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Audacy hands out $3.2 million in bonuses to top execs

The bonuses were doled out this month, just weeks after Audacy was de-listed from the NASDAQ for its faltering stock price.

The bonuses were doled out this month, just weeks after Audacy was de-listed from the NASDAQ for its faltering stock price.

Radio broadcaster Audacy issued more than $3 million in bonuses to some of its senior and top-level executives this month, according to a recent filing submitted to federal financial regulators.

The bonuses were intended to help retain senior executives as Audacy navigates through turbulent economic waters brought on by a slowdown in traditional advertising spend across radio and television properties.

Of the $3.2 million handed out to executives this month, $1 million was awarded to Audacy CEO David Field, while $850,000 was given to Chief Financial Officer Richard Schmaeling, the company disclosed in its filing.

Chief Operating Officer Susan Larkin, top attorney Andrew Sutor and digital executive J.D. Crowley also received retention bonuses, the company affirmed. All bonuses were approved by Audacy’s Board of Directors, and were paid out on June 23.

Related: TuneIn reaches distribution deal with Audacy for radio streams

The retention bonuses were dished out about a month after Audacy was removed from the NASDAQ after the company’s stock price fell below $1 per share for nearly a year. Audacy’s last reported stock price was 9 cents per share; it continues to trade over the counter.

“While this news is disappointing, it has zero impact on Audacy’s ability to serve listeners and customers or run our operations effectively,” Field said at the time. “To be clear, we are business as usual.”

Audacy was formed through the combination of Entercom and CBS Radio in 2017. Over the last few years, Audacy has struggled with its peer radio broadcasters to address a consumer shift away from traditional AM and FM radio toward more-ubiquitous streaming audio options like Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora.

Like some of its competitors, Audacy has pushed harder into on-demand streaming audio through the launch of podcasts and similar products. But the digital products have not generated enough revenue to cover the losses from its broadcast properties: In May, Audacy attributed just $56.9 million of its net revenue to digital during the first three months of the year, while logging an 8.9 percent decline in local and national spot advertising income during the same period. Overall, Audacy reported a net loss of $35.9 million, an increase of 226 percent compared to the first quarter of last year.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).