When a recent court ruling reversed the 2017 FCC media ownership rules, it also derailed what many saw as a train headed for “deregulation station.” And when that happened, new doors of opportunity to buyers, sellers, and investors may have closed.
Or did they?
With further relaxation — some called it relief — no longer in immediate sight, what’s the future for radio as an investment in the coming year and beyond? Who might still be kicking the tires if deregulation does not occur — or are opportunities to wheel and deal still waiting over the horizon?
Whatever the outcome, what’s next? What might be in store for radio under greater deregulation? Or without it, what will radio look like to investors? Will creative new opportunities still emerge? And how will alternative platforms impact and position radio as an investment as it faces enhanced competition from other audio options?
If you are in the business of radio, there are things you need to know and people you need to hear from to make the smartest decisions you will face in 2020. We’ve assembled a team of experts to provide that guidance and steer a conversation you’ll want to join.
Randy Michaels returns to Forecast this year, heading up a session that is bound to prompt undivided attention and provoke plenty of discussion, both on stage and from the audience … and with good reason.
Michaels, the CEO of Radioactive LLC, describes himself jokingly as a “mediocre broadcast technician who has dabbled in programming, management, and station ownership.” Michaels has been attributable in more U.S. broadcast licenses than anyone else and therefore has “extensive experience in guessing what stations might be worth.”
That self-deprecating attitude may also partly explain some of the legend behind one of the most well-known broadcasting executives, who has been involved in the industry since the early 1970s. As CEO of Jacor Communications, he led one of the nation’s most successful radio groups, selling the company to Clear Channel in 1999; he remained as CEO until 2002. He later served as EVP of the Chicago-based Tribune Co. and CEO of interactive and broadcasting operations as part of the management restructuring following the consummation of the Tribune Company privatization transaction.
Robin V. Flynn — managing director for the industry research offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
In this role, she oversees industry research activities for multiple coverage areas and groups, including media & communications, metals & mining, FinTech, financials/insurance,
energy, and LCD. She is also senior research analyst for the Kagan media and communications research offering, contributing analytical commentary to the market intelligence platform. In previous consulting and valuation activities, she served in a consulting capacity for various litigations involving the media and provided valuation testimony and trial exhibits, as well as delivering dozens of broadcast valuations and other consulting reports. In addition, Flynn regularly serves as moderator at media and communications conferences and speaks at other industry events. Her industry expertise has made Flynn a frequently quoted analyst in numerous trade publications as well as national press.
Todd Hartman — VP of Kalil & Co., a Tucson-based media brokerage company.
Hartman joined the firm in 1999 and has participated in the negotiation and sale of hundreds of television and radio stations, as well as outdoor and tower sales, valuing over $6 billion. Hartman is a
consummate supporter of the broadcast industry, having been a member of the NAB for over 20 years and the NAB Leadership Foundation for five years. Kalil & Co., Inc. has been in the media brokerage business for over 50 years and is involved in all phases of the broadcast and outdoor brokerage industry. Kalil operates throughout the United States and is widely recognized as the nation’s premier media brokerage firm.
Paul Homer — managing director of Northwood Ventures.
Homer joined Northwood Ventures in 1999, after serving as a financial analyst for a venture capital-financed retailer with over 80 stores. While there, he evaluated various capital-raising alternatives for the rapidly growing firm and
developed a financial reporting system. In addition to reviewing new investment opportunities, Homer serves on the boards of many of Northwood’s portfolio companies including JVC Broadcasting, Community Broadcasters, Air Waves, Songclip, Point Dedicated Services, and Rudy’s Barbershops.
Paul H. Miller — managing director of Cerberus Capital Management.
He joined Cerberus in 2014; before that, Miller spent four years, from 2010 to 2014, as a partner with Empire Investment Holdings, a private investment firm dedicated to acquiring underperforming corporate divestitures. At Empire, Miller focused on operationally intensive private equity investments in a variety of industries. Before joining Empire, Miller worked for the Marshall Fund (2009 to 2010), Communications Equity Associates (2004 to 2009 and 1997 to 2000), CIBC World Markets (2000 to 2001), and Oppenheimer & Co. (1995 to 1997). Miller has completed deals in the government services, media, manufacturing, health care, and IT industries.