Send Clear Channel to Rehab

I hope the rumors are false.

I hope that Clear Channel is not about to deal hundreds of stations to one buyer creating an instant mini-Clear Channel.

Clear Channel is selling off its assets after running the shareholders value down and they are in the process of settling on a buyer for the majority of some 400+ stations they are looking to deal. These stations are obviously non-essential to their new plan which is to remain in the big markets once they've sold off these stations and other assets.

What's upsetting and probably not surprising is the prospect that one operator could pick up this critical mass of radio&hellip

Content and Branding — Pleeease!

I have to laugh when I see how the traditional media business is responding to the awesome attack of interactive media on their space.

When they are not doing next to nothing to respond, they are busy creating content and brand managers to take them into the new age. Now the thought is a a good one -- make your comprehensive content and marketing come together under one person. But in my view they are doing this in name only.

We already have such a person in terrestrial broadcasting. That's the program director. It's cool and everything to elevate programming to "branding" but the nomenclature is not the solution. It&hellip

Satellite Vs. Radio Vs. WiFi

A few days ago when the two -- only two -- satellite operators announced their merger intentions, I wrote a post about what it would take to succeed in a world where radio is everywhere. At the end of the piece I warned that if the merged satellite operator didn't make some major changes, it wouldn't really matter whether their merger succeeded or not because their mission wouldn't.

Now, it's time to mention the killer app.

When universal WiFi or its equivalent is available and consumers can take the Internet with them then it's all over for radio. Ditto for satellite radio.

That is, of course, assuming that&hellip

Satellite And HD Radio — Perfect Together

If and when Sirius and XM Satellite Radio get the green light to merge, new radios will have to be manufactured to allow both services which use different technology to be heard on one receiver. The FCC had always mandated that when satellite radio was created, both satellite networks had to be heard on all receivers. Somewhere along the way, the FCC let this little detail slip away. Could you imagine an AM/FM radio that only receives one station? Well, actually, I can because WBEB-FM, Philadelphia founder Jerry Lee used to manufacture and give them away to advertisers before a crackdown stopped his great promotion.

So follow&hellip

Labels Acting Like…Well, Labels

Put this in perspective.
Warner is trying to buy EMI again. The two record labels have been doing the merger dance for many years now. Some think it's just big egos trying to best each other. All this while their businesses go to the dogs.
The RIAA has stepped up its targeting of university campuses in hopes of catching more college students doing the nasty -- illegal downloading.And while all this is going on record industry execs are privately working on life without digital rights management (DRM) while publicly, for the most part, denying it.It's just another day in paradise for the trouble music industry.&hellip

Radio Crybabies

Who's sorry now?

The radio industry liked it when Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 enabling widespread consolidation to take place. The NAB slipped the radio part of that legislation in through the back door. Wall Street embraced radio as never before. These guys loved it.

Now, the shoe is on the other foot. The two -- only two -- satellite operators must be so sure they are going to get their merger approved that they have gone and announced it. And now those same consolidators who were looking for every reason to convince lawmakers, regulators, advertisers and the public that loosening up the&hellip

Satellite Vs. Radio (The Next Round)

Sirius and XM are proposing a merger of equals.

Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin would come away as CEO of the new entity (whatever it is called) and current XM Chairman Gary Parsons would be chairman of the merged satellite company. That's assuming the FCC approves it. Assuming the DOJ approves it. And that's a lot of assuming. I've seen reporting that predicts an early closing on the merger. On that one, we'll see what happens.

What we know is that a combined company could save billions and billions of dollars. That alone should have investors jumping for joy. These bleeding companies could be profitable as one. No&hellip

And The Hits Just Keep On (Not) Coming

I worked for Paul Drew when he programmed the Drake format in Philly and one of our Bill Drake-voiced station breaks said, "...And the hits just keep on comin". Back then it was true. Radio was thriving in the late 60's in large part because the music business was thriving. The Beatles, British invasion, Motown, Philly sound. Radio had hit the wall with too much talk and not enough music (sound familiar?), but the music kept radio hot.

Now the recent news that things for the record labels -- already stuck in a time warp by imitating themselves -- have gone from bad to worse.

EMI, the European member of the big four, cut&hellip

What’s MySpace Without The Video You Want

MySpace has taken another step in the direction of protecting the rights of music and publishing companies by announcing the implementation of technology from Audible Magic Corp that will provide a second layer of protection from posting unauthorized video clips. The system scans video clips and searches for signature vectors such as a unique digital fingerprint and compares it with information in their database.

Now, MySpace can block content and with this system search for unauthorized use through the fingerprinting&hellip

Another Reason Why Google’s AdSense Is Nonsense

GM is cutting its ad expenditures by a whopping $600 million. Inside Radio reports that powerful ad exec Betsy Lazar told the Radio Advertising Bureau convention that business as usual won't win GM's business.

What does she mean?

No lazy 30 second ad pitches.

She wants ideas that show involvement by the station. Imagine. This from an industry that is flirting with letting Google automate its ad selling to cut costs. To radio's credit it may be flirting but it hasn't proposed marriage or even an affair with Google. Those who work in radio know that if radio is anything it is a one-on-one relationship with the&hellip

Dixie Chicks Vs. Radio Suits

Let's leave our political points of view on the war in Iraq out of this discussion. While the Dixie Chicks' ideological position on the war and their version of patriotism may have gotten them into trouble with conservatives and with country radio stations, the same position also won them some sympathy in Grammy voting where the group swept all five of the categories in which they were nominated and the coveted song of the year, record of the year and album of the&hellip

For Radio, It’s A “Hail Mary” Full of Disgrace

Ready. Aim. Fire.

The radio industry, a business of hard working people who love what they do but are held hostage to the bad decisions of their owner, has just shot itself in its collective foot one more time. Cox, Entercom, Cumulus, Radio One and, of course, their enabler, Clear Channel are at it again. They have offered what is said to be funding in the millions of dollars to help rival The Media Audit try again to derail Arbitron's Portable People Meter which is up and running "live" in Philadelphia now; will go live soon in Houston and has received accreditation in one market already. The price for this new service has&hellip

How Google Is Like … Clear Channel

If you've been following the battles that are cropping up over YouTube's dominance of Internet video clips, you may want to check out the back story.

Viacom made a very public gesture recently ordering YouTube to remove its considerable video content from the service. Even though sources say both sides were in negotiations over a content agreement, none was had. The number $100 million has been mentioned. Obviously, Viacom thinks its content is worth a lot more. And the issue may not just be doing a deal with Google but not wanting to have to feed the monster.

Then no sooner than Jeff Zucker took over as head of NBC&hellip

The War Between Steve Jobs And The Labels

This is starting to sound like the Democrats and Republicans on Iraq -- except the topic is digital rights management (DRM).

Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes the unusual step of using his clout and places a letter about the music industry on the Apple website. In it, he outlines a number of scenarios that are possible in the digital downloading era. One option, that he rejects, is to make Apple's security system called Fairplay available to other companies. No sooner than Jobs declares DRM dead, the mouthpiece of the record industry, the RIAA, decides to take him up on making Fairplay available to other manufacturers. Didn't he say&hellip

The 2 S’s — Satisfy and Serve

It was only October of last year when Rewind started running full episodes of NBC programming. It has already delivered 42 million full shows.

Now a new Mediaweek article reveals that many of the people going to the site are using Rewind as their personal TiVo. And there are some very impressive numbers according to NBC research:
78% of users who streamed full-length episodes watched shows from the series they usually watch but missed on broadcast television81% of those surveyed said they&hellip

65 Days in Front of the TV

The U.S. Census Bureau's new statistical abstract for 2007 forecasts how the "average" adult or teen will use media in the year ahead:
65 Days watching television41 days listening to radioA week listening to recorded musicIn excess of a week on the Internet7 days reading a daily newspaper
It's always dangerous to describe the "average" adult or teen, but be that as it may, you can adjust the numbers any way you like and they are still scary.

Because all adults are being factored in to the projections, Internet usage is lower than most of us using a computer right now might think. So it's not much of a stretch to&hellip

Jobs To Labels: Drop DRM

Open Letter on Apple's website from CEO Steve Jobs
February 6, 2007

With the stunning global success of Apple

Anywhere But USA Radio Is Booming

In The UK they're even calling it a "new golden age" of radio as digital use takes off. The number of radio listeners in Britain are at an all time high of 45 million every week.

It gets better.

Some 8% of people 15 or older listen to radio on their mobile phones. Try catching someone here in the U.S. doing that. Listening over the Internet in Britain rose ten percent. Brits also like podcasting even more than we do here with about 17% of all the MP3 owners listening.

Radio in other countries around the world is still revered.

But you&hellip