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Former ESPN President John Skipper After Paramount/WBD Talks Dissolve: ‘There Still Has to Be Consolidation’

“It’s a game of musical chairs and they’re not going to be enough chairs for all the companies that exist right now to make significant profits.”

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A photo of John Skipper
Courtesy: Mark J. Rebilas, USA Today

Earlier this week, a CNBC report claimed a potential merger between Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery was off the table after both companies saw their stock prices hit 52-week lows. Former ESPN President John Skipper believes that while the talks may have ended, potential mergers between top companies are still a definite possibility.

While speaking on the Sporting Class podcast, Skipper shared his feeling that companies will continue to explore mergers in the near future.

“There still has to be consolidation,” Skipper said, bluntly. “It’s a game of musical chairs and they’re not going to be enough chairs for all the companies that exist right now to make significant profits.”

Despite talks between Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery taking place, John Skipper shared his belief that there was like a different landing spot for some of the most sought-after assets.

“I actually would regard it more likely that NBC/Comcast takes some of the assets from CBS/Showtime,” posited Skipper. “In any sort of pecking order, they’re pretty far down in the pecking order. And they’re further down than you’d want to be.

“You don’t want to be the ninth — I don’t know if their ninth, I don’t know if they’re sixth or fifth or fourth or ninth, but they are not first, second, third, fourth or fifth — in terms of the size of company.”

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Media Business

Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Baltimore See Largest Political Ad Spends in Recent Weeks

President Joe Biden’s campaign has been the biggest spender, dropping $7.2 million.

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A side profile of the U.S. Capitol.

While much of the focus of political advertising is focused on the 2024 presidential election, there are important Congressional races, too. Metros like Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and Baltimore are the beneficiaries of those races.

According to information from AdImpact, $70.8 million has been spent in the political sector in the past two weeks. $3.7 million was spent in Indianapolis, while the Philadelphia market garnered $3.4 million and Baltimore saw $3.2 million in spending.

President Joe Biden’s campaign has been the biggest spender, dropping $7.2 million, according to Inside Radio. $1.7 million was spent in digital ads, while a PAC supporting Biden spent another $649,000.

Projections on the expected spending have fluctuated in recent months as ad spending has slowed after lackluster primary season saw former President Donald Trump effectively lock up the Republican nomination much earlier in the process than had been previously seen.

AdImpact forecasts $10.2 billion in the election cycle, which would be a new record.

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Media Business

Broadcasters Foundation of America Honors Six with Leadership Awards

The honors were bestowed at the Foundation’s annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.

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A photo of the 2024 Broadcasters Foundation of America Leadership Award Winners
(Photo: Broadcasters Foundation of America)

The 2024 NAB Show in Las Vegas has wrapped up, and the Broadcasters Foundation of America honored six industry veterans with their Leadership Award.

At the foundation’s annual breakfast at the NAB Show, it honored several leaders.

Erica Farber — who stepped down as CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau at the beginning of the month — was bestowed with the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The honor is named after Clear Channel founder Lowry Mays, who died in September 2022.

Six other individuals were honored with the Leadership Award. Those included:

  • Mike McVay, President of McVay Media
  • Kathleen Kirby, Partner at Wiley
  • Don Bouloukos, CBS and ABC Radio Executive
  • Frank Comerford, Chief Revenue Officer and President of Commercial Operations for NBCU Local
  • John Rouse, Executive Vice President ABC Affiliate Relations
  • Traug Keller, President of ABC Radio Networks and Senior Vice President of ESPN Radio

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Media Business

Fox News Digital Marks 3 Straight Years Leading Multiplatform Minutes

On average, the network featured 111 million unique visitors per month to its digital platforms, including 5.8 million unique visitors to its mobile app.

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Fox News Digital finished the first quarter leading news brands in multiplatform minutes, marking the 12th consecutive quarter leading the category.

The network saw double-digit year-over-year growth in the sector with 9.8 billion multiplatform minutes, according to Comscore.

Additionally, Fox News led the first quarter in multiplatform views with 4.9 billion. On average, the network featured 111 million unique visitors per month to its digital platforms, including 5.8 million unique visitors to its mobile app in the first quarter.

Fox Business also saw victories in the business media sector. The YouTube channel for the network garnered 182 million views in the quarter, up 20% compared to the same time frame in 2023.

Also, FoxBusiness.com averaged 28.7 million unique visitors per month in the quarter, up 21% in year-over-year growth.

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