Cell Phones Are Not Transistor Radios

There's new research I thought you'd like to know about that is in direct conflict with what I have been observing in my work with the next generation.

I'll report. You decide.

Let's breakdown a fairly recent RCW Wireless news account:

"A recent study from TNS Global Telecoms found that 43% of all mobile users listen to some form of music on their phones, and 73% of smartphones double as music players. And while the use of MP3 players on phones is up 78% in the last year, mobile radio uptake has seen a whopping&hellip

Radio & Records — Playing Not To Lose

As many of you know I love ice hockey.

More specifically, I love the Philadelphia Flyers for their physical play and great passion for winning.

I see a lot of similarities between hockey and life. In fact my son and daughter were raised on Flyers hockey from six months old.

The Flyers never give up, I told them.

Look at the Hound (Bob Kelly) in the corner mucking it up trying to make something happen, I used to say. The lesson is obvious.

Stand up and fight for what's worth fighting for.

When you lose, you don't really lose unless you give up. There's always something to build on.


37,182 Weekly Radio Mistakes

Radio has had an illustrious history of selling merchandise and services.

That's why Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama can't buy enough of it when they are battling in Democratic primary states. It's cheap (especially for politicians) but it's not all that prohibitive for the rest of the advertising world.

Still, as powerful as radio is with older listeners, there is one thing it cannot sell even to them -- HD radios.

You can hardly find a person who owns an HD radio in the real world. Broadcasters know this because they don't program anything compelling to make consumers even consider buying an HD radio. They are&hellip

Fighting The Evil Empires

Clear Channel used to be the one and only Evil Empire.

I didn't give them that name.

I believe Eric Boehlert of Salon came up with the greatest description of a ruthless company that doesn't -- in my opinion -- care for its audience or its personnel.

But today there are even more Evil Empires.

Citadel is one of them.

Radio One could be another.

If enough people have been screwed (and I'm including shareholders, now) then fill in the blank for your favorite nominee for Evil Empire.

As some of you know, my dealings with the original Evil Empire resulted from irritating them with news accounts&hellip


Did someone forget to tell Apple CEO Steve Jobs that we

“Comes With Music” Is Record Label Piracy

Sony BMG has agreed to allow Nokia to get access to its entire catalog following the lead of the largest label aggregator Universal Music.

The labels' "Comes With Music" program lets users who buy certain cell phone models download any song from the participating record company catalog to their cell phone or computer for the first 12 months.

Universal gets $35 per phone. No word on Sony BMG's take.

The cost to the consumer is likely to be higher -- what else did you expect -- although Nokia says it is eating some of the cost of providing the music as part of the cell phone purchase.

But "Comes With Music" comes&hellip


I read in Inside Radio last week that Citadel

The In-Car Internet

Radio is losing the local and out of home franchises.

Within a few years, radio's last line of defense will likely be penetrated by the new WiFi and WiMax technologies that will allow the Internet to be accessed on the go in automobiles.

Detroit Radio Advertising Group President and CEO Bill Burton came up with the fabulous motto "An Automobile Is a Radio With Four Wheels" many years ago and it is and has been the most dramatic statement of radio's out of home dominance. We mean no disrespect to Bill or his fine organization as we look ahead to changes that may be on the horizon, but an automobile could one day be the&hellip

Watch WiMax

When cable companies, cellular operators and Google think about going into business together, I listen.

Not that I don't think that they will eventually kill each other, but ...

Comcast, Time Warner and other companies are thinking about financing a new wireless company that would be a joint venture of Sprint and Clearwire to build a nationwide WiMax wireless network.

To build a WiMax network would cost billions. Sprint knows. It has tried to raise the money.

If you're a radio person thinking, "so what", wake up.

WiMax is even better than WiFi -- that very local wireless way computers and phones can&hellip

Drinking Radio’s Kool-Aid

Just when the radio industry needs straight talk it gets this.

The head of the NAB sounding clueless and blaming radio's problems on being taken for granted.


It happened yesterday at his organization's annual convention in Las Vegas.

David Rehr dispensed some kind of joy juice at a time when an industry is being left behind by technology and it's own poor management. Many of you emailed me press coverage of his remarks and you were not pleased.

I'm not going to sit silently by while radio audiences decline, good people lose their jobs, the next generation is allowed to get away without a fight --&hellip

The 500,000 Song iPod

There's a new chip coming that will allow iPods, mobile phones and other consumer devices to hold as many as 500,000 songs.

The biggest iPod currently holds only 40,000 tunes.

Still, that's about 39,700 more than some radio stations play -- which is exactly part of the problem with the next generation.

IBM is behind this new chip. It will cost less to produce. Require much less power to operate -- maybe for a week at a time on one charge and it may last decades. (The last benefit sounds nice but very few of today's consumers would be caught with even a five-year old MP3 device or cell phone).

They call this&hellip

Gen Y Consults Radio

From time to time I like to share the insights of the next generation as it pertains to traditional media.

I do this because there is a great disconnect between what media executives think they want and what these quirky, Gen Y'ers say they want.

When I arrived at USC four years ago for my radio sabbatical, I was shocked to find young people so distanced from radio. It didn't take me long to find out why. Other alternatives. More time on the computer, cell phones, social networks like Facebook, but the worst cut of all was the one that could have been prevented.

In my observation (and I emphasize you're reading my&hellip

FaGREED Suleman — Citadel’s $1.75 CEO

Look, this is getting ridiculous.

It's insulting.

Citadel CEO Farid Suleman made over $11 million in 2007 -- and that's without his usual bonus. Oh, and his pay is down from almost $18 million the previous year -- if that makes you feel any better.

I don't.

Didn't this guy put a lot of people out of work at Citadel when the last devastating quarterly results came out?

Didn't he save his neck and reap the rewards while vowing publicly to get a grip on expenses -- spoken like the true bean counter he is.

Good people. Fired.

Didn't this guy's stations -- you know in tiny markets like San&hellip

Gen Yǃ

Who can live without a cell phone these days

Radio vs. The Internet

The new USC Annenberg Digital Future study is out and it's worth consulting for a snapshot of where traditional vs. new media stands. It provides some insight as to how the audience is changing.

Some in traditional media think that radio can be fixed (just about every consolidator says so) and that even newspapers can be revived (Tribune Company's pitch). But as you'll see, competing in the digital world is far more complicated.

This is from the latest USC Annenberg Digital Future study:

The Digital Future Report found that the Internet is perceived by users to be a more important source of information for them --&hellip

The Next Clear Channel

Look at all this talent -- in one place.

Randy Michaels. Bobby Lawrence. Frank Wood. Lee Abrams. Jerry Kersting. Mark Chase. Steve Gable. The last three stolen away from Clear Channel late last week.

It's the best radio team that doesn't have any radio stations (except WGN).

Sam Zell and Randy Michaels are sly foxes. Zell owns newspapers (what a dying business) and TV stations (ouch) and very little radio.

I know I always say radio people are good enough to do many things other than radio, but maybe those of you out there who have had problems believing me about what I think Zell/Michaels are up to will&hellip

The Labels’ MySpace DisGrace

You have to hand it to the record labels.

When they get a good idea, they get it too late.

Take the new music service that three of the big four labels (Universal, Warner and SonyBMG) are going to launch within the next few months that they think will revolutionize the digital music business.

Dream on.

The labels are eight years late and a dollar short.

The joint venture announced yesterday with MySpace is meant to be a digital lifeline for both companies. The three labels are hoping MySpace's 110 million users will help both of them grow.

But the labels' hatred for Apple's Steve Jobs is showing.&hellip

I Heard The News Today, Oh Boy

The news business is imploding.

CBS Television just recently let a couple of hundred employees go at its local TV news operations. A few weeks earlier CBS pruned its radio news operations nationwide.

Newsweek is offering over 100 of its staffers including some pedigreed reporters and correspondents early retirement.

The New York Times, Tribune

50 Cent’s 2

Okay, that's it.

50 Cent, the rapper, is now officially smarter than the four major record label heads put together.

How do I know this?

While the labels are out dreaming up more hair-brained schemes to force consumers into paying monthly fees for music they can already get for free, 50 Cent is becoming more anti-social.

He's moving on -- beyond MySpace and Facebook.

And this shrewd dude has introduced Thisis50.com -- which acts like a social network where fans can create profiles and friend lists just like the other social networks with one big difference.


Live Nation’s Risky Strategy

Yesterday, Live Nation, the largest concert promoter in the world announced a 12-year deal to continue its long relationship with the group U2.

Under the terms, Live Nation will lock up rights to produce U2 events, make and sell all its merchandise and handle licensing. U2 also gives up control of its web site and fan club.

What's not included is just as important.

U2 stays with Vivendi's Universal Music Group. In fact the band extended its record label contract last year.

This is opposite of what Madonna did when she previously signed with Live Nation in a broader deal for $120 million starting next year.&hellip