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LA Times Takes Out $10 Million PPP Loan

“The money will be used almost exclusively for employee-related costs, including payroll and employee benefits,” said Chris Argentieri, president and COO of the California Times, the newspaper’s parent company.

Eduardo Razo

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Like plenty of media outlets worldwide, the Los Angeles Times has been hit hard due to the coronavirus pandemic. Advertisement revenue decreased in the last year, and so the Times received a $10 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to fill the gap for the lack of ad revenue.

After advertisers pulled their advertising last year, it dealt a financial blow to the newspaper. The Hillreports that Times will use the money from this loan to cover employee payroll and benefits.

“The money will be used almost exclusively for employee-related costs, including payroll and employee benefits,” said Chris Argentieri, president and COO of the California Times, the newspaper’s parent company.

“We lost tens of millions of dollars in advertising revenue pretty much instantly in March 2020, and the pandemic continues to take a toll on the public health and take a toll economically. We are still operating with great uncertainty.”

Last month, a Wall Street Journal report stated that Patrick Soon-Shiong, the Times owner, considered selling The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. However, Soon-Shiong denied the report.

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iHeartMedia Exec: AI Will Play Big Role in 2024 Podcast Plans

“It’s not just meaningful for the creators to be able to access audiences in the language they want, but also to actually build businesses in those territories.”

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AI continues to be a hot-button topic in broadcasting circles. However, iHeartMedia isn’t shying away from its use, claiming the technology will play a big role in its podcast plans for 2024.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne shared that the company will continue to integrate the technology into its podcasting efforts, especially for translation and transcription services.

“It’s not just meaningful for the creators to be able to access audiences in the language they want, but also to actually build businesses in those territories,” Byrne said. 

He continued by noting that iHeartMedia and its podcast partners will be better equipped to produce more content with the help of AI.

“I definitely think it means don’t slow down the launch of new shows,” Byrne said. “We continue to launch hundreds of new shows a year to test what’s working.” 

Byrne predicted podcast revenue to see expansive growth in 2024, with revenues expected to reach roughly $4 billion by 2025. He added that packaging podcasts for sales will help both the company and creators.

“Podcasters can look beyond the amount of impressions they’re bringing to the table and start to package things a little bigger. We will be doing a lot more of that in 2024 for all of our creators.”

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Altice USA Sells Cheddar News to Archetype

“We are excited to assist Cheddar in expanding its reach.”

Eduardo Razo

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On Thursday, Altice USA, the owner of Cheddar News, took decisive action by selling the financial news streaming service to Archetype, a media company under the ownership of the private equity firm Regent LP.

A few months ago, there were rumblings over a potential sale. Now that CNBC reports that the agreement is complete, it signifies a departure from Altice USA’s previous substantial investment in the streaming news company.

In 2019, French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, owner of Altice, acquired Cheddar for $200 million. The aim was to strengthen Altice’s news division.

“Cheddar has helped transform the way millennials have accessed television news since its groundbreaking debut broadcast from an iPhone in 2016,” Archetype said in a statement. 

“We are excited to assist Cheddar in expanding its reach as the definitive independent ‘Voice of What’s Next’ empowering new audiences to be informed and engaged citizens in an ever-changing world.”

Altice USA has structured the deal as an “earn out” arrangement, with the specific terms not officially disclosed. However, a source familiar with the matter informed CNBC that Altice USA will collect future proceeds contingent upon Cheddar meeting particular performance targets. Internal projections suggest that these payments could potentially reach around $50 million.

“We are incredibly proud of what Cheddar News has accomplished within the Altice USA portfolio, growing its distribution to reach new viewers with fresh and exciting need-to-know news content,” Keith Bowen, president of news, advertising and programming for Altice USA, said in a statement.

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AM/FM Radio Streaming Audience Doubled Since 2015, New Research Shows

In total, 13% of time spent listening is spent with AM/FM streams in people 13+. That figure represents a jump up from 6% in 2015.

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According to new figures released by Edison Research, time spent listening to AM/FM radio streaming has doubled in certain demographics since 2015.

In total, 13% of time spent listening is spent with AM/FM streams in people 13+. That figure represents a jump up from 6% in 2015.

Additionally, the percentages differ from demographics. In the 13-34 demo, 19% of AM/FM listening is done via streaming. That is an eight percent rise from the 11% figure it saw in 2015. Those aged 35-54 spend 14% of their time using radio streams, up from 8% during the last study on the topic.

Finally, those 55 and over saw 9% of their radio listening from streams. That represented a rise from the 4% it garnered eight years ago.

The numbers show an interesting result after 2022 data showed that more time was spent with audio taking place on mobile devices over traditional radio for the first time in its data history.

Despite rising numbers on how often AM/FM streams were utilized, Edison Research posited that less than 1% of in-car time was spent listening to streams, with the rest coming at other times.

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