The Real Reason Lee & Bain Gave Ryan Seacrest $300 Million

$300 million is far more money than Clear Channel saved by using Ryan Seacrest to replace local talent in 170 markets.

But when Clear Channel’s investors spend that in one day to buy into Ryan Seacrest you know a different kind of radio business is coming.

Here’s what people on the ground are saying about how the Seacrest cash influx will help transform Clear Channel beyond radio.

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1.  Why Clear Channel’s owners are investing $300 million in their signature syndication property.  Sit down for this.

2.  Is there more investment money available from Wall Street for other talent at Clear Channel or elsewhere?  If so, how do you get some of it?

3.  Would Lee & Bain spend $300 million without getting something back in return that they want more than anything else?  You bet.  Here it is.

4.  Why the word radio did not appear even once in the Clear Channel news release yesterday announcing the $300 million Seacrest deal.

5.  Air talent – look out!

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Join me at my February 9th Media Solutions Lab.

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Madonna’s Puny $1 Million Record Deal

Springsteen’s last contract with Sony Music was for $100 million.

Madonna’s new contract with Universal is for a mere $1 million.

Per album.

What’s that all about?

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The Big Ideas Breakfast at this year’s conference has the best ideas to pounce on in the year ahead, 99 strategies to help you succeed (i.e., proven ways to use Twitter, how to make people like you instantly, the best meeting you could ever hold plus 96 more) and facetime together between 8-10 am.  The 2012 Media Solutions Lab February 9-10 at The Phoenician in Scottsdale.

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Cumulus Would Consider Selling Some Stations

About 1 week until my February 9 Media Solutions Lab and LAST DAY to save $200 on each registration here.

There is new evidence that Cumulus would like to sell certain radio stations ahead of acquiring even more.

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1.  What sources say Lew Dickey is willing to sell.

2.  Their new emerging strategy that is similar to Clear Channel in one key way.

3.  Now we know why both Cumulus and Clear Channel were ferociously firing people at some clusters but not others in the last quarter of 2011.  The mystery is solved.

4.  Why as a result of what’s going on between Cumulus and Clear Channel Entercom is soon to be the odd man out among radio groups – a dangerous place to be.

5.   You can now predict the Cumulus and Clear Channel markets that will be downsized and which ones will be spared.

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Join me in about one week at my February 9th Media Solutions Lab in Scottsdale, AZ.  This course will help you master the emerging opportunities ahead in the next 12 months along with the personal skills to be successful.  Today is the last day to save $200 on each registration here.

“In jealousy there is more self-love than love” from Chapter 4 of my new book “Out of Bad Comes Good – The Advantages of Disadvantages” – at bookstores, Amazon.com or download it on your Kindle, Nook or iPad, under $9.99 here.

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The Cumulus Cost Cutting & Acquisitions Plan

Something is up at Cumulus – something big. 

Don’t let the quiet fool you.

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1.  All you need to know about a sales commission plan that is being quietly implemented at some Citadel stations that effectively screws the sellers out of their expected and fair profit.

2.  Two new Cumulus programming initiatives that are going into high gear that will now target these two formats.

3.  Something is up with SweetJack, the company’s radio alternative to Groupon – and the one in which Clear Channel is a partner.

4.  First alert on the new Cumulus employee self-evaluation form that some employees think will be used to help the company fire them.  Wait until you see some of these sample questions they are demanding answers to.  How would you answer them?

5.  What Lew Dickey is working on right now to keep the momentum going in his bid to surpass Clear Channel as the world’s largest radio group. 

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It’s almost here – just a week and a half until my February 9th Media Solutions Lab at The Phoenician in Scottsdale.  This day-long interactive media seminar is focused on the challenges and opportunities in the next 12 months and the Next Day Big Ideas Breakfast from 8-10am offers specific game plans, strategies and intelligence to give you the edge.  Last two days to save $200.  Register.

The average baseball player hits only .250 (failing 75% of the time) and makes millions of dollars in big contracts.  We fail once or twice and give up.  Here is the secret to turning failure into success in my new book “Out of Bad Comes Good – The Advantages of Disadvantages” – print or download now, under $9.99 here.

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Radio Picking the Wrong Fight With Pandora

Radio says it has 14.6 billion monthly listening hours – a stat it specially compiled to counter Pandora’s growing 125 million subscriber base.

Spin is not the answer.  Radio is picking the wrong fight with Pandora.

To slow Pandora’s growth into local markets, here is what radio must do.

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1.  Pandora has an Achilles heel – and it’s not what the radio industry is targeting.  Here is the Pandora weakness that every station can exploit.

2.  How does radio ever begin to compete with a popular customizable music service when it has to use a 30 record playlist.  There is an easy way, but most stations aren’t doing it – yet.

3.  Radio’s biggest advantage over Pandora and the growing list of Pandora imitators – no one else can do what I am about to tell you, but radio. 

4.  The one thing radio can do to make the next generation put their mobile devices down and turn up the radio. 

5.  What happens if the radio industry doesn’t start taking Pandora seriously – then what?

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Join me at my February 9th Media Solutions Lab in less than 2 weeks.  You’ll come away with enough useful intelligence and strategic information to make your year and make the time spent worthwhile.  Reserve your seat here.

It is not the end of life if you are consistently hit with problems.  It is life.  Read the 5-step action plan for combating adversity in my new book “Out of Bad Comes Good – The Advantages of Disadvantages” – Read it now for under $9.99 here.

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Cumulus & Clear Channel’s Nuclear Options

What’s left to ruin after you’ve decimated your programming, management and sales staffs in massive ongoing cutbacks?

How can you sink any lower than “no one is home” remote radio stations?

Is there anything left to destroy after you’ve killed off your popular morning shows?

Wait until you see what the two largest radio groups are up to now.

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1.  The current setup of station management, sales and studio – big changes are coming.

2.  If you think cutting sales commissions – which they will continue to do – is all they have planned, wait until you hear about the nuclear option.

3.  The next breed of endangered jobs at both Clear Channel and Cumulus – and these people think they are now safe.

4.  Where Clear Channel and Cumulus are on the same track and one big way they are different. 

5.  The biggest change that could happen as early as this year is unthinkable, but Bob Pittman and Lew Dickey are thinking about it nonetheless.

6.  One of the two big consolidators is on their way out of radio and the other is on their way to reinvent it.  Don’t be too sure you know which is which until you see this.

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Join me at my February 9th Media Solutions Lab in two weeks from today.  You’ll come away with enough useful intelligence and strategic information to make your year and make the time spent worthwhile.  Reserve your seat here.

“When it comes to what gets into your psyche, be in charge” Chapter 9 of my new book “Out of Bad Comes Good – The Advantages of Disadvantages” – Read it now for under $9.99 here.

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PERSONAL NOTE:

My old buddy Jim Carnegie, Publisher of RBR, is mourning the death of his delightful and talented wife and partner, Cathy who died at the age of 59 after a short illness.  Jim and I worked together, socialized together and I can tell you that Cathy made all the difference in Jimmy’s life.  Everything that is great about radio is that we are a family – sometimes dysfunctional, but none the less joined by our love of what we do and of each other.  The outpouring of support we are witnessing during the time of his loss is what we do.  My heart aches for Jim.

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Merlin’s Answer to CBS: Power Pig FM News

The ratings are out and Merlin’s all-news WEMP in New York needs a defibrillator to bring it back to life -- a 0.5 share (same as before) for 30th place overall.

Things are not that much better for FM News in Chicago which still hasn’t gotten anywhere near a 1.

And Merlin Philadelphia is getting ready to fire up against CBS very soon.

What will Randy Michaels’ Merlin Media do now? 

Here’s the latest plan.

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1.  How Randy Michaels will do Power Pig on FM News.  Seriously.

2.  The new hot clock that Randy thinks will drain off enough CBS all-news listeners to make Merlin competitive at last.  Wait until you see what’s coming.

3.  Randy Michaels taking a page out of Jerry Lee’s B-101 Philadelphia book – as incredible as it may seem.

4.  Randy’s best strategic move against CBS in both New York and Chicago.

5.  PREDICTIONS about the best share possible up against CBS.  Will Power Pig tactics work in all-news?  Next format and when if it doesn’t.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (1,400 pieces) and get daily email delivery, click “read more” for your choices. 

Join me at my February 9th Media Solutions Lab for actionable info for the next 12 months. 

Conference Preview:  The threat of Siri, the talking iPhone and what you should do about it at this point.  Why you should get into the content dumping business now.  How to build new social networks around you – not Facebook or Twitter.  Harnessing the coming trend of continuous consumer buying.  What you can do to reverse radio’s downward spiral.  Safest formats.  The most endangered and what to do about them.  Brainstorming the new radio format for the digital age (we’ll do this together).  Get into iPad radio – Clear Channel won’t.  Get in early on the paid Internet.  Work session Thursday.  Big Ideas Breakfast Friday so you can head home with an Action Plan.

Read my book for a winning formula of turning bad into good. “Out of Bad Comes Good – The Advantages of Disadvantages” at bookstores, Amazon.com or download it now on your Kindle, Nook or iPad, under $9.99 here.

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