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Politico, following up on Arkansas Business reporter Kate Knable's interview (published Monday), with Mike Huckabee, finds the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate still working out whether he'll return for another year of his eponymous radio show.
As Knable reported for this week's edition of Arkansas Business, Huckabee plans to decide this month whether he'll return for another year of "The Mike Huckabee Show," which is carried by Cumulus Media:
“Within the next month, I’ll decide if I want to continue it or not. I know we will, but it’s just such an incredibly intensive process that I really have to decide that I want to spend that kind of time…,” he said.
“I’ve got to always weigh how much time I’m putting in it and what the return is. How long it will take to make it what I call hopefully disgustingly profitable. That’s what one always hopes for in a deal like this.”
Cumulus, you might have noticed, is already in tussle with its star political provocateur, Rush Limbaugh, who says he's considering taking his talents to another company. Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey has blamed the company's advertising losses on comments Limbaugh made in 2012 about Sandra Fluke, whom Limbaugh called "a slut."
One could argue that Huckabee, who many consider the likable Limbaugh alternative, is well positioned to benefit from a Cumulus-Limbaugh break-up, as shattering as could be for the company. At any rate, it's an interesting time for Huckabee to be making statements like this to Politico today:
"I anticipate going forward, but we're at a decision point in the contract and hopefully all parties will agree to the terms and we will keep growing the show as we have from 50 affiliates to 225 in just over a year."
We'll stay tuned.
The life story of northwest Arkansas real estate developer and former University of Arkansas football star Jim Lindsey not only sounds like something from a movie, it is actually becoming a movie.
Lindsey, who grew up in rural Arkansas, starred for Razorbacks' national championship football team and became a successful developer after a pro football career, is the subject of an upcoming documentary set for a fall release. The project is titled "The Jim Lindsey Story" and will be narrated by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Here's the trailer:
Jones and Lindsey were teammates on the Arkansas teams that between 1963-65 won 22 straight, including the 1964 national championship. They remain close friends.
"He was my bus riding partner. We would talk about our dreams, our ambitions," Jones said. "I remember his insight into life was amazing at such a young age."
Lindsey, a native of Forrest City, was a second round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 1965. He bought land in northwest Arkansas with his a $75,000 signing bonus and eventually grew a development business into a real estate company and a successful apartment and golf course operation. Lindsey now owns and operates more than 37,000 apartment units and 42 golf courses.
Lindsey & Associates ranks third on Arkansas Business' recent list of largest residential real estate agencies. Last year the agency reported $358.92 million in sales.
Promotional material describes the film as a "Southern success story. … about a delta boy who went from the henhouse to the penthouse."
Among those interviewed for the film are College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles, former Arkansas head coach Ken Hatfield, former NFL players Fred Cox and Dave Osborn, and Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant.
"The documentary shows how he evolved from a child to the influence he is today," Jones said. "It depicts his will, desire and ambition to achieve."
Clint Fullen, who has a master's in documentary filmmaking from the University of Arkansas and a pair of undergraduate degrees from the UA, is the film's director and producer. Fullen's work has been featured on "PBS Frontline" and "PBS Planet Forward."
Emmy Award winners Larry Foley and Dale Carpenter serve as executive producers.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville has regained the top spot on Fortune magazine's annual list of the country's largest corporations, released Monday. Meanwhile, Windstream Corp. of Little Rock joined the list for the first time, ranking No. 414.
Wal-Mart, which ranked No. 2 on the list behind Exxon Mobil last year, ranked No. 1 with $469.2 billion in fiscal 2012 revenue. Exxon ranked No. 2 with $449.9 billion. Chevron ranked No. 3 with $233.9 billion.
Windstream, at No. 414, reported revenue of $6.3 billion. The broadband and wireline telecommunications firm's inclusion on the list list comes about seven years after it formed as a spinoff of Alltel Corp.'s wireline assets. Windstream vaulted into the top 500 thanks to its $2.3 billion purchase of Peatec Holding Corp. in December of 2011.
Other Arkansas companies made the list.
- No. 93 - Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale, which reported $33.3 billion in revenue.
- No. 104 - Murphy Oil Corp. of El Dorado, at $28.8 billion.
- No. 378 - Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock, at $6.8 billion.
- No. 486 - J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell, at $5.1 billion. J.B. Hunt was not on the list last year.
While Wal-Mart was ranked No. 1 by revenue, it was No. 7 in terms of net income, behind Exxon Mobil, Apple, Chevron, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae.
Wal-Mart’s profit of just under $17 billion represents a profit margin of 3.6 percent. By comparison, Apple’s margin was almost 46 percent and Wells Fargo’s was almost 21 percent.
The margins of other Arkansas companies among the top 500:
- Tyson: 1.75 percent (net income of $583 million on $33.3 billion in revenue).
- Murphy Oil: 3.4 percent ($970.9 million on $28.8 billion).
- Dillard’s: 4.9 percent ($336 million on $6.8 billion).
- J.B. Hunt: 6 percent ($310.4 million on $5.1 billion).
- Windstream: 2.7 percent ($168 million on $6.2 billion).
It was a big week for ribbon cuttings, company earnings, home sales and more. Here's a look back, via our Saturday THV 11 News "Arkansas Business Week in Review."
ESPN and the Southeastern Conference formally announced Thursday the creation of the SEC Network.
It will launch in 2014 and the two entities have extended their media rights agreement through 2034. Some highlights of the announcement, which was attended by 32 SEC coaches, including Arkansas' Mike Anderson (basketball), Bret Bielema (football) and track (Chris Bucknam).
•Content will include 1,000 live sporting events per year, divided between TV and digital platforms. Individual schools will also produce content for the network.
•For football the plan is to televise three football games per week over 13 weeks. Only two games per year will be televised on Thursday nights and the rest will be broadcast on Saturdays.
•ESPN and SEC reps declined to discuss financial details, but early reports estimate the network could generate $28 million annually for each SEC member schools. Currently the SEC distributes about $18 million to each school per year.
•CBS will continue to televise SEC football, but no longer has an “exclusive window,” meaning ESPN networks can also televise afternoon games. CBS does continue having the first choice of SEC football contests.
•AT&T U-verse has already signed on as a distributor. Officials at the announcement said they anticipate other distributors will sign on relatively quickly.
•This likely eliminates that single pay-per-view game each season. So instead of watching Arkansas-Missouri State on PPV, you’ll be able to find it on the SEC Network.
No word yet what this will mean for your cable bill.
More from the SEC Network launch press release with quotes from ESPN president John Skipper and SEC commissioner Mike Slive:
“The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms,” stated Slive. “We will increase exposure of SEC athletics programs at all 14 member institutions, as we showcase the incredible student-athletes in our league. The agreement for a network streamlines and completes an overall media rights package that will continue the SEC’s leadership for the foreseeable future.”
Each weekend throughout the season, the new network will air multiple top-tier matchups from the strongest conference in college football. Since 2006, the SEC has claimed seven consecutive football national championships. In 2011-12, SEC teams won eight national championships: football (Alabama), men’s basketball (Kentucky), gymnastics (Alabama), men’s indoor track and field (Florida), women’s tennis (Florida), women’s golf (Alabama), men’s outdoor track and field (Florida), and softball (Alabama). Since 1990, the SEC has won 149 national team championships for an average of more than six per year.
Skipper said, “The SEC is unmatched in its success on the field and its popularity with fans nationwide. The new network’s top-quality SEC matchups across a range of sports will serve all sports enthusiasts including the most passionate, die-hard SEC fans. Also, it will serve the needs of our multichannel distributors and advertisers by providing extremely attractive programming options across all platforms.”
As part of the agreement, ESPN will now oversee the SEC’s official Corporate Sponsor Program. In addition, ESPN and the SEC also agreed to extend their existing media rights agreement through 2034. ESPN has televised the SEC since 1982. ESPN’s existing networks present more than 1,600 hours of SEC action each year. The new network will focus exclusively on the SEC and add another outlet to deliver sports fans more SEC content than ever.
AT&T U-verse® has been secured as the network’s first national distributor. AT&T U-verse is the fastest growing TV provider in the U.S. and their subscribers will have access to an unprecedented amount of SEC content across all platforms. Subscribers receiving the live linear network via a multichannel subscription will also have access to the network on PCs, tablets, smartphones and select gaming devices like Xbox. Additional games and coverage will be available through an authenticated digital offering. Fans looking to learn more about how to get the SEC Network can visit GetSECNetwork.com for more information.
“We are pleased to be involved with the SEC and ESPN at the very beginning of this great alliance,” said Jeff Weber, President of Content and Advertising Sales, AT&T. “As the fastest growing and most advanced pay TV service, we want to bring our customers the highest value and most compelling product that we possibly can. Access to the SEC Network, across multiple platforms, will only increase the demand for U-verse.”
ESPN’s Justin Connolly, formerly senior vice president, ESPN affiliate sales and marketing, will oversee the network’s day-to-day operations. The network will originate from ESPN’s Charlotte, N.C., offices with additional staff located at the company’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters. Staff announcements and additional details will be made in the coming months.
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