“In The Blood” came on the heels of your first hit, “Good.” It seemed like “In The Blood” was also on the radio every hour on the hour. So talk about that song and the line, “Who did you love before? Who did they love before you?”
There’s some interesting things about that song. If you listen to I was completely inspired lyrically, melodically by a Catherine Wheel song called “Black Metallic.” That was their big song. Listen to “Black Metallic” and you can hear where I got part of the melody. I’ve said that to people before, and they go, “I don’t hear it.” I say, “Well, I do.” I was definitely inspired by that song melodically.
But the lyrics… I usually don’t tell people where my head was, but my girlfriend at the time, her uncle had had AIDS and he was in the last stage of battling AIDS. He passed away in ’96. It was really about AIDS and it was literally about: what’s in your blood? Do you really know the person you’re with and who did they love before you and who did they love before them? And it was really just a very literal lyric to me. It was really about her uncle Patrick, who was an amazing guy. He was an editor for The Advocate. He lived in West Hollywood and he was still somewhat healthy. But dealing with it was a tough time. But that’s what the lyrics are about. So it really wasn’t about a relationship. It was really about this man. I rarely told people about that because it’s kind of heavy.
The Pretty Reckless has been one of the most consistent and powerful bands in rock music over the past decade. They’ve had six songs that topped the Active Rock Radio charts, and a bunch of others that came close to the #1 spot. We spoke with the band’s leaders — singer Taylor Momsen and guitarist Ben Phillips — about some of their biggest songs.
Read a bit of our interview below and scroll down to listen to, or watch, the full interview.
Talk about “Follow Me Down” (a #1 hit on rock radio in 2014).
Taylor: I was reading [1955 novel] Lolita at the time. I had watched like every [film] version of Lolita. I was very obsessed with the Lolita story. And that’s kind of the inspiration for “Follow Me Down,” the concept of doing something sexually, that is not necessarily considered appropriate. And reveling in it and getting away with it and enjoying all the naughtiness of it.
Let’s talk about “Take me Down” (a #1 hit on rock radio in 2016). Songs about dealing with the devil are a constant throughout rock and roll history. For me, it never gets old.
Taylor: That obviously stems from the Robert Johnson legend of going down to the crossroads and selling your soul for your music. In the blues, in our case, rock and roll…
Ben: That [story] inspired the  movie Crossroads. There’s a little throw to the Rolling Stones in the very beginning. There’s a little Beatles, a little Eric Clapton… There are little nods to anyone in the ’60s who was playing Robert Johnson’s music.
Taylor: It all came together when got to the “All I want to do is rock, rock, rock!” part. We started to lay down the guitars for the song, we’d finished the lyrics yet, but we were recording it. I just hadn’t finished the words and I was outside taking a break and I came in and said, “I got it, I got it! ‘Don’t care what happens when I die as long as I’m alive all I wanna do is rock, rock, rock!” I went right into the control room and just sang it right into the microphone. And that ended up being the take.
We were fortunate to talk to Chris Lane on Zoom at a rather exciting — and exhausting — time in his life. He and his wife just had their first baby. The experience was, obviously, life-changing. And in Lane’s case, it also informed one of his most popular songs: “Ain’t Even Met You Yet.” The song and video are almost so intimate, and so relatable, you feel like you’re talking to a friend. In the song he wonders what his son’s first words will be? Will the dogs approve? And there’s a line that most guys wouldn’t say out loud, much less in a song. Lane discussed the song, and some of his others, with a smile.
Congratulations on being a new dad, Chris. Your latest song “Ain’t Even Met You Yet,” obviously, is about the experience that you’ve been going through for the past few months. Talk about writing that song.
So “Ain’t Even Met You Yet” is about the feelings that I was having of becoming a first-time dad. And I feel like first-time parents probably have very similar feelings: scared to death and ready at the same time. And so I decided to write about it. “Ain’t Even Met You Yet,” the title kind of came out. I wrote it two or three months before Dutton was born. And when I finished it, I thought, “Wow, I should record the song.” Not even to put it out into the world. At the time, I wasn’t even thinking about it in that way. I just wanted to record it so that when he’s old enough to understand, I’ll say I wrote you this song.
And it’s been very exciting to see the reaction that the song’s actually gotten. I appreciate all the love people are showing.
The line, “Just between us too, sometimes mom is crazy.” Did you run that past her before recording it?
[laughs] Good point! That was one of my favorite lines of the whole song and one that I will raise a beer to every time I sing it on stage. I wrote the song out on the back porch at my house, and Lauren was sitting in the living room and kind of running around the house all day long. And when I finished that line, I wanted her to understand it’s not meant to be negative. It’s meant in a sweet way because she’s always dancing and she’s always singing. I did run it by her, and just said, “Hey, I just want to make sure that you are cool with me saying that. I don’t mean it in any other way other than, you know how you are. And she’s got the best personality in the world. So much fun to be around. And hopefully that’s what people took away from that line.”
98.5 The Sports Hub and The Boston Bruins announced today that they have reached a new multi-year agreement extending their partnership contract. As the Flagship Station of the Boston Bruins and the Boston Bruins Radio Network, the station is proud to broadcast all Bruins games for many years to come.
In addition to broadcasting all Bruins games, 98.5 The Sports Hub will continue to air 30-minute pre- and post-game shows along with the two-hour weekly program, “The Hockey Show” which airs on Saturday from 9am-11am during season.
“The Bruins are excited to extend our partnership with 98.5 The Sports Hub and Beasley Media Boston,” said Bruins President Cam Neely. “The Sports Hub consistently delivers quality game broadcasts and comprehensive hockey coverage for our fans, and they have been crucial in joining our efforts to grow the game of hockey throughout New England.”
“We are thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with the Boston Bruins and to be able to share our passion for the Bruins with our loyal New England fans,” said MaryMenna, VP & Market Manager, Beasley Media Boston. “We are so excited to be back in the TD Garden cheering the Bruins on to the Playoffs.”
“When the Sports Hub launched in 2009, we were committed to bringing our Bruins programming to another level,” said Program Director RickRadzik. “Now, 12 years into our relationship, we’ve both achieved some great successes. I’m very pleased that we will continue to provide listeners with the excellent Bruins coverage they’ve come to expect.”
98.5 The Sports Hub, the country’s top sports station and the #1 station in Boston with men and adults, features an award-winning sports talk show lineup beginning with Toucher & Rich (Weekdays, 6AM – 10AM), Zolak & Bertrand (Weekdays, 10AM – 2PM), Felger & Mazz (Weekdays, 2PM – 6PM) and The Adam Jones Show (Weekdays, 6PM – Midnight). 98.5 The Sports Hub also serves as the official flagship station for the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics and New England Revolution.
98.5 The Sports Hub and the Bruins Radio Network can be heard anytime on The 98.5 Sports Hub App and at https://985thesportshub.com which is also the home for compelling Boston sports content.
Beasley Media Group announces legendary Charlotte-based nationally syndicated Morning Personalities Bob & Sheri join Beasley Media Group’s K104.7 WKQC-FM beginning Monday, May 17th. The duo will be heard weekdays from 5a.m. – 8:30 a.m. They came on the air to make the official announcement during the WKQC Morning Show with Phil and Mel on Monday morning.
Bob and Sheri most recently left their longtime home station, 107.9 WLNK-FM at the end of April. The program can currently be heard on 70 affiliate stations across the country. Under the new morning show structure, Phil & Mel will continue to host the station’s “Commercial Free Workday Kickoff” feature during the show at 8:30am as well as the second half of the morning content daily on WKQC. In addition, Phil & Mel will wrap up the workday on the ride home from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Bob & Sheri is heard weekly by millions across 70 radio stations in the US, in 170 countries on the Armed Forces Radio Network, and the podcast regularly ranks in Apple’s Top 200 comedy podcasts. The duo was a finalist in the 2020 Radio Hall of Fame and has been a National Association of Broadcasters’ Marconi Award finalist in the Network/Syndicated Show category ten times. Lynch has won five American Women in Media Gracie Allen Awards and has been consistently listed as one of Radio Ink’s Most Influential Women in Radio.
“Our social media pages have been blowing up ever since our departure from The Link was announced, and now they’re blowing up again!” said Sheri Lynch. “Thisis a move we’ve wanted to make for a long time. The entire team at K104.7 is focused on serving and entertaining Charlotte listeners.”
“Even with millions of listeners around the world, Charlotte is Bob & Sheri’s home,” stated Tony Garcia, who together with Lacey and Lynch owns NOW! Media, the company that syndicates Bob & Sheri. “We’re excited to finally be on a hometown station with music that lines up perfectly with our target demo, and even more excited to work with a team that truly embraces the show.”
“I am thrilled to be on K104-7 in Charlotte,” said Bob Lacey. “It’s a powerful station, great folks to work with (we’ve known Program Director Jack Daniel forever!), and it’s a much better music fit for us. This is where we should be in Charlotte.”
“When we heard that Bob and Sheri were going to be available, we were on it right away,” said Beasley Media Group Vice President and Market Manager Bill Schoening. “It’s a privilege to have such iconic talent join our station. Phil and Mel are not only completely on-board with the whole move, but they were also the ones who recommended it.”
“Charlotte has been a very competitive morning show stage with very big local and syndicated talent,” said Beasley Media Group Vice President of Music & Entertainment and Charlotte Operations Manager, John Reynolds. “Having Bob & Sheri join our personality lineup with Phil & Mel and Jack Daniel is a huge win for the Charlotte listeners to hear great entertainment and be able to access it all in one place on K104.7!”
“I’ve known Bob Lacey for a long time as we worked at Jefferson Pilot together in the 80’s,” said WKQC-FM Program Director, Jack Daniel. “I met Sheri shortly after they teamed up 29 years ago. They are pros and as they have said, this is the best fit possible for them and K104.7!”
NAPLES, Florida, November 3, 2020 – Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: BBGI) (“Beasley” or the “Company”), a multi-platform media company, today announced operating results for the three- and nine‑month periods ended September 30, 2020.
The results presented herein reflect actual results including the operations of WDMK-FM in Detroit since its acquisition in August 2019.
Operating income (loss), net income (loss) and net income (loss) per diluted share reflect a $6.8 million non-cash impairment charge and a $2.8 million loss on the modification of long-term debt in the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and a $3.5 million gain on dispositions in the nine months ended September 30, 2019.
Net revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2020 primarily reflects a year-over-year decrease in commercial advertising revenue due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by growth in digital, esports and political revenue and contributions from the August 2019 acquisition of WDMK-FM.
Beasley reported operating income of $0.8 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to operating income of $9.4 million in the third quarter of 2019, largely reflecting the year-over-year decrease in Station Operating Income (SOI, a non-GAAP financial measure) and higher depreciation and amortization, partially offset by lower corporate expenses.
Beasley reported a net loss of $2.7 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the three months ended September 30, 2020, compared to net income of $3.0 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, in the three months ended September 30, 2019. The year-over-year decrease was primarily due to the aforementioned decline in net revenue related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SOI decreased to $8.1 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to $16.7 million in the third quarter of 2019. The year-over-year decrease is primarily attributable to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on commercial advertising revenues.
Please refer to the “Calculation of SOI” and “Reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to SOI” tables at the end of this announcement for a discussion regarding SOI calculations.
Commenting on the financial results, Caroline Beasley, Chief Executive Officer, said, “The strong recovery of our business continued in the third quarter of 2020. It is clear that the immediate actions we took to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses, headcount reductions, furloughs, and negotiated discounts with landlords, service providers and partners have contributed to Beasley’s ability to rebound quickly. This focus, combined with the resumption of advertising in key categories, the experience of our teams who have managed through previous economic challenges, the quality of our content, and the role we play in the communities we serve, have all contributed to our ability to turn the corner as evidenced by the positive SOI recorded in the 2020 third quarter.
“Throughout the third quarter our sales teams drove monthly sequential revenue improvements with July up 8% over June, August up 24% over July and September rising 22% over August. Total net revenue for October increased in the low- to mid-single digits, and November revenue is currently pacing down in the low teens.
“In addition to the resumption of advertising in key categories and the benefit of the political cycle, Beasley generated continued positive results from its digital and esports investments, which have been less impacted by the pandemic. Third quarter digital revenue rose 1.8% year-over-year to $5.0 million and our new esports operations generated approximately $500,000 of revenue during the period. Digital revenue accounted for approximately 10.1% of total third quarter revenue, compared to 7.4% of total revenue in the prior year period.
“Reflecting our initiatives to address the pandemic, including reducing operating expenses and corporate overhead and realigning our company-wide cost structure, Beasley’s third quarter total operating expenses declined by 15.9% and the company expects to reduce its operating expenses through year-end by more than $32 million compared to our 2020 operating budget. We anticipate that a meaningful portion of the operating expense reductions realized since the onset of the pandemic will be recurring, as we continue to make fundamental changes to improve processes and efficiencies across the organization.
“While the last several months have presented unprecedented challenges for ad-reliant businesses, I am extremely proud of the way our corporate and station level leaders and valued team members rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly to enable Beasley to return to positive cash flow in the third quarter. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter and 2021, we intend to continue our focus on growing our cash flow and maintaining a strong balance sheet with liquidity at current or higher levels. Growing ratings, diversifying revenue and delivering exceptional content and services to our listeners, advertisers, online users and esports fans will remain our focus. And we believe the tremendous resilience of our team and steps we’ve taken to strengthen our financial position and achieve ongoing operational efficiencies have helped ensure that Beasley Broadcast Group remains well-positioned for near- and long-term success.”
Conference Call and Webcast Information
The Company will host a conference call and webcast today, November 3, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. ET to discuss its financial results and operations. To access the conference call, interested parties may dial 334-323-0501, conference ID 2300784 (domestic and international callers). Participants can also listen to a live webcast of the call at the Company’s website at www.bbgi.com. Please allow 15 minutes to register and download and install any necessary software. Following its completion, a replay of the webcast can be accessed for five days on the Company’s website, www.bbgi.com.
Questions from analysts, institutional investors and debt holders may be e-mailed to [email protected] at any time up until 10:00 a.m. ET on November 3, 2020. Management will answer as many questions as possible during the conference call and webcast (provided the questions are not addressed in their prepared remarks).
About Beasley Broadcast Group
Celebrating its 59th anniversary this year, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc., (www.bbgi.com) was founded in 1961 by George G. Beasley who remains the Company’s Chairman of the Board. Beasley Broadcast Group owns and operates 64 stations (47 FM and 17 AM) in 15 large- and mid-size markets in the United States. Approximately 19 million consumers listen to Beasley radio stations weekly over-the-air, online and on smartphones and tablets, and millions regularly engage with the Company’s brands and personalities through digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, text, apps and email. Beasley recently acquired a majority interest in the Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws esports team and owns BeasleyXP, a national esports content hub. For more information, please visit www.bbgi.com.
Station Operating Income (Loss) (SOI) consists of net revenue less station operating expenses. We define station operating expenses as cost of services and selling, general and administrative expenses.
Free Cash Flow (FCF) consists of SOI less corporate expenses, interest expense, current income tax expense and capital expenditures plus stock-based compensation expense, net proceeds from dispositions, amortization of debt issuance costs and interest income.
SOI and FCF are measures widely used in the radio broadcast industry. The Company recognizes that because SOI and FCF are not calculated in accordance with GAAP, they are not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures employed by other companies. However, management believes that SOI and FCF provide meaningful information to investors because they are important measures of how effectively we operate our business (i.e., operate radio stations) and assist investors in comparing our operating performance with that of other radio companies.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Statements in this release that are “forward-looking statements” are based upon current expectations and assumptions, and involve certain risks and uncertainties within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words or expressions such as “looking ahead,” “look forward,” “intends,” “believe,” “hope,” “plan,” “expects,” “expected,” “anticipates” or variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain, such as statements about expected income; shareholder value; revenues; and growth. Key risks are described in our reports filed with the SEC including in our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Readers should note that forward-looking statements are subject to change and to inherent risks and uncertainties and may be impacted by several factors, including:
the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its potential effects on the economic environment and our results of operations, liquidity and financial condition, and the increased risk of impairments of our FCC licenses and/or goodwill, as well as any changes to federal, state or local government laws, regulations or orders in connection with the pandemic;
external economic forces that could have a material adverse impact on our advertising revenues and results of operations;
the ability of our radio stations to compete effectively in their respective markets for advertising revenues;
our ability to develop compelling and differentiated digital content, products and services;
audience acceptance of our content, particularly our radio programs;
our ability to respond to changes in technology, standards and services that affect the radio industry;
our dependence on federally issued licenses subject to extensive federal regulation;
actions by the FCC or new legislation affecting the radio industry;
our dependence on selected market clusters of radio stations for a material portion of our net revenue;
credit risk on our accounts receivable;
the risk that our FCC licenses and/or goodwill could become impaired;
our substantial debt levels and the potential effect of restrictive debt covenants on our operational flexibility and ability to pay dividends, including restrictions on the ability to pay dividends in the near term as a result of the amendment to our credit agreement;
the potential effects of hurricanes on our corporate offices and radio stations;
the failure or destruction of the internet, satellite systems and transmitter facilities that we depend upon to distribute our programming;
disruptions or security breaches of our information technology infrastructure;
the loss of key personnel;
our ability to integrate acquired businesses and achieve fully the strategic and financial objectives related thereto and their impact on our financial condition and results of operations;
the fact that we are controlled by the Beasley family, which creates difficulties for any attempt to gain control of the Company; and
other economic, business, competitive, and regulatory factors affecting our business, including those set forth in our filings with the SEC.
Our actual performance and results could differ materially because of these factors and other factors discussed in our SEC filings, including but not limited to our annual reports on Form 10-K or quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which can be obtained from the SEC, www.sec.gov, or our website, www.bbgi.com. All information in this release is as of November 3, 2020, and we undertake no obligation to update the information contained herein to actual results or changes to our expectations.