Ezra Kucharz to Exit CBS Local Digital Media. Six-year leader of CBS' local digital efforts, Ezra Kucharz, announces he's leaving his president of CBS Local Digital Media position and will consult as special advisor to the CEO as he explores the next chapter in his career. Kucharz heads the division that developed a common platform and unified sales effort for its radio and television station websites and digital components. This comes as speculation about a spin-off of the CBS RADIO division and an IPO is getting more intense. CBS does not say whether it intends to fill Kucharz's position.
Kansy Adds KQHN, Shreveport PD Duties. Shreveport cluster operations manager Julie Kansy is taking on the role of program director for CHR KQHN-FM "i97.3, Shreveport's #1 Hit Music Station." Kansy's been OM since 2015. She joined the cluster in 2014 as PM drive host and APD at country KRMD "NASH FM 101.1." She's also served as program director of sports talk KRMD-AM/K264AS "100.7 FM/1340AM The Ticket." Cumulus Media Shreveport VP/market manager Brandon Beard says, "Since joining Cumulus in October of 2014 to host an afternoon show on KRMD, Jules has done an incredible job of going above and beyond for our cluster. In 2015, Jules was elevated to operations manager and has shined in that role. Jules shows the type of passion that every GM across America would love to have. We are proud to announce that Jules will now lead our CHR station KQHN I97.3 as the PD and also begin the search for a local morning show. Jules will continue in her role as the OM and will continue to host her afternoon show on KRMD. We are proud to call Jules part of the Cumulus family in Shreveport."
Core Media Group Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. According to the legal paperwork, Core Media Group – the production company behind "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" – owes roughly $420 million to third parties, including Sony Music Entertainment and CBS. "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller is the company's top unsecured creditor – he is owed $3.37 million. In support of the filing, Core Media Group president Peter Hurwitz writes that, despite the company's long-running success, CMG, "has recently experienced deterioration in its financial performance, primarily attributable to the decline in ratings for 'American Idol' and the corresponding decline in revenues from related broadcast fees, international tape sales for rebroadcasts, touring fees, sponsorships and related merchandise sales." In a statement, Core says it "remains firmly committed to our mission as a global content and management company producing award-winning programming." Earnings from "American Idol" fell by $15 million in 2014 and losses were even greater in 2015, when the show was cut from 56.5 hours to 42 hours. In addition, Coca-Cola and AT&T were lost as main sponsors and Walt Disney World's "American Idol Experience" attraction was shut down.
Did Pain Meds Contribute to Prince's Death? It has been more than a week since Prince passed away and many still wonder what caused the death of the 57-year-old iconic singer. One law enforcement official has told CNN that prescription opioid medication was found on Prince's body and in his Minnesota home. According to TMZ, Prince had been addicted to Percocet for years and the celebrity news website notes that, "Doctors prescribed the powerful painkiller in 2009 when [Prince] was suffering from hip problems. He had corrective surgery sometime around 2010, but by then, he was hooked on the drug." It has further been reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been brought in to help with the case. Speculation is that the reason for an unscheduled landing of Prince's plane in Illinois approximately one week before his death was likely the result of a reaction to a pain medication.
Delilah Headlines Nebraska United Way Luncheon. Keynote speaker at The United Way of Siouxland's 16th annual "Women's Power Lunch" was Premiere Networks' Delilah. A sell-out crowd of more than 1,200 attended the event held this Wednesday (4/27) at the Marina Center in South Sioux City, Nebraska. The nighttime adult contemporary personality – frequently called "The Oprah of Radio" – discussed her journey as a single mother of 13 children (10 adopted), as well as the importance of persevering – even in the most adverse conditions. "People ask me what my greatest talent is," Delilah mentioned. "My greatest talent was being able to get back up on my feet. When life knocks me down, when I got fired, when I was divorced – whatever the trial was – I had no great talent or wisdom. I just was able to get back up on my feet, dust myself off, and get on down the road of life." All proceeds raised from the annual luncheon are used to fund a scholarship program to assist single parents working to further their education. Pictured at left are Delilah and Andy Mattson, morning talent at Delilah's Sioux City, Iowa affiliate, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KGLI "KG-95."
SiriusXM Q1 Revenue Rises 11%. The increase is to a record $1.2 billion, with SiriusXM net income up 62% to $171 million; adjusted EBITDA improves 11% to $441 million. The satcaster adds nearly one-half million new subscribers, ending with almost 30.1 million. First quarter results exceeded expectations of chief executive officer Jim Meyer who comments, "I am especially pleased we were able to add 465,000 net new subscribers, leading to an 8% increase in subscribers over the prior year. With excellent subscriber growth so early in the year, we are raising our guidance for full year net subscriber additions to 1.6 million. We set first quarter records for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow, and we are on track to achieve all of our financial goals this year. With a new full-time music channel from Kenny Chesney, live broadcasts from major music festivals, special popup channels for David Bowie and Billy Joel, as well as new talk shows, and unmatched coverage of the presidential primaries, SiriusXM continues to be the leader in audio entertainment. We are always looking to deliver new, compelling content to our subscribers." Chief financial officer David Frear notes that during the first quarter, "We reduced our outstanding share count by about 3%, spending $588 million to repurchase 159 million shares of our common stock. Our debt to adjusted EBITDA remained low at just 3.4 times, leaving plenty of flexibility to continue capital returns to our stockholders or make acquisitions while also making investments in our technology, content, and new satellite infrastructure."