Affiliate Revolt Against the New Westwood One

INSIDE …

  • How disgruntled Westwood One format affiliates are dumping the not ready for prime time formats.
  • The best way to get out from under Westwood formats as quickly as possible.
  • The kinds of insults Westwood affiliates have to take even as the new, cheaper Westwood One feeds them programming that you wouldn’t put on the air anywhere.
  • How Cumulus is hurting its own company even more than Westwood – and that means more job insecurity.
  • What happens when a new Westwood double-duty jock gets sick, takes a day off or goes on vacation – brace for the Doomsday scenario.
  • Who is going after these unhappy Westwood affiliates.

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The Hermanator Strikes CBS LA, More Markets Coming

INSIDE …

  • Why these firings uncover Scott Herman’s plan to greatly reduce CBS staff even further – the trends are now clearly established.
  • Details on the latest brutal firings in LA Thursday.
  • The dreck that CBS Radio is prepared to put on the air instead – warning, this is headed to other CBS markets.
  • Herman’s reported plan to rethink morning shows.
  • The dayparts Herman thinks are not worth live talent or creative programming everywhere.
  • His final decision on off-air PDs and production types.
  • All stations will soon sound more east coast – here’s how.
  • One big bright spot – a Herman victim is planning to hire lots of ousted talent very soon for a huge programming startup. Details inside.

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Jeff Marcus’ Left Field Choice To Replace Lew Dickey

INSIDE …

  • There is an intriguing radio executive out there who is on nobody’s radar except maybe major Cumulus shareholder Jeff Marcus.
  • Why this would be a fabulous hire – the anti-Dickey. Employees would rejoice.
  • This man spends money to make money – not a cheap ass.
  • Three other candidates that Marcus may be looking at.
  • How Jeff Marcus will resolve getting the Dickeys and their henchmen out of operating power.

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Entercom’s Unexplainable Expansion Plans

INSIDE …

  • Entercom’s next acquisition plans that defy logic.
  • Their likely deal to expand.
  • Specifics on how the company is shooting itself in the foot waiting to get larger.
  • The big mistake Entercom makes just when it finally gets some stations to generate lots of revenue – and then caput.      
  • How David Field is moving toward the Bain playbook for Entercom – bad news for employees.
  • Entercom’s likely merger partner.

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Dave Parks

Almost every original “boss jock” from WFIL, Philadelphia is now gone.

Frank Kingston Smith is still alive and using his considerable skills announcing airshows. Old pilots never retire.

Dave Parks succumbed to a short illness at his home in San Diego a few days ago.

Parks spent many years as a jock at WFIL and then went on to be a successful program director at KS103 San Diego.

He was funny.

Consistent.

A great guy to be around.

In fact his radio station WFIL was legendary.

Consultant Mike Joseph hired all the original jocks.

But Joseph’s M.O. was to install the format, give advice for about a year and install another program director.

WFIL had no shortage of good PDs not the least of which was the master himself, Jim Hilliard.

Jim was great with people.

He understood the format of the day – Drake.

And in my view had the ability to calm the feathers of ownership when the station went further than they were comfortable with.

An early slogan for WFIL was “Tune In, Turn On” from the “Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out” LSD days of Timothy Leary.

How great was “Tune In, Turn On”?

Eventually they settled on “Tune In / Famous 56”.

But WFIL was owned by Walter Annenberg and Triangle Publications. The top management was, well – old and constipated.

I don’t know how they ever approved turning WFIL into a Top 40 station but they did it reluctantly and seemed to get bent out of shape a lot.

When Dave Parks was known for being “Dave Six Pack Parks” with a reference to a six-pack of beer (not his abs), ownership didn’t like the drinking imagery for the young target audience.

The Daver became “Dave The Rave” Parks with jock logo jingles and all.

Jimmy Hilliard found a way. Without him and the team he inherited of great radio communicators, WFIL would have just been another station.

I wished Dave happy birthday greetings recently on his last birthday, he said, “Still getting up in the morning so I guess I’m still OK”.

Jocks like Dave Parks were hard to find even back then.

Even harder to find today.

Not because they aren’t out there, but because radio is no longer about relationships.

Dave Parks and his fellow jocks spent a lot of their free time out in the community with the audience. They weren’t in a studio voice tracking or trying to do two shows simultaneously in real time the way Cumulus is doing content for Westwood One affiliates and their local stations to save money.

Dave and company took the market by storm and became a big revenue producer for Triangle and then LIN when they bought it.

They didn’t have to sell 5 second spots the way iHeart routinely does.

They limited commercials.

Charged the best rate they could get.

In other words, Jim Hilliard and his “Boss Jocks” attracted a large audience and the salespeople sold it – the old fashioned way.

If radio is ever looking for where it went wrong, yes, consolidation was one big mistake, but getting in the way of DJ/listener relationships was the other.

In fact, 95 million Millennials grew up without a relationship with radio and the industry is suffering now because of it.

Dave Parks will be missed along with what he stood for.

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