Archive for September, 2015

Who is Jeffrey Marcus and how did he take control of Cumulus?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

biography on Bloomberg
Profile at Crestview, the PE firm he represents

His radio roots go back to Chancellor, which became AMFM radio, which was quickly merged into Clear Channel. He also was involved with Cable TV in the early days, and sold out to TCI. His formal education is a BA degree in Economics from Berkeley. His is also a director of the ADL, so Savage can relax about his job security.

Crestview Capital (and Jeff Marcus) arrived at Cumulus as part of the transaction in 2011 where Cumulus acquired Citadel, getting 51 million shares of Class A stock, and options to buy another 7 million shares at $4.34 a share

Crestview really becomes important with the Citadel merger.
SEC filing

The “who’s who” behind that deal, and who probably yanked the ball away from the Dickeys:

  • Crestview
  • Macquarie Capital
  • UBS (Switzerland)
  • Institutional Investors
    (Interestingly, the co-owner of iHeart also owns 10 million shares of Cumulus)

    Latest 10-Q

    There are $610 million in 7.75% bonds that become payable on demand under certain conditions (there is the smoking gun)

    In the end, control of a corporation is not based on how many shares anyone owns, but by how the board members vote.

    Board of Directors

    Crestview’s two votes + 2 women directors = majority

Application Party Search

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

This has been available for many years, but off in a corner. Every party of every FCC application since about 1978 is archived by the FCC and made available in the CDBS data download.

In my quest to be Better than the FCC™, you can search on any party – this would include buyers and sellers, consulting engineers, attorneys and the like. If you were looking for an attorney who claimed to be very familiar with FCC, this would prove it very fast, along with a list of his/her clients for the past 35 years.

For example if you knew Pat Sajak (Wheel of Fortune!) owned a radio station…


The search string accepts wilcards, so “john%trent%” would find most of the records of one of the more prolific FCC law attorneys


Mike Malloy wakes in Sleepy Hollow

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Mike Malloy, the foul mouthed extreme “progressive” host too extreme for Air America – has had his revelation. He announced today that after 6 1/2 years, he has realized Barack Obama is a dishonest, corrupt man and cannot be trusted. He apologized for being so slow to catch on.

Will he back tomorrow blaming the Bush family for destroying the world? Probably.

Dickeys are out at Cumulus – it’s official

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Michael Savage just found out. He has a lot at stake.

Donald Trump for Speaker of the House

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states, “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers.”

Although the Constitution does not require the Speaker to be a Member of the House, all Speakers have been Members.

When a Congress convenes for the first time, each major party conference or caucus nominates a candidate for Speaker. Members customarily elect the Speaker by roll call vote. A Member usually votes for the candidate from his or her own party conference or caucus but can vote for anyone, whether that person has been nominated or not.

To be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes cast—which may be less than a majority of the full House because of vacancies, absentee Members, or Members who vote “present.” If no candidate receives the majority of votes, the roll call is repeated until a majority is reached and the Speaker is elected.

It is worth pointing out that if Republicans go into the vote without being unified, Nancy Pelosi might get her gavel back

Random Pope thought of the day

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

The Pope is speaking out against the death penalty today on his visit to America.

If the Roman Empire had outlawed the death penalty 2000 years ago, how would the world be different today?

Delilah 24/7

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

In the process of reconciling the HDRadio list, most so far are call sign changes where the same station is listed both under the old and new call signs, resulting in double counting. This is the same problem that slips into affiliate lists..

One “Find” is allegedly WEBG-HD2 (95.5 in Chicago) is carrying Delilah 24/7. The same feed is already on iHeartRadio, but if you’re lucky enough to live in Chicago AND have an HD equipped radio, you’re in love!

John Boehner leaves Congress

Friday, September 25th, 2015

There were rumors the past few days that Conservatives finally had the votes to tell John “Crybaby” Boehner he wasn’t going to be Speaker any more. One of the most disappointing things to me was that after America gave Republicans a resounding mandate in Congress to take back control of our country, Boehner goes on national TV and cries, and then fondly kisses Nancy Pelosi.

It’s a little early to know who will replace him or what difference it will make. Maybe Boehner has decided to run for President of the Democrat Party

Protected: Doumentation: adding an FX/HD station

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

This is mostly for recall after I go senile, but here goes nothing.

Using the example posted above, this is the objective:


We want to be able to paste in the URL and have the editor offer up the option to link it to the HD2 channel.

The problem is that HD2 channel does not exist. Since it wasn’t loaded from, we have to create it:


The +HD2 link will create an empty record to be filled in and switch to it


This gets confusing – the FCC information (Licensee, Power, Class – the green area) comes from the FCC and is already filled in. The City, Time Zone and a few other fields are copied from them HD1 main channel. The URL is initially set to the home page of the main station, but most other information – Format, streams, Facebook page, etc – are not carried forward. In this example, we have the URL from the news story, so we need to set the URL and format.


We’be now established an “official” HD2 channel out of thin air, captured a screen shot, set the format – if there was a stream or Facebook page, we can add that too (there isn’t yet). The key here is that we are using the FCC fiction – that the “station” on 93.7 is really a simulcast on another frequency’s HD2 channel.

Eventually someone is going to get much smarter. FM/HD is currently a hybrid analog/digital format – but HD radio is designed for an eventual all digital FM transition and receivers are already built for that. By dropping out the analog signal, the number of digital HD channels increases a lot – I want to say maybe up to HD8? Some of it is based on whether you want CD quality or just “Normal FM” – so if clear channel gave up an analog FM signal, they might be able launch 8 new FM stations in New York City if they can round up enough FX licenses. Is 13 FM stations in New York by one owner too many? The coding added today does not assume than HD4 is the highest possible channel number.

The “relationship” of what primary station an FX translator is rebroadcasting is often wrong. KOIA-FM is the current home for K229CC. While it potentially is useful information to know that an FX translator has been reassigned, we don’t want the FCC update to clobber what we just did – but on the other hand, a valid change is worth knowing about. Saga has a pending Construction permit to move the FX translator (matching the story). Perhaps when that gets through officially, the other data gets corrected.

Cumulus dropped another 15% today – this is as much fun as riding Thunder Road at Carowinds – Yeehaw!

*** added bonus ***

The station search suggest now recognizes FX call signs. It was nothing, really.


The HDx fed FM translator “problem”

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Part of the reason for the flurry of HDRadio posts is the issue of FM translators (FX) being “fed” by HD 2/3/4 channels, to essentially carve out a brand new FM radio station that doesn’t even count against the BigRadio™ limit on number of stations in a market. While the FX is limited to 250 watts, put it on the tallest building in town, and your $20k translator becomes worth millions of dollars. Is the HDx channel even “on the air?” Who has the time to check? All that matters is the technicalities were met. The incentives to do this are just too strong, HDx fed translators are not going away, and they have the bonus of blocking new LPFM stations from being licensed. Goliath seems totally scared of David.

Case in point – from this morning’s newsbag
“93.7 K229CC Winterset will complete its move to downtown Des Moines as Country “93.7 The Outlaw” rebroadcasting 102.5 KSTZ-HD2. Positioned as “Legends & Young Guns” the new format will bring competition to Cumulus’ combo of “97.3 Nash-FM” KHKI and “92.5 Nash Icon” KJJY.”

Read More At:

This means it is highly probable that K229CC is going to sprout a web site and stream – it is a radio “station” that can be heard on existing radios. Nobody but lawyers care that it is really KSTZ/HD2. You’ll hear the two call signs at the required top of the ID, but it’s a pretty good bet high school students in Iowa won’t be asking each other if they lstened to K229CC last night. Making things even worse is FX call signs are tied to the frequency. On FM, changing transmitter frequencies is just an option in software. If the station has to (or wants to) change frequencies or towers, the process at the FCC doesn’t require nearly the paperwork – but if people did get used to K229FC, tomorrow it might be K232GJ.

Figuring out how to “not break” this when the FX call sign changes is a problem. There is no reason one HD channel couldn’t feed multiple translators in a metro area. You might hear the same “station” on 5 different frequencies by the time this runs its course. The “brand” will be “93.7 The Outlaw”, with no reference to the call sign