News & Analysis

The Spirit of Radio is here as Mediaco shares rocket by 311%

Andrew Saks, Tuesday, 13 July 2021

In the early 1980s,  Canadian rock band Rush made fame with its fabulous experimental fusion of rock, reggae, pop and classics when its single "The Spirit Of Radio" gained chart success.

Today, the spirit of radio is very much alive and well as NASDAQ listed Mediaco Holding has been a stock market star, its share price having risen by a remarkable 300% this morning to $17 per share taking it to a five-year high by a huge margin.

Over recent years, especially in the era of internet radio, television and interactive media which has to a large extent supplanted the legacy tradition of passive, scheduled broadcast media, the value of such firms has been relatively stagnant.

However today, a long, very straight horizontal line has changed its direction suddenly and dramatically, with a 311% percent rise over yesterday's price and a 188% rise over the past five years.

Back in July 2019, Emmis Communications, a North American broadcast media giant founded by Jeffrey Smulyan whose name Emmis is an Anglicization of the Hebrew word Emet which means 'truth' announced that it would sell its New York City stations WQHT and WBLS to Mediaco Holding—an affiliate of Standard General for $91.5 million, a $5 million promissory note, and a 23.72% stake in the new company. Mediaco Holding became a public company, and Emmis continued to manage the stations with the sale having been completed on November 27, 2019.

Since going it alone, the company's stock price remained relatively flat since its establishment until yesterday it suddenly began to rocket.

Absolutely no internal activity has caused this movement, and no changes in the company's structure have taken place, and neither are they imminent.

Once again, it is the disruptors in the social media space that have been at it again.

Retail investors who are active on social media platforms including Reddit, StockTwits, Twitter, and Discord appear to be coordinating with each other to drive the company stock price up.

The discussions on these platforms cited the very low float and a relatively high short float as an opportunity to drive a noticeable short squeeze.

Thus, we now have a 'meme' stock that is not and never was a meme stock. It is simply a traditional public company that has become the subject of the social media influencers.

Such volatility is remarkable, however the reason for its increment is faddish, as these social media influenced stocks have over the past six months begun to dominate headline news, spurring the social media participants to go further and expand their attention into other previously stagnant stocks.

Perhaps Mediaco is exactly that - a quiet, dormant stock which has been completely lacking in volatility, that has now come under the microscope of the influencers.

Either way, to be flat for several years and then suddenly rocket by over 300% in one day is remarkable, especially considering that no commercial activity has taken place and that the movement is purely as a result of forum members and social media groups.

Volatility is the new normal, it seems.



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