Desperate Radio CEOs Buy Favorable Ratings

INSIDE …

  • Secrets of radio CEOs to buy favorable analyst ratings.
  • What it took to get last year’s hot mess in radio revenue to earn an “A” rating – with a straight face.
  • So why are analysts now changing their tune about radio?
  • The importance of podcasting to bank analysts even if they lose money.

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Audacy’s Hiring Problem

iHeart Foreign Sale Still on the Table

Westwood Done

Cumulus Fires 9 in One Market

The Fan-to-Fan Music Revolution

Audacy’s Hiring Problem

INSIDE …

  • The surprising change in their desired job qualifications.
  • The number of job applicants for the hard to fill San Diego GSM position in almost two weeks – and you’ll never guess the revised salary offer.
  • Why iHeart sellers are afraid to jump ship to Audacy.
  • The updated Audacy sales.

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iHeart Foreign Sale Still on the Table

Westwood Done

Cumulus Fires 9 in One Market

The Fan-to-Fan Music Revolution

San Diego Audacy Exodus Resumes

iHeart Foreign Sale Still on the Table

INSIDE …

  • Their quiet end of year maneuver
  • The status of iHeart selling to a foreign entity
  • Why iHeart is sucker punching its most interested potential investor

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Westwood Done

Cumulus Fires 9 in One Market

The Fan-to-Fan Music Revolution

San Diego Audacy Exodus Resumes

Big Changes Coming to CHR

Westwood Done

INSIDE …

  • The dissolution of Westwood was predicted here a week ago – here’s the rest of the story. 
  • Why Cumulus owners are panicking.
  • They actually turned rescue money down to buy assets – here’s why.
  • How the dissolution will unfold ahead.
  • What about the stations division?

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Cumulus Fires 9 in One Market

The Fan-to-Fan Music Revolution

San Diego Audacy Exodus Resumes

Big Changes Coming to CHR

New Cumulus Market Manager Mandate

Cumulus Fires 9 in One Market

INSIDE …

  • How they wasted 9 jobs in one cluster and kept it all under the radar until now
  • The markets that are likely to be next
  • Why this spring is a potential make-it-or-break-it deadline for Cumulus.

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The Fan-to-Fan Music Revolution

San Diego Audacy Exodus Resumes

Big Changes Coming to CHR

New Cumulus Market Manager Mandate

Cumulus to Regionalize Business Managers

The Fan-to-Fan Music Revolution

INSIDE …

  • The age group buying the most new music.
  • Should radio be concerned about TikTok and Instagram in reaching younger demos.
  • Potential problems for the music business. 
  • The new role for music radio that works.
  • Keep an eye on “fandom”.

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San Diego Audacy Exodus Resumes

Big Changes Coming to CHR

New Cumulus Market Manager Mandate

Cumulus to Regionalize Business Managers

Podcasting is Having Radio Trouble

San Diego Audacy Exodus Resumes

INSIDE …

  • Latest departures added to the 28 who previously left.
  • Why even new hires won’t stay (the average time spent selling for Audacy).
  • Jeff Federman, Michael Valenzuela and yes – Karyn Cerulli.
  • On top of this, the potential loss of the Padres.
  • The industry ex-radio sellers go to find better jobs.

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Big Changes Coming to CHR

New Cumulus Market Manager Mandate

Cumulus to Regionalize Business Managers

Podcasting is Having Radio Trouble

Pay Cuts at Cumulus

Big Changes Coming to CHR

INSIDE …

  • Significant changes in audience composition
  • The major adjustment for CHR stations to slow audience erosion
  • The things that will guarantee a bump up in the ratings
  • Competing against streaming music playlists
  • Radio’s killer “app” against Spotify that radio is missing

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New Cumulus Market Manager Mandate

Cumulus to Regionalize Business Managers

Podcasting is Having Radio Trouble

Pay Cuts at Cumulus

Cumulus, Westwood One Cutbacks

New Cumulus Market Manager Mandate

INSIDE …

  • The new category forced on their budgets
  • Why managers are stewing.
  • Where the funds will come from.
  • $5 billion in music rights acquisitions in the past 12 months, projections for 2022.

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Cumulus to Regionalize Business Managers

Podcasting is Having Radio Trouble

Pay Cuts at Cumulus

Cumulus, Westwood One Cutbacks

Audacy Walking Back “Unethical” Chicago Allegations

Cumulus to Regionalize Business Managers

INSIDE …

  • The emergency downsizing plan soon to get underway.
  • Future Cumulus job consolidations this year.
  • Next: the downsizing of Westwood One.
  • The market manager surprise just ahead.

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Podcasting is Having Radio Trouble

Pay Cuts at Cumulus

Cumulus, Westwood One Cutbacks

Audacy Walking Back “Unethical” Chicago Allegations

iHeart Reserves Right to Fire Vaxed Workers

Podcasting Is Having Radio Trouble

INSIDE …

  • Big-spending Spotify’s startling move.
  • The audience for new individual podcasts.
  • The Time Spent Listening issue.
  • What will happen to podcasting.
  • The truth behind Spotify’s 3 million podcasts.

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Pay Cuts at Cumulus

Cumulus, Westwood One Cutbacks

Audacy Walking Back “Unethical” Chicago Allegations

iHeart Reserves Right to Fire Vaxed Workers

Audacy Loses Another Sports Rights Battle

Pay Cuts at Cumulus

INSIDE …

  • The plan to fund job insecurity.
  • GSM’s given a new responsibility.
  • One oversight that may blow the entire plan up.
  • So, what’s it going to be for Cumulus, Audacy and iHeart – first quarter pay cuts, RIFs or furloughs?

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Cumulus, Westwood One Cutbacks

Audacy Walking Back “Unethical” Chicago Allegations

iHeart Reserves Right to Fire Vaxed Workers

Audacy Loses Another Sports Rights Battle

Wells Fargo Abandons Audacy

Cumulus, Westwood One Cutbacks

INSIDE …

  • Positions to be eliminated first
  • Local market managers under pressure to cut jobs
  • How Cumulus firings usually take place
  • Even with all that – Cumulus attracts a new investor
  • Prognosis for Audacy and iHeart

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Audacy Walking Back “Unethical” Chicago Allegations

iHeart Reserves Right to Fire Vaxed Workers

Audacy Loses Another Sports Rights Battle

Wells Fargo Abandons Audacy

Audacy Has a Field Replacement in the Wings

Audacy Walking Back “Unethical” Chicago Allegations

INSIDE …

  • Making tampering with a signed contract go away.
  • Audacy damage control a week after allegations leaked.
  • BUT Audacy knew of the unethical behavior – the proof.
  • Chad Feldman, Rachel Williamson & Weezie Kramer.

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iHeart Reserves Right to Fire Vaxed Workers

Audacy Loses Another Sports Rights Battle

Wells Fargo Abandons Audacy

Audacy Has a Field Replacement in the Wings

Whistleblower Outs “Unethical” Audacy Chicago

iHeart Reserves Right to Fire Vaxed Workers

INSIDE …

  • Circumstances under which taking the vax may not be enough to preserve an iHeart job.
  • The threat comes from a third-party app!
  • Setting up a third year of pandemic firing.
  • The different vaccination routes taken by Cumulus and Audacy.

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Audacy Loses Another Sports Rights Battle

Wells Fargo Abandons Audacy

Audacy Has a Field Replacement in the Wings

Whistleblower Outs “Unethical” Audacy Chicago

First Quarter iHeart Cutbacks Likely to Be Deep

Audacy Loses Another Sports Rights Battle

INSIDE …

  • A 3-station competitor (two radio, one TV) outbid Audacy’s MLB rights.
  • Locked out of all major sports by apparent arrogance/over-confidence.
  • How “the little engine that could” caught David Field’s mighty sports machine flat-footed.
  • Audacy’s new nightmare: small, local competitors with nothing to lose.

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Wells Fargo Abandons Audacy

Audacy Has a Field Replacement in the Wings

Whistleblower Outs “Unethical” Audacy Chicago

First Quarter iHeart Cutbacks Likely to Be Deep

Wells Fargo Abandons Audacy

INSIDE …

  • Nobody dumps on Audacy – so why did Wells Fargo just do it?
  • How Wells downgrade impacts other groups
  • Audacy’s top 3 problems (in this order)
  • Sam Rogers, Bob Philips, Susan Larkin & Joel Hollander

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Audacy Has a Field Replacement in the Wings

Whistleblower Outs “Unethical” Audacy Chicago

First Quarter iHeart Cutbacks Likely to Be Deep

Whistleblower Outs “Unethical” Audacy Chicago

INSIDE …

  • A 16-year vet details what they call unethical and gross mismanagement.
  • Ways Audacy blocked this person from leaving for a competitor and then welched on the deal.
  • Two of Audacy Chicago’s alleged worse offenders identified by name.
  • The questionable practice of how they raise sales quotas.

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First Quarter iHeart Cutbacks Likely to be Deep

INSIDE …

  • Out of places to eliminate iHeart employees there’s only one that has been “hands off” for years -- that looks like it’s about to change in 2022.
  • Their next “Excellence Centers” idea to further consolidate programming. 
  • The ad economy has still not recovered but the anticipated iHeart RIFs are being driven for a very different reason.
  • iHeart/Clear Channel has been laying off for two decades, here’s their most predictable pattern.
  • iHeart has been averaging $50 million in cutbacks a year – here’s next year’s number.

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The FM Solution for AM Stations

AM is in danger of dying for no good reason

  • My students can barely name an FM station, frequency or type of programming on the air and have no idea what AM radio is – and I’m talking about my USC students years ago as well as NYU music business students today indicating a death watch for AM among young people.
  • AM operators have been failed by the FCC and most importantly their lobby group the NAB which has talked a good game but left thousands of AM stations vulnerable and on life support.
  • If they can’t attract audiences younger than 60, AM will be all but gone in a few more years but there is an answer – provide incentives for consolidators who already have too many stations to run to do long-term leases to AM operators.

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Yesterday:  NPR and EMF Putting on a Clinic for Consolidators

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NPR and EMF Putting on a Clinic for Consolidators

Both NPR and EMF are funded by fandoms

  • NPR affiliates rely on begathons to raise money and NPR is supported by government funding.
  • Educational Media Foundation (EMF), a non-profit religious broadcaster is also reliant on its massive fundraising that allows the non-commercial operator to buy stations in just about every meaningful market – and prices they name.
  • While commercial radio groups flounder, lose revenue and cut costs, NPR and EMF run on a tight budget but they do things consolidators will not do – here’s how they are beating consolidators in audience, expense management and even podcasting – all things commercial broadcasters could readily copy.

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Audacy Salary Changes Starting in January

Top Execs Rewarded for Missing Revenue

  • David Field and his COO Susan Larkin are in for pay raises after a dismal year in which Audacy repeatedly missed its revenue projections and presided over the further loss of audience.
  • Rewarding C-suite officials for failure is not new to companies propped up with private equity money but is curious in the case of Audacy as they teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.
  • BUT, Field and Larkin are not the only ones who will see a change in their paychecks as Audacy station personnel are also in for significant changes ahead.

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NextRadio Version 2

  • A new venture to attract mobile listeners.
  • Another subscription service.
  • The income radio stations can earn from it.
  • The question of whether iHeart and Audacy sign on

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iHeart’s All-Podcast Radio Station

  • A two-year ratings analysis of the first all-podcast station
  • An important takeaway about listeners to podcasting on radio
  • Can radio make a sustainable format out of podcasting?
  • The best way radio can integrate podcasts with a high level of success

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Moneymaking NFTs for Radio

  • The crazy money consumers are spending on NFTs
  • A path to profit for recording artists (and potentially for radio stations)
  • Types of digital products stations could sell to an expanding market
  • See what the Stones, Grimes and artist Beeple are earning from NFTs

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iHeart Faces Unionization

  • Nightmare scenario: podcasters join a union against iHeart
  • Results of the other podcast union movements so far
  • The union movement moving to radio stations
  • Long-overdue benefits iHeart may be forced to eat as a preemptive move

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Rushing to Replace AM Talk Radio

  • The groups that are ready to deemphasize conservative talk
  • Damage from Limbaugh’s death and Bongino’s mouth
  • Format replacement options on the table for AM talk radio
  • Even more radical solutions presently discussed privately

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Audio Cooling Off, Some Music Genres Slipping

  • The emerging post-lockdown listening changes that leave radio stations out of sync with their audience.
  • New study on the effect of working remotely on radio.
  • Changes in music genres (you’ll never guess the genre that skyrocketed during the lockdown, it’s out of nowhere). If you can name it, you’re really tuned in.
  • The new rules for stay-at-home listener engagement. 

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Audacy’s January Blitz

  • Year-end cost-cutting
  • The next phase of regionalized formats
  • An Audacy format that will be virtually eviscerated to save money
  • Auditors to decide Audacy’s future path

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Your Next DJ May Be a Robot

  • Bad news for voice actors and voice trackers
  • It’s being done right now on a radio station, more planned
  • The most likely major radio group to go first
  • Big implications for local ad campaigns

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Streaming Wants to Be Radio Now

Digital one-to-one media has disrupted the music business and radio by transferring their products and services to online access but now there are real signs that these disruptors want to be more like radio than simply large libraries of music – they see an opportunity to do what radio has stopped doing.

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Newstips

iHeart’s Post-Malone Strategy

INSIDE …

Where this leaves iHeart

  • How Bob Pittman smoked John Malone’s Liberty Media’s attempt to steal debt-heavy iHeart. 
  • What’s changing in the next 4 months now that the threat is gone. 
  • Their new owners are Franklin Advisors – the important way they differ from previous owners Lee & Bain. 
  • Radio is in runoff mode – where iHeart still sees money to be made.
  • And one more time, Liberty is out of the picture, right?

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Newstips

Yesterday’s Audacy Stock Crash

INSIDE …

  • It has devolved to two buck chuck even with the Field family buying shares as fast as they can.
  • The real trouble bubbling under Audacy’s surprise demise.
  • Audacy is screaming out what is about to happen next.
  • The major shakeups that were previously off the table.
  • Why investors think 2nd bankruptcy-bound Cumulus ($12) and $6 billion indebted iHeart ($22) are better than $2 Audacy.

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Newstips

Defending Against All-Holiday Music Stations

INSIDE …

  • This move will catch your competitor flat-footed.
  • If you’re up against a holiday music station or stations, consider these options.
  • When to flip, how long to stay.
  • What to rename holiday music stations.

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Newstips

The Danger of Radio Selling Facebook Ads

INSIDE …

  • Radio will sell anything right now, even sneakers from the back of an SUV.
  • Facebook’s problems are getting ready to blow up in radio’s face.
  • Missed opportunities and new ways to put digital in its place.
  • The one thing that radio has right now that makes it “case closed” against digital.

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Beware of the Advertising Transition to Impressions

INSIDE …

  • Agencies and advertisers are pushing hard for radio to change the way it sells.
  • How the advertiser-promoted move toward impressions will backfire.
  • The secret to getting ahead of this mistake.
  • Some radio groups are considering a better alternative than impression selling.

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Newstips

Audacy Picking off Top Talent & Sellers

INSIDE …

  • Their war on talent continues even as some of their stations are diving in the ratings.
  • Sales tactics that are demotivating account execs.
  • Heartbreaking exits from longtime employees.

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Newstips

Audacy’s Year End Blowout

  • David Field recently spent $40 million on a side hustle to essentially return no new revenue to Audacy’s ailing bottom line – here’s a cheaper and better alternative from execs who work for him who can’t speak up.
  • Missed opportunities and changes ahead – what we’re hearing.
  • The continuing saga of their CRO revolving door and the Bob Philips demotion.
  • Did you hear what they’re going to do with Sam Rogers? 
  • Advice to David from some ex-employees on how to stop leaving revenue on the table.

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Newstips

Audacy Swimming in More Debt

Audacy Misses on Revenue, Debt Soars 

  • Wall Street knows this in spite of a third quarter effort to sanitize disappointing financial results – their stock is now less than 25 cents away from being worth $2 – and that’s with the mighty former CBS assets included.
  • Their financial crisis is being covered up by misleading the public comparing 3rd quarter revenue to the weakest comp in the radio industry’s history – the same three months of pandemic last year because when you dig into where they really are you can see the turmoil that is ahead for Audacy.
  • They’ve made some bonehead moves to pump up the real numbers and it’s possible to compute the actual number Audacy has to earn to break even – that’s a number worth studying.

Read the full article here

iHeart Cherry-picking Latest Revenue Results

  • iHeart had a better quarter than Audacy and Cumulus, so why are they doctoring the numbers?
  • How iHeart is misleading the public by burying the truth in their SEC filings.
  • iHeart’s highly touted podcasting grew 184% -- now here’s what they didn’t tell you about that number.
  • Subtract digital, podcasting, live events and other businesses and here’s iHeart’s radio bottom line.

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In Search of Younger Demos

  • How radio had it right 5-10 years (if they only stuck with it).
  • The new younger demo model you won’t see Nielsen pitching.
  • Weaning your station off Nielsen’s (TV news did it).
  • Beware of impressions – here’s why.

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Astroworld Concert Tragedy Impacts Radio

INSIDE …

  • iHeart and Audacy have reason to be concerned after this weekend’s 8 deaths and hundreds of injuries at Travis Scott’s Houston Astroworld fest.
  • Radio had its own wrongful death lawsuits prior.
  • The Astroworld lawsuits have already begun.
  • The future of live events in general and for radio operators.

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Cumulus Revenue Miss Triggers Cutback Concerns

INSIDE … 

  • The chance of further cost reductions (we have their decision in writing).
  • The big changes coming to the way Cumulus does local radio.
  • The road ahead for market managers, programmers, sellers and commissions.

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CHR Red Flags

INSIDE …

  • A major CHR group is now getting their clocks cleaned.
  • Why CHR formats are sinking (only one #1 left in the top ten markets).
  • Their new competition along with some self-inflicted wounds.
  • What’s next to slow the rapid decline.

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Bongino’s Insurrection Against Cumulus

INSIDE …

  • Something’s gotta give – Dan Bongino is pushing Cumulus to fire him.
  • Suddenly he’s the (76ers) Ben Simmons of radio – their shared playbook.
  • Why Bongino is risking losing 300+ radio affiliates for a mini-insurrection against Mary Berner.
  • The real reason for his recent work stoppage on radio while continuing his podcast.
  • How it will end – who will blink first Berner or Bongino and what it means.

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Radio’s New Role in Hitmaking

INSIDE …

A new, important purpose for radio in the age of streaming music services.

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Another Group Reportedly Sharing Talent Fees

  • Losing money is one thing – the bigger reason talent has had enough.
  • The way radio groups get away with it without advertisers finding out and demanding a lower endorsement rate.
  • Is this limited to a few groups or is fee sharing going mainstream anytime soon.
  • And, is it even legal?

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Audacy’s Dumbest Format Ever

  • DON’T make the mistake Audacy just made.
  • A simple formula for building a cash positive radio station
  • 5 steps to a stronger station before the new year

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iHeart’s “New Work Environment” & Pay Raises

Inside:  A recent revamp of work rules, remote working and benefits failed to address compensation. 

  • Who will be in line for a long-overdue pay raise? 
  • What “we will never return to the office as we knew it” really means for iHeart employees.
  • A warning about iHeart’s just announced “New Work Environment”. 
  • The new 9-point Culture Code and how iHeart has already violated every one of them. 

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Berner’s Bongino Hesitancy, WideOrbit Nothingburger

INSIDE …

Dan Bongino threatens Mary Berner

  • What’s keeping Berner from firing Bongino.
  • How Bongino’s it’s either end vaccine mandates or I quit ultimatum will play out.

Audacy’s WideOrbit Nothingburger

  • How Audacy’s purchase of WideOrbit effects other radio groups trusting their confidential metrics to WideOrbit.

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75% Digital at Townsquare

INSIDE …

iHeart, Audacy and Cumulus may have to make big changes

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Storage Wars Selling at Cumulus

An unorthodox fourth quarter fix to bolster sales.

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“Dave FM” Doesn’t Know “Jack”

A new format to compete against designed by and named for David Field.

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3rd Quarter Radio Revenue Leaked

  • Preview revenue numbers for the all-important third-quarter ahead of radio CEO spin.
  • A slight of hand to look for when radio groups announce their doctored and misleading third quarter revenue.
  • The 3rd Q local and national revenue trends in advance.
  • The clever decoys iHeart, Audacy and Cumulus will use to divert attention from declining businesses.

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The Pandemic Is Backfiring on Cumulus

INSIDE …

  • The creepiest return to face-to-face work perhaps ever with this ill-conceived management brain fart.
  • Cumulus anti-vaxxers are being fired yet some people are getting away with it.
  • Don’t look now but Spotify, a leading podcast distributor of misinformation, is putting on a management clinic for Mary Berner and weak radio CEOs.
  • Someone has actually figured out how to make money from podcasts – not Cumulus – it has to do with self-serve ads for hosts.

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Liberty Moves on from an iHeart Merger

  • What went down
  • iHeart’s change of heart
  • Insider trading of Bob Pittman
  • What’s next

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Programming Bungle at Audacy

INSIDE …

  • This is what Audacy has been reduced to as they get their clocks cleaned again.
  • How Audacy became Beasley’s bitch.
  • Documented – David Field’s personal decisions coming back to haunt Audacy. 
  • The one decision Field could have made (but didn’t) that would have guaranteed the success of the CBS merger that they botched and are paying for now.

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This Talk Show is Worth $60 million

INSIDE …

  • This new talk superstar attracts 100% women, an advertiser’s dream come true.
  • Why radio is getting it all wrong betting on right wing talk instead of the “right talk”.
  • The model for radio stations looking to break the old mold and attract younger listeners.
  • Mel Karmazin would hire someone like her (okay, not for $60 million, but he’d do it in a minute).

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Impressions Are Radio’s New Quarter Hour

INSIDE …

  • Wait for it -- Nielsen’s answer to impression selling. 
  • Do you know what “audio activation” is? – neither do most radio sellers. 
  • The best way to sell more national business is to be like TV – here’s their new-found secret.
  • How national advertisers view radio according to private surveys (advertisers like Allstate, P&G, Home Depot, Lowes, McDonald’s and others and not just their agencies).
  • On-air programming will change when impression selling kicks in.

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Audacy Talent: Stop the Steal Over Fees

INSIDE …

  • Did someone bully David Field in the schoolyard? Entercom/Audacy’s years-long obsession with cutting talent fees. 
  • The ugly terms of their latest move to force talent to work for less. 
  • The unintended consequences for advertisers (many who don’t even know that they may be funding Audacy’s Big Steal). 
  • Their salespeople are reportedly already leaving in droves – what about talent that advertisers prefer for endorsement ads?

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The Price of a Radio Station Is Now as Low as $44,000

INSIDE …

  • Imagine selling stations in the fastest growing city in a mega-populous state – what are they thinking?
  • No buyers, no problem – how group owners will use the new $44,000 low to unload more stations.
  • Giving it away is the new selling – the strategy debt-laden radio companies have concocted to get around the absence of interested buyers. 
  • The thing that’s suddenly more attractive than selling stations group owners no longer want.

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iHeart Increases Benefits as Audacy Cuts Them

INSIDE …

  • Audacy failed to direct deposit paychecks on time Friday scaring and inconveniencing employees.
  • The same day iHeart announced a long list of fabulous new benefits.
  • Audacy on-air talent becoming the resistance after another reduction of their fees.
  • iHeart is worried about losing employees to the “Great Radio Resignation” – here’s how Audacy is responding to fed up employees.

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Unrest at Audacy Over Talent Fees

INSIDE …

  • Talk about cheap – Audacy’s reported new talent fee arrangement is one for the books.
  • Sources describe a “near rebellion” in some markets – what’s eating them.
  • Audacy’s likely next moves after cutting talent fees.
  • Fear surrounding a potential revision of the sales compensation plan.

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Radio Left with Only 25% of Ad Dollars by 2025

INSIDE …

  • And the winner is – yes, one radio group saw this sea change coming. 
  • For everyone else, sample these cutbacks that are even more draconian than previously.
  • What the radio wind down will look like between now and 2025. 
  • There is a model to survive – you’re not going to like it – but here’s what the radio groups with the most to lose are thinking about implementing.

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Growing Disdain for Radio at Client Level

INSIDE …

  • The worst offenders called out by agencies, buyers and planners privately. 
  • How to fix the needless loss of national ad revenue – three steps right out of the client, buyer and planners mouths. 
  • Radio has it all wrong – how TV is the gold standard among national clients. 
  • How clients (not agencies) laugh at radio’s give me the whole buy and I will drop prices to the floor mentality – what’s better than a low price?

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18-24’s Share What It Would Take to Get Them Listening

INSIDE …

  • I hypothetically offered every student in my NYU Music Business class a free radio station in their hometown – 75% said they would give it back, no thanks but 25% came up with some genius ideas.
  • The length, makeup and content of shows for younger audiences.
  • Different type music stations and spoken word ideas that no one in radio has ever tried.
  • Their eye-opening list of do’s and don’ts.

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Radio Needs to Stop Relying on Music

  • How did the record labels go from the brink of ruin at the turn of the century to record revenue ($1.58 billion ahead of last year’s first-half).
  • How can radio get some of that -- It has to do with disrupting its relationship with the music business.
  • The podcasting model sucks as a revenue generator and that’s a good thing for radio – yet there is a format that everyone is missing that would be explosive.
  • If the labels could blow up vinyl and CDs, there is one bold move that radio can do to thrive.

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Apollo’s New Plans for Cox Radio

INSIDE …

  • At least 13 people fired cross-platform yesterday alone – how bad things will get.
  • Managing so short-staffed even in their largest market – the new model?
  • Why Audacy’s David Field may already be dancing on Cox Media’s grave
  • What happened to that rumored Cox Radio sale – is it coming?

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iHeart’s Sucker Punch on Ownership Caps

INSIDE …

  • Despite their public rhetoric, you won’t believe what iHeart wants new ownership rules to be.
  • And the hypocritical wishes of “digital first” Townsquare about rolling back limits.
  • One of these two outcomes is likely to happen. 
  • What about investment banks and hedge funds – their position on funding another round of acquisitions.

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Allegations of the NAB Gouging Show Exhibitors

INSIDE …

  • The ugly NAB rift with some exhibitors, their major source of revenue.
  • Angry exhibitors (quoted here) kicking around a class action suit.
  • Two take-it-or-leave-it options -- We got ahold of their contract – would you sign this thing?
  • The NAB’s current financial health.

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What Younger Listeners Want

INSIDE …

  • The first significant change in attitude by young people about radio. 
  • The four turnoffs that drive younger demos away and how to address them. 
  • How many youths can relate to 80-year-old Bernie Sanders more than the radio dj trying to be cool – why?
  • Four key things that radio stations no longer do that are killing it.

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Mixed Messages from Audacy to Managers

  • The Audacy market manager really pissing off staff by using COVID as a sales motivator.
  • The sneaky way some employees are getting around COVID inspired back to office mandates – yes, they’re really doing it.
  • Rebelling against the removal of popular remote working allowances.
  • How some Audacy execs have different vaccination rules than regular employees.

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iHeart Playing the Long Game on Selling Out

INSIDE …

  • Why did iHeart ask for regulatory approval to sell 100% of their company to a foreign investor who could then control it?
  • And why did they fight UK-based Global Media when they tried to buy 49.9% of iHeart when it became legal to do so.
  • Is it an accident or strategy that each major investor owns 10% or less of iHeart with the current owners owning the rest.
  • What about John Malone’s Liberty Media (they own 10%) on record as saying they’d like to buy controlling interest in iHeart or Apple reportedly after 25%.
  • Here’s the deal iHeart is really angling to do.

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Audacy & Cumulus Joining Forces

INSIDE …

  • What you’re going to get when two financially ailing radio groups are planning to work together. Crazier than you know. 
  • How iHeart is losing the most money yet playing their competitors for suckers – that’s you Audacy and Cumulus.
  • The one thing that Audacy and Cumulus could do (together or alone) that would save the day – and here’s their boneheaded plan instead. 
  • Dunkin’ is opening a store in Boston with no employees – now, I just got Mary Berner and David Field to click for the details.

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Dropping Like Flies at Audacy Midwest

INSIDE …

  • How could this be? Hardly anyone in radio is quitting except at Audacy.
  • The new issues that have contributed to yet another mass exodus of employees.
  • The toll in the last 30 days alone.
  • The next hotspot market for employee churn at Audacy.

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Rough Times Ahead for Stations Using Ratings

INSIDE …

  • Nielsen is on the ropes after delisting non-subscribers from all-important ad agency visibility. 
  • The latest trick that Nielsen is reportedly using against subscribers who switch to Eastlan. 
  • The 2 new options that financially-pressed radio owners will soon have as alternatives to high priced ratings.
  • Disruption alert: what we’re watching unfold in markets 1 through 50.

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Cumulus Escalates Management by Fear

INSIDE …

  • Internal Cumulus memo shaming high performance market managers with non-compliance. 
  • The “list” of bad girls and boys.
  • Try as many times as you want, but you will not believe who is running this shame game (hint: not Walker, not Milner, not Berner) – give up? 
  • Fear of employees: How Cumulus reportedly weaponizes employees who trash a market manager in one of her many Survey Monkeys.

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Race to the Bottom on Ad Rates

INSIDE …

  • It just happened again scorched earth selling which is why I’m writing about it – a predator group screws competitors out of a huge buy, drives unit rates down by pulling this trick. 
  • The one thing that is forcing consolidated radio groups to go balls on against competitors many of which have a better ad story and they still lose the buy. 
  • There will soon be no need for local ad revenue – what makes big radio groups really believe this stuff.
  • Oh, and the major markets are all that will matter – here’s the proof.

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DIY Streaming DJs Threaten Radio

INSIDE …

  • Radio wants to be audio but now big tech wants to be radio – their plans are breathtaking.
  • How broadcast radio is vulnerable to the big money of Amazon, Spotify – the attack they are mounting. 
  • The industry’s fatal move away from “radio” letting big tech competitors in. 
  • “The opportunity for disruption in live radio is paramount” – which consumer (not radio) publication said that and why.

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Owners Rethinking the Viability of Conservative Talk

INSIDE …

  • How radio’s obsession with podcaster Joe Rogan may be the end of right wing talk radio.
  • The first major group likely to blink. 
  • Audacy is sucking wind on revenue but making a killing off the coronavirus – I’ll explain it here. 
  • Mary Berner’s Harvard Business School case study on how to ace COVID – ok, I’m kidding but you can still learn from her latest blunder.

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Cox Employees Leaving for Audacy

INSIDE …

  • Cox Radio people are beating it out of Dodge for a company that is experiencing the biggest employee exodus in radio.
  • Is it the rumors about Apollo and Cox or something else?
  • HOUSTON – keep a close eye on it for answers. 
  • SUSAN LARKIN – What she is thinking by recruiting Cox employees even with what she knows.

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iHeart Accelerates Merging Clusters

INSIDE …

  • Here’s what these new superclusters will look like.
  • The thing that is increasingly important to debt-burdened consolidators like iHeart, Audacy and Cumulus – dare I say it is the new “R&R” but it no longer stands for radio and records.
  • Other cutbacks now on the drawing board that could start showing up late this year, early next.

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Foreign Owners Move on American Radio

INSIDE …

  • What’s the delay -- the FCC has totally relaxed ownership limits.
  • The radio groups most likely to see an increase in foreign ownership.
  • Let’s just put this out there – the big surprise of what foreign controlling ownership would do to U.S. radio programming, sales and marketing.
  • The handful of foreign owners that could buy controlling interest and the list not likely to invest in American radio.

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Audacy Panics into Brokered All-News

INSIDE …

  • What could be so bad that Audacy began selling programming blocks instead of commercials.
  • Why news radio’s days at Audacy are numbered.
  • Oh no, Audacy at it again demoting top sellers specializing in news radio this time -- the botched handling of a good guy.
  • How all this sales churn is even possible as the company continually misses its revenue targets.

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Right Wing Talk Radio Killing Listeners

INSIDE …

  • 3 right wing talk show hosts who have disavowed vaccinations have now died while radio CEOs like Mary Berner and Bob Pittman refuse to stop the disinformation. 
  • The return of comparative FCC hearings as a way of getting consolidated radio to protect the wellbeing of their listeners, how it would work. 
  • The tone-deaf response of a Cumulus market manager upon the death of one of their talkers.

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More Salespeople Quitting Audacy

INSIDE …

  • Another week, another sales exodus at Audacy – more defections to competitors and abandoning the market. 
  • The latest reasons why Audacy employees are walking out.
  • What regionals and corporate execs are doing to stop the continuing sales exodus.
  • Accusations of favoritism toward certain types of sales people.

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Cutting Pay of Remote Radio Employees

INSIDE …

  • WHY? Wait until you see the plans Big Tech companies have to punish remote workers – the perfect radio template.
  • TIMING – The pandemic heating up again changes everything or does it?
  • WHICH GROUPS GO FIRST – There are a few suspects but one could be more motivated than the others.
  • THE NEW MEANING OF DRIVE TIME – How where you are located could dock your pay for working remotely.

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Townsquare – B.S. or Buyer

INSIDE …

  • ALL TALK? – The hottest radio company with 52% digital revenue is publicly teasing buying more stations – what this is all about.
  • UPGRADING TO MAJOR MARKETS – The answer to those rumors about buying a larger market group secretly reported to be on the block.
  • DIGITAL DOUBLETALK? – Why buy more stations when radio revenue will account for only a quarter of their total revenue in a few more years.
  • HIRING? – It’s complicated and unorthodox for a radio company.

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Hostile Takeover Fears at Cumulus

INSIDE …

  • A major player who has been particularly skilled at targeting companies in financial turmoil and buying their debt, often at pennies on the dollar is in hot pursuit of Cumulus.
  • DISTRESSED FOR SUCCESS – This power broker has done billion dollar plus deals in TV -- what’s so attractive about a failing radio company whose stock could easily be worthless.
  • CUMULUS POISON PILL – How their board could repel a hostile takeover or facilitate one.
  • PLAN B – The many ways this acquirer could make life hell for Cumulus.

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Audacy Throws “Exodus” Manager Under the Bus

INSIDE …

  • A high profile Audacy market manager who drove 19 sellers to quit gets unceremoniously fired under the radar and replaced with a cheaper solution.
  • THE REGIONAL GETS AWAY SCOT-FREE – How the guy who appointed her saved his neck while his mistake takes some time “to explore other opportunities”.
  • CALL I-800-CALLCBS – Suddenly the safest job these days is not one held by legacy Entercom/Audacy employees.
  • THE DONALD TRUMP OF RADIO – Where David Field’s “I Alone Can Fix It” mentality is headed next and concerns about one-way loyalty.

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Audacy Now Eating Its Own

INSIDE …

  • Audacy seems to be turning on its own legacy employees to defer to the CBS employees the company once dissed. 
  • JEFF SOTTOLANO – He was reportedly not Audacy’s first choice to replace Pat Paxton – here’s who reportedly turned it down.
  • KOOL-AID FACTOR – Is Sottolano a yes man or his own man, news, sports and talk stations need to know.
  • THE REAL REASON – Why now? Friday afternoon, after 21 years, 100% loyalty Paxton suddenly sent packing.

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Audacy’s Hiring Problem

INSIDE …

  • The under the radar high-profile market manager who reportedly doesn’t live in the market.
  • Issues recruiting A-list management talent.
  • The shocking issue at Audacy when trying to hire talent, market managers or brand managers.
  • Their biggest impediment for hiring the best people – and what they are beginning to do to get around it.

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Distancing from Radio as a Turnaround Strategy

INSIDE …

  • The reasons groups are shunning radio and are convinced it will pay off in the end.
  • The new “safe” word for “radio”.
  • Insights on how listeners feel about radio.
  • Changing opinions of radio by young, prime demos and older listeners.

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The Cumulus NCAA Hail Mary

INSIDE …

  • Why this smells like a Nielsen-type lawsuit settlement.
  • Managing by lawsuit – other potential examples of sue first, deal later.
  • The next Cumulus lawsuit to end in a business deal.
  • Why Cumulus refuses to sell Westwood One when other assets have been sacrificed.

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The Audacy Bankruptcy

INSIDE …

  • The latest financials -- when Audacy will have to channel iHeart and Cumulus and enter bankruptcy.
  • Remember that $75 million loan they did a few weeks back where they put up their future collections as collateral? Now we know why.
  • EBITDA is down, revenue is down, their stock is down and that’s still not the thing that’s going to force them into bankruptcy.
  • What stays and what goes between now and then.

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Cumulus Hiding Cash Crisis

INSIDE …

  • We now know the number Cumulus must generate to stay afloat – they aren’t saying publicly but you decide their chances of hitting it between now and the end of the year.
  • What they left out of their 2nd quarter conference call last week – how fast they could burn through the $124 million they have left.
  • The amount of needless cash burn they ran up by initiating lawsuits most people may not even have heard about.
  • What is Chapter 22 bankruptcy.

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Audacy Hurting from Its Obsession with Real Estate

INSIDE …

  • Today Audacy will announce their amazing turnaround compared to the same anemic quarter last year during the pandemic – David Field won’t be talking about his real estate excesses.
  • Here’s a clue to why he is so quick cutting people and not cutting out office, studio and mortgage payments.
  • The office and studio prognosis for saving rent.
  • Little known buildings Audacy owns searching for a reason to be used.
  • As I said yesterday, Audacy is reportedly planning to merge markets but look at the depth with which the company has tied its own hands from realizing maximum savings.

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Can Groups Make Radio Work Without Radio

INSIDE …

  • Another radio group is running away from the word radio with nothing else planned to replace it.
  • Why Townsquare is getting away with blatantly relegating radio to second place – so what’s stopping their competitors?
  • The anti-radio movement is being led by the largest radio groups – here’s why they are doing it.
  • Townsquare unabashedly puts digital first – what Audacy, iHeart and Cumeless have in mind with no significant digital replacement business.

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Audacy’s Market Manager Smackdown

INSIDE …

  • The Audacy markets likely to have a combined and merged market manager.
  • Only a few “teacher’s pets” are immune – no one else is safe from Audacy market mergers.
  • Weezie Kramer stood up to David Field when he came up with bad ideas … Susan Larkin?
  • And the pressing question – what next after-market managers have been pared down?

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The Cumulus Platform Ad Giveaway

INSIDE …

  • The dangers of an easy money ad partnership with WynnBET.
  • Off-rate deals like WynnBET and Uber – study them because you’ll be competing against more multi-platform partnerships.
  • “Garbage programming” -- that’s what one source called the new content that is unlistenable to mass audiences.
  • The three different demographics remnant ad buyers are trying to blitz.

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Audacy Managers Pressured to Make Up Lost Revenue

INSIDE …

  • The email from regional controller Steve Grosso that has an already perturbed sales staff threatening revolt.
  • Cut commissions, a sales system that AEs are convinced doesn’t work – and now this.
  • The changes coming to account collections.
  • What market managers fear will happen by the end of this year even if they deliver.

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Radio Missing Out on Vaccine Audience Bonanza

INSIDE …

  • Bad PR: The right-wing radio talker who influenced his listeners not to take the vaccine until he got sick and changed his story.
  • Vaccinations as a huge radio promotion – some ideas to hitchhike on.
  • A once-in-a-lifetime promotional plan to prove radio’s 92% reach and local relevance when it is being doubted.
  • How selling vaccines can be used to sell local advertisers.

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Vanishing Drive-Time Threatens Radio

INSIDE …

  • The two threats bigger than shrinking drive time.
  • How commuters figure they are getting a raise by not listening in drive time – here’s their math.
  • One mistake can be fixed immediately to gain more TSL.
  • Now that drive time is eroding what radio plans to do about it.

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Private Equity Experiencing Radio Hesitancy

INSIDE …

  • iHeart’s Bob Pitman was the second big radio CEO to get the message from private equity – but who was the first, and why do they know best.
  • Why lenders are now pushing owners away from legacy radio.
  • Here are the groups that will be among the first to take private equity’s bait and distance themselves from radio even though it continues to generate most of their revenue.
  • The reason digital is no longer a slam-dunk for radio hesitancy.

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Audacy Management Turmoil Eroding Ratings

INSIDE …

  • What’s killing the ratings for many crucial Audacy stations.
  • Case studies of top-rated, big billing CBS stations being gutted and left as add-ons to local ad buys.
  • Two places where Audacy is getting it very right in spite of themselves.
  • Pat Paxton and Susan Larkin’s plans for dealing with ratings declines.

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iHeart’s Amazon Deal Is Nonsensical

INSIDE …

  • The real end game for iHeart’s new venture with Amazon’s Alexa – and it’s not listener engagement.
  • How iHeart plans to connect unwitting listeners with stations that do not have live people working on-air.
  • What young people really think of Alexa and voice activated listening may surprise you and certainly Bob Pittman.
  • True or false: “This is a direct line to allow our audience to talk back, to share their thoughts and help influence what you hear on the radio” – okay, then, the four questions listeners really want to ask iHeart.
  • How this “groundbreaking” move is all about iHeart’s competitors.

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Audacy Concerned About Revenue Shortfall

INSIDE …

  • The make it or break it revenue issue that is killing Audacy right now.
  • Two warning signals that Audacy continues to ignore – one more than the other.
  • Why the sales revolt in several major markets is the tip of the iceberg.
  • If you had to name one person not named Field or Larkin who might be leading Audacy in the wrong direction, many employees would choose this person.
  • The likely replacement for Bob Philips as Chief Revenue Officer.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Radio Selling Almost as Much Video As TV Does

INSIDE …

  • If you want to sell video, give it to a radio sales rep to do – here’s the research.
  • Video is a huge market that someone in radio is going to figure out and cash in on – in fact, we’ll tell you who it will be.
  • And for all you lovers of programmatic buying, wait until you see the actual research on radio vs. programmatic.
  • New evidence points to radio’s future as not being radio, not being audio and not being video – then what is it?

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

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Radio is in Perpetual Decline – How Does it End

INSIDE …

  • The missing ingredient that could change everything overnight – but will the major owners go for it.
  • Not just the end of live and local but radio stations that will be run on an iPhone – yes, an iPhone.
  • There are examples of radio groups that could be around for the long haul – here’s the best one.
  • Radio and the mobile phone – where does it stand?
  • A startling future not even imaginable a few years ago – FM, AM, digital, local, new businesses.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

iHeart to Copy Townsquare’s Digital First Strategy

INSIDE …

  • Deemphasizing radio is what has been driving iHeart stock – why Wall Street is excited.
  • How one major bank moved the market when it backed iHeart’s new non-radio strategy.
  • iHeart’s digital plan versus Townsquare’s Digital First which derives 52% of all its revenue from non-radio digital products.
  • The list of radio groups that are looking into digital first as a replacement for legacy radio and a potential new company name for iHeartMedia.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Ominous Sign: Audacy Running Low on Cash

INSIDE …

  • After what they did last week, everyone including Wall Street now knows the depths of Audacy’s money problems
  • Hard put for cash – Audacy went searching for money to bolster their operational funds from a faraway source that you’ve likely never heard of.
  • Just how bad things are and the timing effect that they will have on already severe job cutbacks can now be predicted – here’s how.
  • For all the talking about how important audio and podcasting is to Audacy – here’s the remarkable story they reportedly sold lenders.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

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Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Audacy’s Next Big Bungle

INSIDE …

  • The hidden danger directed at managers and talent in Audacy markets.
  • No format is safe from what Audacy plans next after regionalizing 3 major formats – in fact, one of them will surprise you.
  • Yesterday Audacy publicly promised not to fire CHR morning show talent – how they are most likely going to handle morning shows.
  • And the question everyone wants answered -- where is Pat Paxton?

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

What Investors Know (and Aren’t Saying) About Audacy

KEY TAKEAWAYS …

  • Why investors are bailing out of owning shares in radio’s second largest radio group.
  • What investors see as a bad sign for Audacy’s future.
  • Why cutting costs isn’t helping to increase share price.
  • Is the company’s name change a solution or a problem?

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

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Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Tower Deal Comes Back to Bite Cumulus

INSIDE …

  • The better tower deal that got away.
  • What’s left to sell to raise needed money to pay down debt.
  • Why they won’t sell the underperforming Westwood One.
  • One thing that would get a buyer as soon as TODAY.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Management Meltdown at Audacy Corporate

INSIDE …

  • How regional VPs are feeling the heat.
  • What about COO Susan Larkin – her role in the recent exodus of key employees.
  • Their plan to hire minorities for less as a “woke” cost saving ploy.
  • The actual reason some potential hires are turning down Audacy sales positions.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Radio’s Best & Worst Pandemic Recoveries

INSIDE …

  • The groups CEOs think will report the best pandemic recovery (and the worst) for the just completed second quarter.
  • The list of radio groups that have to cut costs and staffs to make up for losses.
  • The 3 safest places to work because their CEOs returned their groups profitability – at least for now.
  • The report card on revenue generation from podcasting, digital and a projection on selling cartop ads and radio together – which ones lived up to their hype.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

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Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Making Sense of Walker and Milner’s Cumulus Promotions

INSIDE …

  • Cumulus just blinked -- a page out of the Townsquare playbook?
  • Milner & Walker unleashed -- the unexpected consequences for the market managers they oversee.
  • Why is the board of directors backing this move – Cumulus doesn’t do fancy titles and promotions.
  • “Why don’t I just make presidents out of these two who are never leaving even if I demote them” Mary Berner did not say – so what’s the real motivation to promote them?

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

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Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Tightened Digital Tracking Rules Benefit Radio

INSIDE …

  • Eyepopping results of whether consumers are actually opting out of being tracked on digital devices.
  • In the last 30 days advertisers are already changing their spending habits – here’s proof.
  • The way to win back digital spend from local advertisers.
  • The best strategic move to increase revenue without having to rely on new business.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Audacy Quietly Firing

INSIDE …

  • The way top talent is being targeted and removed.
  • The Audacy firing plan from sources close to the company.
  • Who is immune -- at least for the time being.
  • The dilemma of Jeff Federman.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

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Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Panicked Radio Groups Planning Side Hustles

INSIDE …

  • iHeart’s surprising plan – forget that big platform of services, they’re betting the future on one project.
  • Audacy’s “go-to” rescue plan is NOT podcasting in spite of what they tell investors.
  • Cumulus is talking up Westwood One but betting on something entirely different.
  • Townsquare’s brazen new side hustle.

Read the full article here

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Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

“The Great Resignation” Is Killing Drivetime

INSIDE …

  • Overwhelming new intel that poses a serious problem for radio’s coveted drive time audiences.
  • The ways radio audiences have changed in the past year off.
  • The likely replacement for traditional morning and afternoon drive for listeners reluctant to get back in the car and drive to the office.
  • Radio groups are making drivetime slippage worse – here’s how.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

The Radio Ad Turnaround Is Weaker Than Touted

  • Advertisers are confused – their 2 biggest dilemmas.
  • The dirty little secret rarely talked about – collections.
  • The 2 things local AND national radio advertisers will pay a premium for right now that most groups cannot or will not deliver.
  • The advertising return to radio will be less than promised – for Saga, Townsquare and Salem MORE – why?

Read the full article here

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Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

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Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

FM/AM Is Closer to Paying Performance Rights Fees

INSIDE …

  • Possible “cutouts” to help most radio stations absorb music performance rights fees – some of them are outrageous.
  • The old argument that radio sells records is no longer cutting it – here’s radio’s best 2021 counter argument backed by facts.
  • The car was once radio’s best defense against performance rights fees – the best argument now is totally different.
  • Democrats are largely for music, Republicans for radio – the thing that will break the logjam.

Read the full article here

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Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Audacy, iHeart Escalating Morning/Midday Talent Cuts

INSIDE …

  • Jerry, wait a minute!! What about Scott Shannon’s contract at CBS-FM in New York?
  • Their latest idea for knocking off expensive air talent and more options to replace them.
  • The way they are going to handle expiring talent contracts from now on.
  • The reaction of advertisers – local and big spending national – to losing their live read and live promotional appearance talent.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

10 Sellers Quit Another Audacy Major Market

INSIDE …

  • What’s eating a total of 15 of their employees (including 10 salespeople) so much that they quit another Audacy major market over the past 7 months – not fired or pushed out.
  • An exodus of 10 critical salespeople including a GSM who walked away, not fired.
  • We’ve studied a list of those who quit – an update on their current status, how many are still looking for work.
  • The employee who “preemptively” quit Audacy to work for Cumulus – no pay for six months to join their competitor.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Format Flips Are Alarmingly Increasing

INSIDE …

  • The reason owners now want more format changes and less brand building.
  • What happens to all the “brand managers” that are multiplying like cockroaches under consolidated owners.
  • They’ve been practicing on AM stations that don’t matter to them until now – what it will look like as FM formats do more flipping.
  • The fate of morning shows, old school PDs and which current formats will remain “protected brands”.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Townsquare Crushing iHeart in Miller Kaplans

INSIDE …

  • Mistakes iHeart made to let tiny Townsquare clean their clock in radio revenue.
  • How Townsquare is killing it in Miller Kaplans in face-to-face radio ad competition with big consolidators – aren’t they supposed to be a Digital First company?
  • THEIR SECRET SAUCE: the surprising moves that advertisers are eating up (and very stealable).
  • What iHeart is going to do to stop pipsqueak competitors from out billing them.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Ex-Audacy San Diego Employees Tell All

INSIDE …

  • New fallout after the 28th employee since 2018 exited last week.
  • Self-inflicted moves to hurt revenue documented.
  • Toxic F-word workplace accusations (among others) aimed at employees – reportedly uttered in public.
  • Allegations about manipulating sales commissions.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Sellers Are Virtually Giving Away Their Stations

INSIDE …

  • How about 4 radio stations including 2 FMs sold for cash you could probably raise in less than 30 days – it happened again.
  • Today’s current REAL value of an FM station – but with 4 hurdles that must be met first.
  • The way desperate sellers are structuring deals to unload unwanted stations (and yes, we’re talking FM stations too).
  • For sellers who can’t find a buyer, their outrageous plan to shrink the stations.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Ex-Employee Outs Abusive Workplace at Audacy

INSIDE …

  • Damn! Radio employees are finally fighting back -- one forced out Audacy seller exposing alleged verbal abuse in this memo to none other than David Field himself – his reaction.
  • Direct quotes including the actual abusive language used against employees in emails distributed to staff. (Can Russia delete them otherwise Audacy is caught red handed on their server).
  • What an account exec claims she was forced to do to placate her market manager’s ego.
  • iHeart, don’t laugh – some of YOUR employees are now quitting faster than you can fire them too, details.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Owners Bailing on Radio as a Standalone Business

INSIDE …

  • The most popular side hustles as radio becomes the add-on.
  • What the hell, suddenly consolidators can’t sell local radio.
  • Here’s a headline: local advertisers would pay a premium for radio ads now if they could get this one deliverable.
  • Even Cumulus knows its new partnership with Uber is a nothing burger so why are they wasting time on it.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

The New iHeart Office Plans for 50% Staff Reduction

INSIDE …

  • This iHeart officeless masterplan has some clues about who they might consider essential and who is expendable.
  • What speaks volumes: who gets an office and who works remotely – like it or not.
  • What they’re going to do with local management and sales.
  • This new minimalist office does not look like a radio station you’ve ever worked at – some pictures may help.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

27 Audacy Employees Exit in One Market Alone

INSIDE …

  • 27 departures in one market alone – confirmed by name and job, kept under the radar by Audacy.
  • And while David Field is reading this today, he will learn that a 28th is walking into the market manager’s office and, you guessed it, giving their notice.
  • We’ve studied where these people landed – you tell me if they improved their situation (one went to work at Costco, here’s where the others wound up).
  • One pregnant seller on maternity leave fixed Audacy’s ass for her alleged treatment.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

iHeart: White People Need Not Apply

INSIDE …

  • Matt Drudge scooped the story to the general public while the happy talk radio trade press looked the other way – until now.
  • iHeart caught red-handed practicing reverse racism – the inflammatory email that started the controversy.
  • Here’s how this blunder happened -- and the consequences for their predominantly “non-diverse” work force.
  • The effect on further iHeart hiring.
  • How not to apologize for a gigantic blunder – avoid what iHeart did.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Local Ad Growth Warning

INSIDE …

  • CEO’s are out promising a killer 2nd quarter but it all depends on what the meaning of killer is.
  • What we’re learning about collections, bundling, rates and radio resistant advertisers.
  • Did digital and podcasting help make up for radio ad shortfalls?
  • There are definite unexpected constraints that have popped up even though they are now discussed publicly.
  • What some group heads privately think will really happen – they dare not say it in public.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Employees Have the Upper Hand Except in Radio

INSIDE …

  • Everywhere in the U.S. economy there is a shortage of workers except radio – how those private equity greedy bastards are now doubling down to keep it that way.
  • One radio group is hiring more than they are firing but it sounds better than it is.
  • Audacy and iHeart have the most sophisticated job killing ideas of any radio group – what they’re up to next.
  • The coming end of “brand managers” – already.
  • What’s a “content distributor” – the hottest, hard to get job coming to a radio station near you.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Radio Susceptible to a 5th Ransom Attack

INSIDE …

  • The reason radio is uniquely susceptible to hackers seeking ransom.
  • You may not care about the greedy owners of radio groups, but it appears employees have also had their personal information breached.
  • The radio group thought to be the next easy target for a massive hack attack.
  • Proof of how radio groups are not taking hacking seriously despite the industry’s previous costly incidents.
  • Private equity owners have their own unique way of dealing with ransom demands – see if it makes your personal information feel any safer.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Radio Revenge: 2/3 of Online Ads Are Going to Bots

INSIDE …

  • Whoa! Finally research that radio stations can use to knock out or slap down digital spending that has been reducing radio buys and rates the past few years.
  • Ammunition to sell against digital when they lie about their massive reach.
  • A new way to bat back other radio groups selling against spot sales with their own over promised digital products.
  • 2 powerful talking points that can be used in messaging against digital products that are immediately believable and fully substantiated with research.
  • The true story of an iHeart sales rep who recently switch-pitched from radio to digital to podcasting in one short sales call (and lost the sale).

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

iHeart Planning to Go Direct-to-Tower

INSIDE …

  • It’s iHeart’s “Manhattan Project”, has a name and an initial timetable.
  • What about those “cookie cutter” studios they are starting to build so they can bail on expensive leases or sell real estate – where do they now fit in with direct-to-tower?
  • Here’s where they are going to roll this out first – the markets that have priority.
  • Over 25% of iHeart’s total revenue comes from fewer than ten big markets – do they dare do direct-to-tower there – the surprising answer.
  • Oh wait, this direct-to-tower cost efficiency disproportionately affects the future of certain employees who are presently thought to be safe – care to guess who this next extinct category is? Then multiply by every market that goes direct-to-tower.

Read the full article here

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Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

The Plan After Rush Limbaugh Replacements Fail

INSIDE …

  • You don’t think any of these newly minted Rush replacements are going to survive, do you? Neither do the major radio consolidators.
  • Take a look at their Plan B – better look at it twice because you may not believe it the first time.
  • A bigger question -- what happens to hundreds of news/talk stations if these Rush replacements fall flat on their face.
  • And by the way, here are some examples of talk station ratings since Rush died – notice how they’re keeping this real quiet.

Read the full article here

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Scroll through a complete list of previous stories here

Mary Owes Lew a Huge Apology

  • Cumulus declines are more staggering than they’re letting on
  • Their “voluntary” paydown of debt was deceiving 
  • The Cumulus bankruptcy was not necessary
  • The fact-based reason for Cumulus’ financial decline
  • The consequential effect of selling Cumulus stations
  • The tower land grab explained

Read the full article now  

Free samples of our work here.

Report Newstips confidentially in our Witness Protection Program here.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

See a complete list of previous stories here

Wall Street’s New Name for Radio

  • “Incumbent Audio” instead of terrestrial or broadcast
  • The unbundling of radio
  • Private equity is the reason radio has become a dirty word
  • Even radio groups are backing away from the term radio
  • Local radio is the distinguishing term

Read the full article now  

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See a complete list of previous stories here

End of the Nielsen “Blackmail” Strategy

By “Blackmail” we mean the specific dictionary definition that closely applies – the use of threats or manipulation to get someone to do something.

That includes the fear of being left out of ratings if a station does not subscribe or the consequences of not including alternative and more affordable rating services for media buyers.

The Bain/Nielsen lock on ad agencies that forces them to use Nielsen ratings is about to come to an end.

One of the major ad agency objections to Eastlan ratings is that the numbers are not readily available in their software systems. 

Suddenly seemingly out of nowhere comes the least likely hero to rescue local radio from Nielsen’s expensive ratings monopoly.

Read the full article now  

Newstips 

Urban One Moves on Cumulus

Radio CEOs don’t do these things – they don’t troll for stations.

Urban One needs stations and Cumulus needs to offload them.

But it’s not that simple.

Lenders are avoiding radio loans these days and when a radio group tries to acquire, the stock market punishes them (I’m thinking of Beasley here when they tried it a few years back).

It’s enough to make a casino owner like Liggins wonder what it’s going to take to get someone’s attention at Cumulus to do business with him.

Actually, he has a very creative idea.

Read the full article now  

Do you have information you want to share with Jerry confidentially?  Email him privately here

Newstips here

The iHeart Real Estate Selloff

  • Tampa sold first – the details of the sale
  • iHeart’s other major market studio offices that are actively for sale
  • What they will do with selling smaller market studio/offices
  • The plan for downsizing space in rental markets

Read the full article now  

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Newstips here

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Podcasting is the Enemy

  • The new projections on podcasting’s economic future
  • NPR’s podcasting formula
  • A warning about podcasting’s effect on broadcasting
  • The surprising behavior of young people and podcasts

Read the full article now  

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Newstips here

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Has Radio Gone Nuts?

  • 5 radio music superstars being accused by radio of a “hub and spoke conspiracy” against radio (what the hell is that?).
  • The hiring of an expensive law firm when the group is short on money.
  • The “music killed the radio star” defense explained.
  • The quick way to make a fair deal with the music business.

Read the full article now  

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Newstips here

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iHeart’s Fake Turnaround

  • A warning about what they are not saying is going on behind the scenes at iHeartMedia
  • Do they have enough money to last the year?
  • What’s a stripped-down station look like (because they’re coming)?
  • Who will iHeart employees’ new bosses be?

Read the full article now  

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Newstips here

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Radio’s Digital Implosion

Radio’s fake digital future was confirmed again recently by more first quarter revenue misses even as red hot TikTok and Instagram, Google and Facebook are experiencing critical problems – how local radio should be jumping all over them.

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Radio’s Sudden Rebranding

David Field thinks a name change will right the wrongs of Entercom since his ill-fated merger with CBS Radio (stock price down from $16 to $4 and revenue declining).

Bob Pittman thinks audio is “the” word, not “radio” even though radio specifically defines the medium and advertisers and consumers happily use the term he rejects.

This rebranding outbreak has been bubbling under for decades as stations have forsaken their call letters for slogans and positioners.

If radio is not a word that owners want to use, where is individual station identification headed – we have some early clues.

For example, there are things happening right now around the letters “K” and “W”.

Read the full article now  

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The Cumulus Struggle to Remain Solvent

Wall Street loves a loser.

Cumulus first quarter results were down 23.8% but their stock closed UP last week.

iHeart was down 21% year over year and their stock went UP almost $3.

Audacy went down 19% and their stock only lost 20 cents in shareholder value.

Apparently, there is money to be made when companies claw their way to the bottom and now after sprucing up the radio sector’s worst numbers, Proud Mary Berner is predicting a big comeback in the next quarter.

Something is wrong here so I asked radio executives familiar with Cumulus operations and some competitors to weigh in on their chances to remain solvent.

Read the full article now  

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Audacy Burning Through Cash at Record Pace

The business must generate approximately $120 million in cash operating profit JUST TO KEEP THE LIGHTS ON and not burn cash. 

But with $7.4 million EBITDA in Q1, they will fall tens of millions of dollars short of that goal as 2021 real EBITDA will likely be closer to $75 million so they’ll continue to burn cash.

One of several hidden gems we discovered buried in the 8K SEC filing after announcing a bone-jarring 24% decline in first quarter advertising revenue with overall revenue down $57 million or 19%.

Here are some tidbits you won’t find David “Killing” Field (for killing off radio for audio) talking about.

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Epic Cumulus 1st Quarter Fail, Shakeup

Proud Mary keeps on burning – through cash.

Yesterday we learned that Cumulus first quarter revenue tanked but Mary Berner called it “positive momentum across all of our businesses.” 

Radio down 23.8% -- that must be a record.  Total revenue down 11.5%.  Westwood One down 5.6%.  This is a certified meltdown.

Digital up but not much driven by podcasting which she refuses to reveal other than to say it’s up by 35% -- it is up $1,000 or $35,000 because it’s sure as hell not up $3.5 million – the benefit of keeping secrets.

Usually the Berner, Field and Pittman Traveling Quarterly Salvation Show is about who can stick their heads further up their – well, their corporate financial officer’s “adjusted” figures to deny their own failures.

For Cumulus, there’s a lot more on the line now that they are facing a second bankruptcy.

The stock is down only 11 cents in trading yesterday even though only 120,000 bothered to trade it.

If you want to look into what’s really going on at Cumulus and what the future holds, don’t follow the money, follow where they are bleeding money.

Read the full article now  

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Audacy Planning More Management Layoffs

They’re at it again – a new round of management cutbacks timed with the first quarter financials that they are going to announce Friday.

Now you know, if it was a blowout, they wouldn’t be doing an analysts’ conference call on a Friday hours before a holiday weekend and the suckers in the happy talk radio trade press will probably carry their propaganda word for word as they often do.

More significant is if they can’t beat the first quarter of 2020 which included only one month or less of the pandemic lockdown, maybe they should get out of the radio business and get into audio.

Wait, they’ve already thought of that.

Unfortunately, no matter how Audacy tries to sell their first quarter financials as an out of the park homerun, we have word that there are going to be significant management cutbacks as a result and the way they are going to do it is to say the least – interesting.

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Agent: Radio Talent Book Drops 50%

I don’t know how this hits you because we all know owners have been firing personalities to save money, but 50% fewer personalities for a top agency to represent?

Actually, it’s worse than that as I dug deeper and those numbers surprised me as well. 

Pittman, Berner and Field have been on a mission to eliminate some of the costly pieces of a radio stations finances – morning talent and the person who hired them.

They’re using a few tricks that are becoming evident that also apply to program directors or content managers – same M.O.

And they’re getting away with it on one level – expenses are being cut.

And they’re failing on another – ratings and billing are down where personalities are being replaced.

Meanwhile there is a new product threat to talk radio personalities from a major music streamer that will arrive soon and it’s not podcasting.

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The New MciHeart

Out of ideas on how to realize deeper cost cuts at iHeart?  Nah!

Say hello to the new MciHeart, a series of financial moves that will continue to give their owners financial relief by selling more critical assets – some are secretly under way right now (although they won’t be secret for long).

Of course, they will still fire people, but the MciHeart move is scary for at least two significant reasons.

One, they will be able to realize huge savings by dismantling the radio business as we know it.

Two, once they do it, the other lemmings are sure to follow.

To borrow a McDonald’s ad slogan “you deserve a break today” instead the radio industry is about to get another screwing thanks to iHeart.

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Disney+ Shows Radio How to Fix Itself

The way Pittman, Berner and Field talk about the radio business (or audio as they call it) you’d think that there was something inherently wrong with the broadcasting

Turns out that there is something very right that stations who work for them will not be able to get to, but everyone else can.

Radio is the original content and distribution platform. 

The meteoric growth of Disney+ streaming video service which is fast catching up to Netflix is one of the few other examples of one medium that has both the content and distribution advantage.

Netflix doesn’t, they have to spend $17 billion a year on original programming.  Spotify is the world’s most successful streaming audio platform of other people’s work.  There are many examples like this but few like radio or now Disney+ with their catalog of owned programming.

Which is why radio should stop listening to the “three blind mice” CEOs and start taking advantage of not only what they are but what they create – just like Disney+.

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Radio’s Gift from Apple

Digital advertisers like Facebook, Google and others have been killing the radio industry with their targeted, cheap ads. 

Just yesterday Facebook blew out their first quarter predictions with a 48% rise in revenue and (hum-hum) higher priced ads – and no talk about podcasting on their conference calls the radio CEOs are forced to do these days.

They’ve driven radio rates down, drained radio budgets by redeploying what had been targeted radio ad money redirected to digital alternatives.

They’ve made a mockery of broadcasting which admittedly has a lousy audience measurement system while they have hard data mined by invading the privacy of consumers and surreptitiously tracking their data usage.

Until now.

Apple has handed the radio business a big fat weapon to fight ad erosion at the hand of digital and I’ll bet you few know about how to deploy it and even fewer are going to do it – except you.

Actionable ideas for selling radio against Apple’s new “opt out” for digital ad tracking including a forensic tool you can use against digital ad tracking (the link to that tool is  enclosed).

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