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Despite Revenue Drop, Townsquare Posts Profitable First Quarter

Overall, the company saw a revenue decline of 3.4%, down to $99.6 million from the $103.1 million it earned in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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A photo of the Townsquare Media logo

Townsquare Media has released its first-quarter revenue results, and while there was a drop in that category, the company ultimately posted a strong profit during the quarter.

Overall, the company saw a revenue decline of 3.4%, down to $99.6 million from the $103.1 million it earned in the fourth quarter of 2023. Digital revenue accounted for 53% of the company’s quarterly revenue, with digital advertising seeing a 1.3% year-over-year growth.

Despite the slight revenue decline, Townsquare saw a quarterly profit of $1.6 million. That represents a complete turnaround from the same quarter in 2023, when the company saw a loss of $1.9 million.

“Our first quarter performance improved over the fourth quarter across each of our segments. Importantly, our Digital Advertising segment returned to revenue growth in the first quarter (+1.3% year-over-year), and our Townsquare Interactive segment achieved net subscriber growth and month-over-month revenue growth in March, a meaningful turning point for the business. In total, Digital represented 53% of Townsquare’s first quarter 2024 net revenue and Adjusted Operating Income,” said CEO Bill Wilson.

“Our performance and building momentum reinforces my confidence in our Digital First Local Media strategy, our focus on markets outside of the Top 50 U.S. cities, and our path moving forward. I am pleased to share that others share this view as well,” he continued.

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Media Business

New Rules to Limit the Reach of State-Affiliated Media Accounts on TikTok

“The social media giant released a statement Thursday, outlining its new rules.”

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TikTok is taking a stand against state-affiliated media accounts attempting to manipulate global audiences. The social media giant released a statement Thursday, outlining its new rules. They don’t bode well for state-affiliated media accounts.

According to the news rules, reach will be limited, preventing those accounts from appearing on users’ main feeds. TikTok began labeling state-affiliated media accounts two years ago. The new measures build upon that policy, and come in advance of the 2024 U.S. election.

The platform will also no longer allow state-affiliated media accounts to advertise outside of their home country. The decision comes after a study by the Brookings Institution revealed an increase in usage of TikTok by Russian state-affiliated accounts, with a particular focus on spreading messages in English and Spanish.

Other social media platforms have also struggled with foreign propaganda. However, Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram, as well as Elon Musk’s X have faced less scrutiny. TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has raised concerns over national security due to its Chinese ownership. The company has continually denied these claims and is currently suing the federal government over a law that would require it to sever ties with its parent company in order to continue operating in the U.S..

In addition to these measures, TikTok announced it will regularly update its efforts to combat covert influence operations on the platform. The company has disrupted fifteen operations during the first four months of the year. Among them, one that targeted audiences in Indonesia during their presidential elections.

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Media Business

FCC Proposal Would Require Disclosure of AI Use in Political Advertising

“…Consumers have a right to know when AI tools are being used in the political ads they see…”

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A post-it note with A.I. written on it

The rise of Artificial Intelligence has been a hot-button topic in media circles. Now, the FCC is looking at requiring political advertising to disclose if a commercial utilized the technology.

The proposal from FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel would not prohibit the use of AI-generated content in political advertising. Instead, it would simply require the advertiser to use both on-air and written notification that the content was created by the technology.

Rosenworcel shared her thinking behind the proposal.

“As artificial intelligence tools become more accessible, the Commission wants to make sure consumers are fully informed when the technology is used,” she said. “Today, I’ve shared with my colleagues a proposal that makes clear consumers have a right to know when AI tools are being used in the political ads they see, and I hope they swiftly act on this issue.”

According to results from TechSurvey 2024 from Jacobs Media, 3/4 of respondents said they would support regulations of the technology, with another 39% saying they had major issues with AI-voiced spots.

FCC commissioners will vote on a proposal, and if enacted will allow public comment on any proposed regulations.

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Media Business

JC Corcoran Celebrating 40 Years in St. Louis

“Even in the old analog days back in the 80s I always archived our best bits and interviews.”

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A photo of JC Corcoran and the Gateway Arch
(Photo: JC Corcoran)

Longtime St. Louis radio and television personality JC Corcoran is celebrating his 40th anniversary of working in the city by looking back at some of his favorite interviews and bits from his long tenure.

Some of his more memorable segments airing include broadcasts from Moscow and the Abbey Road Studios in London. During his “40 Years in 40 Days” lookback, he’ll also replay interviews he held with the likes of Harrison Ford, Bill Murray, George Clooney, and Julia Roberts, among others.

“Even in the old analog days back in the 80s I always archived our best bits and interviews,” Corcoran said. “I’m glad I did because it’s really been fun digging up segments with people like Tom Hanks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and David Letterman back when we were all just kids!”

During his time in the Gateway City, Corcoran has worked at KMOX, KSHE, KSD, and KHITS. He also spent time working in his hometown of Chicago working part-time at WGN and WLS.

In addition to his time in St. Louis radio and TV, JC Corcoran has written two books and also had his 1998 Opening Day baseball show included in the archives at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY.

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