Apple, the Failure

What could possibly make Apple, a company that sold 5 million iPhones over the weekend alone a disappointing failure?   And I’m not even talking about Google Maps here.  The same bad rap is starting to happen to media companies.

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Warner Music’s Sweet Revenge

Universal Music finally won approval to buy EMI last week, but not without a troublesome divestiture mandate that could end up backfiring.

This is like a bad soap opera.  UMG is forced to spin off a major part of EMI’s European assets.  But it’s who could make the winning bid for them that is UMG’s dilemma.  One is another label.  The other is a wannabe label.  And because UMG already paid Citibank the $1.9 billion price for EMI before the divestiture requirement was known, it may have to take the highest bid even if it screws them.  Why the last 3 labels standing have weakened their ability to be all-in digital.  What about higher consumer prices and creating a new tax on digital innovation.  Thank this merger for what’s coming next.

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The iHateRadio Train Wreck

Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio concert series and app are starting to backfire

Employees and people familiar with what they are doing now say that the costs are going through the roof and the benefits are declining rapidly.

Too bad most major radio groups have hitched their future to iHeartRadio.

They’re going down.

  1. Clear Channel is making apparent false messaging claims related to the just concluded Las Vegas music festival.  What receiving and replying to their claim of 50 million messages really costs them – from an industry insider who knows.
     
  2. Deep resentment is building at local radio stations over iHeartRadio (which employees even refer to as iHateRadio).  Here’s the little known rub that really burns them up.
     
  3. What iHeartRadio partner companies – their actual radio competitors – are coughing up to be part of this sinking ship.  Yes, even down to the deal details – here.
     
  4. The new trend in radio right now is not so much that Clear Channel and Cumulus are fantasizing about not being local radio companies but that something even more troubling is starting to happen.
     
  5. The real unvarnished reason iHeartRadio is worth all the hoopla and expense to Clear Channel – and no, it has nothing to do with getting listeners or making money.  Even more important!

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John Hogan For President

John Hogan is my choice to cure the problems of the Romney presidential campaign.

He’s Bain trained.

Here’s how John Hogan can save the election or better yet how Bain (with Thomas Lee Partners) can return Clear Channel to the state it was in when it completed the purchase for $24 billion four years ago.

  1. Dump Romney & Paul Ryan and go with Hogan and this Clear Channel choice for VP.
     
  2. See the people President Hogan would pick as Secretary of State and press secretary.  Plus what he would do to build a strong military and repeal and replace ObamaCare.
     
  3. How President Hogan would close Mitt Romney’s gender gap with women based on many years of Clear Channel experience.
     
  4. Most importantly, how Hogan would deal with the deficit.
     
  5. Oh, and why John Hogan should show all his tax returns every year he worked for Bain because – well, because he’s in the 1% and he didn’t build that.

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Clear Channel’s WOR Sale, Z-100 Renewal Challenged

By another radio company – not a community group.

Are these guys crazy or do they have another motive?  Nobody takes on the Evil Empire, unless…

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  1. The premise for the petition to deny – How Clear Channel is being accused of warehousing radio stations – operating them even when they are under legal mandate to divest the stations as part of previously approved deals.
     
  2. What company bought the most stations in the Clear Channel Trust so far – you’ll never guess which one it is.  Never.
     
  3. Even if the license challenge is unsuccessful, what this maneuver could do to the WOR-Clear Channel purchase.  This could be one shrewd move.
     
  4. Why would David pick this losing battle with Goliath?  It makes no sense – until you read this.

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Reserve a seat at my next “Music, Broadcasting & the Digital Future” Conference and Big Ideas Breakfast January 30-31. 

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