Saturday, November 9, 2019

Entercom Acknowledges Ransomware Attack

For the first time, Entercom acknowledged that it was hit with a “cyberattack” in September.

On Friday's investor's call, Entercom CFO Rich Schmaeling said the company lost about $400,000 in revenue and had to make an additional $2 million investment in cybersecurity measures.

The Philadelphia Business Journal citing several sources familiar with the situation have said the company’s entire computer network suffered severe damage in what was a ransomware attack, leaving employees without phone and email for days. At the time, Entercom would only say it was “experiencing a disruption of some IT systems.”

CEO David Field also spoke a great deal Friday about the company’s digital expansion. It has became a major player in the podcast world with the acquisition of two companies in the quarter — producer Pineapple Street Media and studio and distribution company Cadence13. Field said the total acquisition cost was $48 million, well below what some media reports had indicated initially.

The additions make Entercom the No. 3 U.S. podcast publisher behind NPR and iHeart Media. And Field expects growth there since sports is one of the most popular podcast subjects and Entercom has the most sports talk stations of any radio company.

Schmaeling said digital now constitutes 12% of Entercom’s revenue pie. As a basis of comparison, rival Beasley Broadcast Group said during its third quarter earnings call Thursday that digital accounted for about 7%.

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