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Byron Allen: Bob Iger ‘Is Not Ready’ to Pursue Sale of ABC

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A photo of Byron Allen
(Photo: Steve Glass)

Earlier this month, a report surfaced claiming Nextar Media Group was exploring a potential purchase of the ABC television network. Allen Media Group — controlled by billionaire Byron Allen was also an interested party, but he believes Disney isn’t quite ready to part with the network.

During a discussion with CNBC’s Julie Boorstin at the Code Conference, Allen — who currently owns 27 local television stations in 21 markets, as well as The Weather Channel — confirmed he placed a $10 billion bid to purchase the network, adding that “Capital’s not an issue” for his acquisition.

Allen’s interest in purchasing the network — which he says he’s entertained for nearly a decade — comes after The Walt Disney Company’s CEO Bob Iger publicly questioned whether or not linear television is “core” to the company’s business going forward.

However, Allen shared his belief that Iger “is not ready” to sell the network.

“These legacy companies are trying to reinvent themselves,” Allen said. “It’s like they’re trying to build a new airplane mid-air while they’re flying their old airplane, in a publicly traded entity. This is a very challenging thing to accomplish,” Allen said. “Bob is excellent at what he does, he’s phenomenal, he’s the best person to do it, but whoa, they’re asking him to do something that has not occurred in the last 100 years.”

He then stated that ABC, and linear television as a whole is “really integrated into everything Disney. That’s the hard part.”

Byron Allen then joked that he is going to treat his interest in acquiring the network like “a lion chasing a gazelle”.

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Media Business

Benztown to Host Programming Webinar Featuring Dr. Ed Cohen and Mike McVay

“In today’s radio environment where every quarter-hour matters, there are quarter-hours hidden everywhere.”

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A photo promoting a Benztown webinar featuring Mike McVay and Dr. Ed Cohen

Benztown is announcing plans for a webinar featuring Dr. Ed Cohen and Mike McVay centered around utilizing data to increase listening credits in the Nielsen radio ratings.

Unlocking Radio Secrets: Every Minute Matters; Improving Your Ratings will be held on Thursday, June 27th at 1 PM ET. In the webinar, Benztown will showcase its SpotGPS tool for radio programmers.

The software “is a powerful tool … that transforms airplay data into powerful and actionable commercial content analysis in a compelling, visual, and intuitive form that is a game-changer for radio stations,” according to the company, who designed it specifically for PPM markets.

“In today’s radio environment where every quarter-hour matters, there are quarter-hours hidden everywhere. Some radio stations know where they are and how to take advantage of them. Knowing where they are illuminates an otherwise dark room,” the company said of the webinar. “Some radio stations accept the darkness and blame ratings methodology. The smart ones live in the light.”

The upcoming webinar is free to those wishing to attend. To register, click here.

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Media Business

Remote News Service Adds 3 New Markets

“I’m so pleased that all of our team’s hard work is paying off.”

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Remote News Service has added three new markets to its growing list of affiliates.

The news network will now provide services to WXJB-FM near Tampa, WIRY-FM in Plattsburgh, New York, and to Oklahoma City stations owned by Champling Broadcasting — which includes Freedom 96.9.

“I’m so pleased that all of our team’s hard work is paying off. Happy clients, make us super happy, and really proud,” Remote News Service owner Lesley Lotto said.

“The addition of Remote News Service has been a big boost to our local news,” stated WXJB GM Barbara Manuel. “It has dramatically raised the profile of our talk station. We are already out selling it!” 

“I would highly recommend Remote News Service if you are considering an outside source to cover your local news. Our anchor has been very responsive and professional,” added WIRY co-owner Joey Trombly. “We transitioned to this service and it was seamless. We are getting positive feedback in our marketplace since we made this change”.

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Media Business

Libsyn Completes Integration With YouTube API Features for Podcast Publishers

“By integrating YouTube directly into our platform, we’re empowering creators to expand their reach and engage with a broader audience while simplifying their workflow.”

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A photo of the YouTube and Libsyn logos

Libsyn has announced it has successfully integrated with YouTube and its new Podcast API features, making publishing to YouTube Music an easier process for its customers.

“Our mission at Libsyn is to be the premier destination for anyone at any stage of their podcasting journey to distribute their podcast, grow their audience, and monetize their content,” said CEO John Gibbons. “We’ve evolved from a singular hosting provider to a suite of services for creators and advertisers through our investments in platform innovations and expanded partnerships.

“By integrating YouTube directly into our platform, we’re empowering creators to expand their reach and engage with a broader audience while simplifying their workflow.”

Podcast publishers with Libsyn can now directly upload their episodes to YouTube Music. The new integration can also convert audio files to MP4 video files.

Streamlining the process to upload to YouTube Music as two studies in 2023 showed YouTube is the most used podcast platform in the United States.

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