The Next Generation of Radio ǃ

At the end of June I am going to teach an interactive session for radio executives at the Conclave in Minneapolis. It will be conducted as I have taught classes for my university students over the past four years

For CBS Online ǃ

CBS CEO Les Moonves took out his checkbook last week and agreed to pay $1.8 billion in cash for

CBS is a TV and radio company but increasingly you can see how Moonves is not going to be left behind the way Tom Freston was when he disappointed their boss

The Radio PD of the Future

I received a very inspirational email from a long time friend that has prompted me to put together the essential qualities of the next generation of program directors for terrestrial radio.

In doing so I am taking into account that radio today isn

CBS Radio and Racial Parodies

All too often lately the major broadcast groups have been firing able and talented people to save money.

Last week CBS pulled off a double firing of a PD and morning personality with surgical precision.

WYSP, Philadelphia morning jock Kidd Chris lost his gig because of a March 21st in-studio guest named Lady Gash who sang the song

The Big Four Reckless Labels

(On the road with the Flyers NHL playoffs in Philadelphia pictured with my daughter, Daria and wife, Cheryl).

A few weeks back the RIAA was dealt a blow in a music piracy case. Perhaps you saw it.

A judge in the Atlantic vs. Howell case ruled that the sole act of making a music file available in a "shared folder" does not violate copyright laws.

The RIAA had been arguing that a sound recording that is ripped to a computer and stored in, say, a shared folder, constitutes unlawful use. Even the RIAA doesn

The Weird Channel Deal

Did you see how Clear Channel began saying publicly that the Lee and Bain bailout may never happen? Then, a few days later brinksmanship brought the banks and Clear Channel together to arrive at a lower, more realistic purchase price at $36 a share along with other considerations. Now their fate is in the hands of the shareholders once again.

Leave it to the largest, storied radio group to come up with one of the weirdest sales that has ever graced our industry.

First, Clear Channel honchos do a gut check and find nothing there

Radio and Airlines

The radio business is really the airline business.

Flying back to Philly for the hockey playoffs this week, it occurred to me that the similarities are so striking.

Radio and airlines crave consolidation and each has failed miserably as consolidated industries. That doesn

Randy & The Rainbows

I saw a video of Randy Michaels speaking to a group of newspaper people at the Allentown Morning Call.


Farid Einstein: Half is More

No, the CEO of Citadel is not talking about his company's stock price -- that's much lower than half.

At about $1.50 a share, what's half -- 75 cents?

Farid Suleman, the bean counter loosely disguised as a wannabe Jack Welsh, is considering cutting his sales staff.


And you wonder why this hapless radio industry can't get it turned around.

He believes as much as half of revenues would come in with or without a salesperson. That's right. Open mouth, put foot in. Suleman as quoted in Inside Radio added "why are we paying commissions for that revenue?"

Note that he did not say why Citadel&hellip

New Technology Is Already Replacing Radio

My longtime friend Dan Mason, the CBS Radio President who is leading the dramatic turnaround of the company made a statement the other day about technology and radio.

Dan reportedly told his new media road show in New York that "$1 billion in ad dollars were telling you that the iPod or satellite radio will lead to the death of radio. That's a myth. To say that an iPod or satellite radio, with little or no human connection, will ever replace radio is absurd." (from

Well, maybe not satellite radio, but iPods have already changed the dynamic for radio. Just ask a young person who is not listening to a&hellip

Radio’s Salary Cap

Radio groups that have been chopping away at expenses are beginning to see the ratings repercussions of their actions.

Morning shows -- down and in some cases out.

Total ratings down (especially with a weakened morning show).

The decision makers decided they had to cut to the bone and their companies are getting ready to pay the price. You can't get top rates for declining shares. The economic downturn is prompting some advertisers not to buy as deeply in the top ranked stations for their desired demographics. Where they might have bought four or five deep, soon it will be three. After all, these are hard times&hellip

The Attention Span Problem

When public radio has to consider making its programs shorter because young listeners won't listen, we officially have a documented attention span problem.

Of course, it doesn't take any more than a few minutes in the company of the next generation before you realize that the number one problem going forward isn't too many commercials or too little new music or stupid djs or lack of social networking.

That, too.

But the inability or unwillingness of young listeners to extend their listening is problem number one. It deserves discussion, understanding and then innovation.

In NPR's case listening is up but for&hellip

Radio’s Deadly Game of Beat the Bomb

For those who may not remember it, radio (back when it did great on-air contests) used to feature a game called Beat the Bomb.

My first recollection of it was at the legendary top 40 station WFIL in Philadelphia -- either under the brilliant programmers Jim Hilliard or the late Jay Cook.

A listener is chosen at random and the sound effect of a bomb ticks for up to 60 seconds on-the-air. However, anytime along the way if the bomb goes off, the listener loses a chance to win up to $60. The idea is to shout STOP before the bomb goes off or you lose everything.

Today's radio industry is playing a deadlier version of&hellip

Radiohead — One and Done

So much for Radiohead's publicity-laced experiment to give their music away for free online -- or more precisely, let their fans determine if they are going to pay for it.

The band recently announced there will be no more pay-if-you-like releases from Radiohead.

I read an account of the story online the other day and the reporter wrote "The band remained quiet about whether the experiment was a success with so many fans opting not to pay anything for "In Rainbows"."

Well, let's see.

If it were a success, don't you think Radiohead would be repeating the offer? Instead, they're moving on. But to what?


HD and Apple — Imperfect Together

Now that the Polk iSonic is on sale in Apple stores nationwide -- and soon to be available at Best Buy can we talk?

I mean this is as close as an HD radio is going to get to Apple coolness.

The Polk iSonic lets listeners buy the songs they hear on HD radio stations -- that is, if only there were HD radio stations and listeners to those HD stations.

If you want to hear loud laughing just describe the iSonic to a group of young people.

"You can now 1) buy an HD radio that has a 2) built in feature that allows users to tag whatever song they want. Then all you have to do is 3) sync your iPod and you get a chance&hellip