Christian: No Dancing In The Streets


In a letter to shareholders filed with the company’s annual report, Saga CEO Ed Christian gave a prediction like only Ed Christian could. “If we were in the 1920s, I would defer to Harry Houdini and his friend Arthur Conan Doyle who genuinely believed that Houdini had psychic powers. Unfortunately, all I see is a swirl of events and occurrences that globally could either affect us or leave us in the bubble. I don’t think that 2016 is going to be bad but, at the same time, I don’t envision us dancing in the streets.”

Christian said Saga’s mantra is to be bold, knock the cover off the ball, deliver the magic, but keep the secret sauce to yourself. “We want that swagger. We want everyone to know that we are the consummate professionals and that we care about our communities. Just like in show business…when you have big audiences, you make money.”

About the financial details of the company, Chrisitan told shareholders in 2015 free cash flow increased 2.9% to $21.6 million and Saga has now returned over $34 million in cash to shareholders through dividends since December, 2012. In 2015, Saga used $11.0 million of internally generated cash to purchase its new radio stations in Harrisonburg, VA, and $6.4 million to pay dividends to shareholders.


  1. I played the part of the canary in the coal mine a number of times. When I was developing tunnel-vision, got woozy and started passing out, I became ascairt. Very, very ascairt.
    I guess some others just don’t notice. Or, maybe they can’t tell the difference.
    Meanwhile, is everybody having stimulating trouser accidents because of the fabulous, contemporary format as demonstrated by “The Outlaw”?

  2. Robinson’s comments remind me of a bad restaurant I once dined at; the food was terrible and the portions were too large.

  3. Radio Ink, to their credit, allows for much more than standard cheerleading and Pollyanna’s positions.
    Fortunately, Radio Ink is not a home on the range “where seldom is heard a discouraging word”.
    I am impressed by and grateful for the editorial integrity as demonstrated by Eric and Ed – if even it is, occasionally, at their discomfort.
    Meanwhile, I may be employed by a radio outfit again. I may not.
    But, this won’t happen until the exercise becomes meaningful work for an educated, practiced, proven, professional, grownup broadcaster with something much more effective, powerful, attainable programs, systems, methodologies and strategies to offer.
    My experience here is one in which most ownership and management just cover their ears and go, “Na-na-na-na-nah!”
    And then, crap all over the messenger.
    These are not grownup behaviors.

  4. Ed,

    Good comments. I also wanted to thank you, belatedly, for all the work you do for broadcasters in the music licensing negotiations. Ignore the comments of Robinson here. He’s a malcontent, not employed in radio for good reason. An embarrassment to RadioInk. Yesterday he admonished people for attending the NAB. Let Eric explain that one to his friends.

  5. Is “The Outlaw” an example of “knocking the cover off the ball, delivering the magic and keeping the secret sauce to themselves”…?
    Just musing…


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