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.

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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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Mandatory Programming Changes Coming to Clear Channel

Mandatory changes are weeks away from going into effect.

Changes that will pave the way for even more cutbacks of live talent, especially on morning shows.

With this, Clear Channel will be well on its way to running its prized radio stations on nothing but spit.

Here’s what’s about to happen next.

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1.  The big bang – how Clear Channel will expand getting rid of morning talent to pocket the savings. 

2.  The new systems that will enable a cheap morning show to replace live and local personalities.

3.  What the new Programming czar is mandating on local music choice and local content.

4.  The new rules for local operation of automated stations – the future for more Clear Channel medium and small markets as well as an aid in reducing major market costs.

5.  How they hired what staffers call a “trained monkey” to make all of these new changes work and what they are paying this person to help them fire more people.

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 in Scottsdale, AZ.  More useful ideas in one day than you are likely to gather in an entire year.  Topics like:  the missing link to make radio work on the mobile Internet; the most important skills you need to come away with for 2012; how Apple will revolutionize radio in the year ahead (and it’s scary); radio as a growth business as advertisers demand digital and on-air listening erodes; the new local; the most endangered format and the one that you should be doing in all genres (we will brainstorm it together); the end of social networking as we know it and what will replace it.  And more.  Be there.

Here’s what got me through that $100 million dollar lawsuit with Clear Channel and why the Evil Empire lost.  The principles are in my new book “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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When A $22 Million Station Is Put Up For Sale On eBay

5 years ago this 100,000-watt medium market station was purchased for $22 million.

Today, you can buy it on eBay for $8.9 million.

But nobody wants it.

Best bid is around $80,000!

What’s wrong here and what does it say about where the radio industry is headed?

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If you’ve been thinking about subscribing and would like to access this story, let me tell you what you will get.

1.  Find out how you can make a bid for this station but caution – first learn why the major consolidators don’t want it – and it has nothing to do with the coverage area.

2.  Why has the value dropped from $22 million to next to nothing in 5 years even as consolidators continue to consolidate?

3.  What would happen if Jerry Lee decided to sell his great standalone B-101 in Philadelphia – one of the perennial top billers even if he used a reputable media broker?

4.  What consolidators are now shopping for instead of expensive, top performing stations?  This speaks volumes.

5.  What are the safe radio markets?

6.  The three emerging new radio business models – CBS, Cumulus and Clear Channel and their chances of success.  

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 in about two weeks.  More useful ideas in one place for taking advantage of the best new opportunities in the next 12 months plus come away with the skills to do it. 

“Out of Bad Comes Good – The Advantages of Disadvantages” is my new book on turning adversity into success.  This is how I fought the Evil Empire and won.  Available in bookstores and Amazon.com or download it right now on your Kindle, Nook or iPad, under $9.99 here.

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Clear Channel Discounting Radio to Sell Digital Ads

Clear Channel has been caught red handed enticing advertisers to buy digital ads at the expense of their radio spend.

New evidence indicates media buyers are being lured to purchase digital as Clear Channel sellers are being forced to be “illusionists” by cutting the radio price and allocating it to create a phantom digital buy.

This is major.

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If you’ve been thinking about subscribing and would like to access this story, let me tell you what you will get.

1.  An actual large market and stations by call letters where Clear Channel is robbing radio to pay digital – there are others, many others.

2.  Which major competitors are not stooping to create a digital buy by discounting the advertiser’s radio spend.  You’ll be surprised!

3.  What the overall radio rate looks like once the digital buy is created.

4.  I’ve seen and analyzed some actual invoices and I will share the way that Clear Channel pulls off the phantom digital buy. 

5.  A media buyer on how widespread this practice is becoming so you can counteract it before it gets to your market.

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 and come away with a realistic blueprint to reinvent your station or grow your media company in the digital age.

If you’re a victim of radio downsizing, my new book is an uplifting game plan for how to turn adversity into future success. “Out of Bad Comes Good – The Advantages of Disadvantages” – in print or digital, under $9.99 here.

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