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The Business of Radio



by Jeff McKay & Tom Gordon


It pays to be in bankruptcy - that is if you’re in charge – according to the amended filing by Cumulus, CEO Mary Berner received $3.8 million in bonus money last year, with more than half of that coming from the company’s Supplemental Incentive Plan.  Along with Berner, Cumulus CFO John Abbot pocketed a bonus of $1.495 million & General Counsel Richard Denning about $900,000.  Cumulus also announced they expect to emerge from bankruptcy before June 30.  Also in bankruptcy, iHeart Media reported it’s 2017 results after a court allowed the process.  IHeart’s overall 2017 revenue was $6.17 billion, down 1.4% from 2016, but audio-focused revenue was up 1.2% for the year, which included a flat 4th quarter.  The quarterly call for Scripps may be more interesting than usual on May 7 – rumors persist that Scripps may sell some of their radio properties to focus more on their TV holdings when word came out that Entercom may be interested in stations in their Milwaukee cluster.  Shares of Pandora soared 20% on Friday – its best day ever since going public seven years ago following news of their quarterly gains and optimism about a company turnaround, along with a number of analyst upgrades.  He once hosted “Inside the Law” on WOBM-AM in Lakewood, NJ and now host & attorney Robert Novy will need a lawyer of his own – Novy was busted on charges he allegedly stole at least $1.9 million from six of his elderly clients.

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