Total Traffic & Katz

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  1. The future of Katz rep firm under a new owner like Liberty Media.
  2. Two currently unthinkable options for Katz suddenly are on the table.
  3. The fate of Total Traffic under a new owner like Liberty.
  4. Liberty has already said it would sell Clear Channel Outdoor, but what would be their plans to sell radio stations.
  5. How Liberty could drop billions and still wind up with virtually no debt – what experts think.

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Cumulus Bankruptcy Ruling

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  1. Mary Berner says Cumulus will emerge from bankruptcy at the end of May – what does she know that everyone else doesn’t.
  2. Their unsecured creditors must sign off but they have been resistant – here’s the surprising thing they did just a few days ago to complicate matters more.
  3. Cumulus is offering these resistant bondholders double what iHeart is offering their unsecured creditors – why aren’t they biting and what specifically do they want.
  4. How two reported takeover bids are affecting an end to this bankruptcy.
  5. Cumulus employees want to know what’s going to happen to them when bankruptcy finally ends – here are the two most likely outcomes

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Alpha Pandemonium

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  1. Alpha Media’s continuing battle to keep the company due to debt problems.
  2. How founder Larry Wilson poisoned the well for other radio groups, many of them also in financial trouble today.
  3. Alpha’s tower debacle – now that story can be told.
  4. Could Wilson just walk away from the company if it gets any worse.
  5. Alpha’s biggest lender is running out of patience – here are the options.

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The Spot Overload Crisis

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  1. Compelling evidence that radio is unnecessarily driving even loyal listeners away.
  2. Let’s start with Beasley – you won’t believe what one of their Greater Media  stations was clocked at for spot overload recently.
  3. Which group has well exceeded 30 units per hour – and counting. 
  4. How sales starved groups are using trade to pump up revenue – and deceive their own investors.
  5. Pressure from Facebook and digital competitors is causing radio to take any ad at any price – here’s the percentage of how much digital is bleeding off the local radio spend.
  6. How radio is alarmingly following the magazine industry’s ad practices.
  7. A list of solutions – yes, there are ways to begin to put a stop to spot  excesses and raise local revenue even while being pressured by digitally-minded local agencies.  Some damn good alternatives.

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Total Traffic, USTN Confrontation

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  1. A major shakeup this morning at United States Traffic Network (USTN).
  2. Behind the scenes ownership changes and what they mean.
  3. How uncertain client relationships now pose a bigger threat to the two main radio traffic providers.
  4. Will Total Traffic be retained or spun off after iHeart emerges from bankruptcy.
  5. How radio groups are using traffic services to bust unions and cut local salary costs.
  6. The outlook for radio traffic revenue – still robust or reflecting declining local sales trends.

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How Lew Dickey Will Buy Back Cumulus

Mary Berner says there’s no way Lew Dickey is returning to run Cumulus.

Jeff Warshaw is reportedly already talking spin-offs to buyers who think Connoisseur can steal Cumulus from lenders for pennies on the dollar.

And then there’s Lew Dickey, the founder and CEO ousted in a bloodless coup by the chairman of the board more than two years ago who wants back.

Which one is full of crap?

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  1. For the first time – the Dickey takeover plan.
  2. The timing of the takeover bid.
  3. The biggest thing Lew Dickey has going for him and what’s working against him.
  4. The clueless lenders and bondholders are in for this rude awakening that can totally disrupt the outcome.
  5. The best thinking on when Cumulus can get out of bankruptcy and back to business.
  6. Whether current management is making any progress winning over bondholders who are refusing to sign on to their second operating plan.

The answers start here.

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Entercom’s $110 Million in Merger Cutbacks

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Millions in Vanishing Revenue at Cumulus


  • Putting aside all the spin, what’s the truth about Cumulus revenue – here’s the final first quarter numbers and current pacing. 
  • The one Cumulus top exec who is not spinning performance statistics so if this guy is worried, be worried. 
  • What’s the one tell-tale sign a radio company is headed into the toilet – guess what, it just showed up at Cumulus.
  • The absolutely wrong thing to do when the majority of your market managers are not able to turn things around – Cumulus did it a few days ago. 

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Connoisseur’s Play for Cumulus

We know that there are at least two bidders looking to takeover Cumulus when it emerges from bankruptcy – or even before if the judge allows outside bidders.

Lew Dickey is one, the founder of the company ousted by Board Chairman Jeff Marcus after Dickey had it out with Marcus over allegedly undermining his ability to run the company.

And now there is Jeff Warshaw, the CEO of Connoisseur Version 2.  Warshaw sold 37 stations in 9 markets to Cumulus for $242 million in 2000 as the original Connoisseur.

Mary Berner continues to spin that she is guaranteed to return to run the debt-free version of Cumulus when they emerge from bankruptcy and lenders and bondholders are stinging from the haircuts they had to take.

  • Warshaw is looking to steal Cumulus from lenders – Connoisseur is in a bit of a financial tight spot itself selling off its Buckley Hartford stations and most recently three stations in New Jersey to Townsquare for $17 million including one of Connoisseur’s most profitable ones, an FM in Trenton.  Approximately 50% of Connoisseur’s acquisitions account for debt of some kind.  That’s why Warshaw may not be just opting for a chance to buy Cumulus but may need it for Connoisseur to survive.
  • How stealing Cumulus buys Jeff Warshaw another day
  • How much of Cumulus would Warshaw keep
  • Who do the lenders want running Cumulus
  • What happens if Cumulus falls into a second bankruptcy
  • Will there be a bidding war for Cumulus 

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Urban One’s Financial Condition

Al Liggins and Cathy Hughes have managed to do the impossible over the years – avoid bankruptcy.

But what kind of shape is a boutique black-targeted media company like Urban One really in?

On one hand, they have seen a lot of competitors fall on hard times not the least of which is the number one group, iHeartMedia with their 850 stations.

And Cumulus with 90 markets, the majority of which are not and have not been making their numbers even before they filed for bankruptcy.

Yet, Urban One is still afloat albeit in uncertain times.

Their employees very much care about whether they can remain whole and avoid the uncertainties of bankruptcy.

Of course, their banks and lenders care.

But so do other radio groups who might covet the major markets they are in if they have to sell properties to stay afloat.

So, what’s Urban One’s financial condition?  

  • They diversified and placed a bet on help from non-radio businesses – As of now, Urban One (formerly Radio One) is reportedly deriving approximately half of its income from sources other than radio station revenue.  That is highly unusual among radio companies, but it was a strategy that Liggins and Hughes personally felt they had to pursue. 
  • What Urban One is doing to as a hedge against increasing debt that other groups may have to do, too

  • The TV One acquisition – accretive or too risky

  • The current biggest threat to Urban One’s future 
  • Can Urban One avoid bankruptcy in a year when 2 of the 3 biggest radio groups could not 

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