Saturday, May 7, 2016

May 8 Radio History


In 1899
...voice actor Arthur Q. Bryan was born in Brooklyn.   He is remembered best for his longtime recurring role as the wis  ecracking Dr. Gamble on the NBC radio comedy Fibber McGee and Molly and for creating the voice of the Warner Brothers cartoon character Elmer Fudd.  He was also the voice of Floyd Munson the barber and crony of NBC radio’s The Great Gildersleeve.  He had a recurring role on The Halls of Ivy on both radio & TV. Bryan suffered a fatal heart attack Nov. 18 1959 at age 60.


In 1915...actor John Archer was born in small town Nebraska.  He is best remembered as the radio voice of Lamont Cranston, The Shadow, for a year in the 1940’s.  Later in life, as a resident of Greater Seattle he was a founding member of REPS, the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound.  He succumbed to lung cancer Dec. 3 1999 at age 84.


In 1936...radio &TV talk show host Tom Snyder was born in Milwaukee.  He is best remembered for The Tomorrow Show, which followed the Tonight Show on NBC television in the late 1970s and ’80s, and The Late Late Show, following David Letterman on CBS in the 1990s.

Tom Snyder
Snyder had loved radio since he was a child and at some point changed his field of study from pre-med to journalism. He once told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tim Cuprisin that broadcasting became more important to him than attending classes, and he skipped a lot of them. Snyder began his career as a radio reporter at WRIT (unrelated to the present-day FM station) in Milwaukee and at WKZO in Kalamazoo (where he was fired by John Fetzer) in the 1950s. For a time he worked at Savannah, Georgia, AM station WSAV (now WBMQ).

After moving to television in the 1960s, he was a news anchor for KYW-TV in Cleveland (now WKYC-TV) and, after a 1965 station switch, Philadelphia, and WNBC-TV and WABC-TV in New York City. He talked about driving cross country in an early Corvair from Atlanta to Los Angeles around 1963, where he landed a news job at KTLA, then on to KNBC-TV, also in Los Angeles, where from 1970 to 1974 he was an anchor for the 6 p.m. newscast working with KNBC broadcaster Kelly Lange, who was then a weather reporter before serving as a long-time KNBC news anchor. Lange later became Snyder's regular substitute guest host on the Tomorrow program, prior to the hiring of co-host Rona Barrett in the program's last year. Even after attaining fame as host of Tomorrow, Snyder kept his hand in news anchoring with the Sunday broadcasts of NBC Nightly News during 1975 and 1976.

He died July 29 2007 from complications associated with leukemia at age 71.


In 1940...singer/actor Ricky (Eric Hilliard) Nelson was born in Teaneck New Jersey.

He began in show biz as a child actor, playing himself on radio on his family’s long-running sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.  When the show moved to TV he began singing at the end of each show, establishing himself as a record star. Hits include I’m Walkin’, Poor Little Fool, Lonesome Town, Never Be Anyone Else But You, Travelin’ Man, and Garden Party.

He, his fiancee & 5 others were killed in a plane crash Dec 31, 1985 enroute to a New Year’s Eve performance in Dallas.  Rick was 45.


In 1959...the final broadcast of “One Man’s Family” was heard on NBC radio after being on the air 27 years. The Carleton E. Morse creation had completed 3,256 episodes since its beginnings in San Francisco back in 1932.


In 1962…Beatles manager Brian Epstein had a chance meeting with engineer Ted Huntly at a London record store. After Epstein related his discouragement about the Decca label rejecting the band, Huntly suggested he send a demo recording of the Beatles to EMI and, in particular, to one of their producers, George Martin.


George D Hay
In 1968...George D. Hay died at age 72.

He was the originator of the Grand Ole Opry broadcasts over station WSM in Nashville. The program, originally called the “Barn Dance,” was first broadcast on November 28th, 1925.

Hay was born in Attica, Indiana. In Memphis, Tennessee, after World War I, he was a reporter for the Commercial Appeal, and when the newspaper launched its own radio station, WMC, in January 1923, he became a late-night announcer at the station. His popularity increased and in May 1924 he left for WLS in Chicago, where he served as the announcer on a program that became National Barn Dance.

On November 9, 1925 he moved on to WSM in Nashville. Getting a strong listener reaction to 78-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson that November, Hay announced the following month that WSM would feature "an hour or two" of old-time music every Saturday night. He promoted the music and formed a booking agency.


In 1970...The Beatles released the "Let it Be" album to radio.


In 1982...Ron Lundy does last regular show at 77 WABC, prior to format change to Talk.


Ron was on the air in New York City starting in September 1965, first on the overnight shift at WABC before shifting to middays in 1966. He remained at WABC right up until its last day as a music station on May 10, 1982.



In February 1984, Lundy resurfaced at New York's oldies station WCBS 101.1 FM in the mid-morning slot, following former WABC colleague Harry Harrison. According to program director Joe McCoy, the station created the slot especially for Lundy, reducing other shifts from four hours to three.

Lundy retired from WCBS-FM on September 18, 1997.

He passed away at the age of 75 in Bruce, Mississippi on May 15, 2010.

Judge May Toss Sumner Redstone Lawsuit

Manuela Herza, Sumner Redstone
(Reuters) -- A judge called Sumner Redstone's deposition "strong evidence" that the media mogul knew what he was doing when he ejected an ex-girlfriend from his life, suggesting Redstone has the upper hand in a trial over his mental competence that began on Friday.

Although the 92-year-old billionaire, who has majority control of media companies Viacom and CBS, had some trouble speaking in the deposition and did not respond coherently to certain questions, he was clear on the central issue.

Redstone repeatedly called the ex-girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, a "f**king bitch" in the deposition circulated in the packed courtroom, and accused her of stealing money from him. When asked what he wanted at the end of the trial, Redstone replied: "I want Manuela out of my life. Yeah."

Herzer is suing Redstone over her removal in October as the billionaire's designated health care, arguing that Redstone was not mentally competent at the time he made the decision. Redstone's lawyers say he has difficulty speaking but is mentally fit.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan reviewed Redstone's video deposition privately, and appeared to sympathize with the ailing Redstone.

"He has told me now, best he can, what he wants," said Cowan, who will decide the case without a jury. "That's strong evidence."

"Your burden now is a hard one," Cowan said to Herzer's attorneys, who must prove that Redstone was mentally incompetent when he removed Herzer from his plans.

Pierce O'Donnell, who represents Herzer, responded that Redstone's answers to his own lawyer's questions in the deposition were programmed and rehearsed.

Redstone's attorneys asked Cowan to dismiss the lawsuit and the judge requested both sides submit legal briefs over the weekend, saying he could rule on Monday.

Manuel Herza Arriving at courthouse
Referring to Redstone, Cowan said: "How can I sit here and say, after listening to that video, no you can't have what you want?"

Speaking to reporters outside court, O’Donnell said he was confident Herzer could defeat the motion to dismiss.

"The question isn’t whether [Redstone] made that decision, but why did he make that decision?"

Herzer, wearing a black suit at the first day of the trial held in a windowless courtroom on the sixth floor of a downtown Los Angeles courthouse, showed little emotion throughout the day but shook her head and nodded at various points in the testimony. Redstone's daughter Shari and her son Brandon Korff also attended.

The trial, set to run through May 16, is being closely watched by shareholders of Viacom Inc and CBS Corp. Redstone stepped down as executive chairman of both companies earlier this year, assuaging some investor questions about his influence at the company.

But some concerns remain about what will happen, and when, to his roughly 80 percent of the voting shares in both companies, held through his National Amusements movie theater company.

If Herzer, 52, proves her case, the outcome could cause a chain of events that would result in the transfer of Redstone’s controlling stake in both companies to a seven-person trust which includes Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and Redstone's daughter Shari, which could alter the course of both companies.

If she loses the case, control remains in Redstone's hands. The transfer of his shares to the trust is also scheduled to take place upon his death.

Doctor: Redstone Has "Mild To Severe Dementia"

Sumner Redstone
A doctor evaluating Viacom/CBS' Sumner Redstone claims that he has “mild to severe dementia.”

Dr. Stephen Read, who is a witness for Redstone’s former girlfriend, Manuel Herzer, told a packed LA courtroom that the 92-year-old media mogul, “has impaired short and long term memory that is between mild and severe, but towards severe.”

According to The NY Post, the mogul, who until February was the highly paid executive chairman of both Viacom and CBS, is unable to identify different colors, the doctor said.

Redstone is at the center of a battle over his healthcare. That battle is being waged by his former galpal, Manuela Herzer, who was booted from Redstone’s home and as his main care giver after he discovered she was preventing other women from communicating with him.

Dr. Read, appearing on day one of the week long trial, said Redstone’s relatives play him recorded sports events and make sure that Redstone’s bets always pay-off even while the aging former lawyer, can’t identify his team.

FCC Confirms Approval of Charter, Time Warner Cable Merger

(Reuters) -- The FCC confirmed on Friday that it had voted to approve Charter Communications Inc's acquisitions of Time Warner Cable Inc and Bright House Networks.

The deals, which would create the second-largest U.S. broadband provider and third-largest video provider, now need approval from regulators in California.

A state administrative judge last month recommended that California's public utilities commission approve the deal. The decision is expected at a May 12 hearing.

Tom Rutledge, president and chief executive of Charter, said in a statement Friday that the transactions have "significant benefits" including greater competition, broader access to affordable broadband, and new U.S. jobs. The FCC-imposed conditions "are largely extensions of the longstanding consumer friendly values and practices of our company," Rutledge said.

A majority of the five-member FCC voted to approve the deals earlier this week.

The FCC said in a statement Friday that an "order detailing the commission’s reasoning and the conditions will be issued in the coming days."

Charter has valued its deal for Time Warner Cable at $56.7 billion, excluding debt, and the acquisition of Bright House at $10.4 billion.

The U.S. Justice Department gave antitrust approval to the acquisitions with conditions on April 25 and earlier Charter and Time Warner Cable shareholders approved the companies' deal.



The Justice Department's approval carried conditions designed to protect competition, coming at a time when the pay television industry faces stagnation due to new competition from over-the-web rivals like Netflix Inc and Hulu.

The Justice Department said Charter agreed to refrain from telling its content providers that they cannot also sell shows online as part of the approval process.

The conditions placed on FCC approval would require Charter to extend high-speed internet access to another two million customers within five years, with one million served by a broadband competitor, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said.

Charter, backed by billionaire John Malone's Liberty Media Corp, had pursued Time Warner Cable as far back as 2013.

The two companies had acrimonious exchanges in 2013 and early 2014 that ended with Time Warner Cable rejecting unsolicited approaches by Charter and instead finding a white knight in Comcast Corp, the No. 1 U.S. cable services provider, which ultimately abandoned the transaction.

Separately, the FCC on Tuesday approved European telecoms group Altice NV's acquisition of U.S. cable company Cablevision Systems Corp in a $17.7 billion deal that includes assumption of debt.

The Dutch firm still needs approval from the state of New York and New York City. If the deal is approved, Altice would become the fourth largest U.S. cable provider. Cablevision has 3.1 million subscribers, mostly in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Tulsa Radio: Steve Hunter New OM For Scripps Radio

Steve Hunter
Scripps Radio/Tulsa has announced Steve Hunter as new Operations Manager for its five station cluster.

Hunter most recently was Director of Operations for crosstown Cox Media Group.  His 22-year tenure ended in March. Hunter replease Jules Riley who departed late last year for concentrate on her voice-over business.

“Seve has been a radio programming icon in Tulsa for the past 22 years,” said Scripps/Tulsa VP/GM David Abel. “Steve's roots run very deep in the Tulsa community, and his track record of performance in the market has been spectacular. His leadership, experience, and talent development skills are a perfect match with our local-first strategy at Scripps Radio Tulsa.”

Commented Hunter, "I have watched with great interest how the local stations have flourished under Scripps ownership. They have talented people with a real focus on serving the local community. I welcome this new opportunity in the town I love.”

Scpripps stations include Country KVOO 98.5 FM , Classic Country KXBL 99.5 FM , Top40 KHTT 106.9 FM, Classic Hits KBEZ 92.9 FM , and News/Talk KFAQ 1070 AM.

Scripps Shares Pop On Earnings Report

Rich Boehne
Shares of E.W. Scripps popped 10 percent on Friday after the owner of 33 TV stations and 34 radio stations reported quarterly revenue and profit that beat the estimates of analysts.

Shares of E.W. Scripps rose $1.45 to $16.20 on Friday but remain 34 percent lower than they were 11 months ago.

According to The Hollywood Repoter, the company said it earned 6 cents a share, reversing a year-ago loss, on revenue of $210 million in the first quarter. Wall Street was expecting E.W. Scripps to break even on revenue of $207 million.

The company said retransmission revenue nearly doubled to $54 million as it reached a new agreement with Time Warner Cable in January that covers 3 million households.

Rich Boehne, the CEO, also said that political advertising generated $9.3 million in ad sales during the first quarter.

"We're preparing now for the presidential campaign to move forward with two candidates, framing the decision for voters and setting up a contest that will be largely waged on television," Boehne said.

The company's television segment, which includes 15 ABC affiliates, five NBC affiliates and two each of CBS and Fox, posted a 58 percent surge in revenue to $180 million.

Radio revenue fell slightly to $14.6 million and revenue from digital revenue — which includes satire site Cracked as well as Newsy, an online video news service — rose 25 percent to $12.3 million.

WA Radio: KAAP-FM Shifts From AC to HotAC


Cherry Creek Radio has flipped AC KAAP 99.5 FM The Apple from AC to HotAC as The New 99.5 The Bridge. The flip took place at 12n Pacific Time Friday with 'Sexy Back' by Justin Timberlake as the first song.

OM Chuck Geiger says: “This is a natural progression for our 99.5 frequency, to bring an at work focused product to the forefront, a fun and uptempo music mix that is perfect for North Central Washington work place listening.” SVP/Programming Mark Elliott, Top 40 cluster-mate KWWW (KW3) PD John Connor and Geiger assisted in the transition.

The syndicated Murphy, Sam and Jodi morning show will begin May 16 and the station is commercial-free from 9a-5p Monday-Friday through the month of May.

KAAP 99.5 FM (5.3 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
SVP/Programming Mark Elliott stated: “At night, we are working on obtaining programming that is compelling enough so women will turn off the TV and turn on the radio while they read or connect with family and friends on social media unwinding from a hectic day.”

May 7 Radio History


In 1941...Glenn Miller recorded "Chattanooga Choo Choo" for RCA which subsequently became a huge hit on Radio.



In 1945...America learned that the war in Europe was over...

There were two sources of news during the World War II era - newspapers and radio.  Radio was faster, just as the internet and social media are (generally) faster with the news today.

Ray Steele WIBC
On May 7, an Associated Press reporter May 7, broke an embargo and sent first word of the German surrender to his wire service, ostensibly to be passed on to newspapers (the news was supposed to be embargoed to allow the leaders of the three Allied nations - the U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union - to jointly announce the surrender on May 8.  But radio stations and networks also subscribed to the AP wire, and as soon as the news was reported, it was on the radio - hours before it could be printed in a paper.  Thus began a long period, though short by today's cable news endless coverage standards, of reporting about the end of the first half of the war.

Ray Steele on WIBC 93.5 FM Indinapolis spoke in 2015 with radio historian Steve Darnall. He hosts two wonderful weekly programs on the golden age of radio - Those Were The Days, which airs Saturday afternoons on WDCB 90.9 FM in the Chicago area, and Radio's Golden Age, which airs online at yesterdayusa.com and talkzone.com.  Steve is also editor and publisher of the quarterly Nostalgia Digest.





In 1946...Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) is founded with around 20 employees.


In 1955...Decca Records released, for the second time, “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets. It had first been issued 12 months earlier, but did not take off until it was used in the 1955 movie, Blackboard Jungle.


In 1969...the CBC/Radio Canada banned all tobacco advertising on the CBC/SRC radio and television networks.


In 1996...Don McNeill - ABC Radio Breakfast Club died at age 88.

The Breakfast Club was a long-run morning variety show on NBC Blue Network/ABC radio (and briefly on television) originating in Chicago, Illinois.

Hosted by Don McNeill, the radio program ran from June 23, 1933 through December 27, 1968. McNeil's 35½-year run as host remains the longest tenure for an M.C. of a network entertainment program, surpassing Johnny Carson (29½ years) on The Tonight Show and Bob Barker (34⅔ years) on The Price is Right.

In Chicago during the early 1930s, McNeill was assigned to take over an unsponsored early morning variety show, The Pepper Pot, with an 8 a.m. timeslot on the NBC Blue Network. McNeill re-organized the hour as The Breakfast Club, dividing it into four segments which McNeill labeled "the Four Calls to Breakfast."



McNeill's revamped show premiered in 1933, combining music with informal talk and jokes often based on topical events, initially scripted by McNeill but later ad-libbed. In addition to recurring comedy performers, various vocal groups and soloists, listeners heard sentimental verse, conversations with members of the studio audience and a silent moment of prayer. The series eventually gained a sponsor in the Chicago-based meat packer Swift and Company. McNeill is credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable radio format.

The program featured Fran Allison (later of Kukla, Fran and Ollie fame) as "Aunt Fanny", plus Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers and various comedy bits. Every quarter-hour came the "Call to Breakfast" -- a march around the breakfast table. A featured vocalist on the show, under her professional name of Annette King, was Charlotte Thompson Reid, who later became an Illinois congresswoman for five terms (1962–71).

The Breakfast Club initially was broadcast from the NBC studios in the Merchandise Mart. In 1948, after 4,500 broadcasts from the Merchandise Mart, the program moved to the new ABC Civic Studio. It was also heard from other Chicago venues: the Terrace Casino (at the Morrison Hotel), the College Inn Porterhouse (at the Sherman House) and "the Tiptop Room of the Allerton Hotel on Chicago's Magnificent Mile," as well as tour broadcasts from other locations in the U.S. It remained a fixture on the ABC radio network (formerly the NBC Blue Network; it became known as ABC in 1945), maintaining its popularity for years.

From 1993....



After ABC Radio was split into four networks in 1968, The Breakfast Club was moved to the new American Entertainment network, and was known for its last months on the air as The Don McNeill Show




In 1982...Dan Ingram does his last show at 77 WABC (Sound quality is fair, it was recorded 100 miles from NYC.). WABC would change to Talk Radio three days later.








In 2002...WYNY 107.1 FM dropped country format in NYC.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Cumulus Names Christina Albee Chief Marketing Officer

Chrstina Albee
Christina Albee has been named Chief Marketing Officer, Cumulus Media, effective May 9, it was announced today by Mary G. Berner, President and CEO, Cumulus Media.

Based in New York, Albee will report to Suzanne Grimes, President, Westwood One Division and Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Cumulus Media.

A veteran media marketer, with over 25 years of experience working in and across multiple media platforms, including audio, mobile, digital and print, Albee comes to Cumulus Media from Flipboard, where she had been Head of Sales Marketing, having previously held top sales marketing positions at Condé Nast, Time Inc. and Westwood One.

In making the announcement, Berner said, “Christina brings tremendous experience and energy to this critical role. We are delighted that she will apply her considerable skills and talent to the development of new marketing strategies that will facilitate new revenue opportunities throughout our organization.”

Grimes added, ”Christina is a bull’s-eye hire for Cumulus. She’s a creative who understands how to drive business and build powerful partnerships. She’ll be a critical asset as we continue to expand on Cumulus’ strengths.”

Albee said, “I am thrilled to be returning to Cumulus in this new role, particularly with the great team that Mary has put in place and the empowering culture she has established. We’ve got positive momentum and countless ways we can expand our sales marketing effort by leveraging untapped assets. I can’t wait to get started.”

In order to create the most nimble and cohesive marketing force, the marketing team will now be unified under Albee’s leadership. Reporting to her are: Pierre Bouvard, who takes on the newly created role of Chief Insights Officer, continuing to lead the research and insights efforts; Lori Lewis, Vice President of Social Media, and Tommy Page, Senior Vice President of Brand Partnerships, including platform events and brand partnerships, NASH brand marketing initiatives, and NASH Next.

Charter Wins FCC OK to Buy Time Warner Cable

The Federal Communications Commission approved Charter Communications Inc.’s $55 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc., with conditions.

In a brief statement, the agency said it would issue an order with more details in the coming days.

Federal regulators were expected to approve the deal after the FCC and Justice Department announced several conditions late last month that would force the merged company to live up to stringent obligations that don’t apply to its bigger rivals.

According to WSJ.com, Charter agreed to abandon for seven years several common industry practices that the government feared could threaten the growth of rival online video providers such as Netflix Inc. and Hulu.

Warner Music: Most Revenue Comes From Streaming

Warner Music Group Corp. on Friday reported its profit fell 39% in the second quarter of the year, though revenue surged as streaming became the top contributor to the top line.

“We are now the first major music company to report that streaming is the largest source of revenue in our recorded music business, surpassing our revenue from physical formats,” Chief Executive Stephen Cooper said. “And this new milestone comes only four quarters after our streaming revenue first topped our download revenue.”

Warner, the third-largest music company behind Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group and Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment, reported streaming revenue surpassed download revenue for the first time during the March quarter last year. For the latest quarter, digital revenue climbed 20%, or 23% on a constant-currency basis, reflecting the shift to streaming revenue.

On a call with investors Friday, Mr. Cooper said Warner Music’s streaming revenue on recorded music rose 59% in the quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Redstone Utters Expletives About Ex-GalPal


UPDATE 5/6/16 2PM:  Sumner Redstone uttered a string of expletives to describe his ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer for a deposition, parts of which were presented in opening statements to a packed Los Angeles courtroom at the start of a high-stakes trial on Friday to settle questions about the media mogul's mental competence.

Redstone, 92, described Herzer as a "f**king bitch" in the deposition, parts of which were shown on a screen in court.

Herzer is suing Redstone over her removal in October as the billionaire's designated health care agent, arguing that Redstone was not mentally competent at the time he made the decision.

If Herzer succeeds, the outcome could set off a chain of events taking majority control of Viacom Inc  and CBS Corp out of Redstone's hands, which could alter the course of the two media giants.

"There was a circle of deceit, a palace coup stretching over a year and featuring a ring of spies," Herzer's lawyer Pierce O'Donnell said in his opening statement. He said nurses and family members conspired to get rid of Herzer, regarding her as a barrier to Redstone.

Redstone's attorney Robert Klieger countered that Herzer was abusing Redstone and lying to him. "Mr Redstone does not tolerate lies, he needs to trust the people around him," Klieger said in opening statements.

Earlier Posting...

SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sumner Redstone's much-discussed mental state will be dissected in public during a trial set to start on Friday, as an ex-girlfriend tries to convince a Los Angeles judge that the 92-year-old media mogul is incompetent in the culmination of a salacious, months-long legal drama.

If the former girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, succeeds, the outcome could set off a chain of events taking majority control of Viacom Inc and CBS Corp out of Redstone's hands, which could alter the course of the two media giants.

The law requires the court to presume Redstone is competent, putting the burden on Herzer, 51, to prove the multi-billionaire lacked mental capacity in October when he removed her as his health care agent. The trial is scheduled to run through May 16.

In court papers, Herzer portrays Redstone as a "living ghost" who communicates in grunts and is obsessed with having sex and with eating steak, even though he is on a feeding tube and no longer able to chew or swallow.

Redstone's attorneys say he has a severe speech impairment but knew exactly what he was doing in October.

In a surprise order on Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan - who will preside over the trial - allowed Herzer's team to interview Redstone at home for 15 minutes.

Apple Music Launches Half-Price Deal For Students

Since it launched in June last year, Apple Music has offered two pricing plans: a $9.99-per-month standard subscription, and a $14.99-per-month family plan for up to six people.

The latter enjoys a clear pricing advantage over Spotify, whose equivalent family promotion enables subscribers to gift loved ones premium accounts at a 50% discount.

(A standard family plan for six people on Spotify in the US, for example, would cost $34.99 per month. The same deal on Apple Music would cost less than half that amount.)

Now, Apple Music has added a third pricing option for subscribers (or ‘members’, as the Cupertino company insists on calling them).

And once again, it’s an offer that mounts a stiff challenge to Spotify’s menu of prices.

MusicBusinessWorldwide is reporting Apple Music’s Student Membership is launching in seven countries today, offering individual subscribers a 50% price discount.

It has just kicked off in Australia and New Zealand, and will arrive in the US, UK, Germany, Ireland and Denmark in the coming hours.

The nuts and bolts of the promotion is being handled by UNiDAYS, a student verification tech provider.

Those enrolled in an eligible university can either sign up to Apple Music for half-price (and get an additional three-month free trial as standard), or switch their current Apple Music sub to save $5 a month.

Scripps Reports 1Q Radio Revenue Drop

The E.W. Scripps Company today reported operating results for the first quarter of 2016. Unless otherwise indicated, all comparisons are to the Scripps historical results for the first quarter of 2015.

For the quarter, net income from continuing operations was $4.9 million or 6 cents per share.

First-Quarter Highlights
  • Revenues from continuing operations were $209 million, up $86 million from last year.
  • Retransmission revenue almost doubled in the quarter to $53.6 million. We completed a new agreement in January 2016 with Time Warner Cable covering approximately 3 million households.
  • Election-year political advertising ramped up in the first quarter. Candidate and political action committee spending was heavy in the key Scripps states of Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin and generated $9.3 million of TV political advertising in the first quarter.
  • Newsy continued to add distribution and syndication partners, and its content is now available on over-the-top television services including Apple TV, Dish’s Sling TV, Watchable from Comcast, Pluto TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast; on connected television through Xumo; on all major smart phone platforms; and at newsy.com.
  • In April, we acquired the multi-platform humor and satire brand Cracked, which informs and entertains millennial audiences with a high-traffic website, original digital video and a popular podcast.
Commenting on the results, Scripps Chairman, President and CEO Rich Boehne said:

Rich Boehne
“Scripps had a strong quarter, reaching or surpassing our financial targets, and since then we also have further expanded our portfolio of fast-growing businesses.

“Last month, we acquired Cracked, a decades-old company that has transformed itself into a popular multi-platform humor and satire brand. For Scripps, Cracked is the next step in a strategy to build out a portfolio of national brands that take advantage of the quickly developing over-the-top TV and audio marketplaces.

“Cracked’s video content will be a strong adjacency to Newsy, and we also expect to leverage what we are building through our industry-leading podcast business, Midroll, to expand Cracked’s audio storytelling as well.

“While we are enthusiastic broadcasters and continue to look for good opportunities to add to our TV station group, we also recognize that over-the-top digital delivery of both video and audio is creating marketplaces where we can build value for our owners.

“In our television division, the presidential election year – the peak of our four-year cycles – got off to a good start. We saw strong political advertising revenue across our geographic footprint, including earlier-than-expected spending for U.S. Senate races in Ohio, Nevada, Colorado and Wisconsin. These races are expected to be tight and are important contributors to our first-half political revenue.

“We’re preparing now for the presidential campaign to move forward with two candidates, framing the decision for voters and setting up a contest that will be largely waged on television. We continue to be optimistic that the two candidates will require significant television advertising in order to educate and inform voters of their choices. No medium serves this role better than broadcast television.”

First-Quarter Operating Results - Continuing Operations
  • Revenues increased $86 million, or 70 percent, to $209 million, compared to the first quarter of 2015. The increase was primarily a result of the acquisition of television and radio stations from the former Journal Communications as well as increases in retransmission revenue. Revenue from acquired operations accounted for approximately $68 million of operating revenues in the quarter.
  • Retransmission revenue almost doubled to $53.6 million. About $9 million of the $25.7 million increase was due to the Journal acquisition. Our 2016 revenue also reflects the new Time Warner agreement.
  • Costs and expenses for segments, shared services and corporate were $182 million, up from $119 million, primarily driven by expenses from the acquired stations and higher programming fees.
Television
In the first quarter of 2016, revenue from our television group was $180 million, up $21 million. Retransmission revenue increased $14.8 million, and political advertising revenue increased $8.5 million in the presidential election year.

Advertising revenue broken down by category was:
  • Local, down 2.2 percent to $80.3 million (on a same-station basis, excluding the 2015 results of our divested Boise station, KNIN)
  • National, down 1.6 percent to $33.4 million (on a same-station basis)
  • Political, $9.3 million in 2016 compared to $0.8 million in 2015
  • Retransmission revenue was up 38 percent to $53.6 million.


Radio
Revenue was $14.6 million, down from $15.3 million in the 2015 quarter. Expenses were $12.5 million compared to $13.3 million in 2015.
Segment profit in the radio division was $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2016, about flat with the 2015 quarter.

Cumulus CEO: Turnaround To Take Years

Cumulus Media Inc. Thursday announced operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2016.
  • Net revenue of $268.5 million, down 0.9% vs. the quarter ended March 31, 2015
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $41.9 million, down 6.1% 
“We are in the early stages of a multi-year turnaround,” said Mary Berner Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus Media Inc..  “Our first quarter results and second quarter pacings are consistent with the considerable challenges we must overcome.

However, we are seeing some signs of progress in each of our turnaround initiatives - enhancing operational blocking and tackling, instituting a strong and positive culture, and driving improved ratings.”
















During Thursday's earnings call, Berner told financial anaylysts, "Our continued underperformance highlights the challenges that we are addressing, challenges that are significant, but fixable with time. In the same way that our company's issues did not develop overnight, they won't be fixed overnight either. We are starting to make identifiable and significant progress on our turnaround strategies."

One area of the turnaround efforts is fixing the culutral clmite at Cumulus.  Berner stated, "it's hard to over state the impact our new cultural values framework has had. The word FORCE which stands for Focused, Responsibility, Collaboration and Empowerment has become a railing cry across the company. I'm not surprised that the organization has embraced FORCE, but the speed and depth of the buy-in has been both surprising and heartening. I know from experience that this kind of momentum does not develop without an employee base that is eager to embrace change.

"Of course, it should also go without saying, the cultural change is not a one-shot deal. If these new cultural drivers are really to move the bottom line, they have to be institutionalized and continuously reinforced through consistent communication and tactical efforts."

Berner added year-to-date our numbers are encouraging. On an annualized basis through April, total turnover at Cumulus was reduced to 29% from 34% in full-year 2015 and 36% during the same period in 2015. Our full-time turnover was down to 23% from 30% in full-year 2015 and 32% during the same period in 2015.

Updating some early rating successes in KLOS in LA, WSM in Nashville, and WRQX in Washington DC citied during the last conference call. Berner reported similar successes.

She cited:
  • WFTK 96.5 FM in Cincinnati moved up from tenth to fourth in its target demo since October due solely to the station's ability to act locally instead of its hearing to a nationally mandated playlist. According to our rock format specialist "the market sometimes calls for blue collar rock versus alternative rock." Simply being more in touch with the local market music environment and allowing the station to make those changes on its own has reaped meaningful benefits quickly.
  • In Houston, "we stand alone with one large FM station in KRBE. We've got a great product but we lack the ability to package with other assets in the market. So we're vulnerable against our competitors who have large clusters. It's incredibly important that we always have a rating story to tell. So Kirby was a natural choice for high impact investment funds. As a result of our funding of KRBE's well crafted new programming initiative, including changes to music strategy, to clean up our clocks and reduce clutter, listener's share was up nearly 30% year-over-year in Q1 and the station is pacing up 36% in Q2 on the strength of improved ratings."
  • In Grand Rapids on WLAV-FM, the local strategy was completely revisited by a program director who felt he had his hands tied before. Changes across the board were made to music, imaging and staff set placement resulting in a tri-sector of growth in AQH, time spent listening in CUME. This is a rare achievement which indicates the stations changes the resonating meaningfully in the marketplace.

She added, "To be clear, our early efforts and most of our high impact investments to-date have been in the PPM markets, which make up about half of the revenue generated at the station group."

As for non-PPM markets, Bern says recovering would be slower. "We naturally expect it will take longer for our diary markets strategies to take hold as we will need to make positive changes over a significantly longer period of time to get the ratings benefits. As we sit today, our four-book markets and our two-book markets, which collectively represent 46% of radio station group revenue, are still indexing with mid- to high-single digit declines year-over-year."



Other call highlights:

Local spot remains choppy, but at this stage of the turnaround, Berner would not have expected to see any meaningful financial impact.

As for Westwood One: It is facing difficulties in the second quarter currently pacing down high-single digits, "with virtually all upfront account in at this stage we saw a pretty meaningful weakening demand in the scatter market with limited dollars in the pipeline in relation to what we saw during the same period a year prior."  Berner noted, the sales team at Westwood One is relatively new on the job, "but more than that the strategy was essentially to build a team that almost exclusively services the transactional direct-to-agency business. And the vast majority of the revenue that we generate today comes from this transactional process."

Additionally, Bern told analysts that Cumulus continues to look at non-strategic areas of the business that burn cash flow. She cited, "we discontinued the print version of NASH Country Weekly in favor of a digital version, which we're calling NASH Country Daily. And the economic profile for us here is very, very favorable."

Report: Cumulus CEO Aims to Revive Radio Broadcaster

Mary Berner
When Cumulus Media Inc.’s new chief executive, Mary Berner, made a March visit to classic-rock station KLOS in Los Angeles a number of employees thanked her for bringing them “the Force,” while she answered many questions with an equally cryptic response: “HABU.”

HABU, an acronym for the “highest and best use” of resources, and the Force, short for “focused, responsible, collaborative and empowered,” are two of the code words that have become part of the lexicon since Berner took the helm at the country’s second-biggest radio broadcaster in October.

But, reports The Wall Street Journal,  the upbeat mood and silly-sounding lingo at such stations are at stark odds with the bigger financial picture at Cumulus, which is battling declining revenue and struggling with $2.5 billion in debt that starts coming due in three years. Most of the debt was taken on to finance its acquisition of larger rival Citadel Broadcasting Corp. in 2011.

Berner and other executives say it may take several more quarters before Cumulus’s 454 stations could start generating the advertising revenue that the company needs for growth. She said she is exploring all of her options, but is focusing for now on creating shareholder value.

To do it, she said she needed to first change the corporate culture. In the 18 months before she took over, nearly half of the company’s employees had left the company—mostly of their own volition—costing Cumulus millions of dollars each year, she said.

She required that staff return each other’s emails within 48 hours, started making 30 calls a week to congratulate employees on their work anniversaries and relaxed the dress code. Berner sold the corporate jet, consolidated duplicate Internet-technology departments and created a department to provide stations with market data and analytics on which to base local programming decisions.

Before Berner arrived, programming commands came from Cumulus’s corporate headquarters, and programming was regarded as “more of an art,” based on anecdotal evidence, said Cumulus’s senior vice president of content and programming, Michael McVay. Ratings are up in 17 of 19 big markets.

Read More Now (Paywall)

The Conclave To Explore Streaming Insights

Erin Crawford
The Conclave, which celebrates 41 years of educating radio broadcasters this year, is honored to announce the addition of Erin Crawford, General Manager, Nielsen Music, and Stephanie Friedman, Vice President, Radio, Nielsen Music, to the agenda for its summer learning conference, Conclave 41. Crawford and Friedman will present, “Streaming Insights for Success.”

The special session is open to all Conclave 41 registrants. Conclave 41 will be held July 14-15, 2016, at the Crowne Plaza in Minneapolis.

Stephanie Friedman
Crawford and Friedman will speak to the surge in on-demand streaming-- with over 300 billion songs streamed in 2015-- and will discuss the opportunities and insights that presents for radio broadcasters. By analyzing streaming activity, attendees will learn how music fans are discovering and consuming music and how that is changing over time. Crawford and Friedman will also present case studies demonstrating the power of on-demand streaming as a measure of song appeal.

Conclave Chair, Lori Lewis, said: “This is a fascinating, must-learn-from presentation for radio stations of all market sizes and formats. Streaming complements Radio’s “Mothership” (the FM/AM stick), and Erin and Stephanie will break down the data for us and show how it can help inform programming decisions that build listenership and engagement.”

For more information and to register for Conclave 41, visit: www.TheConclave.com.

News Corp Revenue Falls 7.3 Percent, Posts Loss

(Reuters)  --  News Corp, owner of the Wall Street Journal and book publisher HarperCollins, reported its fifth drop in quarterly revenue in a row as print ad sales declined and a strong dollar hit income from outside the United States.

The 7.3 percent fall in revenue was worse than analysts had expected, but the company's shares were flat after-hours.

News Corp reported a net loss available to shareholders of $149 million, or 26 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with a profit of $23 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company was hurt by a one-time charge of $280 million at its News America Marketing business. News Corp said in February it had agreed to pay that amount to resolve claims that it monopolized the market for in-store promotions at more than 50,000 retail stores across the United States.

Excluding items, the company earned 4 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 3 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue fell to $1.89 billion from $2.04 billion, missing the average estimate of $1.93 billion.

News Corp, which gets more than half of its revenue from outside the United States, said "currency fluctuations" reduced revenue by about $72 million in the quarter.

Revenue in the company's news and information division fell 9 percent to $1.23 billion.

Apart from the Journal, the division includes the New York Post and Dow Jones Newswires as well as the Times and the Sun in the UK and newspapers in Murdoch's native Australia.

It also contains the News America Marketing business, a provider of advertising services through publications and in-store promotions.

Revenue in the company's book publishing business, which includes HarperCollins Publishers, fell 11 percent to $358 million.

However, revenue in News Corp's fast-growing online real estate services business, which includes website realtor.com, rose 14 percent to $194 million.

Coldplay's Chris Martin Visits Zach And The Gang

Chris Martin
Coldplay’s Chris Martin stopped by Westwood One’s Zach Sang Show Wednesday for a candid chat about his Mother’s Day cooking ambitions, future albums, BeyoncĂ©, parenting, and more.

ON WHERE THE NAME ‘COLDPLAY’ CAME FROM (7:06-7:22)
"I have a friend who's about to get married called Tim who would burn through band names for his own band, and we were one of his rejected names."

ON WHETHER HIS KIDS THINK HE’S COOL (17:23-17:45)
“Depends on the situation. That's very interesting. In our concerts, I think they think I'm ok. If I'm on the side of one of their games and I'm jumping up and down too much then they might be like 'dad...'"

ON WHETHER COLDPLAY IS MAKING ANOTHER ALBUM (17:48 -18:22)
"Right now, no. But we plan on just trying to make shows that if you like Coldplay, you have a great time."

ON HIS MOTHER’S DAY PLANS (20:48-21:31)
"I think I might try and make French toast…For me, that's like someone else saying 'I'm gonna climb Mt. Everest'....There's a few mothers coming over I think, and I'm gonna try and bust out some cooking which is really, really unusual."

AS A FRIEND OF BEYONCE AND JAY-Z, DOES HE KNOW THE TRUTH BEHIND “BECKY WITH THE GOOD HAIR?” (28:06 -29:04)
"Jay and I have been seeing each other on and off for about 24 years. But it's purely platonic and we just go bowling together but people get the wrong idea. Cause we're talking about walking around with big balls...I had to get that off my chest."

May 6 Radio History




In 1911...comedic actor Frank Nelson was born in Colorado Springs.

Moving to Hollywood in 1929 he soon became a leading man on numerous radio shows. Nelson began his entertainment career in radio and later moved into television and movies. In 1926, at age 15, Nelson played the role of a 30-year-old man in a radio series broadcast from the then-5,000-watt KOA (AM) radio station serving the Denver, Colorado market. In 1929, Nelson moved to Hollywood, California and worked in local radio dramatic shows, usually playing the leading man.The first sponsored radio show he appeared in to reach a national market was Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, a situation comedy radio show airing from November 28, 1932, and ending May 22, 1933, starring two of the Marx Brothers, Groucho and Chico, and written primarily by Nat Perrin and Arthur Sheekman.

Nelson found fame as the put-upon foil to Jack Benny on Benny's radio show during the 1940s and 1950s. He found fame playing an unctious clerk or customer service worker on Jack Benny’s NBC radio show, and later on the Benny and I Love Lucy TV shows on CBS.  He took the same over-the-top character to numerous other TV shows and commercials, as well as in voicing for cartoons.  He lost a years-long battle with cancer Sept 12 1986 at age 75.


In 1937...WLS-AM reporter Herb Morrison describes fiery disaster of zeppelin Hindenburg ("Oh, the humanity!") at Lakehurst, NJ.  Here's a corrected synch of Herb Morrison's recording of the event matched with footage from the Pathe newsreel and the Universal newsreel. Where film isn't available, pictures are substituted.




Some of radio's greatest moments are when the actual event occurs live on the air or while a reporter is recording and the unexpected happens. One such event happened to reporter Herb Morrison on May 6th, 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The mighty German passenger Zeppelin, Hindenburg, was attempting a mooring. The Hindenburg was one of Nazi Germany's finest airships. It was supposed to reflect the greatness of the German Reich and its leader, Adolf Hitler.

Herb Morrison
The airship had made this voyage before and friends and family were at Lakehurst waiting for the arrival of the great zeppelin. Reporter Herbert Morrison was there too thanks to his radio station, WLS, Chicago. The day was rainy and there had been strong thunderstorms earlier. Morrison was recording the event for later rebroadcast. The early part of his recording reflects information about the airship and the day and what is necessary to bring it into mooring under such conditions.

Engineer Charles Nehlsen was manning the Presto Direct Disc recorder. The recorder includes a large turntable with a 16-inch platter, a heavy-duty lathe, which would actually cut into the lacquer disc, and an amplifier. It was important that these recorders be perfectly level and that vibration be avoided. Ultimately, the complete broadcast would be recorded on four 16" Green label lacquer discs.

As the zeppelin arrives, listenMorrison is describing the mooring when suddenly it bursts into flames. Morrison is shocked, but keeps talking though breaking occasionally overcome by the tragedy unfolding in front of him. Later the broadcast continues after the tragedy as the victims are being brought in and survivors are interviewed.


An interesting side note is at the moment of explosion, when Morrison is heard yelling "It burst into flames!" the vibrations from the explosion caused the recorder to bounce on the disc creating deep grooves until Engineer Nehlson is able to momentarily lift the lathe from the disc and place it back down. The discs, which are contained at the National Archives reflect the grooves and the force of the explosion.

It was radio news at its finest; news events reported as they happened. The description is brought home to radio's listeners and we in turn grieve for the dead and injured. This event reflected the potential and power of radio broadcasting immediately before and, later, during World War II as the Murrow Boys and others would bring the war home to America via the airwaves.

While the event was not aired live, it did air later. In those days radio reporting of events was always broadcast live only since the networks had policies forbidding the use of recorded material except for sound effects. But Herbert Morrison, the reporter, was not there to report disaster and had no facility for broadcasting live. Instead, he was there at the behest of his radio station, WLS, Chicago, to record a report on the grand airship.

Later that day, Morrison and his sound engineer, Charlie Nehlsen left New Jersey with the transcription discs and headed back to Chicago. The morning after the disaster is when parts of the recording first aired over WLS. Logs of when it first appeared over NBC are not known to exist. It is known that at least five minutes of the recording did broadcast on May 7th at 11:38 AM in the New York area and over the Red Network. It was later in the day that the longer sections were played to a national audience. This was one of the few times that the networks allowed a recording of an event to be broadcast. (Radio Days)


In 1944...Fishers Blend radio stations KJR & KOMO in Seattle swapped frequencies.  KOMO was moved to 1000 kc where its power could be increased, while KJR, now at 950, was sold within two years.  With the new frequency, KOMO was broadcasting at 50,000 watts, sending its signal over several states.



In 1945...in the final hours of WWII, the German radio announcer known as “Axis Sally” made her final propaganda broadcast to Allied troops.


In 1975...a ham radio group known as REACT acted early and their warnings kept casualties down to 3 deaths in a tornado that struck Omaha, Nebraska.


In 1996...the Howard Stern Radio Show debtued on WCCC-FM, Hartford, Connecticut.


In 2015…Veteran radio newsman/talk show host Ty Wansley died of congestive heart failure at 63.

Wansley began in broadcasting as a newscaster in the 1970's at two of St. Louis' powerhouse radio stations, KWK and KATZ. Following several prominent years in his native St. Louis, Wansley was wooed by Sheridan Broadcasting to become the National News Director of the Sheridan Network.

Following his successful stint at the helm of the Sheridan Network, Wansley returned to St. Louis to become National News Director of Amaturo Broadcasting; overseeing the news departments of radio stations in St. Louis,Miami, Houston, and Detroit. In 1979, Wansley moved up the broadcasting ladder as he traveled to Chicago, where he headed the news department of WBMX and WJPC radio.

In 1982, Wansley transcended the world of reporting and became a popular talk show host at WVON radio with his program,Tell Ty. The popularity of Tell Ty prompted WLS Radio to recruit TY to join the ABC talk show line-up , which evolved into the very unique talk-show tag-team of Ty and colorful politician and prominent attorney Edward R. Vrdolyak. Wansley and Vrdolyak enjoyed immense success on Chicago's ariwaves, which included a popular collaboration on WJJD-A.M.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

iHM Says It's Addressing "A Significant Amount of Debt"

Amid strong operational results for 1Q 2016, iHeartMedia is saddled with what senior VP & treasurer Brian Coleman termed “a significant amount of debt”—$20.8 billion as of the end of March.

During the company’s earnings results call with analysts yesterday, Coleman and COO & CFO Rich Bressler talked about steps to address capital structure needs, according to InsideRadio.

Since Q3 2015, iHeart has focused on generating cash liquidity, something it will continue to do to give it the resources to be “proactive” and “opportunistic” in the capital markets, Coleman said. That could involve more sales of “non-strategic assets at high multiples,” Bressler added, such as the Q1 sale of nine outdoor markets for nearly $600 million.

The largest use of cash for the company during the quarter was related to interest payments, which totaled $549 million—a disproportionately high total due to the timing of its semiannual interest payments. Bressler and Coleman said the first and third quarters are when the company has to make higher interest payments.

“We feel like we’ve been able to manage the company’s capital structure and its liquidity position in a way that hasn’t inhibited the operation of the business and I think you can see that our investment in the business continues at levels that are consistent with historical levels,” Coleman said.

Coleman also spoke of “a window of opportunity” the company has to address its debt, which could take the form of a “holistic approach” or a sequential one. The company has $197 million in loans maturing in 2016, $238 million in 2017 and $939 million in 2018.

Bressler told analysts revenue was up in iHeartMedia’s top five markets (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and San Diego). He also said the company was doing a better job selling traffic and weather reports.

Emmis Reports L-A Puts Drag On Earnings

Emmis Communications Corporation today announced results for its fourth fiscal quarter and full-year ending February 29, 2016.

Emmis' radio net revenues for the fourth fiscal quarter were $36.4 million, down from $38.8 million from the prior year, a decrease of 6%. Per Miller Kaplan reporting, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, and excluding LMA fee revenue in New York, Emmis' fourth quarter radio revenues were down 7.3% compared to local radio market revenues up 0.7%.  For the full year, radio revenues were $169.2 million, compared to $176.3 million in the prior year, a decrease of 4%.   Per Miller Kaplan reporting, and excluding LMA fee revenue in New York, Emmis' fiscal 2016 radio revenues were down 4.6% compared to local radio market revenues down 1.5%.  Our Indianapolis and St. Louis clusters grew market share in the three-month and full-year periods.

Publishing revenues were down 2% in the fourth quarter and down slightly year over year.

Jeff Smulyan
Emmis announced a series of cost reductions in January, which were implemented during the company's fourth quarter, to better align resources with growth initiatives.

"Emmis' fourth quarter was weak, mostly due to expected underperformance in Los Angeles," Jeff Smulyan, President & CEO of Emmis said. "The good news is our first quarter is much improved and currently pacing flat to the prior year.  New York's performance has been stellar, ratings in LA have begun to grow again, and ratings across our other radio markets are very strong."

"NextRadio is coming off a fantastic National Association of Broadcaster convention, and momentum is building," Smulyan continued. "At NAB, it was announced that PRSS, the distribution network for public radio, is being integrated into NextRadio.  Carrier and handset conversations are robust, and advertiser interest is high.  In addition, we will launch in our first international market, Peru, in the coming weeks. I couldn't be more pleased with the efforts of Paul Brenner and his team in bringing NextRadio to our industry and to listeners everywhere."

Radio One Reports Revenue Has 'Stabilized'

Radio One, Inc. today reported its results for the quarter ended March 31, 2016. Net revenue was approximately $109.1 million, an increase of 3.1% from the same period in 2015.

Station operating income1 was approximately $39.6 million, an increase of 10.1% from the same period in 2015. The Company reported operating income of approximately $18.8 million compared to operating income of approximately $15.6 million for the same period in 2015.

Alfred C. Liggins
Net loss was approximately $3.9 million or $0.08 per share compared to net loss of $18.5 million or $0.39 per share, for the same period in 2015.

Alfred C. Liggins, III, Radio One's CEO and President stated, "We saw a sequential monthly improvement in our radio revenues as the first quarter progressed, and that positive momentum is continuing into Q2 where we are pacing up low single digits.

"Political revenues were strong, which augurs well for the fourth quarter when we historically receive the bulk of political radio advertising. TV One had a strong first quarter, with growth in both advertising (+3.5%) and affiliate revenues (+12.3%). All four of our reportable segments posted year over year double digit Adjusted EBITDA growth. Overall I was pleased with our 13% growth in consolidated Adjusted EBITDA, the stabilization of our radio revenues, and growth of radio cashflow."

Saga Communications Says Revenue Increased 12.7 Percent

Saga Communications, Inc. today reported free cash flow increased 35.4% to $4.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016.
  • Net revenue increased 12.7% to $32.8 million. 
  • Operating Income increased 40.1% to $5.3 million. 
  • Station operating expense increased 8.4% to $24.7 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) 
  • Same Station net revenue increased 7.0% to $31.0 million
  • Same Station operating expense increased 3.0% to $23.2 million.  
  • Net income for the period was $3.0 million ($0.52 per fully diluted share compared to $0.36 for the same period last year). 
Capital expenditures were $1 million in the 1st quarter which was approximately comparable to the same period last year.  The Company currently expects to spend approximately $5.0 million to $5.5 million for capital expenditures during 2016.

During the 1st Quarter the Company closed on its purchase of WLVQ-FM in Columbus, OH for $13 million. The Company began operating WLVQ – FM pursuant to a Local Marketing Agreement as of November 16, 2015.