What If Radio Taxes the Music Industry?

Next week I am appearing on a panel in Santa Monica (The Copyright Office Comes to California) devoted to repealing the performance tax exemption from radio. The NAB will have Suzanne Head, a representative, on the panel. I guarantee you we'll both be in agreement that any attempt to tax radio for helping the music industry make money for free is wrongheaded.

But, as we say in New Jersey, "who don't know that?"

You know why the labels are desperate to raise money. They are losing control. Their arch enemy, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, has trumped them again. Apple's online iTunes music store is now the number-two music&hellip

New Rules For Radio PDs

An ex-program director is like an ex-Marine.

There are no such things.

Like the Marine, once a PD always a PD. We have worked in the trenches. We performed well before consolidation and we know what is working about today's radio content.

I'm one. Many of my friends are one -- some still have jobs in radio. There is a reason why three people make or break the management of a radio station -- the general manager, sales manager and program director.

During the Dark Ages -- 1996-present AD (After Deregulation) managers holding these critical positions were lured, then forced, then threatened with taking on&hellip

The Mourning Radio Show

Lost in all the cutbacks, firings and cost adjustments that consolidators have been making the last few months is the demise of the morning radio show.

The morning slot is responsible for up to 50% of a radio station's total revenue yet that apparently means nothing to consolidators desperate to make their latest poor quarter look a little better.

Clear Channel is the leader in dismantling morning shows but CBS is not far behind. They are the biggest, but they're not alone. Other operators are no better -- the morning show is no longer sacred.

We've seen morning teams divided in half -- one half left to create all&hellip

Ad Blocking

It doesn't take long to figure out that the next generation doesn't like advertising.

Its curious because their world -- the Internet -- is cluttered with ads, search results, links, videos, pop-ups and the like from companies desperate to get through to them.

TV isn't getting the job done.

Radio? Forget about it. Any medium that thinks six commercials in a cluster will be heard is mistaken. It is a miracle that radio got away with it so long.

The Clear Channel of their world is Google -- the search giant you can't ignore. Google seems to be on a mission to be everywhere with its search-based advertising and&hellip

Saving Radio

One of my readers asked if I had any ideas on how the radio industry could redirect its efforts in light of all its mounting problems.

He said,

The XM+Sirius+HD Radio

Inside Radio is reporting that at least one analyst (Blair Levin of Stifel Nicolaus) thinks the FCC may mandate radios that include HD plus satellite stations as a condition of winning approval for the XM-Sirius merger.

The HD Radio Alliance and iBiquity (the folks who brought you radio

NPR Outsmarts Commercial Radio

My old friend and radio executive Bill Figenshu wrote to me over the weekend with some thoughts on the recent New York Times article about why National Public Radio is thriving and PBS television is hurting.

Fig says, "..they (NPR) have grown, have none of the negative commercial radio issues, and did it without taking the 8th caller, TV or any marketing budget, slamming PPM, HD, or "less is more." In many cases, the public radio signals are not exactly "blowtorches." They did it
with good programming, a long view of content, and a&hellip

Radio’s Grudge Helps Satellite Radio

There are few things that aggravate radio executives more than satellite radio.

For years they were so blinded by the prospect of competition from satellite radio that terrestrial operators actually thought they were competing with satellite. Some still think so.

This in spite of the fact that together XM and Sirius only have about 15 million paying subscribers.

They run many music channels with no commercials -- and some channels have few listeners. They are money losing machines that have posed no threat to traditional radio -- not even for a minute.

Meanwhile, the NAB is helping to mislead the industry into&hellip

iPod, I Quit

It's hard to fathom that a consumer electronic device that is both so cool and so hot may have finally peaked.

In my work with college students I have discovered one thing if I have learned anything at all -- you can hardly find a student on campus without an MP3 device (usually an iPod).

That is, until now.

Several months ago a class project revealed that most students who were asked to give up their iPods and cell phones for two days could easily sacrifice the iPod, but not so much with the cell phone. The cell phone is essential equipment.

This past week I discovered that half of one of my larger classes,&hellip