With the announced purchase of Digity's 116 stations, Larry Wilson's Alpha Media will become the fourth largest radio company in America by station count with 251. Only iHeartMedia (861), Cumulus (451) and Townsquare (315) will have more. It also puts Alpha in third in terms of number of markets with 54. iHeartMedia is in 150 and Cumulus is in 92. During his Citadel run, before selling to Forstmann Little in 2001 (for $2.1 Billion), Wilson had accumulated 205 stations in 42 markets across 26 states. In 2009, Wilson decided retirement wasn't for him and started this latest run with a six-station purchase in Portland. Six years later, he's at 251 stations. Here's a list of the markets that will soon hang out the Alpha Media banner
This purchase will nearly double the number of markets Alpha is in (28 to 54), and make it the fourth-largest radio company in terms of number of stations. Speculation was that Goodman did not want to sell, but his investors wanted out and so the stations became available; Goodman was said to be attempting to replace primary backer Garrison Investment Group. And, with this announced sale, it's now clear that did not happen. Digity has 116 stations in 26 markets with $73 million in annual sales, according to BIA/Kelsey. Among the markets Digity is in: West Palm Beach; San Jose; the suburbs of Dallas and Chicago; Greenville-New Bern, NC; Myrtle Beach, SC; Lincoln, NE; and Mankato, MN. READ ON.
A lot of deals of this size can get contentious, especially when a room full of lawyers is involved. There's a lot of money on the table, a lot of due diligence has to be done, and tons of communication and negotiation with the other side. However, by all accounts, event though they barely knew each other until this past April when they met at the NAB show in Las Vegas, Alpha Media CEO Larry Wilson and Digity CEO Dean Goodman became good friends during this deal, even though they were negotiating what will turn out to be one of the biggest radio deals, in terms of dollars, in years.
He doesn't like to reveal too many secrets to his success but Saga CEO Ed Christian did just that yesterday, most likely to let investors know the company was doing everything possible to grind out sales while the economy remains in a rut. Christian says, "If we do our craft properly, radio's 245 million listeners will respond to our advertising messages. Saga is not a flashy company. We increase business by hard work and determination. Two initiatives Christian revealed are both showing success in the city of Des Moines where Saga has four FMs and two AMs. READ ON.
Saga CEO Ed Christian and CFO Sam Bush pack a lot of information -- and entertainment -- into a 17-minute earnings call. The company had $34.4 million in Q2 revenue, a 1.6 percent increase over 2014. National revenue, which has been receiving a lot of attention lately, was up $100,000 to $4.5 million. National was 12.1 percent of Saga's Q2 revenue. The company had $36.1 million in debt at the end of the quarter and $27.4 million in cash on hand. Looking ahead to Q3 Christian said it's much of the same, pacing is down slightly and flat excluding political.
Over 1,000 people attended the recent Podcasting Movement Convention in Texas. One of those people was former Saga executive Steve Goldstein who left radio to join the podcasting revolution by launching a new company called Amplifi Media. Goldstein blogs about the conference, which he compared to a radio conference of many years ago, ripe with youngsters making this growing industry popular. Goldstein says his top takeaway from the event was that there is a world of audio beyond AM/FM and a great deal of passionate audio creators. READ ON....
Analyst Barton Crockett, who covers SiriusXM, gave the FM Chip and AM/FM radio a little bit of love on CNBC Tuesday. While he did say people love AM/FM radio, he also emphasized that there's a lot of growth in new services like SriusXM and Pandora, even though neither SiriusXM nor Pandora are really new anymore. CNBC Host Tyler Mathisen did radio a much bigger favor. He said even though he has Pandora, Spotify, and SiriusXM in all his vehicles, he still listens to radio more than any other. CHECK OUT THE 1:34 VIDEO HERE.
According to Triton's June 2015 online listening ranker, among the traditional radio stations who stream, listeners were engaged with Townsquare stations more than any other radio group in June. Online Townsquare listeners stay tuned in for approximately one hour and 27 minutes (per session), Monday through Friday from 6A to 8P. In the radio group category, Radio One was next, followed by the EMF stations, New York Public Radio and the Hubbard stations. Read the entire Triton Digital June ranker HERE.
The show, which begins on August 27 (on SiriusXM Channel 111), sounds similar to Ken Rutkowski's Business Rockstars Radio Show. This new program is called Entrepreneurs are Everywhere, and will be hosted by Steve Blank (pictured), the entrepreneur-turned-educator and creator of the Lean Startup movement. Entrepreneurs are Everywhere will feature founders of companies from across the United States sharing their experience of what it takes to build a startup -- from restaurants, to rocket scientists, to online groceries, to online gifts and more.
Nielsen is reporting that 245 million Americans (12 plus) tuned into radio during the second quarter of 2015. In fact, according to Nielsen's latest Audio Today report, in each of the past two years, the national weekly radio audience has reached all-time highs. The Nielsen numbers translate to 91% of the population (12 plus) who are listening to radio in a given week in 250 markets across the country.
Nielsen says, since 2011, the weekly national Hispanic audience has grown 11% (from 36.5 million to 40.4 million). The national average for all Spanish-language radio formats combined is a 6.1% audience share, according to Nielsen. The map pictured here from Nielsen compares each state to that average. Those that are sunstantially higher than the national average include California (19.1%), Texas (16.5%), Nevada (13.1%), Florida (11.1%) and New Mexico (10.1%).
Nielsen says, since 2011, the weekly national Black radio audience has grown 5% (from 29.8 million to 31.3 million). Nielsen says the national average for all Urban formats combined is a 7.7% audience share. Take a look at the western United States in this map Nielsen provides. It shows a huge difference in the format compared to the eastern side of the country. Geographically, the states with the highest share of Black consumers listening to Urban radio formats are: Mississippi (29.9%), Louisiana (28.8%), Georgia(26.6%), South Carolina (23.5%), Alabama (19.4%), and North Carolina (17.9%).
Media Service Group's Bill Cate tells us that Monte Spearman's High Plains Radio Network is expanding its Texas radio holdings to neighboring Arkansas. Spearman is buying Scott Gray's 3 FMs in Mountain Home for $820,000 in cash. The stations are KYMT-FM, a class A licensed to Gassville, AR; KJMT-FM, a C-3, licensed to Calico Rock, AR; and KCMC-FM, also a C-3 licensed to Viola, AR. All are owned and operated by Malvern Entertainment Corporation and Gray Media Corporation of Alexander, Arkansas. Gray, a consulting engineer from Little Rock, has no other radio holdings.
GatesAir has added another seven patent awards to its 238 previous U.S. and global patents. The seven patent awards span a variety of technical inventions, including: Predictable Coding Delay over Communications Networks; Operation of an Antenna on a Second, Higher Frequency; Systems and Methods for Presentation of Digital Media at a Mobile Platform; and Broadband High-Efficiency Amplifier System Incorporating Dynamic Modulation of Load Impedance.
Crystalyn Portwood joins her old boss at iHeartMedia. Portwood has been hired as Director of Sports Sales and will oversee sales for iHeartMedia's flagship teams, including the Denver Broncos, the Colorado Rockies, and the University of Colorado Buffalos. Portwood moves to Denver (market # 19) from St. Louis (market # 22) where she was LSM for CBS Radio under then GSM Tim Hager. She took over as GSM when Hager joined iHeartmedia as Senior VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Denver.
Digity's Country powerhouse in Greenville-New Bern, North Carolina, has a new afternoon driver. Tom Lawler joins the station beginning August 10, filling the slot vacated by PD/Music Director Tommy Garrett, who resigned in July. Lawler previously worked for the Digity Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster at Rock 105, WXQR, doing middays. He also worked for many years in the New York City market, first at WOR-AM and the WOR Radio Network as a producer, and at WCBS and CBS-FM as a producer and production assistant.