Friday, July 28, 2017

Entercom Reports 2Q Revenue Increased 3%

Entercom Communications today reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

Second Quarter Highlights
  • Net revenues increased 3% to $125.0 million, compared to $121.6 million in the second quarter of 2016
  • Operating income was $16.4 million, compared to $27.6 million in the second quarter of 2016
  • Net income per diluted share was $0.15, compared to net income per diluted share of $0.26 in the second quarter of 2016
  • Same station net revenues increased by 1% excluding political
  • Adjusted EBITDA decreased 13% to $26.7 million
David Field
David J. Field, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated:

“We continue to make great progress in our planning for our transformational merger with CBS Radio that will make us the #1 provider of original, local audio content in the U.S. and create the scale to compete with other media for a larger share of ad spending. As we meet with clients, agencies, and strategic partners, we are more confident than ever about the value-creating opportunities ahead. Second quarter revenues increased 3% as reported, and up 1% on a same-station basis ex-political. Expenses were up more than usual due to our acquisition in Charlotte, some significant one time only expenses and additional costs related to building the organization in anticipation of the merger. We expect expense growth to recede in the 3rd quarter and look for meaningful margin expansion post-closing.”

Today, the Company announced that, as permitted under its merger agreement with CBS Radio, it would pay a special one-time dividend of $0.20 per share on August 30th to shareholders of record on August 15th. This dividend will be in addition to the Company’s regular quarterly dividend of $0.075 per share, which will be paid on September 15th to shareholders of record on August 15th.

Second quarter results include $5.8 million in merger and acquisition costs related to the Company’s pending acquisition of CBS Radio, which were primarily for legal and consulting services.

St. Louis Radio: Frank O. Pinion To EXIT KTRS

Frank O. Pinion
After more than 20 years on the air, radio personality Frank O. Pinion announced his departure from KTRS 550 AM.

Pinion (real name John Craddock) made the announcement during Thursday’s edition of his ‘Large Morning Show in the Afternoon’ program. The final episode will air September 14, he said.

Pinion stressed that he "wasn't fired, I resigned."

Craddock said he could not talk about the specific reasons for his departure, but did say it was not amicable, reports

"It's not the way I wanted it to be, and it certainly ended before I wanted it to," he said.

While at KTRS, Craddock has reportedly become one of the highest-compensated media people in local history, thanks to an arrangement that allows Craddock to run his show as an independent business. Instead of a salary, Craddock gets a certain amount of commercial minutes that he personally sells to advertisers.

Craddock has been a voice in STL radio for more than 35 years.

He left a radio job in South Carolina in the mid-1970s and came to St. Louis to work at an advertising agency and leaving radio.

In 1982, he was drawn back into the business when the Gannett-owned KSD and KUSA hired him as a morning host. It was there he created the character Ed E. Torial, who parodied the solemn commentaries by KMOX kingpin Robert Hyland.

Then in 1984, working at KUSA as a country-music jock, Craddock created his signature character. In 1987, he jumped to STL's other main country station at the time, WKKX-FM ("Kix Country"). He eventually returned to KSD and stayed until 1995.

Boston Radio: WEEI's Kirk Minihane Suddenly Takes 'Personal Time'

Kirk Minihane
Button-pushing WEEI 93.7 FM co-host Kirk Minihane has disappeared from the airwaves after insulting the owners of his station’s multimillion-dollar partner, the Red Sox, on his morning-drive show Monday.

But yesterday, Minihane’s bosses insisted that the sports yakker hasn’t been sanctioned and is instead taking some “personal time.”

Minihane, who declined to comment to the Boston Herald, has a previously scheduled vacation next week that will keep him off the air until Aug. 7.

On Monday’s show, Minihane went ballistic on the Red Sox organization, blasting everyone from owner John Henry to his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry, to co-owner Tom Werner.

Minihane’s scathing tirade came after a story appeared on about the team’s — and WEEI’s — history of racial controversy. The piece mentioned Adam Jones, a Baltimore Orioles outfielder who said he was the target of racial slurs during a game at Fenway Park in May.

What appeared to set Minihane off was the statement from Red Sox corporate spokeswoman Zineb Curran, which read, “None of the opinions or sentiments expressed on WEEI or any of the 57 radio affiliates throughout New England are those of the Boston Red Sox. We understand the frustration of those who feel the opinions expressed are offensive and out of line. At times, we feel the same way.”

That did not sit well with Minihane.

“There is an institutional arrogance from the Red Sox. It starts at the top and it bleeds all the way down to the bottom,” Minihane said on the Red Sox’ flagship airwaves. “All we did was say we don’t believe that Red Sox fans are inherently racist. The Red Sox disagree. Red Sox fans, your organization thinks you’re racist or, by and large, think many of you are racist.”

Jon Kelly Buys Control Of Summit Media

SummitMedia has announced that shareholder and private investor Jon Kelly has reached an agreement to purchase the controlling interest held by Highpoint Holdings in the company.

SummitMedia Chairman/CEO Carl Parmer stated, “Jon has been our largest individual shareholder since inception and we are delighted he will become our controlling shareholder pending FCC approval. His commitment to SummitMedia positions us to take advantage of strategic opportunities and grow our platform in the years ahead.”

Kalil and Co. Founder and President Frank Kalil added, “Jon Kelly has been a dominant force in both radio and television ownership. It is great to see such a successful and experienced broadcaster committed to backing radio, and in a big way.”

U.S. Bank Senior VP/Media, Communications and Beverage division Garret Komjathy stated, “Given U. S. Bank’s longstanding relationship with SummitMedia, we are very pleased to continue our relationship and support of SummitMedia and its investor group. We are looking forward to this next phase in SummitMedia’s growth and expansion.”

The Conclave: Alexa, CBS Radio-Entercom Good For radio

As technology keeps changing how Americans consume media, a prominent radio chief sees a “big pot of gold” for the industry in all the digital disruption. Enormous ad budgets once reserved for newspapers and TV are now in play for radio sellers as well. That’s how Bill Hendrich, executive VP, Radio at Cox Media Group, put it at The Conclave, according to InsideRadio.

Bill Hendrich
When Hendrich first cut his teeth in radio sales, there were “hundreds of millions of dollars” allocated solely to newspapers and TV—budgets radio couldn’t touch. Then along came digital disruption, which “decimated newspapers and is doing the same thing to television,” Hendrich told the crowd at The Conclave in Minneapolis during its “Ask Me Almost Anything” keynote session Thursday morning.

“Local radio sellers now have more [money] available to them to go after than they’ve ever had in their entire career,” he said. So massive is the growth opportunity that Hendrich predicted some radio sellers “will look back at these as the good old days of their career because they’re making so much money selling integrated campaigns.”

The veteran broadcaster also sounded a positive note about new voice-activated smart speakers, which he said are “giving us our turf back in houses,” urging the crowd to understand and embrace the technology.

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With Entercom’s CBS Radio merger inching toward the closing table, the epic deal naturally became a hot topic at the Conclave in Minneapolis. InsideRadio reports that while group execs from competing companies generally agreed a new major player would be good for the industry as a whole, they also discussed how it might impact smaller companies, especially as it relates to national ad business.

The emergence of a third company with a large national footprint “will quite possibly have an impact on national revenue before it gets to the rep companies,” Bill Hendrich said during the Conclave’s “Ask Me Almost Anything” keynote session Thursday morning. Companies without that level of national scale will have to “get the national you can get but really be great at local,” Hendrich added.

Kevin LeGrett spent six years at CBS Radio as a market manager in Rochester, NY before eventually joining iHeartMedia, where he now serves as president of its Southwest division. “I’m a huge CBS Radio fan, they paid my mortgage for a really long time,” he quipped.

Folding the company into Entercom will create more competition, he said, not necessarily within the radio industry but on the larger media landscape. It will “make radio more competitive in media,” LeGrett said, while helping the industry fight for a larger share of ad dollars. “We need to come together as an industry and talk about all the great tools we have and all the great things we’re doing so that we can propel ourselves [to not be] thought of as an old medium,” LeGrett said. “I think [Entercom CEO David Field] and the crew are going to do that.”

Scripps, XAPP Media Partner On Alexa Skills

XAPPmediab Thursday announced it was selected by The E.W. Scripps Company to bring the company’s 34 radio stations in 13 states to Amazon Alexa-supported devices.

“Amazon Alexa has quickly become a very important platform for the radio industry,” said Rob McCracken, a director in the digital solutions group for Scripps. “Gartner forecasts that 75 percent of US households will have at least one Alexa-like device by 2020, and numerous studies show that audio entertainment is one of the top two use cases for the devices. Radio must be available on Alexa today while consumers are forming their listening habits. It is an opportunity for Scripps stations to increase time spent listening both at home and eventually in the car.”

“We are honored to work with Scripps to bring Amazon Alexa users access to its radio stations’ original audio content,” said Ryan Higbie, vice president of sales, XAPPmedia. “The technology offers an immersive experience for users to listen to their favorite radio programs on demand. XAPP is committed to helping Scripps make the most of this new distribution channel and build deeper listener relationships at the same time.”

“It was critical to have a skilled partner like XAPP help us launch our radio stations on Alexa,” said McCracken. “We looked at all of the leading technology companies in the market, but XAPPmedia’s technology, years of experience and credentials with Amazon, Google and Microsoft were important factors in the decision.”

“This is a big step forward for us,” said Steve Wexler, vice president of radio for Scripps. “It’s important that we go where our audience goes, and this new partnership makes the Scripps radio stations easily accessible to our listeners across multiple platforms.”

Consumers have purchased over 11 million Amazon Echo devices enabled with the Alexa voice assistant, and that number is expected to hit nearly 20 million in 2017. Because these are household devices, that device total will represent audience reach of about 50 million Americans in 2017 and over 200 million in three years. In addition, Ford and other auto manufacturers expect to produce about 20 million vehicles with Alexa support in 2017.

You can learn more about radio and Amazon Alexa here:

Amazon Profit Plunges Inc on Thursday reported a jump in retail sales along with a profit slump, as its rapid, costly expansion into new shopping categories and countries showed no sign of slowing.

Reuters reports the world's largest online retailer posted second-quarter revenue of $38 billion, up 25 percent from a year earlier. The breakneck growth stood in contrast to the fate of many brick-and-mortar rivals, who have struggled to find their footing as more people shop online.

Yet Seattle-based Amazon posted a 77 percent drop in quarterly income, and even said it could lose up to $400 million in operating profit during the current quarter. Beyond reflecting retail's notoriously thin margins, the forecast signaled Amazon would invest heavily to maintain its dominance.

Amazon had a nice run: TIAA Investments' Stephanie Link from CNBC.

Shares - up nearly 40 percent this year - fell 3.2 percent to $1,012.68 in after-hours trading. The company had earned 40 cents per share instead of $1.42 as analysts had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Brian Olsavsky
"Q3 is generally a high investment period," Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said on a call with reporters, citing spending on fulfillment and hiring to prepare the company for the Christmas holiday rush. He added, "Our video content spend will continue to grow, both sequentially and quarter over quarter."

Olsavsky said video content included with Prime membership has helped Amazon retain subscribers and persuade those on a free trial to sign up for $99 per year in the United States. A cornerstone of the company's strategy, Prime encourages shoppers to buy more goods, more often from Amazon.

Subscription sales including Prime fees rose 51 percent in the second quarter to $2.2 billion. Cowen & Co analysts have estimated that more than 50 percent of U.S. households will have Prime membership by the end of 2017.

"The fact that they are investing on so many fronts right now just speaks to the opportunity that they have before them," said Edward Jones analyst Josh Olson. "We are giving them the benefit of doubt here because they have executed so well historically."

Read More Now

Jeff Bezos Was Briefly The World’s Richest Person

Jeff Bezos was the richest man in the world for a time on Wednesday, with a fortune of over $90 billion.

According to Forbes and Bloomberg, the Amazon CEO had a net worth of over $89 billion as of the close of markets Wednesday, while Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had a net worth of just over $90 billion.

Even if Bezos didn't end the day as the richest man, he will likely take the crown from Gates more permanently in the coming days and weeks.

When he hits the mark, Bezos, who started selling books from his garage 22 years ago, becomes the first man to bump Gates from his perch in seven years and is only the sixth man to hold the "richest person" title in the past 30 years, according to Forbes.

Bezos' rise carries important symbolic weight — signaling Amazon's unbridled power and value, presenting a new face of outsized wealth to the world and heralding a new kind of billionaire who is skeptical of philanthropy and has massive reach in culture, technology and media. Bezos will be a stark contrast to his fellow Seattle-area resident Gates, who has topped the list for much of the past quarter-century and devotes his time and money to philanthropy.

Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person from CNBC.

What's most astounding about Bezos' rise is his recent wealth surge. He has been a billionaire for nearly 20 years, first making the Forbes list in 1998 with a net worth of $1.6 billion after Amazon's IPO. He chugged along for the following decade, reaching $4.4 billion in 2007, gradually rising to $18.4 billion by 2012, ranking him 26th on the list.

But over the past two years, as Amazon's stock has soared, so has Bezos' fortune.

Scaramucci Lashes Colleagues In Obscene Rant

Open warfare erupted inside President Donald Trump's inner circle as his new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, attacked senior White House colleagues in obscene comments published on Thursday.

According to Reuters, Scaramucci blasted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in an article in The New Yorker based on a telephone conversation on Wednesday night between one of the magazine's correspondents and Scaramucci.

Amid a stream of vulgar language, the former Wall Street financier named to the communications post last Friday called Priebus a "fucking paranoid schizophrenic" and accused Bannon of trying to build his own brand "off the f#%king strength of the president."

In a Twitter message after the article appeared online, Scaramucci said:

Asked about the article, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration was focused on healthcare and other items.

"He used some colorful language that I don't anticipate he'll do again," she told reporters. Any apology "needs to happen personally between them," she said.

Priebus and Bannon had no comment.

Read More Now

Nielsen Reports Increased 2Q Earnings

Net income rose 15.9% to $131 million, or 37 cents a share, from $113 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenues rose 3% to $1.6 billion.

Revenues for the Watch segment rose 10.3% to $821 million. Excluding the acquisition of Gracenote, revenues for audience measurement of video and text increased 4.3%.

“Our revenue in the quarter reflects solid growth in Watch, robust growth in Buy emerging markets and the contribution from our recent acquisition of Gracenote.” said CEO Mitch Barns.

“This was partially offset by continued softness in our U.S. Buy business which reflects the challenging operating environment for our large fast moving consumer goods clients. Our rigorous cost and commercial discipline in the quarter enabled us to deliver margin expansion, while also investing in our key growth initiatives.”

NYTimes Reports Strong Digital Growth

Robust digital growth powered The New York Times Company to one of its strongest quarters in recent years, as rising digital advertising revenue and new online subscriptions offset continued declines in print advertising.

The company said on Thursday that digital advertising revenue in the second quarter rose 23 percent, to $55 million. That represents nearly 42 percent of total advertising revenue, compared with 34 percent in the same quarter last year.

The company also added 93,000 net digital-only subscriptions for its news products, driving revenue in that category to $83 million, a 46 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

Including subscriptions for its crossword product, The Times has more than 2.3 million digital-only subscriptions.

Print advertising remained a challenge, as it has across the industry. Revenue in that category fell 11 percent in the quarter, to $77 million. But total advertising revenue, bolstered by strong growth on the digital side, bucked an industry trend and grew slightly, to $132 million, from $131 million in the same quarter last year.

Sarah Palin Plans To Subpoena 23 NYTimes Reporters

Sarah Palin's legal team plans to subpoena 23 current and former staff members of The New York Times, including writers and editors, for a defamation lawsuit, according to court papers filed in a federal district court in Manhattan, according to The Hill.

The legal team will demand the newspaper turn over "every internal communication it has had about the former vice presidential candidate since 2011."

Palin filed the suit against the Times in June, alleging defamation. The case concerns an opinion piece written by the paper's editorial board that directly linked the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) to a political ad publicized by Palin. The ad put Democratic districts up for reelection in a logo symbolizing crosshairs.

The Giffords shooting, which happened in Tucson, Ariz., also left six others dead.

The court filing shows Palin claiming the newspaper wrongly accused her of "inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011."

The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee, 53, also said in court papers that the paper intentionally printed information that it "knew to be false."

The editorial came one day after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot along with three others at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia.

After blowback that included PolitiFact giving the paper a "false" rating for linking Palin to the Giffords shooting, the Times issued a correction but did not delete the editorial.

Her legal team is the same as the one that represented Hulk Hogan, or Terry Bollea, against Gawker Media in a defamation suit after the publication posted a sex tape of the wrestler.

The Times says it made an “honest mistake” with the Palin editorial and is asking the court to throw out the lawsuit.

Katy Perry To Host MTV VMAs

Katy Perry will host the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) in August, MTV said on Thursday, and will also perform and compete for some top awards.

The hosting gig will kick off a busy 12 months for Perry, who embarks on a world tour in September and will be a judge in 2018 on the new version of television talent show "American Idol."

Perry, who released her latest album, "Witness," in June, is the most followed person on Twitter, with more than 100 million followers.

According to Reuters, Her big-budget video "Chained to the Rhythm" will compete in four categories at the VMA show, but she was snubbed in nominations for the top two categories of video of the year, and artist of the year.

The "Roar" singer was also nominated with Calvin Harris in the best video collaboration category for "Feels", pitting her directly against her pop rival Taylor Swift, who got a nod for her duet with Zayn Malik for "I Don't Wanna Live Forever."

The MTV Video Music Awards are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on Aug. 27, and will be shown live on MTV.

NFL Ratings Drop: It Was The National Anthem

Respondents in a new J.D. Power survey named the national anthem protests that began with Colin Kaepernick as the top reason that they watched fewer NFL games last season, when viewership was down.

The poll surveyed nearly 10,000 people who attended a football, basketball or hockey game, and 26 percent of them named the national anthem protests for why they watched fewer games.

That was followed by 24 percent who named the NFL's off-field image issues, such as domestic abuse, and game delays, such as penalties.

Twenty percent said that it was because of too many commercials, and 16 percent said it was because they were paying attention to the presidential election. Kaepernick hasn't been picked up by any team this season, and there have been suggestions the quarterback is being blackballed because of the anthem protests.

Justin Bieber Truck Strikes Photographer

Justin Bieber accidentally hit a photographer with his truck after leaving a Beverly Hills church service, and the singer got out to help the man while waiting for emergency services to arrive.

The photographer, who was not identified, suffered non-life threatening injuries in the accident on Wednesday night, Beverly Hills police said. The photographer later posted a video thanking the "Sorry" singer for his help.

"He (Bieber) got out, he was compassionate. He's a good kid. Accidents happen," the photographer said in a video posted on celebrity website TMZ.

Bieber was not charged and had fully cooperated with authorities, Beverly Hills police spokesman Sergeant Chris Coulter said.

The accident happened as Bieber, 23, was pulling out of parking lot following a church service. The singer, who started attending church services some two years ago, has been trailed by celebrity media since suddenly canceling the remainder of his world tour on Monday, saying he needed to rest.

"I can't see when you guys are all snapping," Bieber told the photographers, in video of the incident posted to TMZ. Bieber was also seen kneeling down to tend to the photographer, who said his leg was injured.

Ringo Starr Gets A Little Help From His Friends

Half of The Beatles got back together to record a new rock ’n' roll song for their drummer’s forthcoming solo album.

Ringo Starr’s new LP Give Me Love is released Sept. 15 and Thursday he shared "We're on the Road Again," which features bass guitar and backing vocals from Paul McCartney, reuniting the Beatles’ rhythm section.

The new song also features keyboardist Edgar Winter, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, and Eagles vocalist-guitarist Joe Walsh.

We’re On The Road Again (Audio) by Ringo Starr on VEVO.

PA Radio: Judge Tells Simpson Heir To Avoid FCC Contact

The Late Cary Simpson
A Pennsylvania county judge has directed the son of the late broadcaster Cary Simpson to avoid further contact with the Federal Communications Commission and to make no additional social media postings about his father’s estate and pending sale of a Tyrone AM radio station.

According to The Altoona Mirror, Judge Jolene G. Kopriva advised John F. “Ted” Simpson that he has avenues within the county court system to raise objections and concerns about management of his father’s estate and its pending sale of  WTRN 1340 AM.

Use them instead of turning to the FCC or social media, the judge said, because this is a fragile time.

The judge offered her comments to Simpson last week while explaining why she will issue an order as requested by attorney Edward S. Newlin and executor Thomas J. Hoyne, representing Cary Simpson’s estate, and by Matthew Lightner of Claysburg, who is in the process of buying the station.

WTRN 1340 AM (1 kw)
Newlin asked Kopriva to intervene because of a letter Simpson wrote to the FCC and because of recent comments Simpson posted on a social media website. In the letter, Kopriva referred to Simpson’s report of the station having been sold without his knowledge or permission, something Kopriva told him isn’t required for the sale to be completed.

The judge also mentioned Simpson’s postings about the sale being “bad for the community” and being “done by people who don’t like me.”

Simpson testified that he has a longtime love and support for WTRN where he started working in 1981. Simpson also said he wants to see the radio station remain a valued local asset and supports Lightner’s pursuit.

Kopriva pointed to the contrast between Simpson’s testimony and what he wrote to the FCC and on social media.

“You are damaging the relationship not just with the estate but also to the radio station your dad loved,” the judge said.

Attorney Steve Passarello tried to convince Kopriva that Simpson has the right to file public comment with the FCC about pending sale of the radio station. It’s up to the FCC, Passarello said, to further investigate what Simpson says and determine if it’s reason to influence the sale.

Newlin countered that Simpson’s actions are a basis for “irreparable harm” that could halt the sale, harm the estate and leave Lightner with a loss on the investment he’s making to buy the station and to upgrade its equipment.

Lightner told the judge that for the last two years, WTRN has been at risk of losing its FCC broadcasting license for lack of equipment upgrades. It’s been on “low power” with limited range for broadcasting, Lightner said.

Hoyne told the judge the estate put the station up for sale because it was losing money and had trouble paying bills. He also revealed that the estate had a higher offer for the sale, but it was to be paid over 20 years. Lightner offered to make the purchase for $90,000 and to spend more money on upgrades.

Simpson said he believed the radio station was profitable in 2016, based on his work there during the last last four or five months before his father’s Dec. 29 death.

R.I.P.: Former Houston Radio, Rodeo Voice Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey
Former radio personality and iconic voice of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has passed away, officials confirmed Thursday afternoon.

Bill Bailey — a famous radio personality — was the voice of the Houston rodeo for 54 years before he retired in 2015. Bailey started out as a volunteer with the rodeo before later becoming a board member and lifetime executive.

Rodeo Houston officials released the following statement:
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ today lost one of its biggest ambassadors with the passing of “The Constable,” Bill Bailey. Bill was more than a Show Lifetime Vice President or one of our past RodeoHouston® announcers—he was a true friend to so many of us. He represented the Texas-sized heart of the Show, and our volunteers, staff, and the many young Texans he helped through the years will miss him tremendously.
Bailey is named in the Texas Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Bailey was also a DJ with KIKK radio and severed as a Harris County Precinct 8 constable for several years until 2011.  He was one of the organizing directors of the Texas Citizens Bank and severed on several bank committees.

Born Milton Odom Stanley, in the early '60s he applied to fill a position for a DJ that had been promoted using the song, "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home?" Bailey, being a team player, agreed to assume the "Bill Bailey" moniker and it managed to stick throughout the rest of his life.

R.I.P.: KATF Morning Host, PD Mike Callaghan

Mike Callaghan
One of Dubuque's most recognizable radio voices for more than 40 years has fallen silent.

AC KATF 92.9 FM reports Morning Show Host and station Program Director Mike Callaghan died Thursday morning from complications of lung and pancreatic cancer. He was 60 years old.

Callaghan was a Dubuque native. He was the long-time morning show host on KAT-FM, teaming with Lisa Bennett for the last seven years.

In September, doctors determined Callaghan had an aggressive form of lung cancer. Bennett said he would often come to work during his treatments.

In June 2016, the Dubuque Fire Department recognized Mike Callaghan and 4 others for helping alert students of a March 2016 fire in a Loras College dorm.

Callaghan leaves behind his wife, Sharon, three daughters, and three grandchildren.

July 28 Radio History

Rudy Vallee
➦In 1901...singer/bandleader Rudy Vallee was born in rural Vermont.

In the 1920’s and 30’s he was host of radio’s first big variety show, The Fleischmann’s Yeast  Hour, which introduced to the American public the likes of Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor & Kate Smith. Both The Aldrich Family & We The People originated as sketches on the Vallee show before becoming radio hits on their own.

He died July 3, 1986 at age 84.

➦In 1910...announcer Bill Goodwin was born in San Francisco. He was for years the announcer on The Burns & Allen Show, and as well was incorporated into the script playing a ladies man.  He was spokesman for Swan Soap and Maxwell House Coffee, among others, on radio; Carnation Evaporated Milk on television.  His last job was on The Bob Hope Radio Show (1953-55.)  He died following a heart attack May 9 1958 at age 47.

Judy Garland
➦In 1914...bandleader Carmen Dragon was born in Antioch Calif. He conducted the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra on NBC Radio’s “Standard Oil Hour”  broadcast for elementary schools in the late 1940s. On a less cultural level he conducted the orchestra on Maxwell House Coffee Time, for the Bickersons, and The Railroad Hour starring Gordon Macrae. His son Daryl continues the family’s musical tradition as the Captain of The Captain & Tennille. Carmen died Mar 28, 1984 at age 69.

➦In 1939...Judy Garland recorded one of the most famous songs of the century with the Victor Young Orchestra. The tune became her signature song and will forever be associated with the singer-actress. Garland recorded “Over the Rainbow” for Decca Records. It was the musical highlight of the film, “The Wizard of Oz”.

➦In 1954…The first newspaper story about Elvis Presley was published in the Memphis Press-Scimitar. Elvis had signed with Sun Records and just released his first single, "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" b/w "That's All Right, Mama," and the songs were beginning to get airplay on Memphis radio stations. The story noted that both sides of the record were being equally well received "on popular, folk, and race record programs. This boy seems to have something that appeals to everybody."

Billboard 7/2/62

➦In 1962...Westinghouse purchased then-Top40 WINS 1010 AM for $10 Million.

The station began broadcasting first during 1924 on 950 kHz as WGBS, named after and broadcasting from its owner, Gimbels department store. It moved to 860 kHz sometime around 1927, to 600 around 1930, settling on 1180 around 1931. The station was bought by William Randolph Hearst in 1932, and it adopted its present callsign (named after Hearst's International News Service) the same year, effective January 15.

It changed its frequency from 1180 to 1000 on March 29, 1941 as part of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement and then eventually to 1010 on October 30, 1943. The Cincinnati-based Crosley Broadcasting Corporation announced its purchase of the station from Hearst in 1945,though it would be over a year before Crosley would take control of WINS, in July 1946.

Crosley sold the station to J. Elroy McCaw's Gotham Broadcasting Corporation in 1953, and soon after WINS became one of the first stations in the United States to play rock and roll music. Alan Freed was WINS earliest famous personality as disc jockey. Freed was followed years later by Murray "the K" Kaufman. Sports broadcaster Les Keiter, a latter-day member of the first generation of legends in that field, served as sports director for a period in the 1950s. Keiter is perhaps best remembered for his recreations of San Francisco (formerly New York) Giants baseball games, which WINS carried in 1958 to keep disconnected Giants fans in touch with their team, who moved west along with the Brooklyn Dodgers the previous year.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, as the transistor radio became popular 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: WMCA, WMGM, and WABC and WINS. While WMCA was only 5000 watts, it was at the bottom end of the dial, which advantages coverage. The other three were all 50,000 watts, but only WABC was both non-directional and a clear channel station. Being lower on the dial than the others, it also had more coverage. 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. In 1962, WMGM defected to a beautiful music format under its previous call letters, WHN, while WINS was purchased by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. WMCA became the top-rated top 40 station in the New York area by 1963, then WABC became the dominant Top 40 station in the whole market by 1965. WINS bowed out of Top 40 competition with the song "Out in the Streets", by The Shangri-Las, on April 18, 1965, at around 8 PM.

➦In 1974...announcer Truman Bradley, who in radio’s “golden era” was the golden voice of Roma Wines on CBS Radio’s ‘Suspense,’ died at age 69.  His long career took him from baseball playbyplay to soap operas, from Lady Esther Cosmetics to Raleigh Cigarettes.

Jackson Beck
➦In George Seaton, who invented the cry ‘Hi-yo Silver’ as the first actor to play The Lone Ranger on radio, died of cancer at age 68.  Later he would also win Oscars for writing Miracle on 34th Street and The Country Girl.

➦In 2004...Jackson Beck, the man who introduced the Superman radio show with, “Faster than a speeding bullet!”, died at age 92. He also starred in the title roles of radio’s Cisco Kid and Philo Vance, and impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for the March of Time radio series.

➦In 2004…Actor (Twelve O'Clock High, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Escape to Witch Mountain, Operation Pacific, Captain Midnight, East Side Kids) Sam Edwards, who began his career on radio (One Man's Family, Meet Corliss Archer, Father Knows Best, Gunsmoke, Dragnet, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, Suspense) and provided the voice of the adult Thumper in the Disney animated feature "Bambi," died at the age of 89.

➦In reporter Margot Adler, one of the signature voices on NPR for more than three decades, lost her battle with cancer at age 68.  Beginning in 1979 she covered everything from the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic to confrontations involving the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro, N.C., to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. More recently, she had reported on cultural affairs and the arts.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

L-A Radio: Carson Daly EXITS Mornings At The Amp

Facebook posting
Radio, TV personality Caron Daly has decided to some commitments off his plate.  Daly today announced he was departing CBS Radio's Top40 KAMP 97.1 FM, effective immediately.

In a statement, Daly indicated he wanted more time with family.  Apparently something had to give since Daly's other projects included the syndicated radio show Last Call With Carson Daly, NBC's The Voice and to the Today Show on NBC.

Daly released the following statement regarding his departure, which follows a programming restructuring at the CBS Los Angeles cluster yesterday:
"I’ve made the decision that something has to give with all of these jobs and the truth is, the reason I’m going to stop doing radio for now — and I love radio, it’s what I’ve always done — and this is the honest-to-god truth, is that I just want to have breakfast with my kids. 
"Radio is where I feel most myself and most comfortable. It’s the thing I’ve done since I [was] 18. It’s really all that I am. I’m a radio DJ. I’m really nothing else. All this other stuff comes and goes, but this is it for me. This is the only thing I know how to do. It’s the only thing I’m semi-good at!
 "CBS, by the way, these people here at this radio station are my family. For me to be on every morning in my hometown, to be able to talk to you guys, it’s literally been the greatest."

CBS Radio issued the following statement concerning Daly's departure from KAMP:
 "Carson is a valued member of CBS RADIO and we support and appreciate the difficult decision he made to strike the right balance for him and his family. While mornings on 97.1 AMP/ Los Angeles are no longer possible, we are thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship around his highly successful, syndicated weekend countdown show, "Daly Download," and look forward to other creative collaborations in the future."

DC Radio: Vince Coglianese Joins WMAL For Mornings

Vince Coglianese
Cumulus Media announces that it has named Vince Coglianese as Co-Host of NewsTalk WMAL’s “Mornings On The Mall” morning show, effective immediately. Coglianese joins current Co-Host Mary Walter in leading Washington, DC’s destination morning news, talk, and commentary program, which airs weekdays from 5AM to 9am on WMAL 105.9 FM and AM 630.

Coglianese is the former Editor-In-Chief of The Daily Caller, where he currently serves as Editorial Director. He regularly appears on the FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, the FOX Business Network, and CNBC.

Prior to joining The Daily Caller, Coglianese served as Web Editor for Carolina Coast OnLine, and hosted a talk show on WTKF/WJNC in Morehead City, NC.

WMAL 630 AM (10 Kw-D, 5 Kw-N, DA2)
 Bill Hess, Vice President/NewsTalk, Cumulus Media, and WMAL Program Director, said: “Vince is the perfect WMAL personality – knowledgeable, plugged-in, entertaining, and a strong storyteller. He and Mary had immediate chemistry and we’re excited to bring this fresh new sound to mornings on 105.9 FM and AM630 WMAL.”

WMAL 105.9 FM (28 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Coglianese said: “I am beyond honored to be joining such a prestigious station and its powerful audience. As a journalist and longtime WMAL listener, I know first-hand how essential it is to start my day with “Mornings On The Mall”. It’s a legendary show with an important mission – to engage, amuse, and inform Washington, DC. I’m pumped and grateful to sit behind the WMAL microphones alongside the fabulous Mary Walter.”

SiriusXM Reports 16% Jump In Net Income

  • Second Quarter Revenue Climbs 9% to $1.3 Billion
  • Quarterly Net Income Rises 16% to $202 Million
  • Adjusted EBITDA Grows 12% to a Quarterly Record of $522 Million
  • Quarterly Operating Cash Flow Rises 12% to $483 Million; Free Cash Flow Grows 6% to $417 Million
SiriusXM today announced second quarter 2017 operating and financial results, including record revenue of $1.3 billion, up 9% versus the prior year period.

Net income totaled $202 million in the second quarter 2017, up 16% from $175 million in the second quarter 2016. Net income per diluted common share grew 22% to $0.043 in the second quarter 2017, compared to $0.035 in the second quarter 2016. Adjusted EBITDA grew 12% in the second quarter 2017 to a record $522 million, compared to $468 million in the second quarter of 2016. Operating cash flow in the second quarter 2017 increased 12% to $483 million, compared to $432 million in the second quarter 2016. Free cash flow in the second quarter 2017 grew 6% to $417 million, compared to $395 million in the second quarter 2016.

Jim Myer
"In the second quarter, SiriusXM continued its strong track record of execution, and demand for our premium content bundle pushed our listener base to an all-time high of more than 32 million paying subscribers. We are pleased to raise our full-year guidance for net self-pay subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA. We also made tremendous progress on strategic initiatives in the second quarter with the closing of our recapitalization of SiriusXM Canada, our acquisition of Automatic Labs, and our agreement to acquire a minority stake in Pandora Media," said Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer, SiriusXM.

"Our mission and passion is to deliver to millions of subscribers nationwide the best content anywhere in an easy, accessible way. We were thrilled to launch The Beatles Channel, the first official full-time radio channel featuring the band and its individual members, and listeners love it. You can now listen to The Beatles and our channels by simply asking your Amazon Alexa device to play SiriusXM. And we continue to award lucky subscribers with exclusive, SiriusXM-only live shows such as last week's critically acclaimed Guns N' Roses performance at the Apollo Theater," added Meyer.

  • SiriusXM Reaches 32 Million Subscribers. The company added 466,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the second quarter 2017 to end with nearly 26.7 million self-pay subscribers. Total net additions in the quarter were 445,000, after giving effect to the decline of approximately 20,000 paid promotional subscribers. The company ended the quarter with approximately 32.0 million total subscribers.
  • Strong Quarterly Revenue and ARPU. Second quarter revenue climbed 9% to a record $1.3 billion. The growth was driven by a 5% increase in subscribers and a 3% increase in average revenue per user (ARPU) to $13.22, a record high.
  • Record Adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter of 2017 reached a record $522 million, up 12% from $468 million in the second quarter of 2016. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 38.7% in the second quarter of 2017, a 90 basis point increase from 37.8% in the second quarter 2016.
  • Free Cash Flow of $417 Million. Free cash flow for the second quarter 2017 totaled $417 million, up 6% from $395 million in the second quarter 2016. Operating cash flow for the second quarter 2017 totaled $483 million, up 12% from the second quarter 2016.
"In the second quarter, we deployed nearly $1.25 billion of capital in stockholder returns and strategic investments. We spent $477 million to repurchase 94 million shares of our common stock. We also returned $47 million in cash to our stockholders in the form of dividends in the quarter, bringing total capital returned to stockholders to $524 million in the second quarter. During the second quarter, we invested $280 million to complete the acquisition of Automatic Labs and phase one of our Pandora investment. Additionally, we invested $440 million in debt and equity securities of SiriusXM Canada in connection with the recapitalization of that company," noted David Frear, Chief Financial Officer, SiriusXM.

"In July, we closed on $2 billion of debt issuances at very attractive rates and used the proceeds to call existing notes and pay down our revolving credit line. Pro forma for these transactions, our debt to adjusted EBITDA was just 3.2 times at June 30, 2017, and we had cash and undrawn revolver capacity exceeding $1.6 billion," added Frear.

Comcast: NBC Universal Revenue Jumps 17.3%

Comcast Corporation today reported results for the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation, said, “We delivered terrific results during the second quarter, highlighted by 10.0% growth in Adjusted EBITDA, which continued our strong progress in 2017. Thanks to broad-based momentum across our businesses, our first half Adjusted EBITDA growth is the fastest in six years. NBCUniversal continued to deliver outstanding performance, with 17.3% revenue growth and 22.6% Adjusted EBITDA growth. Driving these tremendous results were the box office success of Fate of the Furious, continued increases in affiliate and retransmission revenues at our TV businesses, and impressive growth at our Theme Parks. At Cable Communications, we generated strong Adjusted EBITDA growth and added 114,000 net new customer relationships, demonstrating our disciplined approach to driving profitability and customer metrics. We launched our fantastic new xFi experience for in-home broadband during the quarter, the latest example of our culture of innovation and continued focus on developing differentiated products and services for our customers. Our teams continue to execute incredibly well and I am excited about the opportunities ahead for Comcast NBCUniversal.”

Consolidated 2nd Quarter 2017 Highlights:
  • Consolidated Revenue Increased 9.8%; Net Income Attributable to Comcast Increased 23.9%; Adjusted EBITDA Increased 10.0%
  • Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities was $5.2 Billion; Free Cash Flow was $2.2 Billion
  • Earnings per Share Increased 26.8% to $0.52
  • Dividends Paid Totaled $747 Million and Share Repurchases were $1.4 Billion
Cable Communications 2nd Quarter 2017 Highlights:
  • Cable Communications Revenue Increased 5.5% and Adjusted EBITDA Increased 5.4%
  • Customer Relationships Increased by 114,000; Total Revenue per Customer Relationship Increased 2.2%
  • High-Speed Internet Residential Revenue Increased 9.2%; Total Customers Increased by 175,000
  • Video Residential Revenue Increased 3.9% and 55% of Residential Video Customers Now Have X1; Total Customer Net Losses were 34,000
  • Business Services Revenue Increased 12.6%, Over $6.0 Billion in Annualized Revenue
NBCUniversal 2nd Quarter 2017 Highlights:
  • NBCUniversal Revenue Increased 17.3% and Adjusted EBITDA Increased 22.6%
  • Theme Parks Revenue Increased 15.6% and Adjusted EBITDA Increased 17.3%
  • Filmed Entertainment Revenue Increased 59.6% and Adjusted EBITDA Increased $229 Million to $285 Million, Driven by Strong Box Office Performance and Home Entertainment
  • Cable Networks and Broadcast Television Adjusted EBITDA Increased 11.7% and 5.5%, Respectively, Driven by Increases in Affiliate and Retransmission Revenue
  • NBC Remains Ranked #1 Among Adults 18-49

Jeff Bezos A $B Away From Being World's Richest

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is inching ever closer to becoming the richest person in the world.

Forbes reports Bezos' net worth increased $1 billion to $89.3 billion on Wednesday, putting him less than $900 million away from surpassing Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world. His net worth has increased $2.2 billion this week due to a 2% increase in Amazon's stock price;  it has increased $16.5 billion since Forbes' 2017 Billionaires List was published in March.

At the end of March, Bezos briefly became the second richest person in the world for the first time. He has been the second richest person continuously since June, when Amazon announced plans acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash. At that time, Gates was nearly $5 billion richer than Bezos.

Now, the gap between the two Seattle-area residents has narrowed to just $800 million. If Amazon stock rises more than 1% on Thursday or in after hours trading, Bezos could unseat Gates, who has been the world's richest person on Forbes annual Billionaires List for 18 of the past 23 years.

Twitter Reports Zero Subscriber Growth

Twitter on Thursday reported lower second-quarter revenue and flat monthly active usage, but beat expectations on earnings.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the social media giant posted earnings per share of 8 cents, compared with a Wall Street consensus estimate of 5 cents, which excludes stock based compensation and other one-time items. Including those factors, Twitter posted a loss for the quarter of $116 million, compared to a loss of $107 million last year.

Second-quarter revenue was $574 million, down 5 percent from last year, but beating an analyst expectation of $537 million. Advertising revenue fell 8 percent to $489 million, against $535 million in the same quarter last year.

Anthony Noto
With the number of people on Twitter always a concern, Twitter recorded 328 million monthly active users during the latest quarter, up 5 percent from year-earlier levels, but unchanged from the 328 million reported in the first quarter. Daily active usage was up 12 percent year-over-year, the company reported.

Shares in Twitter were down nearly 9 percent to $17.97 in pre-market trading, as investors reacted to the flat user growth. Analysts had expected 332.5 million average monthly active users for the latest quarter.

In the face of revenue headwinds, Twitter has been realigning its products and streamlining its cost structure for greater efficiency. "We continue to invest in revenue products and services that leverage Twitter's unique value proposition and are delivering more value to advertisers than ever, with double-digit growth in daily active usage, improvements in ad relevance and better pricing," Anthony Noto, Twitter's COO, said in a statement.

L-A Radio: CBS Radio Refocuses Programming Team

CBS RADIO Los Angeles has reorganized some of its top programming brass to further bolster the cluster’s music stations. Chris Ebbott, currently program director of classic hits station K-EARTH 101.1, will now also oversee Top 40 station 97.1 AMP.

Chris Ebbott
The move allows the cluster’s Senior Vice President of Programming, Kevin Weatherly, who until now has served as the station’s PD, to focus more broadly on the strategic direction and approach of the market’s five music formats. In addition to K-EARTH and AMP, the cluster includes 94.7 The Wave (KTWV-FM), the legendary alternative station KROQ and adult hits 93.1 JACK FM (KCBS-FM).

In addition to his duties as SVP of Programming for CBS RADIO, Weatherly will continue to serve as program director of KROQ and JACK. He also works closely with CBS RADIO’s corporate programming team, advising on the Company’s bevy of diverse CHR and rock music initiatives and serving as format captain to its portfolio of rock, alternative and adult hits stations across the country.

Ebbott reports to Weatherly and Dan Kearney, Senior Vice President/Market Manager, CBS RADIO Los Angeles. Weatherly reports to Kearney and Chris Oliviero, Executive President of Programming, CBS RADIO.

Kevin Weatherly
“Chris and Kevin are masterful program directors at the top of their field,” said Kearney. “This move will further strengthen 97.1 AMP, making it a standout Top 40 competitor in Los Angeles, while boosting the overall performance of our entire cluster.”

“Chris is an established programmer and has done an amazing job with KRTH the past few years,” added Weatherly. “His experience and leadership make him the perfect choice to take on the day-to-day programming responsibilities at AMP Radio”

“It’s an exhilarating time to take on such a popular and well respected station as 97.1 AMP in one of the most competitive markets in the country,” commented Ebbott. “I’m looking forward to working with the team to explore new opportunities that will help us grow the audience both on and off the air. I’m excited to work alongside Kevin, Dan and Chris and grateful that they’ve entrusted me to oversee a second station.”

Thursday's Hot Links..What Others Are Saying

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Facebook Quarterly Profit Jumps 71%

Facebook Inc's mobile advertising business grew by more than 50 percent in the second quarter, the company said in its earnings report on Wednesday, as the social network continued to establish itself as the venue of choice for an ever-growing array of online advertisers.

Reuters reports shares in Facebook, owner of four of the most popular mobile services in the world, rose more than 4 percent to about $173 in after-hours trading. Through Wednesday's close, the stock price had climbed nearly 44 percent this year.

Facebook, which now has more than 2 billion regular users, has been squeezing more ads into its Facebook News Feed while adding more ads to its photo-sharing app Instagram, which has more than 700 million users.

Here are the key second-quarter metrics:
  • EPS: $1.32 vs. $1.13 expected, according to Thomson Reuters
  • Revenue: $9.32 billion vs. $9.2 billion expected, according to Thomson Reuters
  • Mobile ad revenue: $8 billion vs. $7.68 billion expected, according to StreetAccount
  • Monthly users (MAUs): 2.01 billion vs. 1.98 billion expected, according to StreetAccount
  • Capital expenditures: $1.44 billion vs. $1.73 billion expected, according to StreetAccount
With money cascading from those two services, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company was turning attention to monetizing its two messaging services, Messenger and WhatsApp, which have more than 1 billion users each.

The company also is accelerating its push into video, an effort aimed at taking advertising dollars from the television industry and increasing the time people spend on Facebook.

Within weeks, Facebook is expected to start a video service that will include scripted shows, a sharp change for a business built on user-generated content.

Zuckerberg said video would be a significant driver of Facebook's business in the next two to three years.

With those possibilities still on the horizon, Facebook said total revenue rose 44.8 percent to $9.32 billion in the second quarter of the year. That beat the average forecast of $9.20 billion among analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Growth was even steeper in mobile advertising, which increased to nearly $8 billion.

"In mobile we're continuing to see great strengths," Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said in a phone interview with Reuters. "We're seeing more and more ad dollars getting allocated to mobile, and we think that trend will continue."