The Business of Radio
by Jeff McKay & Tom Gordon
The week for Townsquare started out with a sale of their entertainment division, followed by a sale of their stock. Townsquare bought North American Midway Entertainment for $75.5 million in 2015, and three years later sold it back to the same company it bought it from for just $23.5 million. Meanwhile, Townsquare stock fell to an all-time historic low of $6.37, down from their $11 IPO price in 2014. One of the big losers in the refilling of seven months of PPM data in Los Angeles was SBS Broadcasting’s KLAX, and they’re not happy about it – SBS is casting doubt on the reissued Nielsen PPM numbers and is calling the removal of PPM’s from Hispanic households “prejudicial & discriminatory.” Compensation at Emmis now has two of its leaders in the 7-figure club – CEO Jeff Smuylan earned over $1 million last year, and now COO Pat Walsh earned over $1.2 million according to shareholder proxy statements. Cumulus is inching closer to exiting their bankruptcy, as Moody’s has rated their new debt load and speculated that potential asset sales may lessen that number even further. Pandora is adding a new “family plan” for subscribers, something Sirius XM has had for years, with a flat $15 rate for families using their streaming service.