Industry News

AES’ Prez Wyner Starts Term

Radio World - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 14:05

The COVID pandemic may freeze some activities but the audio world hasn’t completely stopped.

One example is the Audio Engineering Society and its new president, Jonathan Wyner who started his term on Jan. 1.

[Read: 2021 AES Show Will Co-Locate With NAB]

Wyner is a familiar face to AES leadership having spent 30+ years in various roles including board of directors, board of governors and on numerous society committees.

As an audio professional, he has been a professional musician, audio engineer, author, technology developer and educator at Berklee College of Music.

“The AES is the most varied international assemblage of experts, thought leaders, researchers, manufacturers and practitioners of audio in the world,” said Wyner. “During our recent fall event we had attendees from 82 countries. Each of us has our individual interests and goals for our work, but a passion for audio ties us together. There are so many interesting and exciting developments taking place in the world of audio.”

Wyner takes over from previous president, Agnieszka Roginska.

 

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Categories: Industry News

LEGENDARY TALK HOST LARRY KING DIES

Radio+Television Business Report - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 09:45

LOS ANGELES — Larry King, the famous radio and television talk show host who retired from CNN in fall 2010 yet continued to remain a Talk force across the next decade, has died at the age of 87.

He was at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

CNN reported King’s death early Saturday (1/23) through his son, Chance. A statement on Facebook further confirmed his passing, from Ora Media, which Larry King co-founded.

A cause of death was not disclosed. However, CNN notes he was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early January 2021.

King hosted “Larry King Live” on CNN for more than a quarter century, and during that time interviewing presidential candidates, celebrities, athletes, movie stars and everyday people.

Before that, King became famous as a radio host, including many years in Miami.

“For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster,” Ora Media said. “Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows’ titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience. Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry like to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions. He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.”

For Ora Media, King hosted “Larry King Now,” and “Politicking with Larry King.” The shows aired on Russia-backed RT America.

He was a survivor of cancer, a heart attack and a stroke. In addition to Chance, King is survived by his two other children, Larry Jr. and Cannon. In 2020 son Andy King, 65, suffered a heart attack and died. Weeks later, daughter Chaia King, 52, died after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced later, in coordination with King’s family, who ask for their privacy at this time, Ora’s statement concluded.

A TRANSITION FROM CNN

At 76, King announced on “Larry King Live!” in late June 2010 that he would retire from the daily CNN program.

In making the announcement, he said:

Before I start the show tonight, I want to share some personal news with you. Twenty-five years ago, I sat across this table from New York Governor Mario Cuomo for the first broadcast of Larry King Live. Now, decades later, I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I would like to end Larry King Live, the nightly show, this fall and CNN has graciously accepted, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ little league games. I’ll still be a part of the CNN family, hosting several Larry King specials on major national and international subjects.

King also expressed pride in making the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot. “With this chapter closing I’m looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders,” he said in 2010.

Days later in an interview with CBS, he was asked who his successor would be. “If it was up to me, I’d have Ryan Seacrest do it,” King told CBS News.

It was not up to him, and the job went to Piers Morgan. CNN made the announcement in September 2010.

In November 2013, after six decades, King returned to radio — the medium where he first became a star. On Veterans’ Day 2013, he launched 60-second vignettes through Cumulus Media stations also made available on the AARP website.

“Larry King Droppin’ In” was heard on such stations as WABC-AM in New York, KABC-AM in Los Angeles and WLS-AM in Chicago.

REMEMBERED BY CNN

CNN President Jeff Zucker, in a statement, saluted King, who he describes as “a scrappy young man from Brooklyn” who had a history-making career spanning radio and television.

His birth name: Lawrence Harvey Zeiger.

“His curiosity about the world propelled his award-winning career in broadcasting, but it was his generosity of spirit that drew the world to him,” Zucker said. “We are so proud of the 25 years he spent with CNN, where his newsmaker interviews truly put the network on the international stage. From our CNN family to Larry’s, we send our thoughts and prayers, and a promise to carry on his curiosity for the world in our work.”

MAGIC CITY BEGINNINGS

King’s career in media began in earnest in 1957, when he took a job as a disc jockey at WAHR-AM in Miami, today WMBM-AM 1490 in Miami Beach. He lasted a year and then moved to WKAT-AM 1360 in Miami, a prominent talk station across the 1960s and 1970s that was also an early home of the late Neil Rogers.

In fact, Rogers’ regularly poked fun of King’s time in Miami, with a sound byte of King asking “Loan me $50” a regular part of Rogers’ show.

And, like Rogers, King would also work at News/Talk WIOD-AM 610, where he’d successfully fend off an arrest for grand larceny following accusations by ex-business partner Louis Wolfson.

On January 30, 1978, King’s radio career went nationwide, thanks to a syndication contract with Mutual Broadcasting System.

 

Editorial research by Dana Jacobson. Archival reporting by Carl Marcucci. Additional reporting from RBR+TVBR’s West Coast Bureau in Los Angeles.

Categories: Industry News

HC2 Wants to Refinance ‘Substantially All’ Debt

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:15

GLOBE NEWSWIRE

HC2 Holdings Inc., the owner of low-power TV stations across the U.S. formerly led by Philip Falcone, confirmed Friday (1/22) that it is seeking to refinance all of its existing 11.500% senior secured notes due 2021 and a portion of existing 7.5% convertible senior notes due 2022.

As part of the proposed refinancing transactions, HC2 intends to, among other things, issue new senior secured notes and extend the maturity of a portion of its existing convertible notes by exchanging such existing convertible notes for new convertible notes.

The proceeds from the issuance of the new senior secured notes are expected to be used, together with other funds, to redeem in full HC2’s existing senior secured notes, repay the outstanding indebtedness under its revolving credit agreement, and pay related fees and expenses.

The proposed refinancing transactions are subject to market and other conditions, and the Company cannot make any assurances that it will complete any such transactions, in whole or in part, or as to the amount or timing of any such transactions.

The new senior secured notes and the new convertible notes will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, any state securities laws or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration. The new senior secured notes are expected to be offered and sold only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the Securities Act and to non-U.S. persons outside the United States in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act, and the new convertible notes are expected to be issued in one or more private exchange transactions pursuant to an exemption from registration under the Securities Act.

Categories: Industry News

Apollo-Controlled CMG Caught In a Small MVPD Retrans War

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:15

DAYTON, OHIO — Two weeks ago, in the evening hours, FOX affiliates KAYU-28 in Spokane, WHBQ-13 in Memphis and KOKI-23 in Tulsa; ABC affiliate KLAX-31 in Alexandria; the CBS and NBC affiliates serving Eureka-Arcata, Calif.; and the ABC, FOX, NBC and CBS stations serving Greenwood and Greenville, Miss., were all blocked from Suddenlink subscribers.

The reason: the MVPD owned by Altice USA couldn’t reach a fresh retransmission fee agreement with Apollo Global Management-controlled Cox Media Group for stations once owned by Brian Brady‘s Northwest Broadcasting.

That “blackout” continues. Now, a big CMG station in its founding DMA has a carriage problem. And, it is with a tiny service provider.

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Categories: Industry News

House E&C Committee Organizational Meeting Confirmed

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:11

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) has confirmed that the Committee’s formal organizational meeting for the 117th Congress will take place, remotely, on Tuesday.

The session will get underway at 1pm as a virtual event, owning to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During the meeting, the Energy and Commerce Committee will adopt the Committee Rules and its six standing subcommittees, as well as announce subcommittee chairs, ranking members, and members.

This meeting will take place remotely via Cisco Webex video conferencing. Members of the public may view the meeting via live webcast accessible on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website. Please note the webcast will not be available until the meeting begins.

Additional information for this meeting, including the live webcast, will be posted here as they become available.

Categories: Industry News

Three Ways COVID-19 Changed Listening Patterns

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 14:59

By Bruce Roberts
Special to RBR+TVBR

When stay-at-home orders first went into effect across the globe, radio broadcasters found themselves facing a changed landscape. Many stations were concerned about the hit they would take with the rise in remote work and the loss of drive-time listenership.

Even with significantly fewer people commuting to and from work every day, a Nielsen survey conducted in Spring 2020 found that 83% of Americans were listening to as much or more radio than they were before the pandemic.

Radio audiences are growing, and they’re as engaged as ever, but they’re also listening in new ways. Audio streaming services like Spotify and Pandora had already sparked a shift toward digital streaming and on-demand, but as more individuals tune in using smart speakers or mobile devices rather than car radios, digital platforms are becoming increasingly popular with audiences and increasingly important for broadcasters.

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Categories: Industry News

User Report: Earforce Keeps Interviews Rolling With Opal

Radio World - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 14:21
The author at work in the Earforce studio.

AMSTERDAM — Earforce is a recording studio that handles a range of tasks. We do mixing and post-production, and periodically record music for use in documentaries and other media.

In the past few years, however, podcasting has become a large part of our business. We produce the sound and make sure everything sounds beautiful, but we also help businesses and other podcasters develop content.

Our goal is to help our clients reach their audience, and also share the stories they want to tell.

As an audio engineer, my responsibilities have extended as we’ve gotten more into podcasting. I have always done a lot of recording and audio production, but these days I also produce podcasts and help write scripts, in addition to whatever else needs to be done.

Many of our podcasts involve interviews and other conversations that we need to record. When COVID hit in March, we had a whole string of podcasts that were cancelled because the country went into lockdown. Many of our podcasters were afraid to come to the studio, or their companies wouldn’t allow them to visit.

We obtained the Comrex Opal phone/IP audio interface because of the pandemic, and it has allowed us to continue producing content.

We use it to allow guests to call into a podcast from their laptops, and sometimes we’ll also record conversations over a connection between two Opal units. Additionally, we’ll use it to monitor voiceover recording for commercial and ad reads — it allows us and our customers to listen in high quality and give notes while our voiceover talent is recording.

Opal is about as easy as a solution like this could be to use. Basically, you just click on a link, then click “connect” and it works.

We still sometimes have difficulty getting interview guests to understand it, but we also have difficulty getting people to plug in their headphones. Nothing is truly foolproof. I have a routine where I remind people to check their connections and remind them to click the button, and even though some handholding is required, we can always eventually get it to work.

Opal helped us keep some of our podcasts recording, that would have otherwise been cancelled. We do a podcast with the pharmaceutical company Springer Healthcare called “The GP in Corona Times” (title translated from Dutch). We called general practitioners throughout the Netherlands using the Opal, and recorded their stories about COVID and their patients. The audio quality was significantly better than it would have been were we to use a phone or Zoom (or a similar streaming service). Our host was also connected to the studio from home with Opal. We couldn’t have produced it without that equipment.

I think Opal is definitely worth buying. The price point is low enough that it pays for itself. Good audio is so important — if you hear something in high quality, even if you don’t know anything about audio, it just feels better to listen to. Especially these days with everything going remotely, the Opal definitely comes in handy.

For information, contact Chris Crump at Comrex in Massachusetts at 1-978-784-1776 or visit www.comrex.com.

Radio World User Reports are testimonial articles intended to help readers understand why a colleague chose a particular product to solve a technical situation.

 

The post User Report: Earforce Keeps Interviews Rolling With Opal appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Spoon River Slurps Up An Iliana AM, With A Translator

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 13:45

In May 2018, a group led by Fletcher Ford agreed to purchase an AM in Canton, Ill., and its FM translator as part of a deal for a Class B FM.

It’s a facility, now owned by another licensee, that was owned for 46 years by the late Charles E. Wright Jr., who passed away in January 2012 and had sold the facility in 1999.

Now, this AM is on the move again.

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Categories: Industry News

Fred Dockins Scores Two Joyful Deals

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 13:30

In July 2009, Fred Dockins expanded his media holdings in a significant way. With one Florida FM in his possession, he moved forward with the acquisition of a five-station group in rural southeast Missouri from Randolph Miller’s Southern Star Broadcasting.

Now, Dockins is adding to his Show-Me State holdings, and it’s thanks to a “joyful” deal.

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Categories: Industry News

Gangwer Honored by WIHS

Radio World - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 13:25
Ron Gangwer, left, with Steve Tuzeneu

From our People News page: Connecticut station WIHS(FM) recently honored Ron Gangwer for his service to the station over 20 years.

Gangwer is program manager and an on-air host; he joined the staff of the non-profit Christian outlet in 2001.

Gangwer is a former sixth-grade teacher and school administrator. Steve Tuzeneu, at right in photo, is general manager of WIHS, the call letters of which stand for “We’re in His Service.”) The station is owned by Connecticut Radio Fellowship and emphasizes “live and local” content.

Send People News items to radioworld@futurenet.com.

 

 

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Categories: Industry News

Radioline Adds App for Huawei Watch GT2 Pro

Radio World - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 13:22

Radioline announced the launch of a radio app that’s compatible with the new premium Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro smartwatch. It said it is the first such app outside China.

“The application offers a wide range of content to listen, with real-time control of the mobile app from the watch, in a simple and elegant UI,” the organization said in a press release.

“With one touch, users can easily start /stop the program and save their preferred shows, podcasts or stations in the favorites. They can also control the volume and see the station or podcast name.”

The announcement was made by Xavier Filliol, COO of Radioline, and Rico Zhang, president of the smart wearable and health products line at Huawei Consumer Business Group.

Radioline, part of Baracoda Co., was founded in 2012 as an online radio service and now promotes itself as a global radio provider with access to 90,000 radio stations plus podcasts. Its content is distributed through a range of partners. Its content is consumed on devices such as smartphones, PCs, connected TVs and certain in-car digital products.

Radioline also recently partnered with Swisscom to offer an Android radio application on the latter’s blue TV Platform.

 

The post Radioline Adds App for Huawei Watch GT2 Pro appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Locast Rolls Into Two More SE Markets

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 11:59

The controversial donation-based broadcast TV service provider that says it is a non-profit — thus avoiding retransmission consent negotiations — has debuted in two more markets in the U.S. Southeast.

One is a major banking hub and home to Bank of America. The other is home to the nation’s biggest collection of theme parks.

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Categories: Industry News

Is broadcast TV losing the content war to ‘SVOD’?

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 09:45

According to MoffettNathanson Senior Analyst Michael Nathanson, “It should be clear that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged much of the world for the past 12 months, has accelerated the adoption of streaming services.”

And, as summer turned to autumn and fall turned to winter, Americans once again found themselves in front of their screens with few linear options — aside from live news and sports.

In contrast, Nathanson says, consumers had access to “an unlimited bouquet of
increasingly excellent streaming content choices.”

Is broadcast TV losing the content war to “SVOD”?

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Categories: Industry News

This Ross Webinar Is All About Audio, With Orban and Nielsen

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 09:22

Ross Video will host a Webinar on Tuesday (1/26) which will talk about new software-based audio solutions for broadcasters.

Orban and Nielsen partnered with Ross to add specific elements to this platform that bring a new set of tools to radio broadcasters.

This event is scheduled for 11am Eastern/8am Pacific on Tuesday.

It sees the Signal Processing Team discuss in detail Ross Video’s infrastructure products for Cloud Technologies, IP Networks and SDI Infrastructure.

The Ross team will also be joined by representatives Orban Labs and The Nielsen Company to discuss cloud-based signal processing infrastructure.

“The broadcast community, including radio, is moving steadily toward software-based solutions for the broadcast air chain,” says Orban VP/Business Development Mike Pappas. “The new softGear platform from Ross, which incorporates next-generation Orban processing along with Nielsen audio watermark encoding and Dolby audio, brings powerful tools to Radio broadcasters. It’s available now.”

Pappas adds that one launch customer “has ordered hundreds of channels.”

Product introductions and upgrades to Ross’ Signal Processing portfolio will also be shared on the Tuesday webinar.

To register, click here: https://www.rossvideo.com/live

 

Categories: Industry News

Beasley Prices Upsized Notes Offering

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 01:06

Beasley Broadcast Group’s wholly owned subsidiary Beasley Mezzanine Holdings on Thursday (9/21) priced its offering of $300 million in aggregate principal amount of 8.625% Senior Secured Notes due 2026.

The size of the offering was increased by $20 million from the previously announced offering size of $280 million.

The Notes were offered to persons “reasonably believed” to be qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and outside the United States in compliance with Regulation S under the Securities Act.

Beasley expects to use the net proceeds of this offering to repay in full existing indebtedness under the company’s senior secured credit facilities and certain other indebtedness, with remaining proceeds to be added to the Issuer’s balance sheet and used for general corporate purposes.

Translation: It is a new debt for old debt transaction.

The Notes offering is expected to close on February 2.

Categories: Industry News

Beasley Shares Spike In Late Thursday Trading

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 01/21/2021 - 16:35

Investors took a late afternoon liking to BBGI on Thursday. At 2:36pm Eastern, a big gain was seen, helping Beasley Broadcast Group experience a 11.3% gain on the day.

It brings the audio media company’s stock to a fresh six-month best.

With the Closing Bell on January 21, BBGI was at $2.27. It shed three cents in early after-hours trading on the Nasdaq Global Market.

Could it be tied to a debt swap announced Tuesday (1/19)?

It’s possible, as Beasley Broadcast Group wholly owned subsidiary Beasley Mezzanine Holdings intends to offer $280 million in aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes, subject to market and other conditions.

On a six-month chart, BBGI looks good.

On a one-year chart, it’s another story. In mid-June 2020, a $3.86 spike was seen — marking a short-lived jump for an undervalued issue.

One year ago, BBGI was $3.65. And, five years ago shares were $3.68.

The five-year high: $13.40, seen in late 2017.

Categories: Industry News

The House E&C Republican Subcommittee Leaders Are …

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 01/21/2021 - 16:27
WASHINGTON, D.C. — House  Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) has released the names of the Republican subcommittee leaders and subcommittee rosters for the 117th Congress. The six subcommittees and their Republican Subcommittee Leaders are:

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Categories: Industry News

Tru Optik and Targetspot Partner Up

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 01/21/2021 - 16:24

Tru Optik, a TransUnion company, announced today an agreement with Targetspot to offer advertisers audience-based targeting capabilities for streaming audio.

Tru Optik’s data management platform will be integrated into Targetspot’s tech stack, available starting February 2021.

Through this integration, buyers and sellers are able to identify and segment audiences across mobile and streaming audio devices, including smart speakers.

In addition, media companies and audio advertisers will be able to leverage Targetspot’s audio supply inventory with consumer and behavioral insights across streaming audio and podcasts.

“Mapped against Tru Optik’s patented Household GraphTM of more than 80 million U.S. homes, advertisers will have advanced audio targeting capabilities that result in precise, effective and cost-efficient advertising campaigns across mobile, smart speakers and even gaming consoles,” the companies boast.

 

Categories: Industry News

Final Station Spun From Elliot Evers-Led Trust

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 01/21/2021 - 16:20

In March 2018, The Mainstay Station Trust LLC came to fruition. It was created to take on four stations divested by Cumulus Media in order to complete its Chapter 11 reorganization plan.

The Trust is headed solely by noted broker Elliot Evers.

In October 2019, two of the four properties were spun from the trust. This followed the removal of a Missouri station from the trust, as Cumulus turned in the license for another property in the market.

Now, the last of the stations licensed to Evers is being sold.

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Categories: Industry News

New Data On Smart Speaker Consumption Confirms Big Growth

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 01/21/2021 - 15:59

Hey, Alexa … play K-I-N-K on iHeartRadio.

That’s just one of many, many commands one can voice to their Amazon Alexa smart speaker to listen to live audio streaming of a U.S. broadcast radio station.

But, just how many consumers do this, rather than “play Pandora” or audio content that doesn’t represent a broadcast radio station’s live stream?

Triton Digital has the answer.

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