted EBITDA at the end of the first quarter 2014 was 2.8 times, below our 4.0 times leverage target.  We expect to opportunistically tap the debt markets this year as we move towards our leverage target," added Frear.

CC Reports 1Q Losses More Than Doubled YTD

CC Media Holdings Inc. and subsidiary Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. both reported that their first-quarter losses widened.

CC Media is the vehicle used by private-equity firms Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP to privatize Clear Channel Communications Inc. in 2008. For the latest period, CC Media reported a loss of $424 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $203 million. The wider loss included deferred tax impacts and higher interest expenses. Revenue was flat at $1.34 billion.

Revenue from media and entertainment, the company's largest business segment, rose 2%, primarily reflecting increases at its traffic and weather business, as well as stronger national and digital advertising.

CC Media Holdings, Inc. today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014.

“We continued to make progress this quarter in advancing our strategy of providing customized, multi-platform market solutions that nobody else can,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Pittman said.

“In keeping with our promise to be everywhere our listeners want to find us, our Media+Entertainment business continued to build strong partnerships – making iHeartRadio available on Amazon Fire TV, Apple’s Car Play and the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch. Our growing events business, which is extending the iHeartRadio brand across an increasing number of media platforms, successfully staged the first-ever iHeartRadio Country Music Festival in Austin. Another newcomer to our events line-up, the iHeartRadio Music Awards, will be televised live from Los Angeles on NBC on May 1.

Bob Pittman
At Outdoor, we launched ‘Connect,’ the first global out-of-home mobile interactive advertising platform that enables customers to access interactive content via their smartphones. We are also enhancing our Americas Outdoor national sales capabilities and optimizing our global digital footprint.”

“Despite a difficult advertising environment due to disruptive winter weather across the U.S., we maintained our level of consolidated revenues, and also continued to invest in our businesses, to reinforce our foundation for growth,” said Rich Bressler, President and Chief Financial Officer. “At Media + Entertainment we flattened our management structure in order to move us closer to the business and make it run more efficiently, better serving our listeners and advertising partners, while staying focused on managing our expenses at both Americas and International Outdoor.

First Quarter 2014 Results 
  • Consolidated revenues were essentially flat in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period of 2013. Excluding the effects of movements in foreign exchange rates, revenues declined $1.0 million or less than 1%. 
  • Media+Entertainment revenues grew $14 million, or 2%, primarily reflecting increases at our traffic and weather business, as well as stronger national and digital advertising. 
  • Americas outdoor revenues decreased $18 million, or 6%, driven mainly by the absence of revenue from the 77 digital bulletins in Los Angeles that were turned off due to a court ruling, and lower revenues at airports due to contracts that were not renewed. Partially offsetting these declines was higher capacity and occupancy of digital bulletins in other markets. 
  • International outdoor revenues rose $3 million, or 1%. Revenue growth in emerging markets including China, as well as developed markets including the UK and France, was partly offset by declines in other countries, including those in Northern and Eastern Europe, primarily due to challenging macroeconomic conditions. 

Nielsen Profit Rises 62 Percent As Revenue Improves

Nielsen Holdings N.V. said its first-quarter earnings jumped 62% as the consumer-research firm reported increased sales in its main segments, according to WSJ.

The company last year closed on a roughly $1.3 billion deal to buy Arbitron, best known for measuring radio's audience, but which also has had some success in figuring out how to measure media usage on the Web and mobile devices.

For the latest quarter, Nielsen reported a profit of $55 million, or 15 cents a share, up from $34 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring costs and other items, earnings were 43 cents, up from 31 cents a share.

Revenue improved 13% to $1.49 billion.

Mitch Barns
"Nielsen delivered a solid first quarter," said Mitch Barns , Chief Executive Officer of Nielsen. "Our underlying business performance, which was marked by broad-based revenue growth and strong profitability, was enhanced by the ongoing successful integration of Arbitron. Our clear focus on the key business priorities of our diverse global client base continues to produce steady and consistent results while delivering long-term value for our shareholders."

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FCC To Hit Reset On Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission said it will propose rules on Thursday that could give high-speed Internet providers more power on what content moves the fastest on the Web based on which firms pay the most.

According to WaPo, the move could dramatically reshape the Web experiences of consumers, where videos for, Facebook or YouTube might be delivered more smoothly because of payments to broadband providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. The streaming videos of a smaller competitor could be halted with buffering and low-quality images if those firms aren't able to pay ISPs access to faster Internet lanes into American homes.

In a proposal to be voted on May 15, the chairman of the FCC said new so-called net neutrality rules would prohibit broadband providers from straight out blocking sites and slowing down content in an anticompetitive manner. In a press briefing Thursday, the FCC is expected to outline criteria for its determination of unfair and anticompetitive business practices.

The move represents a retreat from the agency's position in past years on the net neutrality principle, in which Internet providers must treat all web content equally.

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Boston Radio: WXKS-FM, Matty Siegel Extend Contract

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment/Boston has announced Matt Siegel has extended his contract through 2018, effective immediately.

Matty Siegel
Siegel is the host of the "Matty in the Morning" show on Top 40 WXKS 107.9 FM Kiss 108

Siegel has been a Boston radio staple for more than 30 years. "Matty in the Morning" consistently delivers a unique brand of comedy and storytelling that captivates the audience ­ which has made the show No. 1 in ratings with women for well over three decades. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) recognized Siegel in 2001 and 2009 with the Marconi Award's Major Market Radio Personality of the Year award.

WXKS 107.9 FM (20.5Kw) 54dBu Coverage
"After having both competed against Matty and been on the same team, I know what a great personality and asset Matty is to Kiss 108," said Alan Chartrand, Market President, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston.

"He is an unbelievable talent and I am very happy that Matt will continue to entertain Kiss 108 listeners in Boston for many years to come."

"Matty has been at the center of Kiss 108's success for more than 30 years and his ability to entertain and connect with Boston radio listeners is unmatched," said Dylan Sprague, Vice President of Programming, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston. "Mornings in Boston simply wouldn't be the same without Matty on Kiss 108. I am thrilled he is extending his run."

"Matty is a true Boston radio legend and we are excited to extend our relationship with him," said Tom McConnell, Executive Vice President of Operations, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.
"My wonderful love story with the city of Boston continues," said Siegel.

Boston Radio: The AMP's T-J Makes Call To Spiderman Fan

The WODS 103.3 FM AMP morning radio show got a little more than it bargained for in a phone call to a six-year-old Spiderman fan.

T-J from 103.3 AMP Radio’s “The TJ Show” called Carter at the request of the child’s mom. TJ told Carter that he was Spiderman.

And as you might expect from a six-year-old, Carter immediately believed he was speaking with his favorite superhero.

Video -

WODS 103.3 FM (8.7Kw) 54dBu Coverage

Cleveland Radio: Rover Attorney Alleges Police Brutality

Shane "Rover" French, the WMMS 100.7 FM radio personality charged in connection with an altercation with an off-duty Cleveland police officer last summer, is a victim of police brutality, his attorney says.

Attorney Larry Zukerman provided The Plain Dealer with photos that he said were taken while French was still in jail following the July 4th weekend incident.

Zukerman said the photos show bruises and red marks caused by officer Steven Kinas.

French, 38, and his radio sidekick, Michael Toomey, 29, both have pleaded not guilty to charges that include assault, criminal damaging, resisting arrest and panic.

Zukerman said French is fighting the trumped up charges because Kinas fabricated much of what he reported took place early the morning of July 5, when the two men had a confrontation over fireworks that French and his friends were setting off.


In Court July 2013
Kinas, reached Wednesday, said Zukerman and his clients were weaving a fairytale that paints him as the aggressor. It is a story that Kinas said they won't be able to back up in court.

The officer maintains that French was drunk and shouting at him belligerently when he asked French to stop shooting the fireworks because it was after 3 a.m.

Kinas said the red marks on French were likely from him dragging him by his collar to a nearby guard shack. He said the disc jockey kept saying, "I'm Rover, you don't know who I am."

Kinas said since he doesn't listen to "Rover's Morning Glory," French's talk show, he had no idea what he was talking about until he read about the arrest in the newspaper.

French and Toomey on Wednesday filed a list of witnesses they could potentially call during the trial in the case against them that is scheduled for next month. Among the names is national radio personality Howard Stern.

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Philly Radio: Morning Host Logan OUT At WISX

CCM+E/Philadelphia says it will announce a new morning show host for HotAC WISX 106.1 FM Mix after parting company with APD/MD/Morning Host Logan.

Until a new host is named Nicole airs solo.

Logan was a 14-year Clear Channel veteran in Philly and had been hosting AM Drive since November 2007.

His resume includes KDMX/Dallas and five years in afternoons right across the hall at clustermate Top 40 WIOQ 102.1 FM Q102. Other stops include WKSS and WTIC-FM Hartford and WHTZ Z100/New York.

Stephanie Miller: Rush Being Put On 'Crappy Signals'

Stephanie Miller
Syndicated talk personality Stephanie Miller spent some time this week lamenting the impact of Rush Limbaugh’s decline in ratings, according to,  along with the cancellation of progressive host Randi Rhodes and her show once syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks.

“With Rush coming in 37th in Los Angeles, what has happened is that he is being moved to all those crappy signals we were on, but Progressive radio did work,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie explained that the fallout of Rush Limbaugh’s weakening ratings affects all of talk radio, but progressive shows take a greater hit. “We always started with a lot less stations than Rush had.”

As far as Randi Rhodes, Stephanie said, “I love her. She’s my friend but on top of that I think she’s the most talented person in radio today. Period.”

According to LA Radio, Stephanie read from a transcript of the Ed Schultz show on the day that radio consultant Holland Cooke was a guest. Cooke explained that Rush created a business model which capitalized on free speech, allowing the conservative talk host to say whatever he wanted. The irony is a persistent online movement also used free speech to destroy Rush’s program.


Jelli Ad Platform Adds Record Number of Radio Stations

Jelli has announced a major milestones during a record-breaking quarter of expanding its roster of radio stations using the Jelli ad platform RadioSpot.

First quarter 2014 highlights include:
  • Launching 188 radio stations on RadioSpot during the quarter, representing 109% growth in terms of number of stations versus Q4 2013 and doubling the impressions served from the platform.  This is fueling rapid growth in programmatic radio advertising across numerous markets with an impressive partnership roster that includes Marketron, Townsquare Media, Entercom, Emmis owned WQHT-FM (HOT 97) in New York City, Sun Broadcast Group and Focus 360. 
  • Reduced time to launch by 133% vs. 2013 on the RadioSpot platform due to investments made in automatic networking and an ad trigger technology that works with all traffic and automation systems. 
  • 18 stations per week achieved certification and the average time for a station to receive the green light was 12 days due to the RadioSpot installation online app that provides partners the ability to certify in 4 steps with an easy to use guide.
"We operated at a blistering pace in the first quarter, with hundreds of radio stations now using RadioSpot to buy and sell ads programmatically," said Mike Dougherty, Jelli co-founder and chief executive officer.  "We are committed to creating the most powerful buying platforms for radio advertisers and new revenue opportunities for radio stations, making it easier for everyone in the industry to move into programmatic advertising.”

Chris Brown Remains Jailed, Bodyguard Convicted

Chris Brown
Chris Brown has been ordered to stay in jail for at least another week.

Lawyers acting for the 24-year-old singer - who had been due to stand trial this week for misdemeanour assault charges for allegedly hitting Parker Adams and breaking his nose - appealed for him to be allowed out of prison yesterday, but Jude Victor Greenberg denied the request until a probation revocation hearing takes place on May 1.

Chris' arrest for the assault, which took place in Washington D.C. in October marked a violation of the probation which was set in 2009 following his assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna, but he was allowed to enter rehab rather than prison.

However, when he was kicked out of the clinic for rule breaking, he was subsequently jailed and his lawyer argued it was unfair he had been in prison for 39 days without a hearing.

Another lawyer for the 'Yeah 3x' hitmaker - whose bodyguard Christopher Hollosy has been convicted of assaulting Adams - branded the ruling ''over the top''.

Mark Geragos said earlier in the day: ''I think it's a little over the top to have him in custody on this misdemeanour when everybody saw the bodyguard's trial and which was nothing more than a bloody nose.
''And you have got the bodyguard who was convicted and who readily admitted he was the one who did the punching. So all of this is much ado about nothing.'' (

WB/Scranton Radio: Newsman Bud Brown Signs-Off

Bud Brown
He’s considered a broadcasting legend here in northeastern Pennsylvania and on Wednesday he signed off the air here for the last time, according to WNEP-TV16.

Newsman Bud Brown of WILK 980 AM/103.1 FM is retiring after more than 40 years working in radio.

“I’m really enjoying this, but I think this is the first time in a long time I had to think at work here,” laughed Brown.

Brown says he had trouble adapting to the changes in broadcasting over the years.
“For the first time in my life, I felt a disconnect not only from the business but from my coworkers.”

Now Bud and his wife are moving to Arizona.  He plans to work part time but says he’ll miss radio.

“Writing the news and then going on the air because they are the two things that I really did derive pleasure from, as far as radio,” Brown said.

Bud’s coworkers also call him humble. In fact, Bud said his sendoff was overwhelming.

There was a proclamation from the governor, a cake, and on-air messages from friends, colleagues, and listeners.

But all good things must come to an end and Brown was great as he signed off from his final noon newscast.

“In April of 1969, this guy gets out of the army, goes to a broadcasting school in Washington D.C., and in early October of that year, he says hello to his first radio audience, and he today he says goodbye to his last radio audience. Thanks for listening.”

April 24 In Radio History

In 1949…Dick Powell began a four-year run as "Richard Diamond, Private Detective" on NBC Radio. In the late 1950s, Powell's company, Four Star Television, produced a TV version of the series starring David Janssen. His secretary, Sam, was shown only from the waist down to display her beautiful legs. Initially, those were the legs of budding actress Mary Tyler Moore, but later, the legs of other actresses were shown.

In 1953...Eric Bogosian was born in Woburn, Massachusetts. Bogosian is best known for his starring role in the movie, Talk Radio.

In 1959…After 24 years of Saturday nights on radio and nine years on television, the final installment of the musical countdown show "Your Hit Parade" was presented on NBC-TV.

In 1972…John Lennon's controversial single, "Woman Is the N#gger of the World" was released in the U.S. The song reached #57 on the Billboard Hot 100, even though only two major radio stations – KDAY in Los Angeles and WCFL in Chicago – aired it. Yoko Ono originally uttered the phrase during a magazine interview in 1967 and John explained that he was making a point that women deserved higher status in society.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Des Moines Radio: KWQW-FM Re-Launches as 98.3 The Torch

Cumulus Media announces that its news/talk station KWQW-FM in Des Moines has re-launched as 98.3 The Torch - “Common Sense Radio”. The station debuted a new morning show on hosted by Robert Rees, who also serves as Program Director of 98.3 The Torch.

The Torch offers an entertaining weekday line-up of hosts who provide a conservative/libertarian point of view without the partisan politics. The Torch line-up includes Glenn Beck (9am-11am), Dennis Miller (11a-2p), Michael Savage (2p-5p), Mark Levin (5p-8p), John Batchelor (8p-Midnight) and Red Eye Radio (Midnight - 5am).

Rees said: " "I'm excited to be here in Des Moines to get people to talk about and laugh about all aspects of life during their morning drive. Plus, we'll get them all of the traffic, news and weather information they need to start their day!"

KWQW 983. FM (41Kw) 60dBu Coverage
After years as a real estate entrepreneur, Rees began his radio career in Sports/Talk in Austin, Texas, later moving into News/Talk. He then became the morning drive host and Program Director for a News/Talk station in Bloomington-Normal, IL. In March, Rees joined Cumulus in Des Moines as Program Director for KWQW-FM and KBGG-AM (1700 The Torch) and as host of the morning show on 98.3 The Torch.

Nielsen: N/T Top March PPM Format 6+

NielsenAudio has released highlights from the late PPMs, including a list of the Top Format In March:

According to Nielsen, Classic Rock hit a new high in March, exceeding its previous listening share records across all three demographics, while Urban Contemporary matched some of the high-water marks it set in February. Following the trends from February, Country and Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) both had their best March results since the start of PPM measurement in 2011, which propelled them to their best historical first-quarter showings, too.

On the other hand, Hot Adult Contemporary (AC), finally let off the accelerator after three consecutive record-breaking months, but still finished the quarter with its’ all-time best listening share. Shares for spoken word also dipped slightly this month as old man winter finally loosened his grasp, bringing fewer storms to the major markets that had helped spike listening levels in February. And AC ended the quarter at its lowest share level in PPM history.

Below are some highlights from Nielsen’s March PPM data across 45 markets using the full-week (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-midnight) daypart and audience shares for listeners aged 6 and older.
  • Classic Rock eclipsed last summer’s record listening shares by finishing with new highs across all three demographics in March. The format posted a 4.6 share (for listeners aged 6+), 3.9 share (18-34) and 5.2 share (25-54). For context, this is only the second time Classic Rock has posted better than a 5-share in the 25-54 demo, with the first month being this past January. And the format is on a roll even among 18-34 listeners, ranking ahead of all other rock-based formats in March by more than a full share point.
  • Urban Contemporary saw its shares with listeners aged 18-34 and 25-54 hold steady this month (5.9 and 3.5, respectively) as it tied February’s record highs in those demos. This means 2014 is off to a very good start for a format that had its best PPM year ever in 2013.
  • Pop CHR and Country both set records for listening in February, and they continued the trend in March. Both formats’ again logged their highest shares for PPM measurement in the month going back to 2011. And the first-quarter rollup for both Pop CHR and Country reveals these formats are all off to their best start of any year since PPM rolled out nationwide.
  • Lastly, AC went the other direction to begin the year: after two straight years with at an 8.0 share (listeners aged 6+) in first quarter, the nation’s number-one ranked format for cumulative listening opened 2014 by posting a 7.4 share in January, February and March. This marks the lowest first quarter for AC in PPM measurement.