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Audacy First Quarter Revenue Up 1%

While radio advertising revenue dropped 2%, digital revenue rose 10% to make up the difference.

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As more and more radio broadcasters reveal their first-quarter revenue results, Audacy is one of the few reporting a gain during the first three months of 2024.

Revenue for the company reached $268.1 million, up 1% compared to the $259.6 million it saw during the first quarter of 2023.

While radio advertising revenue dropped 2%, digital revenue rose 10% to make up the difference. The company made significant decreases in its operating losses. In the first quarter, Audacy lost $400,000, compared to $12.2 million during the same time period last year.

“The Audacy team is very much looking forward to a bright future, emerging as a scaled leader in the dynamic audio market, distinguished by our best-in-class balance sheet, our top positions across the country’s largest markets, and our exclusive premium content highlighted by our unrivaled leadership in sports audio,” said Audacy Chairman, President, and CEO David Field.

The company’s Adjusted EBITDA was $9.6 million for the quarter, seeing year-over-year growth of 173% compared to the $3.5 million figure it featured last year.

“We expect another quarter of substantial EBITDA growth, enhanced by our continuing work on expense reductions,” revealed Field.

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Media Business

41% of News Radio Leaders Say Burnout is Higher From Staffers in 2024, RTDNA Study Shows

That number grows to 58.5% of major markets.

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Burnout is a feeling many in the news radio industry are feeling in 2024. But a new RTDNA study shows just how prevalent that feeling is.

The new study shows that 41.4% of news directors and general managers say there is more evidence of burnout this year. That number grows to 58.5% of major markets. The figure gets even larger when portioned out to include just the largest newsrooms in the country, with 62.9% of leaders responding similarly with a larger staff.

57.8% of news radio leaders, however, say they’ve countered burnout with a variety of options. Nearly 38% said offering flex-time and encouraging employees to use their paid time off has combated the feelings of reports and digital producers.

The study also examined the radio staff size of news departments in 2023, with major market stations employing an average of 10.9 full-time employees. However, a sharp decline happens in large markets, as the number drops to 3.9, 2.8 for medium markets, and 1.6 for small markets.

The average full-time news radio staff at commercial stations now rests at 2.7 people, while the non-commercial side features 6.7 full-time employees.

Looking ahead to those numbers in 2024, 14.4% of respondents said they planned to increase their newsroom staffs during the calendar year. Only 1.4% said plans were underway to decrease their employee base.

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All State Broadcasters Associations Sign Letter Advocating for Passage of Broadcast VOICES Act

“The Broadcast VOICES Act will help with building a pipeline for a new generation of broadcast station owners that is inclusive of women, people of color and other underrepresented individuals.”

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A proposed bill in Congress reinstating a tax certificate for women and people of color looking to invest in radio and television station ownership groups has received a strong show of support from Broadcasters Associations from each state.

In a letter co-signed by all 50 state broadcasters associations, alongside the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico urged Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to pass the bill.

“Broadcasters provide an invaluable resource to all communities, serving as a local and trusted source for news and information across the country. Our strength is in our ability to cover diverse community experiences and tell stories from an authentic perspective. The tax certificate program will help us build a local media landscape that reflects our communities on the air, both in the control booth and boardroom,” the letter read.

“Additionally, the Broadcast VOICES Act will help with building a pipeline for a new generation of broadcast station owners that is inclusive of women, people of color and other underrepresented individuals. We therefore urge Congress to act swiftly and pass H.R. 8072 and S. 4158 to make sure that all voices are accurately represented in the broadcasting industry.”

According to the state associations, from 1978 to 1995, the Minority Tax Certificate program saw an increase of 550%. However, in 2024, women make up 6% of TV station owners and 7% of radio owners, while people of color make up 3% of TV owners and less than 3% of radio owners.

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NAB: Robert De Niro Won’t Attend Service to America Leadership Awards After Speech Outside Trump Trial

“To maintain the focus on service of the award winners, Mr. De Niro will no longer be attending the event.”

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After announcing that it would bestow Robert De Niro with its Service to America Leadership Award, the NAB Leadership Foundation has said he will not be at the ceremony to receive the honor.

De Niro spoke outside of the New York courthouse where former President Donald Trump is on trial facing charges of falsifying business documents. However, the actor clashed with protestors as he strongly rebuked the former President.

In response, the NAB Leadership Foundation claimed that the awards event is “proudly bipartisan.”

“The Celebration of Service to America Awards is dedicated to honoring the vital local journalism and public service that local radio and television stations provide to their communities,” the NAB said. “This event is proudly bipartisan, uniting those from across the political spectrum to celebrate the impactful work of local broadcasters and our partners.

“While we strongly support the right of every American to exercise free speech and participate in civic engagement, it is clear that Mr. De Niro’s recent high-profile activities will create a distraction from the philanthropic work that we were hoping to recognize. To maintain the focus on service of the award winners, Mr. De Niro will no longer be attending the event.”

In spite of De Niro’s absence, the Service to America Leadership Award event will be held at The Anthem in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, June 4th.

“We look forward to a night of celebration honoring the exceptional work of broadcasters and our partners who make a difference in their communities every day,” the NAB said. 

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