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The Business of Radio



by Jeff McKay & Tom Gordon


Is podcasting dipping its big toe into radio?  In-bankruptcy Cumulus announced they will add a re-made hour of the conservative Ben Shapiro to their lineup on WABC in New York, KABC in Los Angeles & WLS in Chicago for afternoons – and they report that one-hour show is already sold out.  The 34-year old Shapiro’s podcast draws an impressive 15 million downloads.   The bad news for Cumulus was their quarterly report, which showed a revenue drop of 3.7% in their last quarter, but there were positive gains at Westwood One which helped their bottom line.   While it’s not news that TV station owner Scripps wants to get out of the radio business, the question is what will happen to the stations they own – but rumors out of Milwaukee is Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ & country WKTI may wind up in the hands of Entercom.  Apparently radio listeners in the United Kingdom have spoken – the BBC has shevled plans to force radio listeners to replace their analog radio for DAB radios, which would have forced over two million drivers to make the costly switch in their cars.  The forced changeover in Norway to DAB has found daily listenership in Norway has dropped from one year ago, and listening to the remaining FM stations that were not forced to silence their transmitters has increased.

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