Radio+Television Business Report
Strengthening our Communications Networks to Meet Consumers’ Needs
That’s the key topic up for debate and conversation at an upcoming legislative hearing announced late yesterday by the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the head of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.
The local broadcast TV industry in 2022 will generate $21 billion in advertising revenue, with $19.3 billion in over-the-air (OTA) revenue and $1.7 billion in digital.
Those fresh estimates are courtesy of BIA Advisory Services. And, they point to a healthy 26.5% increase over 2021 for the industry.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Enforcement Bureau of the FCC has entered into a Consent Decree with ViacomCBS that settles an investigation over violations of the Commission’s accessibility rules at the company’s Pluto Inc. TV service.
As such, ViacomCBS is paying a civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury and is not being fined by the Commission. A compliance plan has also been agreed to by both parties.
Three leaders associated with the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) have submitted comments with the Commission in response to a Media Bureau docket that seeks a review of EEO compliance and enforcement in the broadcast and multichannel video programming industries.
In short, the MMTC leaders believe that, “While data collection is one essential element of an EEO compliance program, it is hardly the only element.”
Zoom fatigue entered our lexicon early in the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Dry eyes, neck pain, and dysmorphic disorder spiked as we overdosed on video conferences.
In case you’re wondering, the latter symptom of video meeting exhaustion has to do with obsessive attention to perceived defects in our facial features. Cosmetic surgery boomed during the pandemic.
More than a year later, Zoom burnout persists as virtual meetings have become a daily fixture of remote and hybrid work environments. This column from Rosemary Ravinal offers a half-dozen ways to combat Zoom fatigue.
The Phoenix-based production and broadcasting studio used by a popular host known for the latest news on everything digital — including technology, and security threats and scams — is for sale.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legislation that two House Members who sit on the powerful Energy & Commerce Committee say would free up new airwaves for wireless broadband use by the public has been teed up in the lower body of Congress.
For the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology’s Chair, the legislation would “make as much spectrum as possible available for improved broadband service for consumers and to promote new, innovative uses of our airwaves.”
In August, a coed, Catholic Benedictine boarding and day school for students grades 9-12 along Narragansett Bay surrendered its license for its 360-watt Class A FM, ending student-run programming that could be heard in nearby Bristol and in Fall River, Mass.
A change of heart came earlier this month, however, and the private school rescinded its request. Its license was restored. But, it has nothing to do with Portsmouth Abbey School wanting to keep operating the FM.
It’s just been sold to the regional NPR Member operation.
On October 22, a 34-year relationship with Salem Media Group will conclude for the individual heading up national news and public affairs.
In more recent years, he has directed Salem’s Office of Government Relations.
DAYTON, OHIO — Her career in the radio broadcasting industry started at “high-flyin’” WING-AM, at the time the Top 40 leader in the Gem City of Ohio. There, she rose to VP and Assistant General Manager following roles in promotion, marketing, and research.
In 1990, she became the first woman to manage a radio station in the Miami Valley, bringing WMMX-FM to life as “MIX 107.7.”
Now, Deborah Parenti, recently named President of the Radio, TV & Podcasting Division for Radio Ink, Podcast Business Journal and RBR+TVBR parent Streamline Publishing, is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for her positive contributions to Dayton radio.
The founding members of the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame notified Parenti on Monday (9/27) of their intent to honor her with the award.
“Your achievements in the field of broadcasting have not gone unnoticed,” the group’s Jim Johnson, Sharon Howard and Retha Phillips said in their letter to Parenti. “The many recognitions that you continue to receive from the broadcast industry nationwide make it that much more deserved.”
The plan is for Parenti to be recognized at the next Hall of Fame event, which is yet to be scheduled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parenti said, “I am so proud to have been a part of the Dayton broadcast community and to continue to watch and listen to the dedicated professionals who carry on the tradition of excellence that is part of Dayton’s media heritage. This is an incredible honor and I am truly grateful to so many here with whom I have had the privilege to work with over the years.”
Parenti’s career includes several years at Great Trails Broadcasting, which transitioned the Top 40 format from WING to WGTZ, creating “Z93,” a Top 40 leader across the 1980s. She later joined Stoner Broadcasting, serving as General Sales Manager at Stoner’s WDJX-FM 99.7 in Louisville before returning to Dayton in 1990 as VP/General Manager of the former WWSN. Under her leadership, the station would become WMMX “Mix 107.7,” a station that today remains one of Dayton’s most listened to FM radio choices.
Later, Parenti would become VP/GM of American Radio Systems’ Dayton group, earning a
major profile in the February 1997 issue of Working Woman magazine for her role in
developing one of the first consolidated radio sales platforms, “Radio First!” In September
1997, Parenti would leave her hometown of Dayton for a position as VP/GM of Beasley
Broadcast Group’s country-formatted WXTU-FM in Philadelphia. From 1999-2010, Parenti was a board member of Vox Radio.
Today, Parenti is again based in the Dayton area and has served as EVP/Publisher of what was formerly known as Streamline Publishing’s audio division since joining the company founded by Chairman/CEO B. Eric Rhoads in January 2007. She assumed leadership of Radio + Television Business Report with its acquisition by Streamline Publishing in February 2013. The company launched Podcast Business Journal in the late 2010s.
Parenti is also a Board Member of the Alliance for Women in Media. She completed NABEF’s
Broadcast Leadership Training Program in 2001. She also sits on the College Broadcasters Inc. advisory committee.
On June 3, RBR+TVBR first shared the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group had opted to sell its lone radio broadcasting stations — a pair of AM spoken-word stations, a heritage Hot Adult Contemporary FM, and an FM that simulcasts one of those big AM properties.
The transaction closed on Sept. 28, shifting ownership to a family-run broadcasting company with both Spanish- and English-language stations primarily across the Western U.S.
He’s an investor, entrepreneur, cryptocurrency expert and host of the “Market Disruptors” podcast/YouTube series.
As of October 2, he’ll be adding Premiere Networks syndicated talk show host to his curriculum vitae.
Introducing “The Mark Moss Show,” hosted by Mark Moss.
It’s designed to be a three-hour weekend program, for a Saturday or Sunday slot at any time between 6am and Midnight.
“The Mark Moss Show” will also be available as a podcast on iHeartRadio, Premiere says.
Moss’s content is designed to assist listeners in comprehending Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies.
“We’re witnessing the most important technological revolution right now – it’s the greatest ‘asymmetric opportunity’ of our lifetime,” Moss said. “But to take advantage of this
opportunity, you need to have asymmetric information and you need to know what most others do not. That’s what I’m excited to share with listeners each and every week.”
Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks’ President, notes, “Mark is uniquely qualified to inform and educate audiences on how to make smart investments, grow their money, understand the financial markets and prepare for the future. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk.
“The Mark Moss Show” replay podcast is distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network and will be available on demand following the broadcast as three one-hour shows on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Radio station owner Saga Communications has declared a quarterly cash dividend payable on October 22 to shareholders of record on October 8.
The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the quarterly dividend will be approximately $960,000, as the quarterly cash dividend’s value has been pegged at $0.16 per share.
The quarterly cash dividend will be funded by cash on Saga’s balance sheet. Including this dividend, Saga will have paid over $73 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012.
Saga currently intends to pay regular quarterly cash dividends in the future as declared by the Board of Directors. “Consistent with returning value to our shareholders, the Board of Directors may also consider declaring special cash dividends, stock dividends, and stock buybacks in the future,” Saga says.
Saga owns or operates 79 FM and 35 AM radio stations.
Since joining ABC in 2015, she has managed such projects as “The Little Mermaid Live!,” “The Disney Family Singalong” franchises, “JEOPARDY! The Greatest of All Time,” “Shark Tank,” and the revival of game show “The $100,000 Pyramid.”
That track record has led Walt Disney Television to name this individual to the role of SVP/Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment at ABC Entertainment and Walt Disney Television Unscripted.
Al Shuldiner isn’t the only Media Bureau leader seeking to bolster the Commission’s coffers by handing out more Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture letters to broadcast stations for a failure to follow the agency’s rules.
Barbara Kriesman, the Video Division Chief who works alongside Audio Division Chief Shuldiner, has been plenty busy with her own NALs to over-the-air TV operators.
In fact, two were released today to none other than the biggest licensee of TV stations in the U.S.
One of the busiest broadcast media personalities in the world has committed to three more years of service to the nation’s No. 1 creator and distributor of audio content.
The new deal keeps Ryan Seacrest with iHeartMedia and in mornings at its KIIS-FM in Los Angeles through the end of 2025.
Under the agreement, for which financial terms were not disclosed, Seacrest will continue in his role as “one of the core personalities across all iHeartRadio platforms.”
Seacrest’s deal was negotiated by Jeff Refold, COO and CFO of Ryan Seacrest Enterprises, and Jonathan West at Latham & Watkins LLP.
This includes hosting the internationally syndicated On Air with Ryan Seacrest program, along with the current incarnation of American Top 40. He will also continue to work closely with Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman and President/COO and CFO Rich Bressler, “providing input into the company’s major initiatives and hosting several tentpole events.” This includes the two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival; New York City’s annual iHeartRadio Jingle Ball holiday concert; and, quite possibly, future trips to Cannes, such as his 2017 excursion.
In addition to those duties and his role as a co-host of LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, a Disney ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution production, Seacrest will continue as only the second morning host KIIS-FM has had in 40 years.
Seacrest has hosted the morning shift at KIIS since March 2004, taking over for Rick Dees. Dees exited the station a month earlier, and had been with KIIS since July 1981, moving from former Top 40 KHJ.
Now, Seacrest’s tenure will be extended to beyond 30 years, making it longer than that of Dees, who became a globally known air personality at KIIS some eight years after his novelty song “Disco Duck” put him on the Top 40 as a recording artist in fall 1976.
“Continuing my relationship with iHeartMedia was a no-brainer,” Seacrest said. “Thirty years speed by when you love what you do. I get to live out my dream every day by interacting with our listeners and hearing their stories. Thank you to Bob and Rich and the entire iHeartMedia team for continuing to support us and grow with us. And a special thank you to my on-air crew, the best team in radio, for making the show work seamlessly every day.”
Seacrest first arrived in Los Angeles by joining Lisa Foxx as the hugely successful afternoon co-host of KYSR-FM, then a Pop/Alternative known as “Star 98.7.” Before that, he was a popular air personality for Jefferson-Pilot’s WSTR “Star 94” in Atlanta, discovered by then-station head Tony Novia; Seacrest was a regular caller who, through perseverance, found his way into the studio and on the air.
Bressler added, “We are honored to continue working with Ryan, who has consistently delighted audiences both digitally and in-person with his knowledge, energy and trustworthiness. Ryan is truly unique in the world of entertainment, with a keen eye for business and the talent to match. His impact is unparalleled, and we congratulate him on nearly three decades as part of the iHeartMedia family.”
RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION: Congratulations to Ryan Seacrest for extending his iHeartMedia deal. He’s certainly integral to the iHeart machine, given his role as the host of AT40 and his syndicated On Air with Ryan Seacrest, which can be heard practically everywhere these days. That said, we wish iHeart would reconsider his role at KIIS-FM. Like the last years of Dees, his predecessor, the ad revenue may be decent. Like Dees, his predecessor, some of the ratings in particular demos may be good. But, Seacrest no longer fits what the biggest Top 40 station in the nation needs to be, unless KIIS wants to become a broad mass-appeal Hot AC and model itself after 104.6 RTL in Berlin, perhaps the most successful contemporary music station in the world. Seacrest would be best served, in our view, as the morning host of Hot Adult Contemporary KBIG “My104.3,” which could use a nice bump. It would complement Adult Contemporary KOST, with former Dees sidekick Ellen K, kicking butt in wake-ups. And, it would allow KIIS to send “97.1 NOW” off by playing Taps as the Audacy FM is rumored to be prepping a flip to Sports Talk. KIIS’s NEXTGEN morning host could be someone of the Olivia Rodrigo generation, one who knows the leads of “Cruel Summer” (not the Bananarama song but the Freeform limited series) and likely follows them on Instagram alongside Kaitlyn Dever. Seacrest’s star power notwithstanding, it’s time for KIIS-FM to bring in someone a 22-year old Latina can relate to — not their moms.
In late 2019, Richard French’s RNN and Ted Bartley‘s NRJ struck a deal that saw French’s broadcast TV company acquire 8 stations in a $81.2 million deal in which Moelis & Company served as the seller’s broker/financial adviser.
Now, RNN is selling one of those properties — a UHF station serving the Hawaiian Islands.
The buyer? Look no further than the ABC affiliate in the 50th state. It’s a deal that creates a duopoly for a man intent on creating the nation’s largest TV station ownership group.
Townsquare Media, the “local first” company that uses digital media, programmatic solutions and its radio stations to best connect brands with listeners across small and mid-sized U.S. markets, has locked in the date it will release its Q3 2021 financial results.
Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer of Westwood One and its parent, Cumulus Media, is well-known for being the radio industry’s biggest cheerleader. Every week, his blog posts illustrate the continued strength of a business that continues to lose dollars to digital media and lacks respect among many Madison Avenue decisionmakers.
Perhaps that will soon change, as he’s now taking the lead position of Cumulus’ newly created “audio media and creative advisory group for marketers and agencies.”
Introducing the Audio Active Group (AAG), described as a “natural evolution from a sponsor-focused research and insights group to a true comprehensive marketing advisory.”
How so? The Audio Active Group seeks to partner with clients to measure the impact of the entire audio campaign — not just the Cumulus/Westwood One investment.
It will specialize in audio creative best practices, media planning, strategic allocation within radio, and measurement of the entire radio investment.
“One-third of brands in audio today are new to the medium. As major brands discover audio, they have lots of questions about audio creative strategy, media planning, and campaign measurement, and we have a deep understanding of what audio campaigns can accomplish,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus and President of its Westwood One national radio arm. “Under Pierre’s deft leadership, we are the only company that measures the impact of the entire audio investment and uses our trove of creative-testing and campaign-effectiveness data to help guide clients’ media investments and creative strategy.”The Audio Active Group publishes weekly audio insights, advertiser case studies, and sales videos: · The Audio Active Group’s weekly reports and the latest up-to-date audio insights are available here. · The Audio Active Group’s library of weekly sales videos is available here.
During the 2020 Christmas season, a well-known brand of TexMex-style food products integrated some of its offerings into a Lifetime yuletide yarn. The products also found their way into one of Food Network’s top cooking programs.
Did those product placements translate to a bump in sales? TV measurement and analytics firm 605 and the company that handled the product integration agreements teamed up to find the answer.