The End of Radio Consolidation

1.  Big layoffs are coming this fall – credible sources say 1,250 of them in one company alone.  I’ll name the company.

2.  The new virtual radio station that is ready to allow consolidators to eliminate more personnel. 

3.  See how one big consolidator plans to use “knockoff brands” to cut the payroll further.

4.  Have consolidators finally hit the wall on more acquisitions or will the configuration of some of the groups substantially change?

5.  The next place consolidators cut costs – as soon as early next year.

6.  The timeframe for the end of consolidation as we know it – plus the business model that will replace what Clear Channel and Cumulus are doing now.

7.  The end game after consolidators finally cut all the costs they can and amass all the stations they are able to.  New options other than operate.

8.  What will happen to Lew Dickey, Bob Pittman, John Hogan and the other evildoers who many say wrecked the radio industry?  One will get off scot-free.  One could be in big trouble.  And the third, well – you’ll slap your knees laughing.  You’ll want to save this piece and use it as a roadmap for the future.

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Unsocial Media

Social media companies are in the process of melting down.

Facebook, the game maker Zynga and Twitter are popular but they’re having a hard time finding a profitable business model.  A real hard time.

Yet, radio stations, media companies and record labels lean on social media to be their link to a connected world.

Boy, are they in for a disappointment.

This article is all about how to make informed decisions that are going to put us on the right side of what’s next in social media.

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1.  What our number one mission will be in social networking – nothing like what we’re doing now if we’re doing anything other than Facebook and Twitter.

2.  Why thinking that advertising is the answer to monetization of your social media is wrong – but there is a way, a great way that you probably have never considered until now.

3.  What’s more important than time spent on your social media sites?  Know this and you’re golden.

4.  What a radio station or record label should build instead of Facebook and Twitter.  This advice is worth the price of the piece alone.

5.  The one thing that people crave about social media that is actually being taken away slowly by Facebook and Twitter.

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How to Game The People Meter

You’ve asked me and I’m going to do it – today.

What does Dan Mason know that you don’t about The People Meter?  Why let the big consolidators have all the fun.

They love Arbitron these days because Arbitron made their dreams come true by providing a PPM ratings system that shows more audience than the old diary even when fewer people are listening to radio.

What’s not to like.

If you want what they’re having, then you’re going to love this.

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1.  What is the sure PPM format that never loses and always wins even if you do a lousy job with it.

2.  A new PPM tactic being tried right now in Philly at Greater Media’s WMMR – you’ve never heard this strategic move before – until now.

3.  How to game the morning show once and for all exactly the way consolidators are doing it now.

4.  The new most important daypart.  Forget what you’ve heard because it isn’t what you think it is.

5.  How consolidators who get big PPM ratings handle commercials, stop sets, talking, voice tracking, playlists and promotions.  This is their game and they’re damn good at it.

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Tricky Dickey’s Advertising “Accounting Errors”

CEO Lew “Tricky” Dickey is at it again.

This time he’s turning his attention to the hand that feeds Cumulus – advertisers.

Cumulus is allegedly using a tactic imported from Europe that could be construed as sketchy at best in dealing with their rep firm and major advertisers to coax them into spending more.

This raises at the minimum a question of potential unethical behavior that in theory could give companies like Cumulus an unfair advantage competing for business.

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1. How the scheme works from the moment these kinds of so-called “exchange” deals are done to the way they wind up on the books. 

2.  Who is doing them?  I’ll name a rep and three advertisers for starters.

3.  The tricky accounting tactic reportedly being used that some could say opens Cumulus up to the charge that they are giving kickbacks to the agencies who give them the most business.

4.  COO John Pinch caught red handed in a memo asking for a corporate “lift”.

5.  How the scheme ends up as a “billing error” and begs the question is the advertiser getting the additional discount or is the agency keeping all or some of it without their knowledge. 

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Radio’s Last Election

Enjoy the vitriol and shouting. 

Enjoy the ambushes and name calling.

And the big ratings they get!

The November election is radio’s last because listeners have changed, owners are the same cheap bastards and talk show talk hosts are increasingly talking to themselves.

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1.  The prognosis for political advertising beyond 2012.

2.  How consolidators are damaging their best and most profitable talk brands to the point where in four years they will be rendered impotent.

3.  What the most popular talk show hosts are doing wrong (you may be making this same mistake).

4.  What one thing owners should do to reinvent talk radio to stop the damage – and best of all, it won’t cost an additional cent.  They’re not going to take this advice, but there is nothing stopping you.

5.  The critical secret to getting young people to listen to a reinvented version of talk radio.

6.  How long does talk radio have?  How long does radio have?

What a great day to start a subscription that will help you see the future.

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The Winningest Radio Group

Next time Clear Channel CEO Bob “Pitchman” Pittman tries to tell you he runs the best radio group in the world, you will know that he may only be half right.

And that’s like being half-pregnant.

Useless.

I’m going to share some research with you from PPM markets that is eye opening to say the least.

Which radio groups win the most in PPM ratings.

There are a few names on this list that I know will shock you (they shocked me) but it proves a great point.

We now have two radio industries.

One dominated by monopolies backed by venture capital.

The other, mostly small companies that operate local radio stations.

So let the listeners decide, whose is the winningest?

Lew or Bob or well, you’ll see.

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1.  How the big boys rank in ratings based on their sheer size.

2.  But when expressed as a percentage of stations, which groups win the most.  I’ll countdown 11 of them in order.

3.  Which one broadcaster is so surprising, you may not even be aware that they are in business, but boy, they sure are according to this.

4.  How the big getting bigger and the small (by comparison) getting smaller will impact the radio industry going forward.

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Stop Streaming

There are a ton of new reasons to stop streaming terrestrial radio stations online.

There’s new research on the attention span of consumers that you’ll want to know.

But also a fundamental change in the sociology of technology or how real live listeners now use their mobile devices including radio.

I am going to share the latest on what I’ve learned about how our listeners are changing and what steps we can take to keep up with them.

Can we make a smart phone a “Walkman”?

Can a Walkman even work for today’s listener?

Radio is making decisions that are directly opposite to what their listeners actually want from them and we’re going to straighten that out right here.

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Follow the Smart Money Out of Radio

There is a new trend developing in the radio industry that promises to reshuffle markets and clusters in a way not seen before.

It’s happening now and with the recent announcement that Cox will be selling stations in six markets, the handwriting is on the wall.

Here’s a look at what’s going to happen to radio groups, the industry and a new type of media company emerging only a few years from now.

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1.  What Cox is really up to by selling six radio markets, shuffling staff and buying more TV.  The end of radio for Cox or the beginning of something new?  You may be surprised.

2.  The radio group that is changing the ownership model.

3.  Here’s the future of radio in a nutshell – how the industry may start to look in as few as five years (or less).

4.  How Cumulus and Clear Channel fit into the radio selloff that is beginning to happen.  What if they don’t?

5.  Radio used to be a service and lifeline, but now bigger media companies want to own stations for an entirely different reason.  You’re probably not going to like what they have in mind for radio when they buy it.

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Cox To Announce Sale of 30 Stations Today

Cox Radio is set to announce today at noon that it will sell 30 stations in 5 markets.

This is major because Cox is generally acknowledged as an excellent radio operator and taking the step of reducing its portfolio of stations is unsettling in an industry where consolidators are ruining stations.

Here’s the information from my network of news sources ahead of the Cox announcement today.

Plus, something you will not get anywhere else – the truth about how it will impact the future of Cox, their competitors and the radio industry.

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1.  Is this the start of Cox’s eventual exit from radio?  Yes or no.

2.  Which specific markets are going to be sold.

3.  Big markets?  Small markets?  How Cox made the decision to sell these clusters.

4.  What are the chances Cumulus buys some or all of the 30 Cox stations where they don’t have ownership overlaps?

5.  What’s the over/under that Clear Channel could cherry pick these markets?

6.  Which potential buyers have the strongest chances.

7.  What problems does Cox face in trying to sell these 5 markets.

8.  Two new ownership trends are developing.  You should see them and know them now.

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Sketchy New Clear Channel & Cumulus Tactics Exposed

Clear Channel and Cumulus are doing some pretty sketchy things behind the scenes.

Luckily for them, very few people know about them.

Until now.

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1.  A new way to program multiple stations with virtually the same music and content in virtually the same order without making it a network or syndication thus keeping in “local” in a convoluted way.  Wait until you see this “local” programming trick.

2.  One major group has locked out its local program directors from their computer system.  Here’s the new deal.

3.  Cumulus caves – that’s right, caves -- to our pressure to keep one of its promises.  See which one.

4.  A new round of forced endorsements is underway at Clear Channel except as one source reports the product they are being forced to endorse may be harmful to their health.  You can’t make this stuff up.

5.  The 2nd annual iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas sold out within minutes.  But listeners are pissed about how Clear Channel is making it up to them – like getting screwed twice.

6.  How successful are Clear Channel and Cumulus when they cut on-air personalities’ pay by 50% or more.  Here are some actual numbers. 

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