Not lengthy after writing final week’s column relating to the monetary issues with Cumulus Media, which owns KLOS (ninety five.5 FM) and KABC (790 AM) regionally, the media big formally, lastly, declared chapter.
The transfer comes a month after the corporate defaulted on a cost of almost $24 million of principal and curiosity on greater than $2 billion the corporate has in debt. If accepted, the chapter — pre-organized with nearly all of debtholders — will minimize about $1 billion in debt, leaving the corporate in a lot better monetary form.
It can additionally take the warmth off of president and CEO Mary Berner, a minimum of briefly. Beneath Berner, Cumulus has continued to wrestle financially, however worker turnover is claimed to be far decrease and worker morale is claimed to be higher.
For my part, the most effective transfer Berner made was to provide native management again to the native market administration; this can be a big change that would assist make Cumulus viable once more.
In Los Angeles, KLOS is in an excellent place to develop into the native rock chief; programmer Keith Cunningham has revitalized the station and moved it away from basic rock to a basic-present rock hybrid. I personally hope he provides extra present music, however no matter Cunningham decides, KLOS is in a much better place than it was simply two years in the past.
KABC is a special story. The station has some good exhibits with good hosts, however for numerous causes it has remained stagnant within the scores. Maybe the time has come to maneuver from speak to a extra full-service information/speak/music strategy. Regardless, the time is ripe for a KABC comeback. If it stays speak, my suggestion can be to separate Jillian Barberie from “The Drive Residence” and let John Phillips do the present on his personal. Dump the replays and weekend paid programming as nicely — it kills the scores.
And right here’s one other concept: purchase one hundred.three from Instructional Media Basis. EMF vastly underpaid for the station as former proprietor Entercom discovered an proprietor that wouldn’t compete with Jack or KRTH as would The Sound. EMF might promote the station to Cumulus at an enormous revenue, benefiting each corporations directly. one hundred.three might relaunch The Sound and KLOS might go principally present. Carried out proper, Cumulus might personal the rock market in all demographics in Los Angeles.
I had an opportunity to be in the identical constructing as about 50 radio legends as soon as extra, because the semi-annual Los Angeles radio reunion passed off final weekend at Fuddruckers in Burbank. The perfect story, although, got here from Machine Gun Kelly, who spoke of his time at KHJ (930 AM).
It was his departure from the station, which he had joined on the age of 21, that was so nice.
“John Sebastian (the brand new programmer) got here to me about 5 minutes earlier than my shift,” Kelly defined. “He advised me that the station was shifting in a…