Industry News

TUDN Radio To Add KQBU, Ending ‘Latino Mix’ Simulcast

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 17:38

TUDN Radio, the rebranded and retooled service formerly known as Univision Deportes Radio, is about to get a serious boost in one of America’s most important Hispanic media markets.

Univision Communications‘ Houston station group is flipping the switch on Monday to bring Houstonians “the market’s only Spanish-language sports radio station.”

With ESPN Deportes Radio now defunct, aside from a couple of podcasts; Fox Deportes Radio relatively quiet; and Unanimo Sports still seeking maximization of its offerings, sales could be a challenge for a Deportes-minded radio station.

For Univision, flipping KQBU-FM 93.3 to “TUDN 93.3 FM/1010 AM” is an opportunity for growth while maintaining the current programming in the market. As of today, KQBU is a simulcast partner of KAMA-FM 104.9, a Spanish Contemporary station branded as “Latino Mix.”

KAMA, a Class C2 FM licensed to Deer Park, Tex., will stay as “Latino Mix”; the station’s signal contour makes it a full Houston-market FM.

KQBU is really a Beaumont-Port Arthur station. Its 97kw Class C signal puts city-grade coverage over Houston’s east side. In the car, it’s audible across the metropolitan area.

As “TUDN,” KQBU will now simulcast Class B KLAT-AM 1010 in Houston. It’s already a TUDN-branded station. Hence, KQBU is switching simulcast partners.

For locals, programming will include Spanish-language coverage of the Astros (MLB), Houston Dynamo (MLS), Houston Rockets (NBA), and Texas A&M Aggie football. There are also simulcasts from TUDN Radio’s soccer portfolio.

Local programming includes a 10am-noon Central program hosted by Cesar Procel (pictured, top left), “Encanchados.”

KQBU-FM has been the home of “Latino Mix” since its December 2017 arrival in the market. Previously, it was “Qué Buena,” offering regional Mexican programming.

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Rosenworcel Gives CSRIC Its New Charge

Radio World - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 17:26
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Jessica Rosenworcel wants members of a key advisory group to help the FCC “sort through some of the toughest security problems facing our country’s communications networks.”

The acting chairwoman recently reconstituted the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council, seeking to “revitalize” it. And on Wednesday she spoke to the group to lay out her vision for its work.

She opened her remarks by citing a litany of recent notable cybersecurity events: a wireless carrier in the Netherlands whose traffic was susceptible to monitoring; a security breach of Exchange software that left bank, health and government servers vulnerable; the SolarWinds Breach that allowed hackers affiliated with the Russian government to access government and private networks undetected; the theft of data on millions of T-Mobile customers; and the ransomware attack on an Iowa farming co-op this month.

“This needs our attention because enough is enough,” Rosenworcel told the CSRIC members.

[Related: Rosenworcel Names Members to Revamped Advisory Group]

She said the FCC is pursuing a multipronged strategy to assure security as the use of 5G expands.

“In this environment, rechartering CSRIC was a no-brainer. This council is one of the nation’s most impactful cybersecurity partnerships. But we didn’t want to do it same-old, same-old. We wanted to make it better.”

She explained that for the first time the group will be co-chaired by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which leads a national effort to enhance the safety of the cybersecurity and communications infrastructure. “Earlier this year, CISA co-authored a leading report on potential threat vectors to 5G infrastructure. Their partnership here will help ensure a unity of effort between those responsible for protecting the country and those who own and operate the infrastructure that is so critical to that mission.”

She said the group also will reflect more participation from the public interest community. “The public and consumers also will have a voice on issues that ultimately affect their safety and security along with private sector stakeholders.”

The group is to prioritize 5G.

“That means we have a working group to explore the security and resiliency of Open RAN. We have a working group looking at more broadly leveraging virtualization technology to enhance network security. We have a working group looking at the technical issues involving the security of 5G signaling protocols. And building on CSRIC’s earlier work to remove untrusted hardware from our communications and infrastructure and building on lessons learned from the SolarWinds hack, we have a working group looking at the software side of supply chain security.”

Rosenworcel noted that Hurricane Ida knocked cell sites offline in Louisiana, so she wants the group also to make progress on the resiliency of communications networks. “We’ve got a working group to look at improving 911 — specifically 911 service over Wi-Fi. And we have yet another working group that will be looking at ways to improve Wireless Emergency Alerts.”

[Related: Marketron and Its Users Slammed by Cyber Event]

She called this “a to-do list of security challenges that we already know about,” and she asked the members of the group to be “on the lookout for threats that are just around the bend.”

Sectors represented on the group include local emergency officials, transportation, wireless and broadband companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, chip makers, public broadcasting and government agencies.


The post Rosenworcel Gives CSRIC Its New Charge appeared first on Radio World.

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FCC to Accept Applications for Next Attorney Honors Program

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 16:20

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The FCC on Friday confirmed that it will begin accepting applications from graduating law students and current judicial clerks for its Fall 2022 Attorney Honors Program.

The application window is now open, and it closes on November 1.

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ViacomCBS Selects A DFW TV Leader

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 16:15

In the Dallas-Fort Worth market, ViacomCBS owns and operates two broadcast TV stations, in addition to CBSN Dallas and

As of Monday, these properties will have a new leader, and it is someone who is rejoining the stations after four years working across town — at TV stations broadcasting en español.

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A Healthy Gain For Audacy On Wall Street

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 16:10

Cumulus Media isn’t the only audio content and distribution company with a big stable of radio stations that enjoyed a strong week on Wall Street.

As Wall Street neared its closing bells, Audacy shares were on the rise, giving the company formerly known as Entercom its strongest stock price since early August.

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A ‘Reduction in Force’ Hits Cox Media Group’s Radio Stations

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 16:05

MIAMI — Tune to 99.1 MHz in morning drive, and you’ll suddenly find yourself asking if something isn’t right. Just weeks ago, a big billboard could be seen on Interstate 95 heading downtown promoting the Trina & Trick Daddy morning program.

As of today, the hosts are no longer a part of Cox Media Group. But, that’s just a small part of a Reduction in Force initiative that has claimed a host of programming and on-air positions. Meanwhile, another Miami FM owned by CMG has tweaked its format while apparently dismissing its entire air staff.

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Cumulus Shares Surge On Friday. Why?

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 15:59

With Monday’s Closing Bell on Wall Street, Cumulus Media shares officially erased five months of growth, negating a climb to $14.75 seen at the end of June — its highest value since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who knew that the rest of this week would see Cumulus crush it on the Nasdaq?

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Meredith Shares Soar On IAC Takeover Talk

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 15:30

With Meredith Local Media poised to become a part of Gray Television by the end of the year, parent Meredith Corp. is apparently in serious conversations with the digital media company owned by Barry Diller to engineer a deal that would spin the majority of its lifestyle and female-friendly assets in a multi-billion deal.

Investors reacted by snapping up Meredith shares, leading to a sharp rise in value in Friday’s trading.

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Senators Urge President Biden to Make Rosenworcel Official FCC Chair

Radio World - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:46

A group of over two dozen U.S. Senators are urging President Biden to designate acting FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel to a permanent position, making her the first woman to hold the office.

The chairmanship of the commission has been in limbo since Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021, with Rosenworcel operating in acting capacity. Some of the group of Democratic Senators (and one Independent, Angus King of Maine) noted that they had voiced their support in a similar letter to Biden after he was declared winner of the 2020 election and said having a permanent chair is important, in light of Congressional efforts to provide funding for expanded broadband access nationwide as well as address the impacts of the 18+ month pandemic, part of the  “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021,” now being considered by the House.

“Given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure all people have access to broadband, it is absolutely essential that there are trusted, qualified appointees leading these agencies to coordinate the deployment effort across your administration” the senators — representing 17 states — wrote in a letter to the president.

They asked President Biden to appoint her to the chairmanship “as quickly as possible,” adding that “further delay simply puts at risk the major broadband goals that we share and that Congress has worked hard to advance as part of your administration’s agenda.”

They added that Rosenworcel is the best person for the job.

“There is no better qualified or more competent person to lead the FCC at this important time than Acting Chair Rosenworcel,” the senators said. “We have long experience working with her and her team, and she has already shown an ability to steer the FCC through these extraordinary and difficult times. Importantly, we believe that Acting Chair Rosenworcel will face few obstacles to her confirmation.”

The delay in appointing a permanent FCC chair is “the longest in 44 years,” according to Telecom TV. Capitol Hill pundits speculate that the delay could surround the administration’s indecision on whether to have the commission’s first female chair or whether or not to nominate an African-American to the position.

The post Senators Urge President Biden to Make Rosenworcel Official FCC Chair appeared first on Radio World.

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FCC Extends Deadline for Regulatory Fees

Radio World - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:40

The Federal Communications Commission has extended the due date for FY 2021 regulatory fees to Monday night Sept. 27.

It’s a three-day extension and it applies to all annual regulatory fee payors. The announcement did not provide a reason.

Fees have been in the news in our industry because the commission had planned to raise them for most radio and TV stations, but it backed away from that after getting strong pushback from the industry.

[Related: “Broadcasters Get a Win on Regulatory Fees”]

The post FCC Extends Deadline for Regulatory Fees appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Hoyt Is New IHM Market Leader in Salisbury

Radio World - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:12

Katie Hoyt was been named market president for Salisbury, Md., by iHeartMedia.

She reports to Brit Goldstein, area president for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania, whom she succeeds in the role. Goldstein was promoted in early 2020 but until now has retained the Salisbury reins as well.

[Visit Radio World’s People News Page]

Hoyt was senior vice president of sales in that market. In the announcement, Goldstein says Hoyt “has done an incomparable job inspiring and leading the Salisbury sales team.”

She is former regional digital sales manager for MediaOnePA, part of Gannett/USA Today, as well as former sales manager for Hanover/York, Pa., for the same organization, where she began her media career.

The iHeart Salisbury market on the Eastern Shore of the state comprises four FM and two AM stations as well as live events, data and digital businesses and platforms.

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The post Hoyt Is New IHM Market Leader in Salisbury appeared first on Radio World.

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Want An Atlanta TV Signal? This One’s For Sale

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 12:51

It’s no secret that available broadcast TV stations are few and far between for aspiring buyers.

As such, there could be some considerable interest in a low-power TV station being marketed by one veteran media broker that serves one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the Southeast U.S.

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Opinion: Smart Speakers Require Smart Speech

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 12:30

In the words of veteran Boston-area radio programming and marketing pro Clark Smidt, “Speakers become smart when they say the right words or play the best music.

Who’s at the controls? This very question could make the difference between having a consumer call up a personality-free playlist on a streaming audio service, or your radio station’s easily accessible audio stream.

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Byron Allen Completes Purchase of a Meredith Spin

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 11:15

In May, RBR+TVBR correctly predicted that Allen Media Group would end up purchasing an ABC affiliate that Meredith Local Media had agreed to divest in order for it to complete its $2.825 billion sale to Gray Television.

On Thursday (9/23), the group led by Byron Allen closed on its acquisition of that Meredith property — a move that suggests Gray’s closing on the Meredith properties is on track for a Q4 closing.

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Radio Automation Goes Mobile

Radio World - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 11:00
ENCO WebDAD Presenter Arrays

ENCO’s business started with computer-based process control for critical industrial applications in the early 1980s, but it soon focused that technical expertise on broadcasting. In 1991 its first digital audio delivery system, DAD, replaced manual cart systems commonly used to sequence and play audio content.

Bill Bennett is media solutions account manager. This is excerpted from a recent ebook.

Bill Bennett

Radio World: How has the pandemic experience changed workflows for your clients?

Bill Bennett: Historically, most radio production has been done in the studio, with someone directly iterating with their DAD system at the station. And over the course of a day, that could be perhaps 10 different people needing access to a production or on-air system at different times.

Then suddenly, all these people are working from their homes, but the station can’t have eight or 10 separate DAD physical installations located at each of their homes. That’s one of the examples where WebDAD shines, as it’s a browser-based remote control client, allowing those remote users to connect via VPN back to the main DAD systems at the studio, and keep focused on churning out their content, whether they have a PC or Mac.

RW: Are there new capabilities that have come to the fore?

This article is excerpted from the ebook “Automation: The Next Phase.” Click the cover to read it.

Bennett: ENCO users are finding new ways to work while remote or mobile, with our HTML-5 based mobile automation solution called WebDAD, which allows for native remote control of our DAD automation system over the public Internet via VPN connection. It’s also a great resource when using part-time talent who need only limited access to some systems or only at certain times.

WebDAD allows users to access to the most popular DAD features remotely via Web browser, whether down the hall or across the country, making it a key component for today’s decentralized radio workforce.

It gives them native connectivity and remote control of their DAD system, where they can do things like library and playlist maintenance, change up their content live with array panels, perform voicetracking, upload audio files, edit heads and tails, and more.

RW: What have manufacturers learned that might affect future designs?

Bennett: The customer more than ever is ready to trust the cloud for storage, playout, automation, and for the sharing of audio and video assets, as well as collaborate on shared documents, notes and rundowns.

Pre-COVID, a lot of radio stations still used a more simplified methodology, not wanting or needing to adopt a Cloud or Internet-based solutions. But the pandemic changed everything and they instantly required it.

Many manufacturers, including ENCO, have been saying, “We have been building out this elegant, flexible way to gain native remote access to your playout over a IP network from a simple web browser” And people were already becoming familiar with Web-based editing of documents collaboratively via products by Google, Microsoft Office and so on, so that’s been helpful to grease the skids in radio production workflows.

The customer is learning there’re many different ways to produce a show, both live and tracked from different locations, literally without skipping a beat now.

RW: What is the role of virtualization?

Bennett: Virtualization is a term used a lot these days. With ENCO’s products, it means a powerful path forward, allowing customers to do things such as build fault-tolerant radio automation solutions that are dynamically scalable, more immune to security threats, and are easier to maintain with lower cost of ownership. Same with our WebDAD product – that virtualizes a DAD playout & automation environment allowing radio talent to build and track their productions from locations far away from the physical DAD installation, securely. It really opens up a whole new set of flexible options for the production folks.

If a broadcaster has to change playout sources from physical studios to a cloud-based instance, perhaps for disaster recovery, if they have a cloud-based playout system in-sync with that — for example, ENCO has our DAD DR solution — that cloud-based system is controlling what’s on the air and feeding the transmitter and streaming end points or streaming CDNs.

And now with Zoom, Skype and the rest, it’s possible to have a fairly high-fidelity audio interview with people all over the world at the same time, where they can see each other’s reactions – then you’ve built a kind of virtual studio at that point, which is super flexible.

RW: Will automation and related software systems move fully to the cloud?

Bennett: Enthusiastically, yes. I am certain we are going to see a mix of hybrid solutions as well as fully cloud-based solutions.

The best for most broadcasters probably is a hybrid solution. But one of the coolest things about the cloud is that you can access your playout securely from anywhere on the web; and your systems are also automatically being backed up for you at the data center, so you’ve got some redundancy built into your cloud system that you may not be able to have at the station (or may lose, if a terrible disaster happens at the station).

RW: Are there special configurations that people are asking for?

Bennett: Yes for sure – for one, they want their remote workers to have access to their on-air systems, and WebDAD brings that to the table. Their staff keeps connected with a familiar interface, from the comfort of their Web browser at home. Also, for those who are at the station but need to keep physically distanced, WebDAD can be installed on computers throughout the station, allowing production staff to access DAD to manage playlists and so forth, without having to go in and out of studios where others have been.

Another is ENCO’s automated speech-to-text captioning product called enCaption. It makes live voice interviews accessible to the hard of hearing and deaf communities by creating real-time captions of what’s spoken on the air, which can then be delivered to the radio broadcaster’s Website in real time.

RW: Are there customers doing particularly interesting or notable things right now?

Bennett: We have a customer in California that has a full DAD solution in the cloud, running six concurrent radio stations, all hosted on Amazon Web Services and using WebDAD to control it.

There are zero physical facilities, it’s all cloud playout. That’s six live concurrent stations that access the playout system from anywhere on the internet. They just need a WebDAD client on the browser and the login back to the main system in the cloud and they can control what’s on the air.

And we’ve got a customer, again on the West Coast, using our video playback platform ClipFire to generate dynamic graphics for news, weather bugs and icons and to squeeze the video in and out of the frame or enlarge and shrink the video to make the graphic sit better. It’s an automated way to help a broadcaster put more contemporaneous texts, news data and crawls into their linear broadcast channel. It’s neat for radio because of the evolving space around visual radio.

The post Radio Automation Goes Mobile appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

American Tower Prices Senior Notes Offering

Radio+Television Business Report - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 05:32

On September 8, its shares, traded on NYSE, reached a record high of $303.62. Today, with shares slightly lower, American Tower Corp. is among the best performers on Wall Street in the broader telecommuncations sector.

Now, the Boston-based company founded by the late Steve Dodge has priced its registered public offering of senior unsecured notes due 2026, 2031 and 2051.

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Remote Talent Console From Studio Technologies

Radio World - Thu, 09/23/2021 - 20:41

Taking advantage of the burgeoning remote/work-from-home market, Studio Technologies has designed the Model 209 talent console.

The 209 is a creature of the Ethernet/IP audio world, operating PoE. It has 48 V phantom power, a headphones output along with a level control plus a talkback/cough button.

[Check Out More Products at Radio World’s Products Section]

The Model 209 is compatible with AES67 and Dante audio-over-Ethernet technology as well as compatible with Audinate’s Dante Domain Manager. Additional compatibility is with Yellowtec m!ka microphone mounts and booms and Studio Technologies STcontroller app for Windows and Mac. STcontroller controls functions such as mic level, phantom power and tally controls.

Studio Technologies  President Gordon Kapes said, “While originally designed for podcasters, the Model 209 is truly an ‘all-Dante’ solution that can deliver excellent audio in many modern broadcast applications.”

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Biden Time: A Rosy Pick, Or Any Choice, For FCC Chair?

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 09/23/2021 - 15:11

With a new administration, one would assume that by now, the White House would have nominated its choice for Chairman of the FCC.

It hasn’t happened, and it is nothing less than “a really weird situation,” says Fletcher Heald & Hildreth partner Francisco Montero.

How weird is it? At the Hispanic Radio Conference in Miami on Thursday, Montero suggested that, if the Biden Administration does nothing, the FCC could end up with a Republican majority again.

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Ayo Technology: Disney Branded TV Names New President

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 09/23/2021 - 14:15

On September 21, RBR+TVBR reported that after 33 years in creative and leadership roles at Disney, Gary Marsh will be stepping down as President and Chief Creative Officer of Disney Branded Television at the end of 2021 to launch his own production company.

Two days later, Marsh’s successor as President was revealed by Disney General Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice.

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Ad Loads At Hispanic Radio: Tackling A Tough Topic

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 09/23/2021 - 12:23

MIAMI — The endless commercial break. It’s so bad that Radio Ink Editor Ed Ryan’s daughter, 24, won’t even listen to the radio. Is the stopset slog a problem for Hispanic radio? Ryan probed four of the industry’s top executives as the moderator of the Hispanic Radio Executive Leadership Roundtable on Wednesday afternoon at the Hispanic Radio Conference in Miami.

First to tackle the sensitive topic: Otto Padron, President/CEO of Meruelo Media.

Noting that radio is often prone to the “drip and drop” of spots across every commercial break, Padron noted that the key challenge was to try to balance spots with every other way a radio station is able to make money. And, there is always a conflict in try to achieve that balance.

That’s why Padron doesn’t look at advertisements as commercials, but rather as disruptions.

Is there the right balance? No, he admits. At the same time, he holds the belief that radio is not just a music platform. “There is something that the DSPs are not going to be able to provide,” Padron says of digital pure-play audio sources.

Meanwhile, some dayparts will need to balance others, as commercial-free hours take away spots that are, in a way, made up for at other points in a day.

When it came time for Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) COO Albert Rodriguez to offer his thoughts on the topic, he struck a very reverent tone, one that practically proselytized Radio and its untapped power. That said, it was very clear that having too many commercials isn’t a bad thing.

“We are in a beautiful business when we are completely oversold,” Rodriguez says. “It’s the time to call our clients and tell them we need more! When you tell your clients they can’t have something, they want it more.”

Ryan proved to be a strong moderator, pushing the topic further as Univision Radio President Jesus Lara offered his biggest challenge: attribution. With respect to the spot loads, “it depends on the daypart and on seasonality,” Lara says.

Norsan Media Chairman/CEO Norberto Sanchez, whose stations can be found across the Southeast, noted that at his regional Mexican properties, sales are at 120% of capacity. Could he raise the rates to get that down to 100%? “That’s kind of tough,” Sanchez admits.

The conversation then wound back to Rodriguez, who again waxed poetically about the wonders of Radio and how Hispanic audio, in particular, has a window of opportunity to grow. His words prompted Ryan to remark, “It sounds like an investor phone call for you,” resulting in laughter from the capacity in-person audience at the Intercontinental in Doral.

Ryan further pushed the question by asking the panelists if it is fair for the No. 7 advertiser in a spotload with 10 commercials to pay the same rates as the first or second advertiser. Padron noted that there is some “pod exclusivity,” but this reflects categories and not the total number of commercials. Furthermore, Padron says, there’s a wholesaler picking up inventory and that creates traffic headaches for Meruelo’s stations.

Lara adds that Univision Radio has “a couple of volume deals” with a couple of third-party players.

Speaking from the audience, noted multicultural media sales strategist Sherman Kizart shared that he’d just spent the last two hours on the phone with Publicis, as its “Once and For All” coalition, comprised of 21 clients and audio activation teams, were “trying to figure out how to spend more money with everybody in the room.” publisher Gene Bryan sparred with Kizart, disputing just how much investment companies other than Procter & Gamble Co. are investing in Hispanic media.

The conversation ended with a question from Dana Cortez, the syndicated radio host. She asked the panel what Radio can do to rebrand itself? The answer from SBS’s Rodriguez? “Don’t be afraid to embrace audio because it enhanced Radio,” he says.

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