Radio’s Youth Disconnect

I just returned from a fabulous time at Tom Kay's Conclave in Minneapolis where I had the honor of doing a two-hour teaching seminar for a most remarkable group of learners.

These are radio people who got up to arrive on time for an 8 am session on The Next Generation of Radio.

I didn't know what to expect.

For the past four years or so I have been teaching young, idealistic college students -- the heart of Generation Y. I have learned a lot from them -- not only about their likes and dislikes vis-a-vis the media business -- but their views about what's wrong with the record business and radio.

Our session at&hellip

Radio: Bob Dylan, Program Director

I love to watch the legendary, brilliant programmer Lee Abrams talk about Bob Dylan's XM Satellite radio show "Theme Time Radio Hour" which is heard on XM's Deep Tracks channel every Wednesday at 10 a.m. EDT.

Now that's a great reason to have satellite radio.

Dylan's show was the topic of a Friday Wall Street Journal article which describes it as "Each week Mr. Dylan plucks a topic out of the air -- colors, trains, death and taxes, spring cleaning -- and plays recordings of a dozen songs whose lyrics relate to it in some way. In between songs he chats about the music and its makers, interspersing his gnomic mini-lectures&hellip

Radio: Watch Out for Twitter

Have you heard about Twitter?

It's the hottest new social networking tool that allows people to "stay in touch" all day by exchanging frequent answers to the question "How are you doing?" (or as we say in South Philadelphia, "How ya doin'").

Try this thing to get the hang of it. The next generation will.

Less than 200 words -- so you have to keep it short.

And what are young people saying on this site? Well, they are narrating their lives -- from the meaningless to the significant and they are doing it in real time.

It's just another of the many things listeners can do&hellip

Music Radio: The Royalty Rat Pack

I thought it was bad enough when Eagles lead singer Don Henley demanded that radio pay additional performance taxes.

But now, the insult of all insults.

Nancy Sinatra, the unplatinum daughter of the Chairman of the Board is lobbying Congress along with other ingrates to see if Congress can do something. (Sorry about the imagery here

Radio: Suleman in the Morning

The latest Don Imus mess is on Farid.

The CEO of Citadel -- the guy who brought Don Imus back from the dead after he insulted the Rutgers girls basketball team -- should be held accountable for his decision.

Not that Farid Suleman is ever held accountable for his many mistakes running Citadel.

The $1.42 stock price.

The excessive $11 million compensation -- including taxes paid with the good judgment of the Citadel board of directors.

Shoddy executive oversight.

Turns out Suleman's former company, CBS, was right after all.

CBS canned Imus' tired act when he went over the line about a year and a&hellip

Radio: Lee & Bain vs. Jerry Lee

Thomas Lee Partners out of Boston and Bain Capital, the buyout firms behind the Clear Channel privatization (and many other buyouts) have one way of doing radio.

They buy a large established industry leader, cut expenses to the bone, operate it until the market allows them to -- sell it for a greater profit than what they paid.

That's the Lee & Bain way -- nothing wrong with it -- if you're an investor.

But for operators, there is another way.

Last week, Jerry Lee, the owner for life of WBEB (B-101), Philadelphia showed the industry what operators do when they want to actually keep the stations and make lots&hellip

The Future Radio Morning Show

I am expanding my private practice to include advising new media and broadcasting on future content models that could reap financial benefits.

And here's why.

One of the many concepts that I believe passes the litmus test with the next generation

Clear Channel 3.0

Version 1.0 was Lowry Mays and Red McCombs building their little Texas radio group pre-consolidation.

And 2.0 was Lowry and sons Randall and Mark with Randy Michaels telling them how to build radio clusters. It was when Jacor and AM/FM were acquired to build the 1,10o station platform Clear Channel used to dominate the industry, that is -- until it ran out of gas.

Now, what's Clear Channel 3.0 likely to look like.

Clear Channel is aggressively moving to get the new deal to take the company private approved by its shareholders. The Mayses have moved the voting date up to the end of July -- smart tactic in an industry&hellip

The Radio & Records To Do List

First, the record labels:

1. Stop the RIAA lawsuits against college kids and youth by declaring victory and giving up on this failed strategy that has backfired by increasing piracy not stopping it.

2. Give up trying to sell monthly subscription plans so listeners can access millions of songs

The FM-Free iPhone

The NAB Board meeting in Washington this week has FM on cellphones as a big agenda item.

Too bad the NAB and most radio CEOs do not understand Apple CEO Steve Jobs' thinking in continuing to exclude FM radio from the increasingly popular iPhone.

Radio people think that if you build it, they will listen.

As I frequently point out, you have to take a closer look at the next generation and why they will reject radio -- even on an iPhone.

The radio industry fails to grasp that this new generation does not listen to its entertainment the way older folks did. You may see a young person with an iPod glued to his or&hellip

The Hypocrites At Cox, Saga and ICBC

The CEOs at Cox, Saga and ICBC Holdings (Inner City) climbed out of their sandboxes briefly last week to shoot rubber bands at Arbitron once again over the issue of People Meter accreditation.

At least, that

To Fix Radio, Fire the Boss

Tribune owner Sam Zell has declared newspapers dead.

In fact he reportedly memoed Tribune staffers recently "What has become clear as we have gotten intimately familiar with the business is that the model for newspapers no longer works".

So Zell

The FCCǃ

Leave it to the Federal Communications Commission to come up with a way to control the free Internet.

It is proposing giving away broadband Internet for free in exchange for their right to control it.

There is an upcoming airwaves auction and if the FCC has its way the winner would be offering free wireless Internet to most consumers


On May 31st 2008, I read an obituary for radio.

No, I didn

The Magic Is the Music

I was in New York last week on business and had the occasion to dine at my favorite Italian restaurant in the Village

Radio, Records & TV in the Next 10 Years

My mother lived to a ripe old age and there are two things I will always remember from her lips to mine.

One, there is no city better than Hoboken, New Jersey, where she and I were born

The Best Run Radio Group

Can you name the best run radio group that has the following characteristics?

1. Never had a layoff. Could have made more money by running a leaner staff or cut back in hard times, but chose never to layoff an employee.

2. They honor their employees constantly through financial rewards, special perks and/or recognition under the theory that without happy employees the end user will not be happy.

3. When their people get sick, the company takes care of them. They continue to have their health coverage and insurance, but when something out of the ordinary happens the employee gets cut some extra slack because&hellip