The Non-Commercial Commercial Radio Station

I’m often asked to show new options for terrestrial radio stations that could increase audience and improve revenue. I am going to share such a concept with you this morning.

The Non-Commercial Commercial Radio Station as I envision it is one piece of a blueprint that includes seven strategic points.

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If you haven't subscribed yet and would like to access this story, let me tell you what you will get:

1. The challenges and opportunities of eliminating or reducing commercials as a way to increase revenue

2. How many spots you can get away with. I’ll name the number.

3. What compelling programming you’ll need to emphasize in order to get the best results. Elements that listeners crave.

4. How to lure listeners into paying for memberships to certain content that you can create.

5. The killer app – how to monetize a radio station with more money than you could bring in playing just commercials as your main source of revenue. I name some sample categories.

6. The Zen of a new age radio station – what must it possess or else reducing commercial loads is a waste of time.

7. The right way to do mobile content. Tie-in to on-air personalities or create new personalities for mobile? The real advantage to being a radio station in the digital age (and playing commercials or voice tracking is not what I have in mind).

The game plan begins here.

Randy Michaels Out — The Noise You Can’t Employ

Randy Michaels is out as CEO of Tribune Company according to The New York Times.

It is ironic that Michaels was brought down by another newspaper since he has a history of bad relations with independent publications he can’t control. The Times blistered Michaels and the frat house manner in which he ran Tribune in a recent article that put pressure on the Tribune board.

Michaels got away with it when Sam Zell was principal owner. But Zell is out and now so is Michaels. The Tribune board has had enough of the under performing CEO and his loyal band of radio people.

Randy always called his body of work “the noise you can’t ignore”. He used that catch phrase at several companies he ran. Unfortunately, the noise caught up with him.

Will Farid Suleman, John Hogan or Lew Dickey be next?

Inside Randy Michaels’ Firing of Lee Abrams

It took The New York Times to get Tribune Company to rein in the objectionable behavior that has poisoned the atmosphere at the troubled newspaper, television and radio company.

Last week Lee Abrams, the chief innovation officer at Tribune, recruited by CEO Randy Michaels, got snagged for sending out inappropriate videos not suitable for the workplace including one that was degrading to women.

He quit or had to quit – you can split the difference.

Degrading to women is a theme that has happened over and over again in Michaels’ career.

But this time, it was the affable Abrams who took the fall. Randy had no other choice. It was either Lee or me – and Michaels chose me.

How about this for chutzpah (shameless audacity; impudence):

Michaels, the same Randy Michaels who enables this type of sexually graphic culture, called his pal Abrams’ email: “in extremely bad taste”.

Whoa!

And what has gotten into Randy Michaels? Randy even said it was "the kind of serious mistake that can't be tolerated” according to a story in none other than The Chicago Tribune.

But then again, you can’t believe what you read in the papers these days or can you?

So Abrams took the fall for Michaels.

Randy Michaels acts like he has never had a poker playing, cigar smoking, lewd bash with these very employees on the hallowed ground of the Tribune Building and like that, everything goes away.

Not so fast.

I’ve got the video for you that got Abrams fired.

You can decide whether you believe Lee was sincere in his apology when he said he sent it "in hopes of inspiring them (employees) to reconsider print and broadcast convention”.

Here is the rest of the story with the most important 4 things Michaels, Abrams and his frat house crowd missed that you don’t want to miss.

Why?

Because this kind of mismanagement is going on in other media companies. And you don’t want to be unwittingly contributing to your own downfall. 

Youth and Radio’s Future

This article contains:

• The most important strategy for garnering a youth audience going forward

• Who is best qualified to be the program director of today’s youth-oriented radio

• What mistake radio stations are making that plays right into the hands of popular services like Pandora

• What is a radio station’s best “insurance policy” against Pandora

• Why People Meter-driven stations are succeeding by attracting listeners who believe it or not – do not listen and why it is so dangerous to your franchise.

• The one thing not to do from a strategic standpoint in planning radio’s future youth initiatives.

Citadel’s Fraud

It’s one thing for Citadel employees to complain about CEO Farid “Fagreed” Suleman signing a $43 million new contact right after the company emerges from bankruptcy.

It’s quite another thing when a hedge fund – that’s right, hedge fund – gets itself all hot and bothered over a mere pittance of $110 million in stock.

That hedge fund, R2 Investments, has petitioned a U.S. Bankruptcy Court to stop the awards that are planned for 2011 and 2012. R2 is outraged. Says Citadel committed a “shocking display of corporate greed and dishonesty” and “one of the most egregious frauds by a company emerging from bankruptcy under chapter 11.”

Greed?

It sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.

R2 is mad because while radio people can’t understand how Suleman took Citadel into bankruptcy and then out again without missing a beat or a dollar, you can’t do that to a hedge fund. They want theirs.

What’s theirs?

How about $55 million in stock grants – mostly to Suleman but also to his puppet board of directors who reportedly received $1 million each to make Farid’s giant compensation go down a little better for them.

On the surface, R2’s lawyers say the usual stuff – Farid’s actions diluted its holdings in the company and alleges that the awards are equal to each shareholder writing a check of 7.5% of their stock’s value and giving it to CEO for Life Suleman and the board.

A hearing is scheduled for November 3, but I already know how it will work out for Citadel, R2 and Citadel employees.

Here are the three options. Let’s see which one you like.