The first big shoe has fallen. Cumulus has taken a serious step to try to restructure its $2 billion in debt by seeking protection in bankruptcy court. Since former CEO Lew Dickey was pushed out over two years ago, company executives have made it clear the debt was a major issue and they needed to get it under control. It’s the first step to what may be a long process, because it appears not all lenders are on board. Here’s what they’ve done.
Cumulus has entered a Restructuring Support Agreement with some of its secured lenders, among others, that hold, in the aggregate, about 69 percent of its term loan; the agreement will reduce Cumulus’ debt by more than $1 billion, the company said Wednesday afternoon. To implement the balance sheet restructuring, it has filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The bankruptcy court must approve the plan.
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New Commissioner for Ontario will support the mandate of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced the appointment of Monique Lafontaine to the position of Commissioner for Ontario of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
A Toronto-based lawyer, Ms. Lafontaine brings over 17 years’ experience in entertainment and communications law. Her areas of specialization include television, radio, new media regulation, program licencing and affiliation agreements, stakeholder relations, and anti-spam and privacy legislation. Ms. Lafontaine holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Administration from the University of Ottawa and a Master of Laws from York University, and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1994. She is fluently bilingual. She has been appointed for a five-year term effective January 2, 2018.
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The world of digital continues to edge in on radio’s space. iHeartMedia has really taken advantage of the company’s scale in recent years by teaming with artists and launching their new songs – and playing the daylights out of them – sometimes for an entire day at the top of every hour. Now, it’s Jeff Bezos’ team taking advantage of Amazon’s scale, and using Alexa to do the same for U2.
U2 is releasing its new album called Songs of Experience this Friday. Amazon is calling what happens today through that launch, ‘ a new kind of radio.’ Historical music, live performances, interviews and exclusive new content will take place on Amazon starting tonight at 6 p.m. EST and will be available to Amazon Music account holders via multiple platforms. Amazon Prime members and Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can access the special programming through Alexa by saying, “Alexa, play The U2 Experience.”
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The laws of the universe are cyclical. Everything that goes around comes around. In January of 2000, when everyone was worried about the Y2K millennium bug, I wrote an unpublished article on the past, present, and future of radio. In 2005, as a panelist at the Mid-Year Radio Symposium, I reiterated my prediction publicly. It resulted in a flurry of investors cornering me in the hallway afterward, asking if they should pull out of radio. My answer was, “No, just invest in the smaller, nimbler groups.” So what was my prediction?
I said then — and I stand by it now — that the super groups would collapse under their own weight. Or rather, the weight of their own debt.
Here are my 10 predictions:
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WHEN: Tuesday, November 28, 2017
WHERE: Holiday Inn Toronto Yorkdale, York North Centre Room, 3450 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario
TIME: 9:00 a.m.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will hold a public hearing in Toronto, Ontario from November 28 to 29, 2017.
At this hearing, the CRTC will consider applications for commercial radio licences to serve the Grimsby/Beamsville and Georgina markets.
If you plan on attending the hearing or would like more information about it, please contact Media Relations at 819-997-9403 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A live audio feed of the hearing will be available on the CRTC website at www.crtc.gc.ca.
Are you interested in following the hearing? Follow us on Twitter: @CRTChearings
SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
For further information: Media Relations: Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245, Communications@crtc.gc.ca; General Inquiries: Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218, Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782), TDD – Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
Bell Media is laying off employees, including prominent on-air personalities, at radio and TV stations across Canada.
However, the company won’t say how many, who or where.
Unifor, the union representing on-air and broadcasting technicians at 17 CTV stations, estimates 50 jobs are being eliminated at Bell Media’s TV network alone in the latest round.
It says CFTO sportscasters Joe Tilley and Lance Brown, along with on-air personalities such as BNN host Michael Kane and Ottawa CTV 2 hosts Melissa Lamb and Lianne Laing, are among those affected.
Read more here.
Creates a Leading, Integrated Media and Entertainment Company and One of America’s Top Two Radio Broadcasters
Entercom Communications Corp. (“Entercom”) (NYSE: ETM) today announced that it has completed its merger with CBS Radio Inc. (“CBS Radio”), creating a leading American media and entertainment company and one of the top two radio broadcasters in the country. Entercom is now the #1 creator of live, original, local audio content in the United States and the nation’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio. With a nationwide footprint of 235 stations, Entercom will engage over 100 million people weekly with a premier collection of highly-rated, award-winning radio stations, digital platforms and live events.
“We are thrilled to officially close our transformational merger with CBS Radio and welcome their talented employees and iconic brands to Entercom,” said David Field, Entercom’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers. We now have the scale and capabilities to drive meaningful growth and to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of advertising dollars. We also look forward to helping to elevate the Radio industry, which remains massively undervalued by advertisers despite having emerged as America’s #1 Reach medium, delivering outstanding ROI to customers.”
About Entercom Communications Corp.
Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE: ETM) is a leading American media and entertainment company reaching and engaging over 100 million people each week through its premier collection of highly rated, award winning radio stations, digital platforms and live events. As one of the country’s two largest radio broadcasters, Entercom offers integrated marketing solutions and delivers the power of local connection on a national scale with coverage of close to 90% of persons 12+ in the top 50 markets. Entercom is the #1 creator of live, original, local audio content and the nation’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio. Learn more about Philadelphia-based Entercom at www.Entercom.com, Facebook and Twitter (@Entercom).
This communication contains “forward-looking statements.” All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this report are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Forward-looking statements usually relate to future events and anticipated revenues, earnings, cash flows or other aspects of our operations or operating results. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “intend,” “foresee,” “should,” “projects,” “would,” “will,” “could,” “may,” “estimate,” “outlook” and similar expressions, including the negative thereof. The absence of these words, however, does not mean that the statements are not forward-looking. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, beliefs and assumptions concerning future developments and business conditions and their potential effect on us. While management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made, there can be no assurance that future developments affecting us will be those that we anticipate.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, risks associated with tax liabilities, or changes in U.S. federal tax laws or interpretations to which they are subject; risks that the new businesses will not be integrated successfully or that the combined companies will not realize estimated cost savings, value of certain tax assets, synergies and growth or that such benefits may take longer to realize than expected; failure to realize anticipated benefits of the combined operations; risks relating to unanticipated costs of integration; the impact of consummation of the transaction on relationships with third parties, including advertiser clients, employees and competitors; a decline in advertising revenue and the seasonality of advertising revenue; intense competition in the broadcast radio and media distribution industries; impact on advertising rates and revenues due to technological changes and failure to timely or appropriately respond to such changes; ability to attract new and retain existing advertiser clients in the manner anticipated; increases in or new royalties; high fixed costs; ability to hire and retain key personnel; failure to protect our intellectual property; availability of sources of funding on favorable terms or at all; changes in legislation or governmental regulations affecting the companies; economic, social or political conditions that could adversely affect the companies or their advertiser clients; conditions in the credit markets; and risks associated with assumptions the parties make in connection with the parties’ critical accounting estimates and legal proceedings.
All of our forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties (some of which are significant or beyond our control) and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or projections. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties that affect the parties’ businesses, including those described in the Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other documents filed from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) by Entercom Communications Corp. (“Entercom”), CBS Corporation (“CBS”) (to the extent they relate to CBS Radio Inc. (“CBS Radio”) and its relevant subsidiaries) and CBS Radio. We wish to caution you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any of our forward-looking statements after the date they are made, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law.
Entercom Communications Corp.
Esther-Mireya Tejeda, 610-822-0861
– Developers can now use the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build new skills and capabilities for customers in Canada
– Canadian developers are building skills for Alexa, including Air Canada, TD Bank, TELUS, CBC, The Weather Network, and ecobee
– Global developers are bringing more than 10,000 skills to customers in Canada this year including Philips Hue, TED Talks, Uber, and more
– Starting today, hardware manufacturers can begin developing Alexa-enabled products for Canadian customers with the Alexa Voice Service (AVS)
Amazon today announced the expansion of the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), enabling developers around the world to build voice experiences for Alexa customers in Canada.
“Our philosophy from day one was to make it as easy as possible for developers to create voice experiences with Alexa that reach customers in a totally new way,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Tens of thousands of developers are already building innovative Alexa skills and Alexa-enabled products. We are excited to expand our tools to enable developers around the world to reach Alexa customers in Canada.”
Read more here.
The Dartmouth-based parent company behind national broadcaster Newcap Radio is picking up two FM radio stations in New Glasgow in a deal that still has to be approved by Canada’s regulatory watchdog for the industry.
Newfoundland Capital Corporation, which owns the 72-station Newcap Radio chain, did not divulge the price it is to pay under that deal for the Hector Broadcasting’s CKEC and CKEZ in Pictou County.
Hector Broadcasting president Mike Freeman declined a request for comment about the deal or the stations’ profitability, noting the deal needs the approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
“I won’t be discussing it until we have a decision from the CRTC,” said Freeman. “It’s still pending.”
Read more here.
Canadians’ data usage on their wireless devices and over their home Internet connections continues to climb, according to the CRTC’s 2017 Communications Monitoring Report.
Canadians are adopting mobile broadband service at a rapid rate. In 2016, there were 3 million more mobile broadband subscriptions than the previous year, a 13.3% increase. Canadians used an average of 1.2 gigabytes (GB) of data per month on their wireless devices, a 25% increase from 2015. More than a quarter of those who subscribed to a monthly data plan had at least 5 GB of data.
Many young people are turning to their wireless device to watch TV. Forty-one percent of 18-34 year olds use their smartphones to watch TV online, compared to 11% of Canadians aged 50-64 years old and 4% of Canadians aged 65 and over. Other popular activities included accessing the Internet, emails and social media networks.
At the same time Canadians are also increasing the data and speed of their home Internet connections. In 2016, monthly data usage (downloads and uploads) increased by 23.4% to reach 128.3 GB. Over the last five years, Canadians monthly data consumption increased by an average of 40% each year.
In addition, 26% of subscribers had chosen a download speed of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps). Five years ago, only 3.6% of Canadians subscribed to this speed tier. More and more Canadians have the option to subscribe to this speed tier. By the end of 2016, 84% of Canadians had access to download speeds of at least 50 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps on fixed broadband Internet services.
Read more here.