Jazz.FM crew reunited: Bill and Jesse King, Jaymz Bee, Heather Bambrick and Walter Venafro
Jazz.FM crew reunited: Bill and Jesse King, Jaymz Bee, Heather Bambrick and Walter Venafro

Media Beat: April 05, 2019

Pat Holiday leads Jazz.FM

The nasty headlines bleeding news about infighting, legal disputes, and name calling at Toronto’s not-for-profit Jazz.FM have wound down, and now the station is quietly setting about stabilizing operations. Former Astral and Slaight Communications broadcast exec Pat Holiday is out of semi-retirement and working behind the scenes to add finesse and order to the Liberty Village operation, and former show hosts are slowly returning to the fold. Included are Heather Bambrick and Walter Venafro, Bill King and son Jesse, and Jaymz Bee.

Stingray wins multiples at World Radio Summit

The media firm that owns what was presented with two prestigious awards on March 29 at the World Radio Summit, the annual industry convention that attracts broadcast professionals from around the world: International Broadcast Group of the Year and International Radio Programmer of the Year.

Only six months after entering the radio market with the acquisition of Newfoundland Capital Corporation Ltd’s Newcap Radio, Stingray was named International Radio Broadcast Group of the Year for 2019, beating out last year’s winner, Virgin Radio Group.

Steve Jones, Stingray’s Sr. VP, Radio Brands & Content, was named International Radio Programmer of the Year for the second time in his career (he previously won in 2014). “I am deeply honoured and grateful,” Jones comments. “Stingray may be new to the radio industry, but it is already setting the standard for quality broadcast on the global stage. Our programming team is a formidable force that produces world-class broadcasts. I am delighted that their excellence has not gone unnoticed. Every day they make me look good; they are the true winners of this award.”

RTDNA announces three regional Lifetime Achievement honourees

Canada’s Radio, Television Digital News Assoc. has announced that Lynda Steele and Rob Germain will receive its Lifetime Achievement Award in the West Region and Brian Madore in the East Region. Full details on the RTDNA website.

iHeartMedia prepares an IPO in shadow bankruptcy

Broadcasting and entertainment company iHeartMedia Inc. is making a new initial public offering.

The company filed documents Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The return to the public market could enable the formerly San Antonio-based company to exit bankruptcy. The filing did not say how much money the company, which owns and operates 850 U.S. radio stations, plans to raise from the IPO.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2018, and its reorganization plan was confirmed in federal court in January. That plan reduced the company's debt from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion and resulted in Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CCO) being removed as a separate company. – Ed Arnold, San Antonio Business Journal

Why would anyone invest in post-bankrupt iHeartMedia?

The conglomerate’s iHeartRadio brand has become a global entertainment force and even while in bankruptcy, it managed to invest $55M in its podcasting initiative and now has equal footing with NPR in that space.  The company also has a huge digital footprint thanks to the web sites and streaming versions of its 850 radio stations.

That gives iHeartMedia a "giant megaphone," argues broadcast consultant Fred Jacobs. "Broadcast radio motivates behavior – it generates downloads and page views, it puts butts in seats, and it sells merchandising – all key components in a mega-media strategy." – Hypebot

Internet audio delivery rising sharply

Internet-delivered audio, defined as listening to audio ‘pureplays’ such as Pandora or Spotify, listening to the streams of radio stations and streams of SiriusXM, podcasts, or music from YouTube, has dramatically increased its share of the audio pie since the debut of Edison Research’s Share of Ear® project in 2014.

As of the end of 2018, the share of listening going to these platforms of audio has risen from 22% to 35%.

“While the more established modes of audio delivery, such as broadcasting and listening to owned music, remain strong, with each update we show more audio is delivered through the internet. These trends are especially pronounced among young people,” said Edison Research Director Laura Ivey. – All Access Music Group

Why 2.7 million Americans still get Netflix DVDs in the mail

It’s hard to believe but that’s the number released by the streaming service and the chief reason the mail-order business continues to do business and spin off a sizeable profit is the general lack of broadband in rural communities. – CNN Business

Trump mandates report to better combat IP piracy

The Trump Administration has pledged to protect intellectual property from pirates online and off, an issue that has long concerned distributors of video content, both physical (DVDs) and digital.

That pledge came in a presidential memorandum to various executive branch agencies.

The President said it was his policy to "protect American businesses, intellectual property rights holders, consumers, national and economic security, and the American public from the dangers and negative effects of counterfeit and pirated goods, including those that are imported through online third-party marketplaces and other third-party intermediaries." – John Eggeton, Broadcasting & Cable

Nebraska turns a sow’s ear into a silk purse

New York City? Los Angeles? Chicago? Those are easy places to entice travelers. Nebraska, on the other hand, realizes the state is a tough sell, which is why it's launching a brutally candid tagline: “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone."  – Larissa Faw, Media Post

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