(By Ryan Wrecker) Commercial radio and podcasting have been treated as two foreign entities. It was like the mediums were neighboring cities split by a river of digital dollars. Both were so focused on fishing from the river that they missed the bigger picture to build a bridge and connect the sides. That's all changing. The Hubbard/PodcastOne deal is the latest example.READ ON
Saga CEO Ed Christian and CFO Sam Bush pack a lot of information - and entertainment - into a 17 minute earnings call. The company had $34.4 million in Q2 revenue, a 1.6 percent increase over 2014. National revenue, which has been receiving a lot of attention lately, was up $100,000 to $4.5 million. National was 12.1 percent of Saga's Q2 revenue. The company had $36.1 million in debt at the end of the quarter and $27.4 million in cash on hand. Looking ahead to Q3 Christian said it's much of the same, pacing is down slightly and flat excluding political.
Monday's Hubbard/PodcastOne announcement was the latest in a series of recent announcements from radio companies expecting podcasting, which many consider to be on-demand radio, to take off. Hubbard Radio is purchasing 30% of Norm Pattiz' PodcastOne and Hubbard CEO Ginny Morris says she and Pattiz are approaching this as very collaborative, with all kinds of potential permutations. READ ON AND LISTEN TO OUR INTERVIEW WITH MORRIS...
In our interview with Norm Pattiz, the PodcastOne CEO says he's never thought of on-demand radio as something separate from radio. "I've been saying for three years, don't knock it, embrace it." Pattiz says he met Hubbard CEO Ginny Morris a month ago and her company gets it. "There are things we can do together that are obvious. What I'm most excited about is the stuff we haven't even thought of yet. I know they want to go in that direction and so do I. The creative process from the people that value content as much as I do will be very exciting." LISTEN TO OUR INTERVIEW WITH PATTIZ HERE .
Over 1,000 people attended the recent Podcasting Movement Convention in Texas. One of those people was former Saga Executive Steve Goldstein who left radio to join the Podcasting revolution by launching a new company called Amplifi Media. Goldstein blogs about the conference which he compared to a radio conference of many years ago, ripe with youngsters making this growing industry popular. Goldstein says his top takeaway from the event was that there is a world of audio beyond AM/FM and a great deal of passionate audio creators. READ ON....
A new video ad will first exist online then shift to TV this fall. With its 80 million users, Pandora is getting ready to celebrate its 10th birthday next month. CMO Simon Flemming-Wood tells Forbes, "Keeping the brand fresh is critical. The fight for the future of music is now. We happen to start from a strong leadership position. We feel great about where the audience is and where the brand is, but the landscape has evolved to where the players aren't startups; they are extremely well-funded and aggressive." Forbes says the new $20 million marketing campaign focuses on the realization that users believe that Pandora does a better job at delivering customized music-but might not be sure why. Watch the video HERE. Read the Forbes piece HERE
The show which begins on August 27 (on SiriusXM Channel 111) sounds similar to ken Rutkowski's Business Rockstars Radio Show. This new program is called "Entrepreneurs are Everywhere," and will be hosted by Steve Blank (pictured), the entrepreneur-turned-educator and creator of the Lean Startup movement. "Entrepreneurs are Everywhere" will feature founders of companies from across the United States sharing their experience of what it takes to build a startup - from restaurants, to rocket scientists, to on-line groceries, to on-line gifts and more.
Nielsen is reporting that 245 million Americans (12 plus) tuned into radio during the second quarter of 2015. In fact, according to Nielsen's latest Audio Today report, in each of the past two years, the national weekly radio audience has reached all-time highs. The Nielsen numbers translate to 91% of the population (12 plus) who are listening to radio in a given week in 250 markets across the country.
Nielsen says since 2011, the weekly national Black radio audience has grown 5% (from 29.8 million to 31.3 million). Nielsen says the national average for all urban formats combined is a 7.7% audience share. Take a look at the Western United States in this map Nielsen provides. It shows a huge difference in the format compared to the Eastern side of the country. Geographically, the states with the highest share of Black consumers listening to urban radio formats are: Mississippi (29.9%), Louisiana (28.8%), Georgia(26.6%), South Carolina (23.5%), Alabama (19.4%) and North Carolina (17.9%).
Media Service Group's Bill Cate tells us that Monte Spearman’s High Plains Radio Network is expanding its Texas radio holdings to neighboring state, Arkansas. Spearman is buying Scott Gray’s 3 FM's in Mountain Home for $820,000 in cash. The stations are KYMT-FM, a class A licensed to Gassville, AR, KJMT-FM, a C-3, licensed to Calico Rock, AR and KCMC-FM, also a C-3 licensed to Viola, AR, all owned and operated by Malvern Entertainment Corporation and Gray Media Corporation of Alexander, Arkansas. Gray, a consulting engineer from Little Rock, has no other radio holdings.
GatesAir has added another seven patent awards to its 238 previous US and Global patents. The seven patent awards span a variety of technical inventions, including: Predictable Coding Delay over Communications Networks, Operation of an Antenna on a Second, Higher Frequency, Systems and Methods for Presentation of Digital Media at a Mobile Platform and Broadband High-Efficiency Amplifier System Incorporating Dynamic Modulation of Load Impedance
Big box home improvement giant Home Depot retained its top spot as radio's number one advertiser last week (57,782 spots aired). However, as Media Monitors reports, Auto Zone rocketed to the number two slot, from 36, by airing nearly 36,500 commercials. GEICO is pushed down to number three (29,378), O'Reilly Auto Parts climbs one spot to number four (26,410), and McDonalds rounds out the top five (26,249). Two wireless carriers made big gains last week. Verizon moved from 48th to 7th (24,694) and MetroPCS jumped from 39th to 8th (23,072).
Radio imaging company Benztown and Sports USA Media are partnering to offer stations the Daily Roto radio feature, a free 30-second daily fantasy sports update showcasing fantasy sports tips, picks and analysis. Benztown will produce the feature and Sports USA Media will distribute it for free and for no commercial inventory.
Designed by former radio manager and sales executive, Alan Fendrich, Advanced Hiring Systems uses predictive psychoanalytical models to help managers with the sales hiring process. AdLarge is now the exclusive distribution partner for the company. AdLarge's Jessica Sherman stated, "A poor hire costs radio stations money and time. Alan has combined his expertise as a previous radio station executive with his proven profile assessment process to help managers hire the sales stars who will generate revenue."
Crystalyn Portwood joins her old boss at iHeartMedia. Portwood has been hired as Director of Sports Sales and will oversee sales for iHeartMedia's flagship teams, including The Denver Broncos, The Colorado Rockies and The University of Colorado Buffalos. Portwood moves to Denver (market #19) from St. Louis (market # 22) where she was LSM for CBS Radio under then GSM Tim Hager. She took over as GSM when Hager joined iHeartmedia as Senior VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Denver.
Digity's Country powerhouse in Greenville-New Bern, North Carolina has a new afternoon driver. Tom Lawler joins the station beginning August 10th filling the slot vacated by PD/Music Director Tommy Garrett, who resigned in July. Lawler previously worked for the Digity Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville Cluster at Rock 105, WXQR, doing middays. He has also worked for many years in the New York City market, first at WOR-AM and the WOR Radio Network as a producer, and at WCBS and CBS-FM as a producer and production assistant.
Cumulus New York makes the announcement that New York broadcast veteran and current Cumulus NY GSM Mary Jo Vetrano is the new GSM for Cumulus's R&B station, Radio 103.9 WNBM. Vetrano, a 20-year veteran of New York City radio sales, was named GSM at WPLJ in 2012, and will continue in that role. Vetrano previously held senior positions at CBS' 1010 WINS and Cumulus New York's Talkradio 77WABC.
Simpson left Washington D.C. radio back in 2010 after 41 years in radio, television, and movies. Radio One has pulled Simpson out of retirement and slated him for afternoons on MAJIC 102.3. Regional VP Jeff Wilson said, "Donnie is iconic. The D.C. market woke up to his voice for 30 years and we are thrilled to bring him out of retirement and behind a microphone again."
Tasha Blasi Pannuzzo is returning to Westwood One, this time her job title will be Senior VP, Marketing & Sales for NASH. It's a new position, created for Blasi, in which she will oversee client relations, brand partnerships, and multi-platform integrations for all NASH programming. Blasi worked at Westwood from 2005-2011 as a salesperson, before moving up to manage the Business Radio Network and lead sales and marketing for the launch of the Wall Street Journal Radio assets.
Mix 96.5 has announced the Dave, Mahoney & DK Morning Show will debut Monday, September 14. The team is moving to Houston (market #6) from CBS' KXTE-FM in Las Vegas (market #32) where they were for six years. Midday host Lauren Kelly is holding down the fort until the new morning show arrives. Kelly will shift back to middays September 14. The station is also celebrating its 25th anniversary playing the Hot AC format.
Twenty-three men and women from the broadcast industry completed the NAB Education Foundation's Executive Development Seminar in July at NAB headquarters in Washington D.C. Participants learned how to implement strategy for successful business development, including the areas of finance, negotiations, and decision-making. Managerial effectiveness was explored, including leadership theory, formulating human capital strategy, and how to motivate employees.