(L>R) “Avoiders,” Rev. Al Sharpton, GIANT Magazine, Catherine Hughes, Alfred Liggins, Snoop Dogg & unidentified leashed ladies at 2003 MTV Awards
in a way, and somebody should do something about it, I think. Here’s how it happened. Tonight, I was reading GIANT Magazine online and was looking for news about that MTV2 (Viacom, CBS) cartoon series of last summer, “Where My Dogs At.” Mostly, you know, the one where Snoop Dogg leads two black (careful) women around on leashes in a pet store. You get to see the women crawling on all fours, and one of them actually relieves herself on the floor. It’s not funny, even in a cartoon, but what was weird is that Snoop did attend the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards show with two women on leashes, and also appeared in 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” video, where, um, women are also walked on leashes. That Uncle Snoop really knows how to treat a, lady(s).
Anyhow, I clicked on a link at the site and received the dreaded 404 “Page Not Found” message. Of course you get this message from time to time on the net, but it was stated that the “baboonery” could be due to several factors, including me, as a cause of the problem. I was informed the issue had been logged by the GIANT web servers, and that shame may be meted by the site’s superiors in the refusal to feed bananas. Now, I feel I am due at least an apology and explanation, however could not find anyone to listen.
Please follow my frustration. GIANT is a lifestyle and entertainment urban-themed periodical, according to CEO and Editor-in-Chief; “Smokey” Fontaine. (Hope it’s OK to call you “Smokey,” Smokey). Former “Vibe” Editor, Smokey catapulted the publication into the national spotlight with a glossy redesign and an “A-list” of cover persona such as Beyonce, Janet Jackson Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Snoop Dogg. It’s a good read, and I am a fan, Smokey. Anyway, Radio One, Inc. and Reach Media, Inc. (“Radio One,” “Reach Media,” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ROIAK and ROIA) on January 3, 2007 announced the acquisition of certain assets, and the assumption of certain liabilities, of GIANT Magazine, LLC. (“GIANT”), publisher of GIANT magazine, for approximately $275,000.
Commenting on the sale, Smokey stated, “I’m thrilled to see GIANT become part of the Radio One family of urban media assets. I have a strong vision for this magazine as it is similar to Radio One’s overall goal of speaking directly and intelligently to a sophisticated new urban audience. With the passion, support and infrastructure Radio One provides, I am optimistic GIANT is now in a position to reach new heights.”
Alfred C. Liggins, III, Radio One’s CEO, President, and Smokey’s boss stated, “This is a good strategic deal for us. For a limited amount of capital, we have now established a presence in the print media world and should be able to leverage our other media assets in various ways to increase the likelihood of success in what is unquestionably a challenging, but important, business. Furthermore, I am excited to have yet another relevant platform to help us build what we believe can become a significant online business in the not too distant future.”
From what I read, Radio One, Inc. (www.radio-one.com) is the nation’s seventh largest radio broadcasting company (based on 2005 net broadcast revenue) and the largest radio broadcasting company that primarily targets African-American and urban listeners. Pro forma for announced acquisitions and dispositions, Radio One owns and/or operates 71 radio stations located in 22 urban markets throughout the United States and reaches approximately 14 million listeners every week. They also have interests in in TV One, LLC (www.tvoneonline.com), a cable/satellite network and Black America Web (www.blackamericaweb.com), and all kinds of industry affiliations and deals with big boys like David Geffen, who does Snoop’s stuff. Small world.
Radio One, Inc. is led by
Chairwoman Chairperson, Catherine L. Hughes and son, Alfred, above, who I understand, together have over 45 years of operating experience in radio broadcasting. According to Catherine and Alfred, together with their strong management team, they have successfully implemented a strategy of acquiring and turning around under performing radio stations, which I would guess is a good job generator and source of advertising mega-bucks, in their market portfolio including stations in Atlanta, Augusta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Richmond, St. Louis, Washington, DC, and Raleigh-Durham.
They say their strategy is to expand within existing markets and into new markets that have a significant African-American presence. They believe radio broadcasting primarily targeting African-Americans has significant growth potential and also believe their’s is a competitive advantage in the African-American market and the radio industry in general, due to the primary focus on urban formats, and skill in programming and marketing these formats, plus turnaround expertise.
I am impressed, but so dang many people involved here. I’ll be on hold forever. You see, Radio One is also in a joint venture with Syndication One, which I found out is designed to develop African-American targeted programing. (A little selfish, I think, but their words). They will tell you, there are more than 1,200 talk shows currently available to radio audiences nationwide, but there are few programs that offer listeners a daily dose of ideas, issues, analysis and information targeted to the African-American audience. So, filling that void, Syndication One aims to offer listeners timely, relevant, probing and entertaining programming addressing a wide range of issues from a broad spectrum of viewpoints.
I feel like I am finally making some headway. Included in this “broad spectrum,” is the Reverend Al Sharpton and the show with the easy to remember name, “The Al Sharpton Show.” According to Syndication One, Al is, “the outspoken activist, self-proclaimed community leader and former US presidential candidate, and is the engaging host of the three hour long show featuring interviews with news makers, commentary, call-ins and freestyle discussion. Rev. Al Sharpton attracts an active audience of adults via radio and online. Advertising and affiliate opportunities are available.” I, of course, am familiar with the show. I caught a spirited interview with news maker Don Imus, Tuesday, I think. (The video appears below the following story, if you have an interest).
Still, on hold, time to multi-task and check my 401K, which, thanks to whatever it is that drives our market economy, really has become a 101K. I don’t know much about stocks and investments, that’s my broker’s job, who I would recommend be fired because he talks a bunch but knows little, but he is my brother. He’s got me invested in what they call “sectors,” through Exchange Traded Funds. I know this because of the little in-color pie charts included with my monthly statements. I’m not bragging, as I really don’t have much, but I see I’ve got stuff in the NASDAQ Composite, Global Market and S&P Small Cap. Hey, this interesting, ROIAK is included in all of these. Since I hope to retire one of these days, I better pay attention to what my brother is doing to me.
Hmm, this doesn’t sound good:
RADIO ONE POSTS PRELIMINARY LOSS; GETS INFORMAL SEC INQUIRY
By Katherine Hunt
Last Update: 5:04 PM ET Mar 21, 2007
SAN FRANSISCO (MARKET WATCH) Radio One, Inc. (ROIAK) late Wednesday reporteted a preliminary fourth-quarter net loss of $22.9 million, or 23 cents a share. During the same period a year ago, the company posted net earnings of $9.53 million, or 10 cents a share. Net broadcast revenue fell to $86.2 million from $90.6 million. Radio One said the results, which are preliminary pending a previously planned restatement, reflected “another soft quarter for the radio industry.” The company also said its problems were isolated to the single market of Los Angeles. Radio One said it has received a letter of informal inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding stock option accounting. Separately, the company said it has been issued a Nasdaq staff determination notice related to the delay in filing its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.
I’m calling my brother in the morning to see if he has any pull with this company or their advertisers or Al Sharpton. With all the juicy news, hip programming and contagious song lyrics out there lately, I don’t understand how they could possibly post such a lousy quarter. Maybe they need to get someone to bite a dog or do a celebrity visit to one of their four radio stations in Raleigh-Durham. I hear that’s a happening spot these days. Whatever, I don’t mind holding. Nah, my brother, someone I really do like, recently said go for a long walk. Thanks, bro.
DON IMUS ~ SECOND RUTGERS APOLOGY & COMMENTS
“EVERYBODY IS UP TO SOMETHING” sm