For those who may not know, radio when it was in its second heyday used to employ a contest giveaway called "Hi-Lo" where callers to the station eventually guessed the jackpot and won money.

Many of us, as program directors, also ran contests similar to

Prince and the Paupers

Prince is one of the most exciting, controversial, sexy and savvy acts in the history of modern music so when he does something different he gains a lot of attention.


Email Is Out, Social Networking In

You know email has arrived when everyone you know has an email address.

But you also know when email has hit critical mass when your youngest generation turns to social networks instead.

One of the many benefits to working with the next generation is that you can get a preview as to how the music media industry is going to change. I know few people in the industry who even pay attention let alone understand. I'm not being critical here. They are just looking in the wrong direction.

I've had the opportunity at USC to see changes that appeared in the student body spread to the general population which is one of the&hellip

Finally, A Good Use for HD Radio

Utilizing HD Radio for additional revenue opportunities other than audio programming is more promising than traditional broadcasting applications.

Engineers have been busily at work on this functionality. Mobile tests were done by iBiquity in Chicago that proved no loss of service or dropped data.

This is good because HD Radio's chances of making it to prime time are slim to none -- and you know what they say about slim.

HD -- high definition, as they erroneously call it -- is too late to the party. The industry and a bevy of engineering companies fought the good fight to get what they wanted and by the time they&hellip

Google Radio “AdNonsense”

Imagine what some geniuses who have ruined radio through consolidation have in store for their medium next.

Selling unused inventory (as they call it) via Google's AdSense biding system.

Tomorrow, reduce the sales force and cut costs as Google makes selling radio sales as easy and inexpensive as selling any commodity.

Beyond that, the world!

It's all in the very experimental stage for Google, for radio and for advertisers.

We are on the brink of moving beyond (or should I say below) the world of vacuum cleaner sales in radio.

I'm not saying that some radio stations I have known didn't have&hellip

Radio Turns To Pirates for Playlists

Radio stations are beginning to use research about pirated music trends as part of their mix that includes increasingly difficult to get passive research in determining what to play on the air.

Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks through its Mediabase division is marketing the information to its parent company, Radio One and Emmis.

Even record labels are holding their nose and subscribing to what's popular among their nemesis -- the digital pirate. Universal wants to see what's hot on the Internet so they know what to pitch to radio stations. Wall Street Journal subscribers can read an

Clear Channel Firings Just Keep On Comin’

Most of the trades have reported the latest, poorly-handled firings at Clear Channel.

I say the latest because, in my opinion, Clear Channel has been squandering its outstanding talent since way back when it was putting together its 1,1o0 station group.

So, a week or so ago the very capable and well-liked Minneapolis exec Mick Anselmo was fired while on a fishing vacation with a heavy-hitter advertiser -- not easily reachable. So imagine Anselmo's shock to be summoned for an emergency call to hear that he was relieved of his duties.

These Clear Channel honchos I'm sure have an excuse for firing a man without telling&hellip

CRB Royalties: An Unsound Exchange

SoundExchange, the record industry body that collects royalty fees, now wants Internet streamers to trade a lower license fee (or no fee for small webcasters who qualify) and a cap on minimum fees of $50,000 per 100 channels in exchange for full compliance and paying legally.

SoundExchange's Executive Director John Simson told Radio & Internet's Kurt Hanson in a recent interview, "Our biggest desire is to have people paying legally and being compliant".

Sounds harmless enough, right? But it's a bad deal for Internet streamers -- a sorry exchange.

Just when Congress seems to be waking up to what an explosive issue&hellip

The Record Label’s “Seven Years of Silence”

You heard about the iPhone almost every day on the run up to the big day when it went on sale. You hear the AT&T network sucks and hundreds of thousands of people don't care.

They want creative solutions.

In this case, make the telephone do something other than call and do rudimentary texting. Make it intuitive. Forget about cell phone coverage or data speed.

You see Internet streamers fighting for their lives against the big bad wolf -- SoundExchange. The clock ticks. Streamers beg their congressmen to do something. The gun is to their heads with the July 15th deadline for new royalty rates approaching, but the&hellip

Classic Hits vs. Oldies

The high profile switch of WCBS-FM from its "Jack" format back to oldies is going to require very carefully considered programming moves to be successful in the long run.

What CBS is doing today is introducing to New York City the classic hits concept that has been working very well in some of their other markets. New York, you remember, is where disenfranchised oldies listeners have literally willed their oldies station back on the air.

That is, if it is their station -- the one they remember. Two years time can blur the memory. Will CBS-FM be as listeners hold it in their memory without most of the air talent they&hellip

Radio’s Jihad Against the “Nutty Professor”

Since I have been at USC, I have been very careful who I call a "Nutty Professor" for obvious reasons. For every finger you point, you have three pointing back at you.

Stan Liebowitz, a distinguished University of Texas-Dallas professor has riled the radio industry with his Business Week comments. In fact, radio people are in quite a snit.

It all has to do with his study titled Don't Play It Again Sam: Radio Play, Record Sales and Property Rights. You're going to want to read this 40-page report.

You may have heard about his work because the radio trades&hellip

How CBS-FM is Like the iPhone

I hate to say I told you so, but in the case of CBS dropping arguably one of the best radio formats in the country for an unproven, not-ready-for-prime time format like "Jack" ("We play what we want") I must say it.

I told you so.

I can't brag about being the only one to say it because almost everyone in radio knew dropping CBS-FM's oldies format was a mistake.

Forget about the fact that CBS never bothered to listened to its New York listeners preferring instead to let a salesman named Joel Hollander listen to his gut. For a man who is reputed to have trashed the popular oldies format and ordered the "Jack" format up&hellip

The Music Formerly Known as a CD

Is the record business getting more insane every day?

Is that possible?

Now Prince, the warrior who fought the good fight against the record labels back when they actually sold CDs is riling all of Europe with his latest marketing move. Prince's decision to giveaway his new album folded into British tabloid newspapers for free is not only ironic it is moronic.

A record artist who fought the system so vehemently that he became the artist formerly known as you-know-who is in bed with a medium that was once formerly known as prosperous. The newspaper business is still better in the U.K. than in the U.S. but it seems&hellip

Declare War on SoundExchange

The "Day of Silence" to attract attention to the unfair treatment of Internet streamers at the hands of the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is over.

Now, it's time to take off the gloves and hit SoundExchange where it hurts them the most -- in Congress.

That's what those of us interested in promoting fair access to Internet streaming wanted the "Day of Silence" to do. It succeeded to the extent that the protest brought the issue into a more general public discussion, but the execution of many small Internet radio operators is still on for July 15th when a new, draconian rate structure will be implemented that could drive&hellip

The Fairness Doctrine Is the Internet

Radio is all up in arms because Congress is threatening to reintroduce the hated Fairness Doctrine that could stifle talk radio.

Talk radio is radio's best product right now (I'm not talking about their opinions, either). And radio is a hurtin' pup with advertising revenues being projected as declining in the year ahead.

The absence of the Fairness Doctrine allows a Rush Limbaugh or an Air America to have their say without providing equal time to opposing points of view. I understand what the Democrats are doing by threatening to bring it back, but it's all pointless.

1. The pro-Fairness Doctrine forces know they&hellip

Clear Channel: iPhone “Not a Competitive Threat”

I never considered the trade publication Inside Radio a choking hazard -- until yesterday morning.

That's when Inside Radio's very capable editor Frank Saxe reported a story about Clear Channel Executive Vice President Jeff Littlejohn who he quotes as saying that "the radio industry shouldn't worry about the high-profile launch of the iPhone" adding "it's not a competitive threat".

Well, I'm certainly not going to shoot the messenger.

Coffee and Inside Radio in the morning usually go down just fine with me. But it's misleading statements like Littlejohn's that take my breath away. At first I thought of a conspiracy&hellip

Steve Jobs vs. Universal

Just when Apple CEO Steve Jobs is languishing in all the favorable publicity surrounding the debut of his revolutionary iPhone, he gets word that Universal Music is not going to renew its iTunes deal with Apple.

So let's think this thing through.

Who needs whom here?

Does Apple need Universal's music to sell on its iTunes online web store?

Of course.

Does Universal need iTunes to turn its year around?

No, nothing could do that.

Do young consumers need to buy music on iTunes?

Are you kidding?

So what's it all about, Alfie?

Can you say more money.

It appears Universal is&hellip