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iHeart Turns In Strong Q4

And when radio's biggest company has a good quarter that's good news for the entire radio industry. iHeartMedia's Q4 2016 revenue increased $40.1 million, or 4.5% thanks to strong political revenue. Even when you back out political, iHeart's Q4 revenue was up $19.9 million, or 2.2%. And, with that, iHeartMedia has turned in 15 consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth. iHeart also earned $106 million in the quarter after losing $93.3 million during the same period in 2015.

Daily Headlines

The Wolf Raises $66K For St. Jude

Peoria station 104.9 The Wolf (WXCL) raised $66,362 with John & Jaymie’s Radiothon for St. Jude Kids with Chick-Fil-A Peoria. Broadcasting for two days – February 2-3 – for 12 hours each day, the funds lifted The Wolf’s 27-year total to nearly $7 million.

Judge Says No To Cumulus Refinancing Plan

A U.S. District Court judge has rejected the refinancing plan Cumulus hoped would help reduce its $2.4 billion debt load, Reuters reports. Cumulus filed suit in December, accusing lender JPMorgan Chase & Co of withholding consent to part of the plan. Cumulus had said that JPMorgan's actions threatened a deal with bondholders that could reduce its debt by more than $300 million.

BMI Withdraws Interim Fee Petition

BMI has withdrawn its petition to Federal Rate Court to set an interim fee, in light of the Radio Music License Committee's agreement at an earlier hearing to the rate proposed by BMI. The petition was filed when BMI and RMLC were unable to reach an agreement on an interim fee; BMI says the RMLC's request for a lower rate was "based on incorrect and incomplete information." At a hearing on February 17, the RMLC agreed that the 7,000 stations it represents would pay BMI's proposed interim rate, and so the petition has been withdrawn.

iHeartMedia….Just Like Pixar?

That's what CFO Richard Bressler says, and he attributes that to iHeartMedia's massive scale and transformation into a multi-platform media company over the past five years. Bressler says iHeartMedia uses a master-brand strategy to increase the value of its radio stations and other brands, and Pixar is a great example.

What About iHeart’s Debt?

And now to the item everyone wonders about. iHeart's debt. CFO Richard Bressler said, while staying focused on maximizing the value of the business, the company continues to look for ways to strengthen its capital structure. So how much debt does iHeart now have? Here's what Bressler had to say on the Thursday earnings call...

FCC Loosens FM Translator Rules

As expected, the FCC on Thursday approved an order that expands the site locations where FM translators can rebroadcast AM radio stations. The amended rule provides greater flexibility for an AM station to place a rebroadcasting FM translator in a location where it will better serve its AM station’s listeners. All three commissioners now on the FCC voted in favor of the order.

NAB Announces Crystal Award Finalists

The National Association of Broadcasters announced the 50 finalists for the 30th Annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards. The Crystal Radio Awards recognize stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service.

Headphone Measurement. It’s a Huge Problem For Radio.

Is headphone and earbud listening even higher than the radio industry believes it to be? Radio executives are already concerned about being properly measured when listeners use headphones and earbuds. Now, consultant Alan Burns says, at least with women, this issue may be more serious than originally thought.
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Univision, Nielsen Audio Sign Extension

Univision has signed a multi-year extension on their agreement with Nielsen Audio. The renewal covers all of Univision's 64 owned and operated stations in 16 markets, which include the top 10 U.S. Hispanic markets, as well as Univision's national radio network.

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Whistler Goes From Weekends To Nights At The End

Alternative Seattle station 107.7 The End is handing over nights to weekend jock Cody Whistler. Whistler joined the station’s promotions team over a decade ago and added a swing role on-air three years ago. He’ll be on air every Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. – midnight.

A Couple Of Irregular Guys Who’ll Shake Up Portland

Call them Justin and Chop. The hosts of the new The Irregular Guys show, Monday-Friday, 3-7 p.m. on 750/102.9 The Game (KXTG). They'll be breaking down a sports fan’s favorite beer, car, movie, and more each weekday, and talk about the day’s biggest sports stories.

Norden Lands SVP Post With iHeart Tampa

Pete Norden has begun work as the new Senior VP of Sales for the iHeart cluster in Tampa. Norden has been with iHeartMedia for more than 19 years, most recently serving as the Market President in Sarasota for the past nine years.

Eckert Headed To Nebraska Hall Of Fame

The Nebraska Broadcasters Association will induct Craig Eckert into its Hall of Fame in a ceremony on August 15, during the NBA’s 82nd Annual Convention in La Vista, Nebraska.

Grammer To Perform At Golden Mike

Singer-songwriter Andy Grammer will perform at the 2017 Golden Mike Award, Monday, February 27, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The Broadcasters Foundation is honoring Meredith Corporation's Paul Karpowicz with the Golden Mike Award, and Retired CMG Executive Bill Hoffman with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Audio Ink™

4 New Podcasts For Westwood One 

Westwood One has announced new podcast partnerships with NBC Sports Radio’s The Leisuremen, personalities Paul Pabst and Andrew Perloff; political website The Daily Wire, featuring two podcasts from Ben Shapiro and Andrew Klavan; and Entrepreneurs En Vogue, featuring Miss New York US, Iman Oubou.
Bill_Bennett16

Podcasting Partnership Sees Launch Of The Bill Bennett Show

Advisors to President Trump seem to be in the news constantly – and not necessarily for the best of reasons. But there’s good news for fans of one Trump insider with an impressive background in radio: Bill Bennett. Bennett has entered into a partnership with DGital Media to do The Bill Bennett Show weekly, debuting Thursday.

Podcasters Unite To Raise Listenership

Hundreds of podcast hosts will be combining their powers in March to convert more listeners to the world of podcasts. According to Edison Research, one in five Americans listened to podcasts every month as of early 2016 – a number that has grown by double-digits for five years. But there are still plenty of folks who don’t know how to listen in.

Our Print Magazine: Radio Ink

In This Issue: February 13
Cover Q&A: UMG Nashville Chairman/CEO Mike Dungan
The Best Country PDs In America

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