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Cox Media Group Appoints Daniel York as President/CEO


Daniel York
Daniel York

Cox Media Group appoints Daniel York as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He most recently served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer of AT&T and its subsidiary, DIRECTV. As President and CEO of Cox Media Group, York will be responsible for all aspects of managing the company including its 54 radio stations in 10 markets, as well as overseeing CMG's TV outlets, platforms and long-term strategic priorities.

"I'm excited to welcome Dan as the President and CEO of Cox Media Group," said Apollo Global Management Co-Lead Partner of Private Equity Co-Lead Partner David Sambur. "He has an outstanding record of leadership in this industry, and of operating efficiently, creating strategic vision, and inspiring organizations to innovate and grow."

Steve Pruett will continue to serve as Executive Chairman of CMG and said, "On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to welcome Dan as the President and CEO of Cox Media Group. He has a background of success in media, content, distribution, operations, and successfully leading large organizations. Most importantly, he embraces contemporary thinking as the media landscape continues to evolve. We have full confidence he is the right person to lead CMG in the next phase of the company's growth."

York said, "I am excited to lead Cox Media Group, a company that has the most talented team and leadership in the industry. I have always admired and respected the unparalleled quality of CMG's 90-plus radio and TV stations, digital and advertising platforms, and the company's unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity. The past few months have underscored that there is no substitute for the most important and valuable content in the ecosystem, market-leading local news and entertainment. I look forward to working with the board and the CMG team as we continue to enhance our partnerships with our advertisers, content providers and distribution outlets to best serve our communities and millions of viewers and listeners."

Prior to joining AT&T, York served as Senior Vice President of Programming and Development at In Demand Networks, LLC (a joint venture owned by Comcast, Charter Communications and Cox Cable). He started his career at Home Box Office (HBO), where he held various management positions, including Vice President and General Manager at HBO/Time Warner Sports. York has served on the Boards of numerous companies, including the Tennis Channel and the Game Show Network, among others, and he currently serves on the Board of the T. Howard Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in the media industry.

La Raza 95.7 Studios Destroyed by Fire During Protests


La Raza 95.7
La Raza 95.7

The protests in Minneapolis, over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, led to the destruction of the studios of Santamaria Broadcasting's Regional Mexican KMNV-AM and K239CJ (La Raza 95.7)/St. Paul. Facilities on the fourth floor of an office building on the corner at 3003 27th Avenue South and E. Lake Street were consumed by fire in an area where the protests and looting were centered. It was a block east of the Minneapolis Police Department's 3rd Precinct that was burned down. KMNV had been off the air since Wednesday due to power outages caused by the protests.

The station posted on Facebook, "As you may already know, the building where our facilities were located was burned down by the same horde that looted dozens of businesses along Lake St. without the authorities intervening to contain them. Right now we are evaluating the options we have and through social media we will be informing you."

Report: Former WPGC/D.C. Personality Tony Redz Has Died


Tony Redz
Tony Redz

Former WPGC-FM/Washington, DC air personality Tony Redz has died, reports WUSA-TV. Redz, also known as Mr. 24/7, had deep roots in the DMV and began his music career in 1997. He joined WPGC as a radio host in 2000. The TV outlet said Redz was known for helping local music artists get their music on the radio, such as popular DMV rapper Rico Nasty. His official cause of death remains unknown.

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FCC Grants Cumulus Petition Exceeding Foreign Ownership Cap


Cumulus Media
Cumulus Media

The FCC has granted a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed on July 19, 2018 to Cumulus Media asking the ageny to exercise its discretion to permit the company to exceed the 25 percent foreign ownership benchmark. Specifically, the Petition requested approval to permit up to and including a sum total 100 percent direct and/or indirect foreign investment (voting and equity) in the company. The Petition, which is unopposed, was filed on behalf of itself and each of its direct and indirect subsidiaries which hold broadcast licenses.

The Commission found that it will serve the public interest to grant the Petition, and the ruling is subject to the terms and conditions set forth in section 1.5004 of the Commission's rules, including the requirement to obtain approval before foreign ownership of Cumulus exceeds the terms and conditions of this ruling. Cumulus must also obtain specific approval for any foreign individual, entity, or group of such individuals or entities that holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, more than five percent (or more than 10 percent for certain institutional investors) of the equity and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the company.

Cumulus owns and operates nearly 450 full power radio broadcast stations, together with translator and booster stations and other ancillary facilities licensed by the Commission, in 90 markets. Cumulus also owns Westwood One, a producer and syndicator of radio content.

Live Music Returns at the Feed The Need Drive-In Concerts


Feed The Need Drive-In Concerts
Feed The Need Drive-In Concerts

Live music returns at the Feed The Need Drive-In Concerts produced by Local Media San Diego, which owns 91X, Z90.3, Magic 92.5 and 100.7 BIG-FM, along with the San Diego Padres and Westward Entertainment. They're happening Sunday, June 7 at Petco Park in the Lexus Premier Parking Lot, with sunset performances by Switchfoot and Hirie (acoustic), and a separate Noontime show headlined by B-Side Players with SM Familia and Los Sleepwalkers. The concerts will adhere to strict safety and sanitation guidelines.

Tickets for both shows will be available today beginning at 5pm at www.FeedTheNeedSanDiego.com Net proceeds will go to Feeding San Diego (feedingsandiego.org), the leading hunger-relief charity serving San Diego County.

This landmark event for live music in San Diego will be the first concert in California since March shutdown orders. Social distancing and protective precautions will ensure a safe and entertaining event. Attendees will stay inside their vehicles during the performances, staff and crew will be outfitted in PPE gear, and proper sanitation protocol will be implemented. Both shows will feature full stage and sound production, and multiple video screens so all concert-goers can enjoy the performances while inside their car.

"We need the community to come together, not just to sing songs but to help each other out in our time of need," said Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot. "This is going to be a truly unique show with an awesome purpose."

"Feed The Need is all about San Diego companies and artists partnering to help our fellow San Diegans," said Gregg Wolfson, President and General Manager of Local Media San Diego. "We are grateful for everyone's generosity and contributions in creating this first time charitable event that will support Feeding San Diego."

Entercom Flips WODS/Boston to Adult Hits as ''Big 103''


Big 103
Big 103

Entercom flips CHR WODS-FM (103.3 AMP Radio)/Boston to Adult Hits as "Big 103," "Music Unleashed." The Adult Hits station on 103.3 FM is now boasting a vast music library the 1980's 1990's and 2000's. Key artists include Guns N' Roses, Prince, Journey, Madonna, Pearl Jam, The Notorious B.I.G., AC/DC, Britney Spears and Blink-182, among others.

"As we continue living through one of the most challenging times in our country and the world, we are committed to providing comfort by delivering optimistic and entertaining content to our listeners," said Mark Hannon, RP/MM, Entercom Boston. "BIG 103 will be a straight-forward, no nonsense sanctuary for fans focused on great music and artists, accented with an irreverent tongue-in-cheek approach that reflects the spirit of our city."

In addition to the expanded music library, BIG 103 will also feature limited interruptions during its on-air programming through the "2-Minute Promise," which will not stop the music for more than two minutes at any given time. To further focus on the music, artists and attitude that will define the station, it will initially launch without air talent.

Jacobs Media Survey: Activities Consumers Are Ready For


Jacobs Media COVID19 Survey
Jacobs Media COVID19 Survey

Jacobs Media has released some of the key findings from its second national audience survey of core radio listeners, focusing on reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, fielded in mid-May, examined a variety of behaviors, including the activities with the most interest -- as well as the highest perceived risk.

The findings provide a road map for businesses, community leaders, as well as media executives, their sales teams, and their advertisers about the activities ready to take off, as well as those that may require more time, preparation, and education.

"None of us has lived through a disruption like Covid-19 before," Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs remarks. "Now as we prepare to re-open, not all activities are created equal. While consumers are interested in going to a restaurant or a concert, they are also very concerned about the risks involved."

Jacobs Media's VP/GM Paul Jacobs notes, "In light of these findings, many customer-facing businesses will need to retrench and refocus. Savvy media marketers and salespeople can use this data to work strategically with clients representing many verticals."

The chart below represents the top seven activities that generate the most interest, along with their corresponding levels of risk. The additional activities can be found here.

This second Covid-19 study was conducted May 12-14. The web survey was comprised of 16,004 respondents -- listeners of 98 commercial radio stations representing a variety of formats in the United States and Canada. The survey is primarily made up of radio station database members. It is unweighted, and does not represent all commercial radio listeners or the general populations of the United States and Canada.

The full survey results from this second Covid-19 study, and the first (conducted in early April), can be found here.

Urban One Q1 Net Revenues Fall 3.6%, Net Loss Widens


Urban One
Urban One

Urban One reported first quarter net revenues fell 3.6% to $94.9 million from $98.4 million from the same period in 2019. Broadcast and digital operating income was down 11.4 % to $37.6 million from $33.3 million. Adjusted EBITDA declined 13.9% to $32.3 million from $27.7 million, while it posted an operating loss of $27.3 million, down 45.7% from $14.8 million. The company reported a net loss of $23.2 million (51 cents per basic share) as compared to a net loss of $3.1 million (7 cents) in the year-ago period.

Urban One President/CEO Alfred C. Liggins III stated, "We got off to a great start to the year, with robust political advertising pushing same station revenues to +3.2% and +13.2% for January and February respectively. Then the impact of COVID-19 hit our radio markets, and March rapidly turned from positive to finish -14.1%. Despite this, we were able to post double digit Adjusted EBITDA growth for the quarter, and this is a testament to both our diversified mix of assets and the dedication and skill of our employees."

He added, "On a same station basis, radio advertising for April was down 58.3%, and Q2 is pacing -58.1%. Both local and national advertising is impacted by broadly similar percentages. Like many other businesses, we were forced to reduce fixed costs by means of furloughs, layoffs, significant salary cuts, and reduction of all discretionary expenditure."

Liggins noted that its cable tv and digital segments were not impacted to the same extent as radio, and due to a combination of strong ratings, deferred programming and marketing expenses plus other cost cuts, it expects the TV segment to deliver incremental EBITDA to help offset some of the declines in radio.

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Stitcher Podcasting Report Reveals a Decade of Growth


Stitcher
Stitcher

Stitcher has released the "Stitcher Podcasting Report," a look at the evolution and growth of podcasting over the past 10 years, including what Stitcher's COVID-19 listener data could mean for the industry's future growth. The company says the report represents the industry's only analysis of in-app data, network content and listener demographics from Stitcher, which found that the growth of podcasts is not slowing down. The number of podcasts published to Stitcher has grown more than 129,000% since 2010.

The report's findings included:

  • Some states carry more listening weight: The state of Washington, for example, ranks No. 4 in listening hours, despite being No. 13 in highest population.

  • Streaming remains popular: Two-thirds of podcasts are streamed rather than downloaded.

  • The rise of the mini-series: Mini-series podcasts grew from four in 2010 to more than 52,000 in 10 years. From "Serial" in 2014 to top shows including "The Dream" and "Chernobyl," listeners are tuning in to learn about history, legends and behind-the-curtain truths.

  • Episodes are trending shorter: The average podcast episode length has shortened by 2.4 minutes since 2013.

  • Gen X is dedicated: Though the 18-34 age group makes up the largest chunk of listeners, the 35-55 age group is more dedicated based on listening hours and the number of shows they've added to their favorites.

  • Bouncing back amid COVID-19: While listening decreased during weekday commuting hours, the second half of April began to show a return to pre-pandemic levels of listening patterns.

"Like Stitcher, podcast listening has been growing strong for over a decade now, and we wanted to take a moment and reflect on the diversity of tastes and consumption habits that have driven that growth," said Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn. "The data we found reinforce our belief that the unique, intimate appeal of podcasting makes its fans the most loyal and passionate of any medium."

As the industry continues to adapt to changes in consumer behavior during the coronavirus pandemic, the report includes an analysis of COVID-19-related listening patterns.

"The podcast industry has shown its resiliency and ability to be nimble as hosts made a swift transition from recording studios to home, keeping a steady cadence of new episodes," said Diehn. "And even as day-to-day life has been transformed, people continue to turn to trusted and beloved shows and hosts to be informed and uplifted."

The report also includes data from the Stitcher app and Stitcher's PodSurvey, the industry's largest ongoing survey of podcast listeners, unveiling the top shows and genres, listener demographics, regional distinctions and more.

Other findings include:

Content: Shows such as "This American Life" and "The Daily" continue to attract listeners and advertisers from the coasts to middle America. As the industry has evolved, more content has emerged for listeners of all ages, backgrounds and interests.

  • Unlimited options: Nearly 7 million episodes were published to Stitcher in 2019 alone.

  • Crime is king: True crime podcasts lead in total listening and binge-listening hours in 2019, followed by comedy podcasts and then news and politics.

  • Oldies but goodies grow: When ranked by number of listeners, 17 shows that were in the top 100 in 2010 were still in the top 100 in 2019.

States with the most listening hours:

  1. California: 15+ million listening hours

  2. Texas: 7+ million listening hours

  3. New York: 7+ million listening hours

  4. Washington: 5+ million listening hours

  5. Illinois: 4+ million listening hours

The full report including all the industry and listener behavior data is now available here.

NAB Announces 2020 Service to America Awards Finalists


The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation revealed today the finalists for the 2020 Celebration of Service to America Awards, recognizing outstanding community service by local broadcasters. One winner from each category will be announced during the Celebration of Service to America Awards program, accessible online and available for broadcast radio and television stations to air on a specific date in late August.

The 2020 Celebration of Service to America Awards, previously scheduled for June 9, has been reimagined as a pre-recorded event. Through a partnership with Hollywood production company Trailer Park, the NAB Leadership Foundation will provide a broadcast-quality program showcasing the vital role of local radio and television stations throughout the U.S. The specific date for the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

Trailer Park is a leading Hollywood-based entertainment marketing company, counting many of the world's most prestigious and successful companies, brands, media properties and film franchises among its clients.

"America's radio and television stations' dedication to public service shines brightly in local communities every day, and continually ensures the safety and well-being of viewers and listeners," said NAB Leadership Foundation President Michelle Duke. "We look forward to celebrating broadcasters who have gone above and beyond to serve communities and families in need, and we are thrilled to honor broadcasters' service with audiences across the country."

A complete list of all finalists can be found HERE.

Sherri Powers Promoted to Chief Engineer at Beasley/Detroit


Sherri Powers
Sherri Powers

Beasley Media Group announces Sherri Powers has been promoted to the position of Chief Engineer at Beasley Media Group's Detroit-based radio properties, including WRIF-FM, WCSX-FM, WDMK-FM and 105.The Bounce. Powers, who celebrated her 22nd Anniversary in April at the stations, most recently served as Assistant Chief Engineer of the radio cluster.

She began her career at WCSX-FM and WHND-AM in 1991, where she spent the summer making cables and building a production room as well as setting up remotes. Powers eventually went on to work part-time doing remotes for WRIF-FM, before landing her first full-time job with WOW-FM 99.5. After the station flipped to WYCD-FM (country format), she was named Assistant Engineer from 1993 - 1998. Powers eventually contracted with Greater Media to build all new studios for WCSX-FM & WRIF-FM, before being hired full-time at the stations in 1998.

"It's been incredible working in radio over the past 29 years," said Powers. "I've had the great fortune and privilege of spending a great majority of my career with the incredible Beasley Media Group stations in the Motor City," said Powers. I'd like to thank Mac Edwards and the incredible people I work with every day for their support!"

"We're so fortunate to have Sherri Powers as an integral member of the Beasley-Detroit Team," said Vice President and Market Manager Mac Edwards. "Not only is Sherri highly respected by her colleagues, she epitomizes dedication to her craft and devotion to getting the job done right. Sherri has taken the lead on many significant projects in her storied career here. We look forward to watching her continue to lead as our new Chief."

"Sherri has proven herself time and time again and is respected and adored by the staff," said Beasley Media Group Chief Technology Officer Mike Cooney. "I could not be happier that she has accepted the Chief position."

Powers is a graduate of the Broadcast Electronics Program at the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Detroit, Michigan.

Saratoga Broadcasting to Acquire WJRV, WTNQ/Eastern TN


Media Services Group
Media Services Group

Momentum Broadcasting has entered into an agreement to sell 190W AC WJRV-FM (106.1 The River)/Oliver Springs, TN and 6kW Oldies WTNQ-FM (104.9)/LaFollette, TN (both putting distant signals into Knoxville) to Saratoga Broadcasting LLC for $325,000. New York based Saratoga Broadcasting is a partnership between Ricki Lee's Border Media LLC and A&J Radio LLC, owned by Aaron and Jessica Ishmael. Momentum Broadcasting is headed by Donna Alpert.

Eddie Esserman of Media Services Group's St. Simons Island office represented the seller in this transaction.

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Integr8 Research Introduces ''Generational Music Cycle''


Matt Bailey
Matt Bailey

Using a parallel example of how authors William Strauss and Neil Howe used generational patterns to predict historical events (including, some might argue, current events) in the book "Generations: The History of America's Future," Integr8 Research President Matt Bailey has introduced the concept of a music cycle that is also based on generational patterns. According to Bailey, the creators and consumers of popular music at given points in time influence which generational music cycle we're in.

In an article at Integr8Research.com, Bailey writes, "The creators and consumers of popular music at given points in time influence which generational music cycle we're in. The idea that music is cyclical isn't new of course. Legendary programmer and consultant Guy Zapoleon has long championed The Music Cycle, observing that Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) moves through three predictable phases during a decade: Birth/Pop, Extremes, and Doldrums."

But why does music move through these phases? Bailey writes there is a longer-range cycle that both drives Zapoleon's music cycle and explains why we never seem to avoid its doldrums. He calls it the Generational Music Cycle, and it's based on Strauss and Howe's generational archetypes theory.

Two factors drive the Generational Music Cycle: Which generation is the primary creator of popular music? And which generation is the primary consumer of popular music? Combined, these factors spawn two different music cycles, each of which lasts about a decade and each of which contains the Birth/Pop, Extremes, and Doldrums phases Zapoleon outlines.

So Bailey ponders, "What does this generations-based music cycle suggest awaits us now?" In 2020, he says we're nearing the end of the millennial generation's Revolution phase. Since the early 2010s, they've been the dominant music makers and tastemakers. But waiting in the wings within the halls of America's middle schools -- or at the moment at home on Google Classroom -- are the kids that will soon begin impacting popular music.

Read the entire article here.

Townsquare Media Reschedules Q1 Results For June 15


Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Townsquare Media has rescheduled the release of its first quarter 2020 financial results from May 27 to before the market opens on Monday, June 15. The new date will provide the company, together with both its current and former independent accounting firms, additional time to complete the financial statements for its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and for the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31.

Townsquare intends to file both the Form 10-K and the Form 10-Q on or by June 15, enabling it to discuss its complete financial results on the first quarter earnings call at 8am ET. It will also discuss business updates for each of its reporting segments for April and May.

Allison Mazzei Named KAB President and Executive Director


Allison Mazzei
Allison Mazzei

Allison Mazzei is named President and Executive Director of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, effective June 1. She succeeds Kent Cornish, who is retiring from KAB after serving in the post for 12 years. Mazzei is a communications and fundraising strategist who has worked with dozens of organizations during her career. Mazzei previously spent 12 years with Pennington & Company, most recently as Senior VP.

"Allison comes from a family of broadcasters and is excited to champion this essential industry," said KAB Chair Brad Moses. "Allison is a proven leader with a forward-looking vision that will enhance the Kansas Association of Broadcasters' legislative agenda."

Mazzei holds a BS in journalism from the University of Kansas and resides in Lawrence, KS. Her volunteer duties include serving on the house corporation board for Sigma Chapter of Gamma Phi Beta, as well as acting as alumnae relations advisor; volunteering for the local Meals on Wheels; and is a patron of several non-profit organizations.

Key Networks Launch New Country Program with Shawn Parr


Across The Country
Across The Country

Key Networks will launch Country radio host Shawn Parr's new weekday show, "Shawn Parr's Across the Country," on Monday, June 1 in sixteen U.S. markets. The program's inaugural affiliates include WGSQ-FM (94.7 Country Giant)/Cookeville TN, KBCR-FM (Big Country 96.9)/Denver-Steamboat Springs CO, WAKX-FM (Kix Country 98.7)/Orlando-Daytona Beach FL, WYOT-FM (102.3 The Coyote)/Rockford IL, WKOA-FM (K105)/Lafayette IN and WXFL-FM (Kix 96)/Florence AL.

The four-hour localized Country music entertainment program is available for stations Monday-Friday via FTP delivery. The show is customized to air anywhere in a station's lineup between 6am-Midnight -- mornings, middays, afternoons or nights. Parr will deliver access to Country artists and showcases the best of Country music in a entertaining and PPM-friendly format.

Key Networks Chief Revenue Officer Dennis Green said, "We are delighted at the initial response from stations to Shawn Parr's Across the Country. There is no one in country radio that works harder putting together amazing content for affiliates than Shawn and we look forward to coming to your towns Across the Country."

WGSQ VP/Operations Manager Phillip Gibbons remarked, "WGSQ, The Country Giant is thrilled to welcome Shawn Parr's Across The Country. Shawn is an outstanding talent and terrific guy. Nights just got better on the Country Giant."

WXFL PD Fletch Brown added, "We are very excited to add Shawn to our programming line-up. Our listeners are as important to him as they are to us, and he shows that. His energy and love for Country music make him a perfect fit for our brand."

Parr commented, "I have waited a long time for this and have built an amazing team who are ready to help me take Nashville "Across the Country." I don't anticipate any sleep Sunday night... this is going to be fun."

Known as "The Ambassador of Country Music," Parr is a familiar voice with nearly 30 years in Country radio, including 10 years as a syndicated on-air host. Based in the Music City, Parr is widely known for his work as the voice of The Academy of Country Music Awards, The Golden Globes, American Music Awards and many other national television specials.

Frye Receives First Results Broadcasting Education Grant


Rachel Frye
Rachel Frye

A morning producer at WTMJ-AM/Milwaukee is the recipient of the first ever Results Broadcasting Education Grant. Rachel Frye graduated from Western Illinois University in 2013 and began her career with a six-radio station cluster in Macomb, IL before taking a job at WTMJ-AM in June, 2014. She started parttime as a reporter and board operator and in February, 2016 and was hired full time as producer of Wisconsin's Morning News. Her duties have since expanded to include producing digital content and leading station events.

Vice President and Market Manager Steve Wexler said Frye is the kind of employee every employer would want. "She's hard-working, sets a very high bar of expectations for herself and our team, and sweats the details." Frye said her goal was to pay off her student loans by the end of the year, and the grant will be a huge help toward making that goal.

"This grant money is so much appreciated, especially during these unstable times," Frye wrote. "I encourage anyone who is considering applying in the future to do so. It's a truly great program targeted at helping Wisconsin broadcasters."

The Results Broadcasting Education Grant was established to provide student debt relief to broadcasters working in Wisconsin. It was created from what used to be the Results Broadcasting scholarship. Recipients get $1,000 to put toward relief of student debt.

"Results Broadcasting is so proud of the dedicated men and women in the Wisconsin over the air radio and TV industry working in all phases of the business," wrote Results Broadcasting owner and WBA Hall of Famer Bruce Grassman. "It is an opportunity to help people with some of their student debt and to let them know they are part of the greatest state of broadcasters, Wisconsin. Results Broadcasting is proud to continue this award for many years to come."

More than a dozen broadcasters applied for the grant. The recipient was chosen by a sub-committee of the WBA Foundation Board. Applications for the next grant will be accepted starting January 1, 2021 and the deadline will be February 28, 2021. Find more details on the WBA Foundation website.

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