This is what I’m thinking:
Remember when the pending sale by Audacy of WTSS-FM, more commonly known as Star 102.5, and a Memphis station led to trade publications speculating the radio company was selling stations in an attempt to prop up its value and avoid having its stock delisted from the New York Stock Exchange?
If true, the strategy didn’t work. The stock is valued at 7 cents, down from a 52-week high of $1.78.
Despite the sale to a noncommercial Christian radio group, Audacy is going to be delisted.
David Field, Audacy’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, confirmed last week the company was being delisted in an email to employees, “because our common stock traded at an abnormally low selling price. As a result, the NYSE has suspended trading in our stock and will initiate a proceeding to delist our stock.”
People are also reading…
He added the national company, which owns AM stations WGR, WBEN, WWWS and WWKB and FM stations WKSE and WLKK in Western New York, plans to appeal the NYSE’s decision.
“During the appeal period, we will remain an NYSE-listed company but NYSE trading will be suspended and our common stock will be traded over the counter,” wrote Field. “We expect the appeal process to take place over the summer. We are hopeful we will find our way back to the exchange later this year as we execute our action plans which include the reverse stock split, the continued execution of our liability management plans and working with our financial advisors to refinance our debt. If the appeal is ultimately unsuccessful, we may move our stock to another exchange or trading platform.”
It is unclear what impact the delisting will have on its Buffalo stations, if any.
WGR, of course, is the radio home of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres.
Field wrote the disappointing news “has zero impact on Audacy’s ability to serve listeners and customers or run our operations effectively. To be clear, we are business as usual.”
The local Audacy stations will soon have a new leader.
Tim Holly, who has worked for Audacy for more than 28 years and has run its stations in Buffalo for a few years as vice president and market manager, confirms he is retiring in July. Responding to an email question, he said his retirement is unrelated to Audacy’s recent troubles.
“I have been planning for this,” he wrote. “Sixth grandchild is on the way and I look forward to enjoying my family and friends. Audacy Buffalo is in great shape and remains the leader in this area. My replacement will hopefully be named soon and will deserve the opportunity to continue leading this excellent broadcast team.”
In other radio news, WEBR-AM has announced the hiring of two radio veterans. Phil Kennedy will have a major role in production, and Mike Jacobs will handle the WEBR radio board from 2 to 6 p.m. every day.
Kennedy is a 12-year radio veteran who produced multiple shows on WBEN-AM from 2017 to 2021. Jacobs’ long radio career includes stops at 103.3 The Edge, WHTT-FM and WECK.
The “Smartless” podcast featuring three amigos with successful TV series in their backgrounds – Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes – has spawned a new streaming series, “Smartless on the Road,” that premieres Tuesday on the newly titled Max (formerly HBO Max).
Judging by the podcast, it should be a hoot.
Last week’s podcast featuring Bateman’s father-in-law, Paul Anka (who knew?), was a classic.
Anka had numerous entertaining stories about working with the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.); being protected when he was a teenager by the mob in Las Vegas; and writing “My Way” for Sinatra and writing the “The Tonight Show” theme for Johnny Carson. And early in the 74-minute episode, Arnett, a Canadian like Anka, talked about growing up listening to Buffalo Sabres games on the radio late at night.
If you are taking a long drive this holiday weekend, listening to this “Smartless” episode is the way to go.
If you’re considering binging the new Jennifer Garner series on Apple TV+, “The Last Thing He Told Me,” this holiday weekend, consider yourself warned. The dramatic finish is a major disappointment. At least the episodes of a series about a husband, who went hiding after being implicated in a fraud, only lasted about 40 minutes. I am a Garner fan but I still want those four hours or so of my life back.
One part of the current “Jeopardy Masters!” competition carried by ABC (WKBW-TV in Buffalo) has me more aggravated than knowing so few answers compared to semifinalists James Holzhauer, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach and Andrew He. Before every game, Ken Jennings shows viewers where the Daily Doubles are. Why do the producers think it is a good idea? I’d rather be as surprised as the contestants are.
Circle June 22. That’s when FX premieres the second season of “The Bear,” last year’s surprise hit set in a Chicago family restaurant. I’m glad it is coming back even if I can’t see how the second season can possibly expand on season one.