On Friday, May 17, Entercom Communications marked the 18-month anniversary of what President/CEO David Field calls the “transformational merger” that created “a company with the scale, capabilities and powerful lineup of leading stations to compete successfully against other media companies for a significantly higher share of total ad spending.”
Where is Entercom headed now?
Field offered an update on how Entercom is “just getting started” — and how it is one of the country’s “two largest radio broadcasters,” ahead of Cumulus Media but behind noncommercial Educational Media Foundation and industry leader iHeartMedia by station count.
Field talked up Entercom’s spoken word product, the growing Radio.com app, and the Entercom Audio Network, which he labels “the No. 1 creator of original, local audio content reaching over 170 million Americans each month.”
He said, “As a result of a number of big investments and improvements and a lot of hard work from everyone on the team, today we are a far stronger company than when we started this journey.”
Field asked employees in an internal memo distributed to Entercom staff on Tuesday (5/21) to think about how far the company has come since November 2017.
“Our investments in new local brands, personalities, and content plus additional marketing and research have enhanced the quality of our products and driven higher ratings,” he said.
Field noted that Entercom now has more than 7,000 customers connected to Entercom Analytics and that several new attribution products are rolling out.
“In all, we have invested close to $100 million in new content, products, technology, capabilities, systems, brands and a large number of new jobs to accelerate our growth
and make us a stronger, more competitive organization,” Field wrote.
Field also shared a synopsis of Entercom’s Q1 results and Q2 pacings, with revenue up 4%.
“While it is early, the rest of the year is looking very good,” he added.
And, while Field said it is great to once again be growing consistently quarter after quarter, “it is also worth noting that we are just scratching the surface on our growth potential.”
This led Field to again tout Radio’s benefits.
“Radio remains far and away the single biggest bargain and most undervalued medium in the United States,” he said. “Most advertisers continue to overspend in other media that are being highly disrupted and face challenges such as ad fraud, brand safety, ad skipping and declining usage while they underspend significantly in Radio. As America’s No. 1 reach medium with outstanding ROI and the best local audience activation, Radio should be getting a far larger share of advertiser spending. No company is better equipped to capitalize on that opportunity than Entercom.”
WHAT LIES AHEAD
What can Entercom employees expect over the next 18 months of the company’s journey?
“First and foremost, we will continue to play offense,” Field promised. “We will continue to make big investments in our business to enhance our competitive position and accelerate our growth. We also understand that we live in a world of perpetual change that is impacting every business and that in order to remain fully competitive, we need to make necessary, albeit sometimes difficult, changes to better serve our listeners and customers and to redeploy spending into areas that are essential for our future.”
Does this suggest Entercom layoffs or staffing changes are on the way?
“We must make sure we are built to thrive in an evolving competitive landscape with the
necessary technology and best practices to take full advantage of our powerful capabilities, led by our unsurpassed lineup of the nation’s best local brands, personalities and content,” he said. “If we do not, we will get left behind.”
Field also noted that Entercom is moving fast, and that the pace of change is great “just as it is with virtually any successful company in any industry these days.”
He explained, “That is the new normal. I recognize that there are sometimes frustrations along the way as we work to incorporate new things and work out the kinks and I appreciate how we are all getting better at working together as a team to manage change effectively.”
“Other priorities” one can expect to see at Entercom over the next 18 months and beyond include more community service work, focusing on five areas of key focus: the environment; the military community; suicide prevention and related medical health issues
and bullying; pediatric cancer care, and civics education.
Entercom will also roll out “new and enhanced data, analytics and attribution capabilities to better demonstrate our outstanding value to our customers.”
The addition of “more outstanding and talented leaders and specialists to our team” is also in the forecast for Entercom, Field said.
He then thanked all Entercom staff for helping to lead the company forward.
“I am proud of the transformational work we are doing across the team and excited by our accelerating momentum and by what is in front of us as we continue to improve and elevate our game to capitalize on our many opportunities,” Field concluded.
Entercom stock opened at $6.24 in Tuesday’s trading; this is 99 cents higher than a recent low of $5.25 seen on March 29.
RBR+TVBR RELATED READ: