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iHeartMedia Q1 Revs Down 9.5% to $706.6M, Loss Narrows


iHeartMedia reported first quarter revenue fell 9.5% to $706.6 million from $780.6 in 2020. Operating loss was $76 million compared to $1.7 billion in prior-year, which included $1.7 billion of impairment charges. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA declined 27.1% to $102 million from $140 million. The company reported a net loss of $242 million as compared with a net loss of $1.68 billion in the year-ago period.

Broadcast Radio revenues decreased 22.3% to $358.5 million from $461.6 million, while Network revenue declined 14.5% to $115 million from $134 million. Podcast revenue jumped 141.9% to $38 million from $15.8 million.

"The first quarter outperformed our expectations on all financial metrics as the company continues its steady recovery from the COVID-19 downturn, which is not just a continuation of the positive trends we've seen across the business - we believe it's a validation of our long-term multiplatform product and revenue strategy and the investments we have made in growth areas like podcasting, ad tech and the continued expansion of broadcast radio on digital devices," said Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. "As a company we continue to prioritize identifying new opportunities across the audio, advertising, and data analytics sectors to expand our Total Addressable Market from just the $15B of Radio TAM to include the $160B of Digital TAM, providing us with new revenue opportunities for meaningful and sustainable growth for all our operating segments."

"Our ability to adapt and innovate, as well as our strategic allocation of capital, during the COVID-19 pandemic have set the stage for strong growth in 2021. Our cost management, investments in key areas of growth, and focus on our core-competencies helped us to achieve Adjusted EBITDA of $102 million in the first quarter, and we remain confident that we will be back to 2019 Adjusted EBITDA levels by the end of 2021," added President, COO and CFO Rich Bressler.

Smart Speakers Surge as Moms Turn to Tech for Assistance

Edison Research
Edison Research

Forty-six percent of U.S. moms own a smart speaker, up from 33% last year, according to the Moms and Media 2021 study just released by The Research Moms of Edison Research. The latest installment of the annual report shows just how much U.S. moms look to voice assistants and mobile tech as they spend more time at home with kids and share work and school spaces.

Sixty-three percent of U.S. moms now use voice-operated personal assistants of any kind, including smart speakers, smart phones, tablets, computers and other devices. Of those moms who own a smart speaker, they own an average of 2.7 of the devices.

According to Edison Research Vice President Melissa DeCesare, who is also one of The Research Moms, "The past year during COVID has been about adjustment, especially for moms. The pandemic uprooted everything we knew and were familiar with and it forced a new at-home lifestyle for the entire family. Moms are tasked with keeping it all on track and they do it with help from modern technology. Our 2021 report shows that moms have not only maintained their commitment to devices and mobile tendencies, but they've actually adjusted their habits to better suit their needs during the pandemic."

Key findings include:

  • Moms are more connected than ever via the Internet: 93% of U.S. moms have Internet access at home, and 81% of moms access the Internet through their cell phone.

  • Moms are spending more time with the Internet: In 2021 U.S. moms report spending four hours and 16 minutes daily using the internet -- 23 more minutes per day than in 2020.

  • More moms are consuming online audio: 82% of U.S. moms are monthly online audio listeners compared with 76% in 2020, and 76% of U.S. moms are weekly online audio listeners compared with 70% in 2020. Moms report 15 hours weekly of online audio listening.

  • More moms are listening to podcasts: 64% of U.S. moms have ever listened to a podcast (up from 57% in 2020) - 40% have listened in the last month and 28% in the last week.

  • Moms are on the move as shown by their devices: 89% of U.S. moms own a smartphone and 68% own a tablet. Sixty-one percent of moms own wireless earphones or headphones, which can facilitate phone calls or audio consumption in an environment where others are also working or learning.

  • Social media keeps Mom connected: 93% of U.S. moms use some type of social networking site. Twenty-six percent use TikTok (up from just 8% last year) and 27% use Twitter (up from 18% last year), the two platforms with the biggest increases year over year. Facebook is still the platform most social media moms say they use most often (58%), but it is not as dominant as years past, down from 69% last year.

  • Half of moms (50%) say social media has helped their children cope during the pandemic. Fifty-eight percent of moms on social media agree that their children have been using social media more often since the pandemic began.

  • Moms also acknowledge the downside of social media for their children: 25% of U.S. moms agree that social media has had a negative impact on the emotional well-being of their children, and 44% agree that their children have relied too much on social media to fill their time during the pandemic.

  • Half of moms (50%) have listened to an audiobook. For the moms who have listened, they average 7.8 books per year.

Moms and Media 2021 is now available to download and view here.

Entravision Communications Q1 Net Revenues Jump 132%

Entravision Communications
Entravision Communications

Entravision Communications reported first quarter net revenue climbed 132% to $148.8 million in 2020. Operating expenses were flat at $40 million. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA was up 47% to $14.1 million from $9.6 million, while free cash flow jumped 149% to $13 million from $5.2 million. The company posted a net income $5.4 million (6 cents per diluted share) as compared to a loss of $35.6 million (-42 cents) in the year-ago period.

"We are very pleased with our results for the first quarter 2021, with core television and audio performing well, along with our digital segment that continues to see solid growth," said Chiarman/CEO Walter F. Ulloa. "We are particularly pleased with the progress of our recent acquisition of Cisneros Interactive through which we significantly expanded Entravision's digital offerings to customers, including representing some of the strongest global audience and ad tech platforms. As we grew our top line, we also remained cost conscious and continue to operate a much more efficient business than even prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic."

The company also announced that its board of directors has approved a quarterly cash dividend to shareholders of $0.025 per share on its Class A, Class B and Class U common stock, in an aggregate amount of approximately $2.1 million. The quarterly dividend will be payable on June 30, 2021 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 16, 2021, and the common stock will trade ex-dividend on June 15.


Saga Communications Q1 Net Revs Down 14.5% to $22.3M

Saga Communications
Saga Communications

Saga Communications reported first quarter net revenue fell 14.5% to $22.3 million from $26.1 million in 2020. Station operating expense decreased $3.3 million to $18.9 million, while station operating income dropped 14.5% to $4.7 million from $5.5 million. Operating income fell to $883,000 from $2.2 million. The company posted a net income of $758,000 (13 cents per diluted share) as compared to earnings of $1.6 million (28 cents) in the year-ago period.

WBZ/Boston Wins Two Regional Murrow Awards

iHeartMedia Boston announced today that WBZ NewsRadio, Boston's News Radio, has won two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in the categories of Best Newscast and Continuing Coverage.

WBZ NewsRadio will celebrate its 100th anniversary later this year, and these awards are the latest in the trophy case of a legendary cornerstone of the Boston media landscape. Past wins of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in journalism include Overall Excellence, Best Newscast, Excellence in Social Media, and Excellence in Writing. In 2016, WBZ also won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast.

"It's gratifying that in our 100th year of public service to New England and, inarguably, one of the most difficult of those years to cover local news, WBZ NewsRadio remains relevant in people's lives," said Rob Sanchez, Vice President of News, Talk & Sports, for iHeartMedia Boston.

WBAL Earns Two RTDNA Regional Murrow Awards


Hearst Radio's WBAL NewsRadio 1090/FM 101.5 earned recognition today from the Radio Television Digital News Association with a pair of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. Awarded annually since 1971, the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards are named in honor of the legendary broadcaster and recognize outstanding work in broadcast and digital journalism.

WBAL was honored in the category of Breaking News coverage for its coverage of an August 2020 row home explosion in Baltimore. It is the station's third consecutive Regional Murrow Award in this category, also earning a National Murrow Award for Breaking News in 2020.

The station was also recognized in the category of Excellence in Writing for Josh Spiegel's commentary features. Spiegel is also a co-host and news anchor for the Justin, Scott & Spiegel morning show on sister station 98 ROCK. It the 2nd year in a row Spiegel's commentaries have been recognized in this category, and 5th overall.

Both entries are now eligible for consideration for National Murrow Awards. The winners will be announced in June.

"We are extraordinarily proud of the dedicated journalists at WBAL NewsRadio," said WBAL NewsRadio and 98 ROCK President and General Manager Cary Pahigian. "Our commitment to reliable local news coverage along with balanced analysis and insightful commentary remains a top priority."

Cumulus Media Q1 Total Revenue Down 11.5%, Loss Widens

Cumulus Media
Cumulus Media

Cumulus Media reported first quarter total revenue declined 11.5% to $201.7 million from $227.9 million in 2020. On a same station basis and excluding political, total revenue dropped 9.5%. Adjusted EBITDA fell 67.8% to $8.9 million from $27.7 million. The company posted a net loss of $21.9 million (-$1.07 per diluted share) as compared to a net loss of $7.35 million (-36 cents) in the year-ago period.

President/CEO Mary G. Berner said, "Our first quarter results clearly reflect the benefits of our improved operating leverage in a recovering economy. Over the last three months, expanded vaccine distribution and greater economic activity have supported a significant pickup in advertising, leading to a positive revenue trajectory across all our businesses, with particularly strong results in podcasting which was up approximately 35% year-over-year.

She added, "Additionally, the meaningful permanent cost reductions we initiated in 2020, more than $10 million of which were reflected in the first quarter, positively impacted Q1 2021 EBITDA. Looking ahead, with our strong competitive positioning, growing digital revenue streams, and substantial free cash flow generating potential, we believe we have multiple avenues along which to grow shareholder value."

Beasley Media Southwest Florida Makes Programming Moves

Jeff Zito
Jeff Zito

Beasley Media Group Southwest Florida names 20-year market vet Jeff Zito (pictured) as Program Director of WRXK-FM (96K Rock)/Fort Myers. He'll remain in Tampa and continue to hold the position of Assistant PD/air talent at Classic Rock WPBB-FM (98.7 The Shark). Concurrently, Marija Puidak is appointed WRXK midday host (10am-2pm) and Programming Coordinator. Puidak was working at crosstown WXNX-FM in mornings when the station flipped formats and most recently handled weekends on WRXK since November.

Additionally, Sheila Book moves to mornings on co-owned AC WJPT-FM (Sunny 1063) from 6am-10am. She most recently was heard in middays on WJPT-FM for more than 15 years. Joe Winner is appointed Assistant PD and will now host middays from 10am-2pm. Winner has served on the air and was APD on sister WXKB for more than 15 years.

Beasley has also promoted Babs to middays from 10am-3pm on CHR WXKB-FM (B103.9)/Fort Myers. She's worked in the market for over 10 years. In addition, Babs will continue her current role as midday host for WLLD-FM in Tampa, where she will be based.


Kansas City Rock Radio Legend Skid Roadie to Retire

Skid Roadie
Skid Roadie

Legendary Kansas City radio personality Skid Roadie has announced his retirement after 23 years on Cumulus/Kansas City's Classic Rock KCFX-FM (101 The Fox) and a 42-year career -- 41 of those years spent on-air entertaining Kansas City radio listeners. Roadie, who announced his retirement on-air Wednesday, will retire at the end of May.

Prior to joining KCFX-FM in 1998, Roadie was on-air at Classic Rock KYYS-FM (KY-102), where he debuted to Kansas City audiences in 1982. He cut his radio teeth in Albuquerque in 1979 at KRKE-AM and then at KWXL-FM/97 Rock from 1980-1981.

Roadie was named On-Air Personality of the Year three times by Kansas City Media Professionals, and in 2003, was honored by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters as Large Market Personality of the Year. The Missouri Broadcasters Association recognized Roadie in 2008 with its DJ Award, and with a Certificate of Merit in 2004. Roadie has also been honored by Billboard as Music Director of the Year and Rock Radio Personality of the Year.

Roadie commented, "For nearly four decades, Kansas City has been a great place to work, live, and raise a family. Who would've thought hiding here in a middle-sized market in the middle of America in the middle of the afternoon would be the key to my longevity and stability in the radio industry? Rock and Roll has kept me young at heart, and matching company 401k money has made it possible for a 61-year-old to perform this final and early 'mic drop.' Thanks to all those people in and out of the business who made it possible -- especially my high school sweetheart and wife of 38 years, Terri. I will now take the advice of every program director I have ever worked for: STFU and let the music play."

KCFX-FM Program Director Dave Hill said, "What an exceptional talent and a fantastic career. You will be missed Skid; good luck, enjoy life... as I know you will."

KCFX-FM morning host Slacker noted, "A true example of a radio legend. I've been proud to know Skid for 30 years as more than a co-worker, but a friend... one I owe a lot of my own radio success to. And the only person I know to retire from radio... quitter."

iHeartMedia Launches Private Podcast Marketplace for Brands


iHeartMedia has announced the launch of a new, first-of-its-kind Private Marketplace. The new marketplace will provide advertisers with programmatic buying access to distribute their marketing to audiences across a library of shows in the world from the iHeartPodcast Network. This new technology allows brand advertisers to create their own unique, tailored marketplaces -- composed of their specific audience targets and pricing, to dial up and down across each year as their marketing needs require -- across iHeart's podcast network.

The new technology developed through iHeartMedia's recently acquired Voxnest, advertisers will gain private access to target iHeartMedia's podcast library by content, geography and consumer psychographics. The iHeartPodcast Network includes hundreds of iHeartRadio original podcasts spanning every category from business, sports, spirituality and technology to entertainment, family, comedy and true crime including "Stuff You Should Know," "The Ron Burgundy Podcast" and the "Atlanta Monster" series as well as over a hundred shows from its air talent like the popular "Bobbycast" and "The Breakfast Club" on-demand podcasts.

"We acquired Voxnest last Fall with the plan to be able to provide podcast advertisers with additional targetable inventory at scale by allowing the effective and efficient monetization across an entire range of podcast inventory. Voxnest connects all of the fragmented platforms that exist in podcasting - the launch of this Private Marketplace is a huge milestone in the podcast industry and advances these capabilities to buyers," said iHeartMedia Chief Data Officer and President of Revenue Strategies Brian Kaminsky. "Our podcasts attract some of the most engaged and passionate podcast listeners in the world and now advertisers will have massive scale and highly specific targeting at their fingertips, to reach these hundreds of millions of listeners who are now consuming podcasts."

iHeartMedia's Private Marketplace will offer advertisers multiple deal types including Programmatic Guaranteed (PG), Preferred Deal (PD), Private Auction (PA) and Open Marketplace (OMP). Buyers interested can email ProgrammaticAdOps@iHeartMedia.com.

Baka Boyz Hip-Hop Mastermix Classic Show Set to Debut

Baka Boyz
Baka Boyz

The Baka Boyz have been mixing on the radio for 30 years with their Hip-Hop Mastermix. Now, they will be mixing the songs that made them world famous in the new Hip Hop Mastermix Classic Show to debut with a Memorial Day Special. There will be a house party every weekend featuring mixes of 90's hip hop and more.

The Baka Boyz commented, "This Hip-Hop Time Machine will bring back Memories and Nostalgia to your audience that transports them back to the first time they fell in love with Hip-Hop."

Flagship KDAY Program Director Emmanuel "E-Man" Coquia said, "The Baka Boyz Nick and Eric V are the epitome of Hip-Hop radio starting back in the 90s. The Hip Hop Mastermix Classic edition are great examples of not only the music of the past decades, but the vibe and energy they brought to the airwaves."

Compass Media Networks is offering a 3-hour commercial free version of the show Memorial Day weekend for interested stations based on availability.

Audacy to Present "The Power of Audio" at the IAB 2021

Audacy has announced its lineup for the IAB NewFronts and IAB Podcast Upfronts, the media and entertainment industry's two premiere events designed for brands, agencies, and media buyers to preview the latest in digital content and podcast programming. This will be Audacy's inaugural year at the NewFronts, and as the exclusive audio-only company represented this year, an opportunity for it to reinforce the power of audio to move business (or for advertisers) and reintroduce itself to the industry under its new brand.

"At this year's IAB events, we will demonstrate the unique ability of sound to connect, immerse, captivate and engage audiences like no other medium," said Paul Suchman, Chief Marketing Officer, Audacy.

The Audacy IAB NewFront virtual presentation will take place on Wednesday, May 5 at 3:15 p.m. ET, followed by virtual experiences from Audacy's Cadence13, Pineapple Street Studios, and Podcorn companies at the IAB Podcast Upfronts on Thursday, May 13 at 12:50 p.m. ET.

Audacy's NewFront presentation will open with spoken word artist, poet and 2020 winner of "America's Got Talent" Brandon Leake and close with a performance by multi-platinum indie-pop trio AJR.

Audacy's Podcast Upfront presentation will showcase exclusive launches from Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios. This will include global superstar Demi Lovato discussing her forthcoming podcast with Cadence13; Ghostwriter, an upcoming C13Feature from Cadence13's pioneering scripted studio focused on feature-length fictionalized audio "movies for your ears;" a look at the 2021 audio documentary slate from the Peabody-nominated C13Originals studio; Crooked Media co-founder Jon Lovett on Pod Save America in 2021; and award-winning Pineapple Street Studios' upcoming slate of original series and its branded podcasts from partners including HBO, Netflix, and Nike.

Presentations will also showcase Podcorn's influencer marketplace, a self-and full-service platform for brands to connect with independent influential podcast creators for native advertising.

"We're seeing that digital audio campaigns are working harder when a total audio strategy is utilized - across the board - whether the goals are web visitation, sales, or brand lift," said Ken Lagana, Executive Vice President, Digital Sales, Audacy. "Audacy helps brands and agencies take full advantage of a multi-channel ‘total audio' strategy. Our proposition will resonate well with audiences at the IAB events."


Westwood One Launches "Give Them Lala with Randall" Podcast

Cumulus Media's Westwood One Podcast Network today introduces "Give Them Lala ... with Randall," an exciting new podcast featuring reality star Lala Kent and her fiancé, film producer Randall Emmett, talking with each other and their guests about lifestyle, fashion, and social issues.

Published each Wednesday, the podcast is available at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Pandora, among other platforms.

"We are so excited to be a part of the Westwood One family," said Lala. "Our lives have changed tremendously since our last episode aired last year, and we can't wait to venture into these new times with our listeners."

"This is the perfect time for Lala and Randall to return to podcasting," said Suzanne Grimes, EVP Marketing at CUMULUS MEDIA and president of Westwood One. "As they embark upon the wonders of life with their new baby, their fans will be able to share all the adventures, milestones, and celebrations that go along with starting a family. I am confident our listeners and brands will want to be a part of this bold and beautiful experience."

Coldplay's Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland Take Over AT40

American Top 40
American Top 40

Coldplay's Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland will take over "American Top 40" this weekend, May 8 and 9. In addition to counting down the Top 40 songs, they'll discuss the making of their new single "Higher Power," which will be released May 7. Martin and Buckland will also preview Coldplay's May 9 appearance and worldwide debut performance of "Higher Power" on the Mother's Day episode of ABC's American Idol, where the contestants will choose from their catalogue of songs and be mentored by Martin.

Additionally, Martin and Buckland will answer questions from callers and fans tweeting @AmericanTop40 with the hashtag #ColdplayOnAT40.

Beasley Reports Q1 Revenues of 48.2 Million

Beasley Media Group
Beasley Media Group

Beasley Broadcast Group reported first quarter net revenue fell to $48.2 million from $57.7 million in 2020. Station operating income declined to $5.2 million from $6.7 million. Operating loss was $2.5 million compared to $7.1 million. The company posted a net loss of $10.6 million (-36 cents per diluted share) as compared to a net loss of $8.8 million (-32 cents) in the year-ago period.

During the three months ended March 31, 2021 results reflects a year-over-year decrease in commercial advertising revenue and a lack of non-traditional revenue (NTR) and event revenue primarily related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to lower cyclical political advertising revenue, partially offset by a year-over-year increase in digital revenue.

CEO Caroline Beasley said, "Beasley reported 2021 first quarter financial results consistent with the expectations we outlined when we reported the 2020 fourth quarter, as our strong revenue growth in the first two months of the comparable 2020 period, prior to the onset of the pandemic, created a difficult year-over-year comparison. Though we continued to experience challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic during the first quarter, I am pleased to report that we began to see a strong recovery. As a result, we expect Beasley to return to top-line revenue growth beginning in the second quarter of 2021.

"During the first quarter, we continued to advance our digital transformation and revenue diversification initiatives across the Company. In this regard, Beasley generated digital revenue growth of approximately 10% on a year-over-year basis, with digital accounting for approximately 12% of total first quarter revenue, compared to 9.3% of total revenue in the prior year period. Consumer demand for digital audio content remains strong and with our ongoing emphasis on digital innovation, Beasley continues attracting new business by successfully targeting the sale of non-radio products to non-radio advertisers. With the continued strong growth of our digital business, Beasley will report digital revenue as a separate segment going forward. We believe this milestone represents an important inflection point in the ongoing evolution of our operating model and clearly highlights the value of our revenue diversification strategies.

"The actions we have taken over the last year to realign our cost structure and improve efficiencies across the organization drove a year-over-year reduction in first quarter operating and corporate expenses of 15.6% and 13.5%, respectively. We believe our ability to extract meaningful expense savings out of the business provided us with the ability to make strategic investments in our commercial sales infrastructure, which will enable us to maintain our market competitiveness so we are best positioned to deliver on our revenue goals as we move deeper into the recovery phase of the pandemic."

Coleman Insights Reveals More SuperStudy 3 Findings

Coleman Insights Contemporary Music SuperStudy
Coleman Insights Contemporary Music SuperStudy

Coleman Insights has released its second round of findings from its annual Contemporary Music SuperStudy in the "Tuesdays With Coleman" blog, "Pop Reigns Supreme (Again!) in Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3" by Coleman Insights President Warren Kurtzman. Among this week's highlights:

  • Pop has been the genre with the biggest share of the Top 100 in every Contemporary Music SuperStudy, and its 40% performance this year represents an increase from 35% last year

  • Hip Hop and R&B looks even stronger this year than in the two previous studies

  • Among Suburban consumers, Country's fortunes have clearly changed. Last year, Country's 27% presence in the Top 100 among Suburban consumers represented a tripling from 9% in the first Contemporary SuperStudy; this year, the same figure plummeted to 7%

Registration is now open for the Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3 Deep Dive Webinar on Thursday, May 13th at 2pm ET by clicking here.

Resolution Opposes Performance Royalty on Local Radio

U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress

A bipartisan coalition of 77 members of the House of Represenatives and eight Senators have joined together to introduce resolutions in Congress opposing "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local broadcast radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA) signals members of Congress's opposition to any potential legislation that would impose new performance royalties on broadcast radio stations for music airplay.

Reps. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) and Steve Womack (R-AR-3) are the principal co-sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House of Representatives. Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and John Barrasso (R-WY) are the lead co-sponsors of a companion resolution in the Senate.

"America's broadcasters commend the bipartisan co-sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act for standing with their hometown radio stations against a devastating performance royalty," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "For decades, free radio airplay has promoted performing artists and their music, launched the careers of countless performers, generated unparalleled revenue for record labels and served the millions of listeners who tune into their local radio stations every day. We appreciate the bipartisan lawmakers in the House and Senate who have voiced their support for preserving the mutually beneficial relationship between broadcast radio and the music industry."

"Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over the air, or on any business for the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station broadcast over the air," reads the Local Radio Freedom Act.

In the 116th Congress, a similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate. The House resolution eventually gathered support of the majority of the House of Representatives. The Senate resolution garnered 28 co-sponsors.


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