The Next Cumulus and Clear Channel Firings

Okay, we know that Clear Channel is only in day two of its massive firings with more coming in the days and weeks ahead.

And that Cumulus is literally gutting its Citadel stations one at a time until every one is reduced to a tower and transmitter.

So what cutbacks are next?

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1.  The next potential job category to be drastically downsized may surprise you.  They thought they had job security, but Clear Channel came up with this new plan.

2.  What one tipster says Cumulus is doing before they fire programming people. A hint:  it’s online and not in person.

3.  Clear Channel is not through blowing up Metro Traffic.  Here’s how.

4.  The big bang didn’t happen yet at Clear Channel in spite of the many firings yesterday.  Here’s when it will and what kind of blow it will be.

5.  Which company is more blood thirsty to keep the firing up – Clear Channel or Cumulus?

6.  If you work in sales at Clear Channel you may be safe if you have this one kind of job and may be the next victim if you have the other.  I’ll explain.

7.  The rest of the radio groups will sit out this massive replacement of local talent with national syndication, right?

The answers start here.

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Clear Channel Firing Timeline

Do you ever get the feeling the executives at Cumulus and Clear Channel actually like making people worry about their jobs? 

It sure seems that way since reducing work force is done all the time in other industries without all the drama and needless worry.

This morning the clock is ticking with regard to the expected next round of Clear Channel massive cutbacks thought to coincide with President John “Flash Drive” Hogan’s major market managers meeting underway today in Chicago.

It’s hard to know exactly when the detonation will occur, but there are some things about the timeline that are very predictable that I will share with you today.

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1.  What must happen first before cutbacks can begin in any given Clear Channel cluster.  In other words, if this hasn’t happened, you’ve probably got a few more weeks.

2.  The elapsed time between when Hogan hands off his flash drives to regional managers and actual firings.  A pretty good estimate – right here.

3.  My best assessment of which job position has a three times greater chance of being eliminated in this round of firings than any other job.  It’s my estimate based on sources who are on the ground at Clear Channel.

4.  When are the majority of the firings to be completed? And do they start up again?

5.  What is the safest position in at a Clear Channel station right now as the firings commence – and why that position is in jeopardy next year.

6.  Where is designer CEO Bob Pittman and what is he working on while Hogan drops the axe.

The answers start here.

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How The Clear Channel Firings Will Go Down Today

John Hogan will be passing out those infamous flash drives to major market managers starting today in Chicago when he meets with them.

But the cost cuts Hogan mandated a little over a week ago to smaller market managers should kick in.

There is a pattern to how this executioner does it and I am going to share that with you today.

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1.  Where the most cutbacks will come from.

2.  The Clear Channel plan that brings double savings!  That’s right – double.

3.  When the first firings should commence.

4.  There will likely be some survivors – this is my best thinking as to who the lucky ones may be and why they won’t be lucky for long.

5.  An idea of how pressured some regional managers are feeling to fire people, some do not want to terminate.  Hogan is holding them to the fire with this one comparable statistic – and they had better show Hogan a way to reduce it.

6.  Voice tracking is safe, right?

7.  One programming arm is going to look like a war zone when their cutbacks are implemented.  I’ll tell you which one is about to get annihilated.

The answers start here.

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What It’s Like When Cumulus Takes Over a Citadel Station

We now have a clear example of how Cumulus is invading the Citadel stations it took over a month ago and making wholesale changes whether they need to be made or not.

Employees are on edge and frustrated by some of the most confounding new policies you’ve ever heard.

I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned from Citadel markets where the Dickeys have come into town with guns blazing.

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1.  What the first thing Cumulus did to the existing managers when they took over the station.  Even the managers who were outperforming their markets are forced to do this.

2.  The new normal in sales at Cumulus.  If it ain’t broke, here’s how Cumulus is fixing it anyway.

3.  Evidence that contrary to popular opinion, Cumulus is hiring.  Wait until you hear what positions they are filling.  And, don’t worry, they are still firing more folks than they hire.  It’s just taking longer.

4.  What would you do if you wanted to attract the best and the brightest – well, forget that because here’s all you need to know about the Cumulus “Open House” system for hiring inexperienced and inexpensive future employees.  

5.  What happens every other Thursday at the new Citadel stations?  No, it’s not a Skype sales meeting from Atlanta.  Think again – it’s even worse.  I’ll explain.

6.  Why unnecessary changes are being made at perfectly successful Citadel stations that have already been paired back to the fewest number of employees possible.  This gives you an idea of what the Dickeys have in store for their stations in the future.

The answers start here.

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Bizarre Firing Tactics Revealed

Cumulus is methodically traveling from market to market firing significant numbers of Citadel employees and any day now, Clear Channel is expected to initiate massive firings.

That we know.

What isn’t known is how dirty, petty, insulting and often illegal their tactics tend to be.

Today, I am going to share with you what I am hearing from the field and it’s not for the faint of heart.

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1.  The most cockamamie severance option I’ve ever heard from one of the biggest consolidators.  If it weren’t so serious, you’d die laughing at this ploy.

2.  One consolidator has a perfect way to get you to take a huge pay cut.  I know what you’re thinking – I’ll take the cut, at least I didn’t get fired.  Well, turns out they’re thinking the same thing, but their approach is both creative and evil.  I’ll give you all the details.

3.  What’s the last thing you say to an eight-month pregnant employee?  Okay, that’s YOU, but wait until you see what this employer said. 

4.  An unreported and unnoticed twist in the Clear Channel Regional Market Manager’s line of command.  Whoever thought of this is the one who should be fired because it’s going to backfire.

5.  How many managers does it take to manage a Clear Channel cluster?  Are you sure?  I’ll tell you the number that I’m thinking and I’ll back it up with evidence.

The answers start here.

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The best use of your time and resources is to invest a day in yourself and get prepared for new opportunities.  Check your schedule and register for my 2012 Media Solutions Lab.

No one – not even Steve Jobs – achieved success without experiencing temporary setbacks.  My new book is “Out of Bad Comes Good – The Advantages of Disadvantages” available for under $10 in paperback or e-readers here.

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The New Clear Channel “No Local Staff” Prototype Is Up and Running

The new “No Local Staff” model of a Clear Channel cluster is up and running in some markets and I’ve got a sobering look at one of them and what you can expect to spread across the platform.

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1.  Dramatic evidence that Clear Channel intends to run four or more stations with virtually no people.  But how?  Here it is.

2.  Walk through the mind of John Hogan or Bob Pittman – we’ll do the new math for you.  The Clear Channel station of the future is operating now and being readied in other markets and the savings are dazzling. 

3.  Which cities are immune from the Clear Channel  “No Local Staff” concept. 

4.  What Clear Channel is willing to forego that a traditional radio station would never do without.  Is anything still sacred?  Read on.

5.  How important is the morning personality now under Clear Channel’s new No Morning Show Left Behind concept.  Take this example and see.

6.  How Clear Channel is likely to roll out these new “No Local Staff” stations going forward.  And real soon.

7.  Come to understand why iHeartRadio is so important to Clear Channel – not for its programming, but for this. 

8.  You’ll now understand Clear Channel’s end game because we can now see it in operation.

The answers begin here.

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Firings Get Uglier This Week

Week two of the Cumulus bloodbath continues and the expected start of Clear Channel’s massive force reduction begins this week.

Already, a troubling pattern is emerging.

Here’s what people on the ground at both companies are saying about the next week of major force reductions at radio’s two biggest companies.

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1.  Westwood One – look out.  

2.  Metro Traffic – my sources close to the action say big changes are coming and I’ve got them for you here.

3.  Where Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is traveling this week on the day his competitor is ready to detonate their major reductions in work force – and it’s scaring the hell of out one Cumulus cluster.  

4.  The template for Cumulus firings at Citadel going forward.  Yes, there is a trend here and it gives you an idea of what to expect when the Grim Reaper of Cumulus shows up at the door.

5.  What to expect in the week ahead if you work at Cumulus or Clear Channel.

6.  For Cumulus – will the firings escalate, who is immune from the axe at the cluster level, a new twist in severance benefits.

7.  For Clear Channel victims:  When this week’s massive firings are expected to get underway, which job categories are protected, how long will this wave of firings persist.  

The answers begin here.

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