February 11 saw the release of the second in a series of Borrell Associates reports that examine 2021 spending plans for a dozen different types of local ad buyers.
This 14-page analysis, drawn from a survey of 373 local businesses that buy TV ads, shifts focus to Broadcast TV Advertisers.
To share additional insights into the findings, Gordon Borrell spoke exclusively with RBR+TVBR in this fresh InFOCUS Podcast presented by DOT.FM.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NAB has officially launched a new digital campaign highlighting stories of local broadcasters through first-person accounts.
The “Voices From the Field” campaign, part of NAB’s “We Are Broadcasters” initiative, is designed to spotlight how broadcasters are using their expertise, experience and dedication to local broadcasting to serve their audiences and “uplift” their communities.
Using first-person storytelling features such as podcasts, video interviews and Q&A dialogue, “Voices From the Field” seeks to provide a platform for subjects to describe why they became broadcasters, what makes them passionate about their career and what they love most about being a local broadcaster.
The campaign, the NAB says, will focus on local reporters, on-air radio talent, photojournalists, broadcast engineers, producers and editors to highlight the people responsible for delivering news, weather, emergency information and public affairs programming to local communities.
“Every day, thousands of local broadcasters work tirelessly on-air, online and behind the scenes to deliver invaluable service to their communities,” NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said. “This campaign will celebrate the real people who are providing vital information from the front lines to keep Americans safe, informed and engaged, even when they themselves are in harm’s way.”
The first “Voices from the Field” story focuses on Shomari Stone, the distinguished general assignment reporter at NBC O&O WRC-4 in Washington, D.C.
In the report, Stone shares the moment he knew he wanted to be a broadcaster, his insights into how he views his role as a journalist and his experiences covering the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building.
New “Voices from the Field” segments will be regularly available at WeAreBroadcasters.com.
With some companies, focusing on net revenue and earnings per share Street beats is core to determining just how healthy a company is. But, that’s not the arbiter for investors of Dish Network stock.
In the case of Dish, subscriber gains or losses is key to where the company’s health is, even as it swiftly tilts away from DBS television services to 5G telephony player. And, with the revelation Monday that Dish lost more subscribers than financial analysts expected, the company’s stock slumped.
That dip in value will likely continue in the short term, as a key analyst just downgraded DISH on that poor subscriber report.
Record performance. It’s a statement some companies may state, yet only tells part of a story that’s inclusive of some blemishes and bruises.
That’s not the case with respect to Nexstar Media Group. With founder and Chairman/CEO Perry Sook beaming as he discussed “another year of record financial performance” as he opened the company’s quarterly earnings call, Nexstar surpassed consensus expectation by delivering impressive Q4 and full-year 2020 results.
With CFO Tom Carter on the call, Sook reviewed the key Q4 highlights.
Net revenue jumped to $1.38 billion, from $1.1 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $1.34 billion.
Net income attributable to Nexstar soared to $364.25 million ($7.97 per diluted share), from $113.21 million ($2.36), thanks in large part to the addition of Tribune Media properties into the fold.
The EPS smashed the analyst forecast of $6.07.
Total funded debt declined in 2020, to $7.67 billion from $8.49 billion. However, Nexstar’s unrestricted cash also fell, to $152.7 million as of Dec. 31, 2020 compared to $232.1 million a year earlier.
The debt includes partner Mission Broadcasting, licensee of such stations as WPIX-11 in New York.
“Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, 2020 was a year of historic financial growth for Nexstar,” Sook said, noting that “sequential improvements in core advertising” — a story heard across the radio industry — is also a tale being told by Nexstar’s broadcast media properties and its WGN America TV network, soon to be rebranded as NewsNation.
Those challenges are reflected in a 9.9% Q4 core ad revenue dip to $473.5 million, from $525.5 million. That said, political displacement was significant, with political advertising revenue of $298.27 million against Q4 2019 political dollars of $36.53 million. Ownership of stations such as NBC affiliate WSAV-3 in Savannah, Ga.; the CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ga.; and the ABC affiliate in Augusta, Ga., helped in achieving this feat.
Then, of course, there is retransmission fee revenue, noted in the Q4 and full-year 2020 report as “Distribution Fee Revenue.”
For Q4, this increased by 18.4% to $527.99 million from $445.83 million.
What’s in store for Nexstar in the months ahead?
“While we continue to operate in a dynamic environment, full year 2020 free cash flow was in line with our pre-pandemic expectations and 2021 is off to a solid start,” Sook said. “As a result, we are reinstating guidance and expect to generate pro-forma average annual free cash flow of approximately $1.27 billion over the 2021/2022 cycle which supports our view that Nexstar’s path to growth, expanded returns of capital and enhanced shareholder returns remains on plan.”
How did investors respond to the results? Nexstar shares started Tuesday’s trading session with a 6.5% rise, to $136.81 as of 9:37am Eastern.
No matter where Nexstar finishes, it will be a new record high.
With the growth seen this morning, Nexstar has now surpassed its 1-year target estimate set by financial analysts. And, it marks a return to strong, steady growth that began at the start of 2013 and was only briefly squelched by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On that note, Nexstar shares have grown by roughly $85 per share since March 30, 2020.
In September 2019, NBCUniversal first announced a move to impressions. But, clients and agencies who were not trading on impressions were granted additional time to transition while they evaluated the impact the change would have on their business and clients.
That evaluation period is coming to an end very soon.
With the close of the transition period at the end of Q1, all of NBCUniversal’s owned TV stations and regional sports networks will be measured using CPMs only.
This means that as of April 1, all 42 NBC and Telemundo owned-and-operated broadcast TV stations and seven NBCUniversal-owned regional sports networks will officially move to 100% impressions-based buying for all local advertising campaigns.
“Our local businesses were among the first to put a stake in the ground around the move to impressions-based ad buys more than a year ago, giving local marketers a better currency for measurement,” said Frank Comerford, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Chief Revenue Officer. “Utilizing impressions puts local TV on a level playing field with digital, since advertisers will no longer need to convert ratings to impressions in order to evaluate an overall ad buy. As always, our teams are ready to work hand-in-hand with local advertisers to deliver successful campaigns across all DMAs.”
The move to 100% use of impressions, instead of traditional ratings points, by stations and RSNs will, in NBCUniversal’s view, “enable marketers to plan holistically across platforms and screens, and will more accurately showcase the increase in viewers as a result of the addition of BBO households.”
As it turns out, Nielsen‘s introduction of broadband-only (BBO) homes into local market samples begins on April 1, answering questions one may have about Nielsen’s involvement or perhaps that of rival Comscore.
“Moving to impressions brings the added benefit of eliminating zero cell quarter-hours, which had previously resulted in a reduction in inventory,” EVP of NBC & Telemundo Owned Television Station Sales Michael Chico said. “Ratings, unlike impressions, are held to Nielsen’s minimum reporting standard thresholds. Ratings that do not meet these minimums are reported as zero viewership, while impressions are reported when viewing occurs in all quarter hours, effectively adding back anywhere from 5-20% of viewers depending on the daypart. This provides additional inventory for agencies and clients to reach their impressions goals on buys.”
NBCUniversal in December 2020 said it would expand its available digital inventory, addressable products, and advanced targeting by scaling NBC Spot On across One Platform. As a result, sales teams at NBC and Telemundo owned stations gained greater access to digital inventory from both NBC owned and operated properties and third parties.
That came following the February 2020 launch of advanced video advertising business NBC Spot On, which the company says is designed to give local, regional Connected TV and OTT access to premium video inventory.
“Given 2020’s extenuating circumstances, I am extremely proud of the company’s performance and the efforts of the entire Cumulus team to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19.”
That statement from Cumulus Media President/CEO Mary Berner set the tone for the audio media company’s release of its year-end and fourth quarter 2020 financial bill of health.
Just how healthy is Cumulus and all of its divisions, including Westwood One?
Listeners that have been seeking a hybrid radio experience now have the ability to do so, thanks to the implementation of “RadioDNS” services for radio stations by SurferNETWORK.
The features dynamically switch between broadcast and internet radio, and include enhanced “now playing” information.
“RadioDNS offers an enhanced listening experience by combining the technologies of both
broadcast radio and the internet,” SurferNETWORK notes. “This technology can add an app-like functionality to radio broadcasts, allowing listeners with a RadioDNS Hybrid Radio enabled device to experience their favorite radio stations in a new and interactive way.”
SurferNETWORK President and Co-Founder Bill Grywalski notes that Vox-owned WEZF-FM “Star 92.9,” serving the Burlington, Vt.-Plattsburgh, N.Y. market, is the first station using the technology.
Since its establishment as a not-for-profit organization in 2010, RadioDNS has served as a link between Broadcast Radio and IP-delivered web services.
Learn more at https://www.surfernetwork.com/
Quicklink, which provides hardware and software platforms for video and audio media, has opened its first U.S. office.
It’s in response to “immense growth” for the company stateside in recent months.
The office is located just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, in Hackensack, N.J.
By opening the office, Quicklink says it is strengthening its sales, services and support operations in North America.
“Quicklink is now able to provide local support to customers with repair and service facilities,” the company says.
Support team hours have been extended.
Furthermore, inventory will be housed in warehouse space in both California and New York.
U.K.-based Quicklink CEO Richard Rees said, “We can now provide more localized support and services with inventory available for immediate access in the United States. We have experienced astronomical growth, and as a result, it was very important for us to expand our operations to service the requirements of this region.”
Quicklink’s U.S. operations are now open for business and can be reached via telephone by dialing 1-551-587-7692, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NextGen Video Information Systems Alliance (NVISA)has introduced its first recommended practice document: Visually Integrated Display Symbology (VIDS). The VIDS recommended practice represents an industry breakthrough — a powerful and impactful new way of displaying emergency alerts based on easily discernable graphical elements.
The VIDS recommended practice is intended to enhance the impact, usability, and accessibility of emergency information by incorporating graphical elements. NVISA’s objective is to contribute to a more inclusive reach of emergency information that works for all audiences, regardless of visual media, language, ability, or culture.
NVISA is a worldwide coalition of developers and manufacturers working to help accelerate the industry’s evolution toward next-generation broadcast and OTT television systems. Alliance members are pooling their cross-industry expertise to collaborate, implement standards, and create best practices to help broadcasters accelerate their transformation toward advanced ATSC 3.0 systems.
VIDS is the first-ever recommendation for integrating universally understood graphical elements, including symbols and dynamic elements, into emergency alerting information for broadcast. Until now, visual displays of public warnings have been typically text-only, and usually limited to a single language. VIDS creates a commonly defined relationship between the type of alert, the message text, and any graphical elements.
The VIDS recommended practice lays out a compelling new approach, providing a standard look and feel for advanced multimedia alerts that is fully compatible with national emergency alert requirements. The VIDS recommended practice explicitly accommodates the requirements of emergency alert systems in the United States and Canada, while providing the flexibility to be applied anywhere else in the world.
VIDS can be adopted across all manner of display technologies including broadcast media, cable and IPTV systems, and digital signage. The VIDS visual presentation is based on a set of display directives for integrating alert information in which specific icons or symbols graphically represent an emergency event. Each symbol is presented with the alert text in a highly accessible manner.
For broadcasters and cable operators, systems using the VIDS recommended practice will deliver an integrated look and feel for advanced emergency alerts, with enhanced accessibility and appeal for viewing audiences. For manufacturers and developers, the recommended practice offers a standardized method to integrate, package, and display alert text and graphics.
“Associating graphics with the audio and visual components of an alert is highly meaningful to audiences,” said Bill Robertson, chair of the NVISA VIDS Working Group 2 and vice president of business development at Digital Alert Systems. “The symbology communicates the context of the alert without requiring viewers to read the text or even understand the language. Leveraging well-known symbols and unifying them in a presentation makes it far easier for users to engage and understand the message, ultimately bringing greater impact to broadcasters’ mission of public awareness and safety.”
Integrating a range of technical and regulatory requirements, the NVISA VIDS document makes recommendations for visual presentation of emergency information on display systems, including the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Advanced Emergency Information (AEA) applications in ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV, OTT applications, digital signage, mobile applications, and other visual media. The set of graphical display elements in VIDS is derived from public policy and social science research conducted by FEMA IPAWS, the DHS Geospatial Management Office, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, and the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation.
“A significant strength of VIDS is that it provides a common, recognizable, and informative alerting and warning methodology that transcends the display device,” said Jim Altemose, President of DigIt Signage Technologies. “Whether the alert is targeted for EAS television broadcast, AEA applications, NextGen TV platforms, digital signage, or personal devices, the common symbology conveys the nature of the emergency as well as the severity in a visual way that viewers easily understand, even those with barriers such as language or color recognition.”
“NVISA created the VIDS recommended practice to benefit the entire industry, including consumers,” NVISA Chairman and executive director Edward Czarnecki said. “VIDS showcases what can be done to enhance the accessibility and visibility of emergency information in current broadcast and cable technologies, and advances what could be included in next-generation technologies like ATSC 3.0 and advanced cable applications.”
The NVISA Recommended Practice for Visually Integrated Display Symbology (VIDS), NVISA-WG-1-001.01, is freely available from NVISA for download and review at www.nvisa.org/documents.
Technology infrastructure company PMG has selected a new EVP to leading its software and cloud platforms.
And, in connection with the hire, PMG has acquired the media management and workflow orchestration software that this new executive developed over the past seven years in anticipation of ATSC 3.0.
With the addition of Azita Manson and her software platform, PMG believes it can provide broadcasters with a “comprehensive, end-to-end orchestration solution to manage content workflows across platforms.”
As such, PMG says is now engaged to design, build and operate the Public Media Education Platform (PMEP) on behalf of public broadcasters across five states.
The PMEP is a national education datacasting service that will be initially deployed in ATSC 1.0 but is already optimized for ATSC 3.0. PMG’s software and cloud architecture will ingest educational content from stations, content producers and educators, and then deliver that targeted content to students across the country, with a focus on students that lack broadband connectivity.
As PMEP affiliates transition to ATSC 3.0, PMG’s software and cloud architecture will allow stations and educators to leverage new interactive and addressable features to further enhance the service.
“Bringing Azita and her software to PMG added another crucial piece to the PMG platform,” says PMG CEO Joe Chinnici. “Her software combined with the reach of our Single Frequency Networks allows us to provide both our commercial and public broadcast clients with an end-to-end solution to drive new ATSC 3.0 innovation and revenues.”
In the coming months, PMG will be announcing the launch of an open architecture application layer to allow for greater ATSC 3.0 innovation and use cases.
“By powering edge devices with PMG’s open architecture middleware and application software, the industry will benefit from a more entrepreneurial environment in which a greater number of businesses and industries participate in ATSC 3.0, driving greater value to, and demand for, broadcasters’ spectrum,” PMG says.
As part of this open architecture, PMG will make its application authoring tools available so that stations can customize their own NextGen TV apps.
Earlier in her career, Manson was the Director of Technology at TiVo and Senior Director of
Architecture at SeaChange International. For Comcast, TimeWarner and CableLabs, Manson
designed the first connected home protocol, and the security for the first downloadable
Telestream, a provider of workflow automation, media processing, quality monitoring and test and measurement products for the production and distribution of video, says its Telestream Cloud Stream Monitor and Wirecast streaming solutions have each achieved “SRT Plugged” status by successfully completing interoperability testing at the SRT InterOp Plugfest.
SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) is an open-source video transport protocol, developed by Haivision and driven by the SRT Alliance, that enables the delivery of high-quality, secure, low-latency video across the public Internet. This allows for optimized streaming performance across unpredictable networks, bringing the best quality live video over the worst network connections. SRT represents an alternative to costly satellite links, purpose-built fiber networks, or proprietary transport solutions.
Telestream Cloud Stream Monitor and Wirecast live production and streaming software participated in the SRT Alliance’s recent “InterOp Plugfest” kick-off event. The event is held annually for developers to test interoperability and compatibility between different technologies and vendors using the SRT protocol. Stream Monitor now enables users to monitor live video quality from streams transported via SRT. By repeatedly demonstrating compatibility and interoperability with other SRT Alliance members, SRT Plugged status was validated. Tests confirmed interoperability with over 20 different SRT enabled devices from a variety of market-leading encoding and content delivery systems. The latest Wirecast release was used as a live video contribution source via the SRT protocol.
“This is great news for customers looking to either monitor or contribute video over SRT, which has become an emerging standard for anyone delivering live video over public internet and cloud backplanes,” said Kenneth Haren, Director of Product Management at Telestream.
Qligent, the provider of cloud-based media delivery quality assurance products, has appointed a 30-year broadcast industry veteran to serve as its Vice President of Sales.
Reporting to CEO Brick Eksten, Ken Dillard will lead all sales and business development initiatives in North American and the CALA region, and collaborate with Qligent sales representatives and partners worldwide.
Dillard brings a diverse range of broadcast experience industry to his new role. He spent nearly 15 years as a broadcast engineer for radio and television stations before transitioning to sales. He has since held roles of increasing responsibility with Harris Corporation, Dejero, Avid and TVU Networks, working his way up from regional to executive-level positions. His vast sales and engineering experience gives him strong knowledge and expertise across the entire media production and delivery workflow, including Qligent’s core monitoring and analysis business.
Dillard joins Qligent at a time of broadening horizons for the company. While Qligent remains an active force in the traditional broadcast space, the company continues to evolve its vision for emerging opportunities and a broader customer base of content providers. For example, Qligent’s core QoS, QoE and compliance monitoring strengths have been applied to event-based monitoring with Dymos, a SaaS-based cloud solution ideal for event-driven OTT originators and DTC content providers. Qligent has also put a stronger emphasis on data-driven analysis to help all customers better understand and service viewing audiences.
“Broadcast is an important staple of our business, and we see strong opportunities to help broadcasters leverage a very rich and granular level of data to monetize their OTA and OTT services,” said Dillard. “We are also working very closely with content creators and their distribution partners to bring core Qligent competencies in QoS/QoE monitoring to their services.”
Dillard is especially bullish on Dymos, which allows Qligent customer to spin up event-based streams and temporary channels in the cloud for sports, live events and special broadcasts, among other creative programming requirements. “The ability to offer our customers a way to spin up, monitor and spin down these channels on a consumption-based cost structure without an investment in on-premise equipment opens an entirely new wealth of programming and revenue-generating opportunities for broadcasters and content providers,” he said.
Dillard also sees opportunity to extend Qligent’s reach beyond the media and entertainment landscape, noting that Qligent’s Foresight solution can provide valuable data analytics for corporate AV, digital signage and other audience-driven video services.
“Ken joins Qligent at a time of growth and expansion into new and exciting business areas for the company,” said Eksten. “He brings a detailed understanding of how media enterprises are accelerating toward DTC business models, which represents the direction of where the broader media and entertainment industry is headed. These skillsets, along with his strong track record of successful sales and business development initiatives for leading industry vendors, makes him an ideal fit for helping Qligent customers monetize their content and improve client satisfaction.”
The author is owner-engineer of AM Detuning Service.
Currently there are more than 4,500 AM broadcast stations on the air in the U.S. These stations still rely, to a limited degree at least, on a technology that, at its heart, hasn’t changed much in over 80 years.
One area that uses well-established and core electronic techniques is the AM antenna system.
AM broadcast antenna systems rely heavily on the use of L/C (that is Inductor/Capacitor) networks to accomplish things like impedance matching, phase shifting, broadbanding, frequency trapping, harmonic filtering and numerous other applications.
The most common configuration of L/C components in an AM antenna system is the ubiquitous “T” Network, so named because of the circuit configuration.
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Nearly every AM antenna system uses one of these networks to match the complex impedance of the antenna to the impedance of the transmission line feeding it. We remember from early electronics training that when the source impedance (the impedance of the transmission line) equals the load impedance (the impedance of the antenna), we get the most efficient power transference to the load. Getting every last watt of power to the antenna is usually good thing!
AM antenna systems have a resistance value (R) and a reactive value (X). Most often, this is expressed as a complex number R+jX.
This complex number is the “impedance” of the antenna system and is measured at the operating frequency of the antenna.
When an engineer designs an AM antenna, its complex impedance can be estimated with a good degree of accuracy using empirical data gathered decades ago, or it can be even more accurately estimated using moment-method modeling. However, ground conductivity at the antenna, variations in the ground radials configuration and nearby structures may have some effect on that value.
The best way to determine the exact AM antenna base impedance is to use an impedance bridge or network analyzer and measure the impedance on the frequency of operation.Fig. 1: Schematically, the components form the letter “T,” thus the descriptor “T network.” (Click here to enlarge.)
As noted, the “T” network gets its name from the schematic arrangement of the components in its makeup. As Fig. 1 shows, the components Xa, Xb, Xc are electrically connected in a way to form the letter “T.”
For those just getting into radio engineering, I’d like to mention that the components do not have to physically form the letter “T” when they are mounted in place, though they can if you desire. It is wise, though, to mount inductors perpendicular to each other, so they don’t inductively couple energy and do unpredictable things.Fig. 2: The physical layout for an AM antenna tuning unit “T” networks. Note that the layout doesn’t exactly resemble a letter “T,” but it could if desired. Also note that coils are physically mounted at right angles to one another to minimize mutual coupling. (Click here to enlarge.)
Fig. 2 shows a layout for a commercially-built ATU. You will notice the input component Xa is a capacitor-coil series combination. This coil in series with a capacitor “subtracts” from the capacitive reactance to allow a wide range of adjustment. Xc is the shunt coil of this “T” network, and one end is grounded through a paralleled pair of capacitors. Again, the series coil provides for adjustment of this leg. At the top right is Xb, which is the output inductor. Notice this inductor is mounted at a 90-degree angle to Xc, and in a different plane, to Xa. This is done to minimize mutual coupling between the coils. The component layout may not form the letter “T” mechanically, but electrically it does.
One function of the “T” network is impedance matching, that is, taking a high or low value of antenna impedance and transforming it to the same value as its transmission feedline.
Along with the impedance transformation, the “T” network also has some inherent shift of the current from the input to the output of the network. It’s possible to design either a phase-lagging or phase-leading network.
In many, but certainly not all, AM broadcast antenna tuning units, the “T” network is designed for a 90-degree phase shift. The focus of this article will be limited to 90-degree “T” networks.
One of the reasons for choosing a 90-degree phase shift is that this value simplifies the component calculation. The reactance values for Xa, and Xb are the same and Xc is the same numerical value but of opposite sign. Typically, in a phase-lagging network, Xa and Xb are equal value inductors and Xc is a capacitor of the same, but negative, reactance value. The opposite is true of phase-leading networks. But as we shall see, that’s not always the case.Fig. 3: 90-degree “T” network equation and example calculation. (Click here to enlarge.)
To calculate the values for an example “T” network, the follow the equations in Fig. 3. For the moment, we will ignore the reactive part of the antenna’s impedance and use only the antenna resistance and the characteristic impedance of the transmission line.
In the example shown in Fig. 3, all three component reactances are calculated to be 70.7 ohms, but that doesn’t take into account the reactive component of the antenna impedance. What we need to do is to make that reactive part go away by adding an opposite sign reactance in the output leg of the “T” network.
To do this, we must add a negative 250-ohm reactance to the output leg of the “T” network. This gives us a network that looks like the one shown in Fig. 4.Fig. 4: Block diagram of a complete “T” network, including a reactance to cancel antenna reactance. (Click here to enlarge.)
Now we can combine the two reactive components in the output arm of this network into one component by adding Xb + (– jX ) together to get –j 179.3 ohms, which changes this arm of the network from inductive to capacitive. We calculated the capacitor value to replace both of these components to be 888 pF. This isn’t a standard value of transmitting capacitor, so we can either use a vacuum variable capacitor adjusted to that value or employ a standard-value capacitor with a slightly lower capacitance value and put an inductor in series with it. The value of the inductor is then adjusted to achieve the exact net let reactance that we need.
For example, using a 750 pF capacitor and a 10 µH coil, we would adjust the coil for a net combined reactance of –j 179.3 ohms in the output arm of the “T” network.
“T” networks with phase shift values different than 90 degrees require a bit more math. We’ll explore that in a future article.
RW welcomes your Tech Tips, email us at email@example.com.
The author started his radio career as an amateur radio operator in his teens and worked for various AM and FM stations in the Chicago region. After 30 years as a chief engineer he retired from radio, got bored shortly thereafter and started AM Detuning Service to mitigate wireless tower effects on AM antennas.
Radio station owner SummitMedia has entered into a strategic partnership expected to accelerate growth for both companies in the fast-growing, global podcasting business.
The owner and operator of 47 radio stations in markets such as Honolulu and its home locale of Birmingham has inked an agreement with Los Angeles-based CurtCo Media.
CurtCo Media currently produces scripted and unscripted podcast programming, and the pact marks SummitMedia’s first formal alliance designed to advance the company’s foray into podcasting.
“SummitMedia’s partnership with CurtCo Media provides us with an exciting opportunity to develop and explore the rapid-growing podcast medium,” said SummitMedia Chairman/CEO Carl Parmer. “We’ve known and watched CurtCo create engaging and innovative content for years, and value the integrity and quality they bring to the media industry.”
CurtCo Media CEO Bill Curtis added, “Having a strategic alliance and investment from SummitMedia makes this partnership the most powerful moment to date in our business development. We’re so excited to work with Greg Kelly, Carl and their team to create new dynamic programming and combine Summit’s powerful radio platform with CurtCo Media in the fast-growing world of podcasting. We believe this strategic partnership will provide sustainable value for our business and expand our audience.”
With Monday’s Closing Bell on the Nasdaq GlobalSelect exchange, Urban One’s common stock finished at $6.88.
While the gain was a 8.5% improvement from Friday, and was followed by an immediate 2.6% decline in early after-hours trading, one thing is rock solid about the company superserving African American consumers.
Urban One stock appears to have solidified a “new normal” nearly seven times as high as where its shares were before the coronavirus and George Floyd became universally known.
A low-power FM radio station in Mississippi faces a $1,500 fine from the Federal Communications Commission for failing to file for license renewal on time.
The station is WEHS in Eupora, Miss., licensed to Voice of Eupora. Its president told the FCC that his mother had been ill and subsequently died, which is why he’d been out of town for several months, causing the application to be filed more than two months late in April of 2020.
“Although we are sympathetic to the licensee’s president’s loss, we find that issuing a notice of apparent liability is still appropriate here,” the commission’s Audio Division ruled.
“The commission has long held that ‘licensees are responsible for the acts and omissions of their employees and independent contractors,’ and has consistently ‘refused to excuse licensees from forfeiture penalties where the actions of employees or independent contractors have resulted in violations.’ The licensee itself was ultimately responsible for ensuring it complied with the rules by filing a timely renewal application. It did not do so.”
The base penalty is $3,000 but the commission reduced it to $1,500 based on circumstances, including the fact that LPFMs are a secondary service.
The station has 30 days to pay or file a reply to the notice of apparent liability.
From March 1985-March 1997, he worked at Urban WGCI-AM & FM in Chicago, rising from controller to GM of the storied stations targeting African Americans across the region.
Since August 2017, he’s been leading the E.W. Scripps Company-owned station branded as “FOX4” in Ft. Myers-Naples, Fla.
Starting March 8, he’ll be taking his talents a few miles to the east of South Beach, as he’s been named VP/GM of ViacomCBS‘s two broadcast TV properties serving Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Keys.
With McDonald’s establishing itself as a category leader among QSRs using Spot Television, it would be easy to overlook some of the other noteworthy activity that’s emerging of late at Spot Television.
The biggest takeaways from the latest Spot Ten TV report from Media Monitors: big new campaign bursts for a dealer association, and for a compact SUV that’s popular with younger consumers.
If you’re looking for a flavor of what happened at the recent CES 2021 show that pertains to our industry, the Radio Advertising Bureau has a free presentation you can check out this week.
RAB’s Erica Farber, Jacobs Media’s Fred Jacobs and “futurist/trendcaster” Dr. Shawn DuBravac will present report back about the virtual CES 2021.
They promise to cover “what’s new and noteworthy about the connected car, voice technology, audio and home entertainment … the future of work, technology during the pandemic and the changing face of content.”
The one-hour presentation with Q&A streams on Thursday Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. Eastern time.
It may be headquartered in Boise, Idaho and led by Cyrus Heick, but the radio station owner Heick leads is Dave’s Broadcasting Co.
Dave’s is the licensee of a Class A FM stretching from the popular Portland, Ore.-accessible beach communities of Manzanita and Cannon Beach to Long Beach and Astoria — the city where The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop were filmed.
Soon, Dave’s will be saying goodbye to this FM, as Heick has signed off on its sale.