Send in the Clouds

In a move that is somewhat logical, the “new” Cumulus Board of Directors has two new directors with ties to Mexico. The FCC has been relaxing the rules about non-Americans owning broadcast licenses. This telegraphs to me that much of the Cumulus empire will soon be playing accordion music. With the exception of the former ABC and Susquehanna radio stations, the Cumulus/Citadel portfolio is mostly in small or unrated markets.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Send in the Clouds

  1. Fred Stiening says:

    Here is the info on the interim board of directors

    Exhibit D
    Identities of the Members of the New Cumulus Board and Officers of the Reorganized Debtors

    List of Members of the New Cumulus Board and Nature of Compensation

    Mary G. Berner – Ms. Berner is the President and CEO of Cumulus Media, Inc. Prior to being appointed CEO, Ms. Berner served as President and CEO of MPA – The Association of Magazine Media. From 2007 to 2011, she served as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association. Before that, she led Fairchild Publications, Inc., first as President and CEO, and then as President of Fairchild and as an officer of Condé Nast. She has also held leadership roles at Glamour, TV Guide, W, Women’s Wear Daily, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Ms. Berner has served on numerous industry and not-for-profit boards.

    Andy Hobson – Mr. Hobson is a Partner at Innovatus Capital Partners, LLC. Prior to Innovatus, Mr. Hobson was a senior financial executive at Univision for over twenty years, ultimately becoming CFO in 2005. As the CFO, he was responsible for duties such as mergers and acquisitions, investments, debt and equity capital market transactions, research analyst and investor relations, financial planning and budgeting, treasury and capital allocation.

    David Baum – Mr. Baum is a private investor and currently serves as a Special Advisor to The Golf Channel. Mr. Baum had served as President of Revolution Golf prior to its sale to The Golf Channel/NBC Sports Group in July of 2017. Mr. Baum is also a former Partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he led the firm’s M&A department in the Americas until 2003. Mr. Baum is a director of The Marcus Corporation, serving on Audit and Corporate Governance and Nominating Committees; and Happify, Inc, serving on the Finance Committee.

    Matthew C. Blank – Mr. Blank currently serves as an Advisor to Showtime Networks Inc. He previously served as the Chairman for Showtime Networks. Prior to serving as Chairman, Mr. Blank served as the CEO of Showtime Networks for twenty years, where he orchestrated the complete transition of Showtime from a second-tier brand to a top tier entertainment destination. Mr. Blank also served as a director on Geeknet’s board prior to its sale to GameStop in 2015.
    [Once worked for Les Moonves of CBS]

    Thomas H. Castro – Mr. Castro is the Founder and CEO of El Dorado Capital. Mr. Castro served as a director of Time Warner Cable for ten years until its recent sale to John Malone- backed Charter Communications. Mr. Castro serves on the boards of: the Texas Charter Schools Association (Chairman) in Austin; Professor Michael Porter’s Institute for a Competitive Inner City in Boston; Teach for America (National) in New York City; and, Spelman College in Atlanta.
    [Director on Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH coalition, co-founder of Border Media Partners]

    Joan Hogan Gillman – Ms. Gillman currently serves as an independent director of Transit Wireless; Interdigital Inc., serving on Audit and Finance Committees; Airgain, Inc., serving on Audit and Nominations Committees; non-executive director of Centrica PLC, serving on Nominations and Risk Committees. Ms. Gillman previously served for ten years as Executive Vice President at Time Warner Cable and COO and President of Time Warner Cable Media. Her earlier executive roles put her in the forefront of growth and innovation in new digital and platform business models.
    [Did PR work for former Senator Chris Dodd]

    Brian Kushner – Mr. Kushner is currently a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting and leads the Private Capital Advisory Services practice. Mr. Kushner co-leads both the Technology practice and the Aerospace and Defense practice. Mr. Kushner currently serves as a non-executive director of: Luxfer Holdings, PLC, chair of Remuneration Committee and member of the Audit Committee; Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation, chair of the Audit Committee; Dex Media, chair of the Audit Committee; and Zodiac Interactive, a One Equity Partners portfolio company, member of the Audit Committee and Governance Committee.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      My perception is that many of these are professional Board of Directors whose only role is to sign the paperwork, and have no long term interest on staying on the board. The Univision and Border Media guys are the exception.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      I can’t help but notice that most of the board are people with experience in Cable TV. John Malone’s offer to save Iheart / Clear Channel may have been a head fake.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        Maybe. I personally think they are trying to put up paywalls like cable tv bundles or the the way the NFL and MLB did for what had been free radio and TV. I could live with that if there were no commercials but there are for most of their channels. They do have some HD2 channels that have no commercials and stream… but how long will that last?

        • Fred Stiening says:

          At least for now, analog radio systems are required to not charge for their programs nor encrypt their signals. But laws are made to be changed.

          • CC1s121LrBGT says:

            Good point. I realize I wasn’t really clear in expressing my thoughts above. I don’t think that the over the air signals will be by subscription but that the streaming ones will. For Major League Baseball, and some other sports, people can listen locally over the air, but to hear outside the area, you need to pay for access to a stream.

            Other radio programs could be handled the same way – the commercial free HD2 streams could be the first to no longer be available for free via streaming. Also, paying up to be behind a paywall could allow you to hear extra songs for music stations or extra commentary for talk stations while the non-paying listeners get streams with commercials.

            Even today, over-the-air FM transmits subscription based traffic information and could be a means to cache content to your radio and tell your radio to switch to it to avoid an over-the-air commercial.

            Paywalls are coming, I can feel it in my bones. They are already here for podcasts of programs that had been broadcast over the air – think Rush Limbaugh.

            • Fred Stiening says:

              Understood. The traffic data and other things are just that – data, not radio programming. Many stations provide audio on subcarriers that can’t be heard on a normal radio, but that’s usually for reading services for the blind. The HD 2/3/4 may be a gray area. The FCC cares very much about the HD1 signal that is required to carry the licensed FM analog channel simulcast. Other than notifying the FCC that you turned on the HD software, the FCC has no real interest in it.

              iHeart ratcheted upthe pressure to give them an email. Certainly, charging for a subscription could be done. Would people pay? In any case, the FCC has no jurisdiction over internet streaming.

Leave a Reply