The First Annual “Lowry” Awards

I thought it would be fun to announce the First Annual "Lowry" Awards for "Less Is More" in Music Media named after Lowry Mays, the man who almost singlehandedly created and molded one medium that has turned to gold and then to tin with investors taking it on the chin.

Here's a few categories (perhaps you have suggestions of your own):

and now offering it for free instead of $450 a year adding new meaning to the saying "you get what you pay for".

Now you choose the winners -- or should I say losers.

Hope you've had fun and are not too bent out of shape. We poked fun at everyone including me. So if you're&hellip

Managing Radio By Losing Money

Now we know just how bad things were getting at CBS Radio when Joel Hollander presided over it.

David Hinckley in The New York Daily News Monday reported the figures based on BIA statistics. It isn't pretty.

Hollander's ill-conceived attempt at radio programming called "Jack" ("We play what we want") was supposed to replace the aging oldies station WCBS-FM. It was a bold move Hollander thought was urgent, but I think it said "panic".

CBS-FM had, according to Hinckley's article, slipped from about $40 million per year a few years earlier to $23.9 million when the mid-year shift to "Jack" took&hellip

Another Black Eye For CBS Radio

What kind of welcome is this for Dan Mason as he takes over the helm at CBS Radio?

Free FM - WFNY, New York -- talkers JV and Elvis Duran conducted a prank call on-air directed at employees of a Chinese restaurant that included ethnic slurs and sexual slurs. The call was conducted and aired on April 5 and -- believe it or not -- was rebroadcast last Thursday.

They were finally suspended indefinitely without pay.

The Asian community is up in arms. They want their heads. Activist Vicki Shu Smolin told The New York Times "If they don't fire the D.J.'s it will be a double standard". The dreaded boycott of advertisers&hellip

None Is More

You've got to hand it to Clear Channel. They never give up.

After years of touting "Less Is More" to the advertising community (or should we say to their shareholders), they've now come up with a another new idea.

None is More.

No commercials 24 hours a day.

KZPS, Dallas is running no 30's, no 60's -- not even tens.

No "blinks" -- another Clear Channel innovation.

They call their latest brainchild integration because one sponsor gets to buy the entire hour and gets a mention at the top of the hour then the djs give the sponsor about two minutes of casual mentions during the hour's music&hellip

Is Imus The Only One Who Is Sorry?

Say what you want about Don Imus, but he apologized until he couldn't say it anymore and paid the price for his bonehead comments about the women of the Rutgers basketball team. He actually left the industry with his head up -- not down. He was plastered by the news media, competitors and the increasingly powerful minority groups who wanted his head.

They got it.

Now, where are they?

Augusta radio personality Austin Rhodes repeated the Imus slur last week. The NAACP is after him but he is still gainfully employed. Advertisers are still advertising.

Get a load what Rush Limbaugh got away with just last&hellip

News Boos

News organizations are driving away the next generation.

The tragedy at Virginia Tech was only a few hours old

Two Evil Empires

Clear Channel and Google are perfect together.

Clear Channel, the media giant that gave consolidation a bloody nose is teaming up with Google, the Internet monster that is aiming to give its competitors a bloody nose.

Forgive me, but this sounds like two evil empires working together to further their need to dominate the media business.

Clear Channel hasn't been able to convince its shareholders that they should pay a low ball price to get their approval to sell and go private, but it was able to announce a deal with kindred spirit Google to give up high quality radio inventory over the next three years -- all 30&hellip

The Mess At CBS

Some of the brightest programming minds in the glory days of radio who were used and abused by consolidation could be having the last laugh right now about how they saw this embarrassing decline in radio coming.

But it's not funny.

The latest bump in what has become a rocky road for terrestrial radio is the decline of the morning show.

Morning shows can represent 40% or more of a stations total revenues. The morning show still makes the station.

So you would think with the stakes that high these Einsteins at consolidated radio would have a Plan B in case one of their franchise hosts (God forbid) died, left for&hellip

Viacom-Lately To Decency

So, Viacom Is Going To Stop Rappers, Thugs And Whores.

The mega media corporation that owns Black Entertainment Network (BET) and MTV is not likely to solve the problem that the Don Imus firing has focused attention on because Viacom is part of the problem.

Don't believe me?

Turn on BET and see how much respect woman -- Black women -- are not getting from rappers who wiggle, waggle and gaggle all over the screen all hours of the day.

CBS was spun off as a separate company from Viacom although CEO Sumner Redstone still controls it -- after all, when he revealed that CBS CEO Les Moonves was going to do the right&hellip

Imus — Lessons Learned

Now that CBS has pulled the trigger and fired Don Imus, the story can fade out of the headlines and Anna Nicole Smith can return to its proper place in America's new flow.

It's over.

Now, the lessons:

First, about media companies and the "right thing":

Don't underestimate the power of spineless media and advertising executives who got caught in the controversy they helped to create. They're on your side one day and against you the next. I would have been more impressed if MSNBC was so outraged by Imus' remarks that they fired him on the spot. Same for CBS. Not days later when the heat was being turned up.&hellip

Imus — Truth AND Consequences

NBC News pulled the plug on Don Imus' Imus In The Morning TV simulcast of his CBS radio show yesterday putting an end to our long national agony -- having to listen to sanctimonious and scared media companies and advertisers try to act like Mother Teresa.

NBC -- the same multimedia company that was even later than Imus in recognizing that it had a problem.

The same NBC that only a few days earlier issued a two week suspension of Imus' show as appropriate punishment. Now, NBC News President Steve Capus was trying to pass off NBC's concern for its internal family and reputation as the reason they fired Imus.

I saw&hellip

The Hypocrisy Surrounding Imus

Don Imus is the creation of radio management.

How do I know that?

There would be no Imus In The Morning if various radio executives and companies over the years did not hire him, fire him, promote him, syndicate him and pay him beyond his wildest dreams.

Imus is edgy and employers like edgy.


Well, until their creation goes over the edge.

Incidents like the one Imus had with the Rutgers basketball team (do I really need to repeat his racial slur here?) could only happen because his employers want him to be on the cutting edge. It's okay when Don Imus slices and dices a politician or a&hellip

iPod Therefore I Win

Apple is touting its latest feat -- the sale of 100 million iPod devices.

And Apple has a lot to be proud of because this number two computer company has cleaned everyone's clocks in the five years or so that they have been on the market.

iPod just this week eclipsed the Walkman as the fastest growing music player. It took Sony 14 years to sell the same number of their cassette players with headphones.

Both the Walkman and iPod have changed the way people listen to music.

Walkman was the primitive iPod. It was analog in an analog world. Bulkier, but mobile back in the day. A Walkman was still small enough to&hellip

The Verdict on “Less Is More”

All of us have had a lot of fun with the Clear Channel commercial reduction initiative they dubbed "Less Is More". Ad agencies. Industry types.

Part of the reason we love to poke fun at LIM is that the name is so ridiculous. Few people believe less of anything is more than something. Maybe in golf where the lower the score the better you play or in weight loss. You get the idea.

But holding this radio industry up to ridicule with advertisers and agencies at a time when the radio industry has plenty of other reasons to be ridiculed is reason enough for some form of outrage.

Unless of course, Clear Channel was&hellip

The New Record Promoter

I think with great fondness on the memory of legendary Philadelphia record promotion man Matty "Humdinger" Singer.

In my radio programming career I can think of no other person as colorful, hard-working or convincing as this man. He lived to promote records. He and his brethren were the work engine of the record business when labels were king and radio stations were hitmakers.

I mention this because I am struck by the inability of today's record labels to get records (I mean songs) played on the radio and the labels' inability to generate record sales. Compilation CDs are not record sales.

We all know that it's all&hellip

Hogan’s Heros

A longtime radio friend of mine reminded me that if I could have told him before 1996 that Clear Channel, the little San Antonio company that used to be called "Cheap Channel", was going to eventually be the biggest force in radio, he would have said I was crazy.

Few saw it coming.

This group of Texas outsiders rounding up over 1,100 stations was unthinkable back then. But the little engine that could wound up to be the little engine that couldn't. You don't head for the door and sell off 400+ stations and jump into the arms of investment bankers to take you private unless being a public company doesn't work.


Apple’s First Rotten Mistake

Radio, take a day off.

You can't possibly outdo Apple's first well-publicized mistake today so rest easy.

Apple actually did a good thing yesterday -- a deal with EMI (number three of the big four labels) to provide DRM-free music from the sizable EMI catalog. Good because it cooperates with the inevitable -- the marketplace (next generation) is demanding free use of the music they buy just as if they bought a CD at Tower Records -- if there were a Tower Records. And there isn't a Tower Records because they ignored the next generation.

But Apple did a bad thing yesterday, too.

It decided to charge a premium&hellip

Clear Channel 2.0

Doomsday is coming.

By mid-April Clear Channel will know whether its shareholders will approve its low ball offer to cash in their chips and take the company private. That is, if the vote isn't postponed -- again.

Seems like America's biggest radio consolidator may be having trouble getting shareholders to do what it wants. The shareholders are restless about this Clear Channel plan. You remember slim and none, don't you? Well, it appears the $19 billion dollar, $37.60 per share buyout by private equity firms Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners is no slam-dunk. It may be a dunk, but without the&hellip