Several brokers gave Radio Ink their take on this week's surprise sale of nine Cumulus stations and agreed that it was a good strategic move to help bolster the company's recovery. Brokers mostly agreed that this is the last showy deal from Cumulus in 2019, saying that the chances of additional sales in large markets are low.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Miss., is coming out in support of the controversial C4 FM proposal, which he says could improve Class A FM stations' broadcasting quality. The National Association of Broadcasters has spoken against this initiative, saying the proposal threatens to set back the radio industry by increasing the chance of interference.
Participants in Wednesday's Hollywood Professional Association Tech Retreat Broadcasters Panel acknowledged that the challenges of transitioning to next-gen TV are substantial. The National Association of Broadcasters' Skip Pizzi says the organization is creating a guide for best practices to address some of the issues.
The Democratic National Committee has announced the lineup of networks that will broadcast the first two primary debates, and NBC and Telemundo will both air the June event. A total of 12 debates are planned, with many networks competing to secure the first few.
The film "Breaking Bad," a likely sequel to the Emmy-winning television show, reportedly may have dual screenings on Netflix and AMC. The Vince Gilligan project is still under wraps, with no details confirmed.
Jennifer Salke, Amazon Studios leader, spoke at the Television Critics Association event about the company's global strategy being key to its success and said to expect more content on the international front. Amazon has 17 new series from Germany, the UK, Mexico and several other countries in production, as well as renewed franchises aimed at the US, such as "Jack Ryan," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and "Homecoming."
Cisco reported higher revenue from its networking gear in its latest quarter, despite the administration's tariffs against certain goods made in China, which include some Cisco switches and routers. Service provider sales fell, but overall revenue grew 7% from the same period a year ago, and earnings per share rose 16% as software, services and other units gained.
Cumulus is selling six of its stations to Educational Media Foundation at the comparatively low price of $103.5 million. CEO Mary Berner shared details of the sale with employees on Wednesday and also addressed speculation and reaffirmed the company's commitment to paying off its debt.
The Spanish Radio Academy honored Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, with the International Award on Wednesday. Smith was recognized for helping to create World Radio Day, which began at the UNESCO General Conference in 2011.
The departments of Agriculture and Commerce have finished compiling their American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report, which the White House has now released. Targets in the report include a pilot program worth $600 million from the USDA and simplified information about permits for broadband infrastructure on federal buildings and land as well as on towers owned by the Interior Department.