Ed Shane

In one of his last emails to me, Ed Shane said he had attended an advertising meeting with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo to bring them up to date that his web platform had nearly two million monthly hits and their YouTube views were nearly a million.

Ed was proud that the ad people told him that his Texas Music Project was well ahead of what many of the radio stations in Houston were doing.

Well ahead.

That’s what Ed Shane always seemed to be when he programmed WPLO, Atlanta back in the day.

Our paths crossed a number of times.

We both had the pleasure of working for John Tenaglia at General Cinema – me in Philly and Ed in Houston.

And we both received careful mentoring from the legendary George Burns who had a cosmic sort of way of letting people he worked with do what they were paid to do. What a concept!

Later Ed established a consultancy and he helped me with advertising when I started a fledgling trade publication.

In an industry where we have seen the end of good guys with brains in the their head, it reminds us how badly we are going to miss Ed Shane.

In his 60’s, he took on the challenge of launching an all-news format on a Radio One FM station in Houston. The company gave it a go for a few years and then started pulling back. Of course, you never do that in all-news, which takes many years to get going but pays tremendous benefits once you do.

I told Ed that when I listened to his news station it sounded bright and strong – I believe that is the word I used, strong.

I believe Ed could have done anything even launch a country all-news station which I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t already doing that in the great beyond.

Ed passed away Saturday after a short but determined battle with colon cancer.

I was shocked.

I knew he had it, but just ten days earlier Ed was out of bed and walking around – the tests looked good. Still, that is how fragile life is, you never know.

My friend Don Cannon had been in a coma in a Philly hospital when he suddenly came to and held court as only Don could do around his hospital bed and yet although everyone thought he was out of the woods, it was not to be.

Among Ed’s other skill sets is marrying well.

His beautiful and intelligent wife, Pam, was not just a wife but a life partner in everything from raising a family to business.

My heart breaks for her.

I often get to speak at funerals – and believe me, I don’t seek out these gigs. But one of the most comforting things I can offer is that many people have had the benefit of crossing paths with this fine man and they are better off for it.

But as I often suggest to those who will miss him most – find the quality you like about him the most and make it live on through you every day of the week, every week of the year for the rest of your life in his living memory.

So now that Ed is probably programming a station in Heaven right next to Bill Drake and others who have left our radio community, I have the feeling he will do something about commercials loads up there.

Down here, it’s hell.

But the reward for a life well lived is eternal happiness (and fewer commercials) that I wish for Ed Shane as well as peace and acceptance for his grieving family and friends.

Ed Shane.

He was a good one.

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Dickeys Selling on Cumulus Stock Weakness

What kind of a person bails out on his company when they need him to show confidence in its future?

Apparently, a Dickey.

While they are feeding the happy talk radio trade press with PR when their stock goes up a few cents, they are certainly not talking about what I’m going to tell you here.

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  1. He didn’t – did he? Yes, one of the Dickeys sold large numbers of Cumulus shares just as the price was in free fall and analysts were trashing it.
  2. What other Cumulus insider started selling stock the very next day.
  3. Wall Street has really turned on Cumulus and the Dickeys are so sensitive about it they have launched a bullshit campaign to prop up their stock – details.
  4. Be warned – the chance of a Cumulus bankruptcy has just changed again.
  5. The bad news about a revenue turnaround and the implications for Cumulus employees by April.

The answers begin here.

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Announcing the date for next year’s Media Solutions Conference in Philly – April 6, 2016. Reserve the date. If you haven’t experienced one of these interactive learning sessions, plan ahead to be there.

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My Dickey Is Bigger Than Yours

Here is how Seeking Alpha, the crowd-sourced content service for financial markets sees the future of Cumulus:

“Cumulus Media sinks to a 52-week low as sentiment remains weak on the broadcaster ever since it reported Q4 results earlier in the month”.

And despite CEO Lew Dickey’s spin about how great the company is, there now are two Cumulus’.

At $2.68 a share the stock is the lowest it has been since November of 2012 when it closed at $2.47.

Like in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, people are more afraid of what mind-numbing move radio’s Nurse Ratched (Lew Dickey) will do next than they are of Cumulus going bankrupt which is now a real possibility.

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  1. Okay, what’s the real story of sloppy seconds with the hiring of former Clear Channel manager Tom Schurr.
  2. And what the hell is the thinking behind hiring Pierre Bouvard to turn around their slumping billing.
  3. Does the hiring of all those CBS execs in the past month mean their merger with CBS is getting closer.
  4. What’s up with Lew’s plan to punish employees for not making their numbers.
  5. Who did ex-employees describe as “the ruthless, heartless asshole” that is coming to take them away.
  6. What’s to become of Dan Bennett, the manager overseeing Dallas and Houston who is arguably the best Cumulus manager.

The answers begin here.

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About Inside Music Media: Read by more people than any other media newsletter of its kind. Contains no advertising. Is insightful, deadly honest, entertaining and informative. Accepts no corporate money. And is beholden only to subscribers.

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Radio’s Unnoticed Competitor

Not an app.

Not another radio station competitor.

Not Pandora, Spotify, Apple or any streaming music service.

Not podcasting for damn sure.

Certainly not a pure play stream.

Not social media.

Not even YouTube.

Radio’s potent new competitor is heating up under the radar with 95 million Millennials and yet while we’re off running stations the old way with sweepers, no commercials, too many commercials and everything in between, this new documented competitor is more dangerous than anything we have seen before.

So here is how to get ahead of it …

  • How to not just guard against this killer competitor but how to turn it around in your favor.
  • Creating the first Millennial radio station guaranteed to beat the hell out of recycled and tired music and talk formats.
  • How to keep this new threat away from media ad budgets because radio doesn’t need to have its share of the revenue pie shared with a hot new competitor.
  • What if I showed you a way to get Millennials to do exactly what they did when they took an app called Trivia Crack to 130 million users without the help of the owners? That’s what I am about to do.
  • Getting Millennials to tell you how to handle huge commercial loads and how to deal with music sweeps.

Access this story now

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What’s Holding Up the iHeart Tower Deal

They NEED this money.

It’s $400 million for the equity owners who need to get out of their investment.

Already, there is a troubling pattern emerging in the wake of the anticipated sale of iHeart towers and real estate.

Here’s what we’re hearing.

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  1. The unbelievable multiple the buyer is willing to pay.
  2. How iHeart is basing that multiple on revenue – ever hear of a broadcast tower earning revenue (it’s the station!).      
  3. The odd closing anticipated for this deal if it goes through.
  4. How Bain is looking to custom design the revenue figures to bend the deal to be most favorable for them – how Bain wants them to treat tower painting in the end deal.
  5. Market managers in numerous iHeart markets are shaking in their boots due to a directive from corporate after closing.
  6. Finally, the reason iHeart would be good with paying tower rent from now on in all of their markets and give up the rental income.

The answers start here.

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About Inside Music Media: Read by more people than any other media newsletter of its kind. Contains no advertising. Is insightful, deadly honest, entertaining and informative. Accepts no corporate money. And is beholden only to subscribers.

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