Radio Is Being PUNKǃ

Lew Dickey can fool the radio industry into thinking he can buy Citadel or Lincoln Financial, but apparently he can

Radio’s New Contesting Conundrum

The recession must officially be over.

CBS is bringing back contesting to its radio stations in 35 cities nationwide. That's a luxury radio operators could not afford when advertising sales were tanking.

Unfortunately, the contesting that is coming back is national in scope. That is -- listeners in 35 markets are competing for the same prizes. In the CBS example, $250,000 in prizes.

Clear Channel underwhelmed the industry before the recession by engineering national contests and I'm not so sure they weren't a little bit sneaky about the fact that local listeners were competing with listeners in other Clear Channel&hellip

The Four Seasons of Media Consolidation

Some of my readers have suggested workarounds to the Ticketmaster/Live Nation monopoly that I wrote about yesterday.

You know, the one that promises higher prices for concert ticket buyers.

The Grateful Dead concept of selling directly to fans.

The growth of entrepreneurial businesses that barter tickets in a fair marketplace like Brown Paper Tickets.

Others suggested Amazon or even iTunes as alternatives to Ticketmaster someday.

There is no shortage of good ideas when those ideas come from people who actually know what they are talking about, but the way our&hellip

The Dead Nation/Ticketmaster Merger

You've got to read the article in yesterday's Sunday New York Times Business section on Irving Azoff and his consolidated Live Nation and Ticketmaster concert venue monopoly.

If you want to see once more what is wrong with the music industry, go right ahead. I just got angrier as I worked my way through the article.

I know you find more snakes in the music business than you do the Amazon rain forest, but the arrogance of these two companies is what burns me up.

Their business model is built on greed not innovation and greed will work while you&hellip

Peter Drucker vs. Radio

My long-time friend, John Parikhal, was interviewed five years ago by Steve Rivers regarding the future of radio.

A number of years prior, I asked Parikhal to interview management guru Peter Drucker when he was a featured speaker at one of my management seminars. John was a long time Drucker fan because of his track record of brilliantly seeing the future.

I share this because in his Steve Rivers interview -- well before the current recession -- John believed what was about to happen to radio was predictable.

And it wasn't the economy that was&hellip

The Radio Royalty Solution

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has recently come out in favor of repealing radio's performance tax exemption.

No matter what you may personally think of Pelosi, she is very powerful and that delicate standoff in the House that slightly favors radio retaining its exemption is now in jeopardy.

I'll go a little further.

It's only a matter of a short time before radio will be paying more money to artists in addition to the fees it already pays ASCAP, BMI and SESAC without the current free pass.

As I've said many times before, this is unfortunate. The radio industry is single-handedly responsible for many decades of&hellip


Apple has been making a lot of news lately that will have more of an impact on traditional media perhaps than it will even on the consumer electronics industry.

That is saying a lot about a company that last night reported record quarterly earnings.

But this morning I thought I would share with you some signs that I am seeing that this giant hardware/software/everywhere company is encroaching on some sacred ground -- charging media companies to purvey content to consumers.

Unfortunately even smart media executives don

Radio Executive Compensation Gone Wild

If you've been getting that nagging feeling that the Goldman Sachs fraud controversy hits a little too close to home, then we're on the same page.

Goldman is being accused by the SEC of shorting the middle class by selling products that they allegedly not only knew were bad investments but by betting against the products they sold at the same time.

I understand that there are a lot of political repercussions to the Goldman story but the shorting of our own radio industry has happened by similar investment banks that have done damage to shareholders, employees, listeners and advertisers.

Radio industry CEOs are licking&hellip

iTunes “Radio” Is Coming

"Radio" is coming to Apple.

Unfortunately for terrestrial radio it will not necessarily be their existing radio stations.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is way ahead of the curve on this. It has confounded the broadcast industry that Apple offers just about everything on its mobile devices but a radio tuner.

I know that iPod and iPad users can access radio using third party apps. Apps arguably saved Pandora's franchise. Still there is no direct link to Pandora on these popular devices. Yet Apple seems to consider radio not an essential part of what it is doing.

The Apple Nano has an FM Tuner on board and in spite of&hellip

How to Monetize Podcasting

Adam Carolla, the funny star of radio and television, got 50 million iTunes downloads the first year he became a podcaster.

And he still isn't making money.

That's 50 million downloads -- and chump change for his efforts.

Do you think we broadcasting types need to go back to school to learn media sociology and technology?

Taking nothing away from Carolla or any other podcaster that can attract a following, making money in new media requires breaking away from an unhealthy dependence on spots.

And getting away from the radio model.

With podcasting, you no longer need to follow radio formatics because&hellip

Citadel and Regent Could Be Buyers

An unintended consequence of the recession is that the companies that performed so poorly that they had to seek bankruptcy protection will live another day to screw up more radio stations.

That's what is a distinct possibility once Citadel clears the bankruptcy court sometime later this year.

Regent has already been given court approval to emerge from bankruptcy as early as this month.

Therefore, shareholders, employees and listeners have been officially screwed and these companies could be among the first to start buying more stations -- as incredible as it may seem.

That may be insane to you, but you and I&hellip

Clear Channel’s Financial Comeuppance

My Italian father, God bless his soul, never knew how much money he had saved in his life even on the day he died.

That's because he did two things extremely well -- save money from his paycheck every week (he was a career military man and then designed catapults for Navy aircraft carriers).

And he paid everything off.

In other words when he bought something, he started paying the debt down immediately and for as long as it took until there was no debt. He died debt free which I know pleased him.

I have tried to learn the same lessons from my dad. Pay off everything you buy and save money. When I got my big&hellip

Conan on TBS — Smart?

For Conan O'Brien, getting pushed out of his Tonight Show digs at NBC has turned into quite a profitable business.

NBC paid him off -- $45 million to O'Brien and staffers -- when the network decided to reinstate Jay Leno to Conan's spot after Leno's ill-fated months in the 10 pm weeknight slot.

Everyone thought Conan was headed to Fox -- including Fox -- according to Deadline Hollywood's reporting. More talks were said to be scheduled between Conan and Fox after the NAB Convention now underway in Las Vegas.

Then the shocker.

In about less than two weeks, according to news accounts, Conan O'Brien's people decided&hellip

Why No Radio On the iPad

Steve Jobs just made it easier for iPhone users to multitask on their cell phones with an announcement regarding upcoming changes to the new iPhone operating system.

Phone users have been begging for multitasking capability on their iPhones. Apple offers some multitasking but it has been limited to a few Apple applications.

The new iPad -- introduced over a month ago -- was announced with the old operating system that does not allow non-Apple multitasking.

Perhaps the bigger news out of the Jobs event was the introduction of ad serving&hellip

Cumulus Radio Imposters, L.P.

We had another earthquake yesterday but it wasn't in Mexico or Indonesia.

It was in Atlanta -- home of the number two radio group in the world and by far the meanest when it comes to how they treat their employees.

I was having lunch with my Scottsdale Study Group radio friends yesterday when we all learned that Cumulus CEO Lew Tricky Dickey did it again.

Cumulus apparently cobbled together what looks like, feels like and sounds like yet another arm of its radio empire which is to be called Cumulus Radio Investors, LP with partner Crestview and unnamed co-conspirators who, we are told, together are investing up to&hellip

Why the NAB Is Losing Radioǃ

The radio lobby (National Association of Broadcasters) and the record industry lobby (MusicFIRST Coalition) are being childish.

The record label interests try to make it appear that the radio industry is trying to hurt starving artists by opposing the proposed repeal of the performance royalty exemption.


Next from Apple — iAds

Before you doubt me on this one remember I was the guy who warned years in advance that Apple was developing a new tablet mobile product that could revolutionize the industry.

The fact that I have to point this out before mentioning what I

iPad Radio

The new Apple iPad is a product almost everybody seems to want but they don't always exactly know how they are going to use it.



April Fool's Day just passed and all the pranks and outrageous behavior are behind us -- right?


Lately in radio every day is Fool's Day as witnessed by these real life stories of radio CEOs being radio CEOs.

You would think that the recession was over a long time ago the way radio companies are spending their money