CBS Goes Clear Channel

Just at the time when stations need every listener they can get, thousands and thousands of radio stations are in the midst of adopting a new policy that effectively drives listeners away from the station they are listening to.

Not just online to their own streams but, amazingly, to competitors and dreaded customized music services.

But now it’s not just a vague concept.

It’s policy.

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  1. CBS – that’s right, CBS – just recently mandated some of their stations to offer their on-air listeners other options in real time.  Here’s how they do it.  I I’ve documented it for you.
     
  2. Why a smart company like CBS is now joining Clear Channel and taking the risk to lose on-air listeners.  What recently happened to make them get a jump on competitors.
     
  3. Cumulus, Entercom and even Greater Media are driving listeners away from local radio stations at a time when average quarter hours continue to erode and Pandora is making inroads. 
     
  4. What was in a couple of huge crates dropped off at a Florida Clear Channel cluster a few days ago?  This they can’t live without.  Talent, not so much.
     
  5. WTOP, KYW, 1010 WINS and WCBS attracted new listeners who wanted information and companionship during Hurricane Sandy, but Clear Channel and Cumulus in hard hit New York City drove listeners away in two very different ways.

If you would like to see recent examples of why major radio groups are willing to risk driving listeners away from their on air stations, click “read more” below.

I hope you will join me as I teach my upcoming fourth annual Media Solutions Lab January 30-31 in Scottsdale.  A full-day of interactive learning about radio and the digital future and a next day Big Ideas strategy session where we can roll up our sleeves and work across the table with each other. 

Here’s one sample from the 13 learning modules: 

“Digital Ideas Buyers Are Clamoring for”
Useable, ready-to-implement ideas you can package and take to buyers alone or as part of a radio/digital package.  Pricing traps to avoid.  Ways to get a premium for digital instead of giving away to earn a spot buy.  What they don’t want (i.e., streaming, banner web ads, etc.).  Customizable digital ideas built for your local clients but that you continue to own (DIY mobile platforms for local advertisers). The most desired new digital options for 2013.

See all the Learning Modules and Register for my 2013 Media Solutions Lab.  Tuition increases soon so now is a great time to reserve a seat.

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Clear Channel Unhinged

The nation’s number one radio group is now losing it.

Competitors have big plans.

CBS is moving with surgical precision to own the last viable radio formats without much public fanfare.

Even Cumulus has plans to grow the group next year.

Clear Channel is doing some of the most cockamamie things that make no sense.

But, it gives you an idea where they are coming from and where they are headed.

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  1. How Clear Channel plans to replace its market managers.  It’s not based on performance.
     
  2. Big time intimidation tactics:  They’re now doing in-station seminars for talent and salespeople on – sit down for this – how to do an endorsement.  But that’s not why they’re doing them.
     
  3. How Clear Channel is now using Cumulus-type non-compete threats – with a new twist.
     
  4. Why they are making deals with record labels for music that they don’t play on any of their stations. 
     
  5. The payola disclaimer that some employees attach to their emails even though we all know Clear Channel doesn’t take payola for playing the same record every hour on the hour.

If you would like to see what Clear Channel is doing right now that clearly shows what they have up their sleeves next, click “read more” below. 

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The first topics have been posted for my January seminar, here’s a preview …

2013 will be the most critical year for radio, media companies and new age entrepreneurs.

Adapting radio for the digital age.

Creating new digital products and streams that advertisers are clamoring for.

Choosing the correct social media strategy because Twitter and Facebook alone will no longer do.  We don’t want to be on the wrong side of that trend.

And monetizing our digital efforts to create a growth business or an additional cash stream for existing media companies.

To get a leg up on these changes it will take mastering the new rules of traditional and digital media and acquiring enhanced skill sets to be successful.

This year, the fourth annual Media Solutions Lab at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, AZ January 30-31 is devoted to “Radio & The Digital Future”. 

It’s a full day interactive learning seminar and a next day Big Ideas Strategy Session with skill sets training.

Wednesday, January 30th is the full-day interactive learning session that includes 6 critical areas to master.

  • Emerging Media Trends
  • Digital Content
  • Revenue Streams
  • Social Media Advances
  • Digital Businesses to Start
  • The Growing Importance of Video

Plus, intelligence on how audiences are changing even over the past year.

Thursday, January 31 is “Big Ideas Strategy Session” where we roll up our sleeves and collaborate to customize the opportunities that will be presented in the form of “30 New Ideas” ready to take home and implement.  The most useful new media secrets for 2013.

And skills training – what we’ll have to do to be qualified and ready for a new age of radio in the digital future. 

Learn more: Go to Conference Page to Register

Cumulus Local Billing Tanking Nationwide

Big trouble for CEO Lew Dickey.

Dickey is like an animal backed into a corner threatened not by a lack of revenue – after all, investors aren’t afraid of a little debt or a lot of it.  He’s pissed that his company, systems and people are not doing what he’s demanding.

Big changes are on the way and it could be ugly.

Heads are going to roll.

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  1. How the Midwest region is missing their numbers. 
     
  2. The plan Dickey has for anyone who would dare let him down.
     
  3. Why in spite of sales systems (CSOS), hard-driving corporate execs and threats his company is underperforming in a big way.
     
  4. Why revenue is tanking in both major and smaller markets for Cumulus – not everyone else.
     
  5. The impact of missing his projections again on the further growth of Cumulus.
     
  6. Who will pay the price and when.

If you want to see how Cumulus revenue is tanking and what CEO Lew Dickey is threatening to do if it doesn’t get turned around, click “read more” below. 

Transition from only broadcasting to meaningful and profitable radio and digital together in the year ahead.  Attend my 2013 Media Solutions Lab January 30-31 at The Phoenician In Scottsdale.  See the seminar preview

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Storm Warning For Radio

The once in a lifetime east coast Hurricane that hit late yesterday and continues this morning has also become a storm warning for radio.

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  1. What the Frankenstorm says about online streaming.
     
  2. What radio’s best companies tried to pass off as storm coverage.
     
  3. One sure way to make radio better the other 364 days a year based on how a station responds during a local emergency.
     
  4. What listeners now expect from content providers.
     
  5. What The Weather Channel and most of local radio has in common.

If you would like to see the storm warnings ahead for radio, click “read more” below. 

Transition from only broadcasting to meaningful and profitable radio and digital together in the year ahead.  Attend my 2013 Media Solutions Lab January 30-31 at The Phoenician In Scottsdale.  See the seminar preview.

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Radio’s Secret Cutback Plans Exposed

Reducing expenses has become a high art form for the greedy bastards at Cumulus and Clear Channel.

It’s almost November – do you know where your job is going?

These two leaders in unemployment have discovered so many more complicated and devious ways to cut expenses.

I’m going to share them with you because they are likely to happen – some time very soon.

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  1. High pressure selling tactics designed more to get employees to quit rather than to motivate them to increase sales.  A case study.
     
  2. How one consolidator has found a new way to double down on repeater radio.  It’s in place right now and will likely expand over the coming months.
     
  3. How one radio group is actually playing hardball when their employees do more than they’ve asked them to do.
     
  4. Why Clear Channel is beginning to send in a new breed of corporate trainers to win air talent and salespeople over to their way of doing things – or else.
     
  5. How one group is forcing salespeople to piss off their advertisers because this one thing is even more important to them than increasing ad revenue.
     
  6. Clear Channel’s next big new thing to save high priced talent salaries in one move.
     
  7. The major strategic programming shift coming to Cumulus stations – it’s starting to happen already.
     
  8. Forced selling in lousy time periods and new ways to steal big accounts from star salespeople – documented. 

If you would like to see the secret plans of Clear Channel and Cumulus that are expected to be rolled out soon, click “read more” below.

Learning from each other.  Not preaching to each other.  I invite you to participate in my fourth annual Media Solutions Lab “Radio & the Digital Future” January 30-31 in Scottsdale, AZ.  Here is a first look at the Learning Modules plus information on attending – learn more.

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How to Annihilate Apple Radio

Apple has given the green light to launch the much-awaited Apple Radio for a winter startup.

Along with greedy record labels, Apple is targeting Pandora and commercial radio.

But Steve Jobs is no longer making the decisions.

And Apple is making some big mistakes.

Here they are and here are the ways to get ready to pounce on them.

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  1. Why our friends at the major record labels are setting Apple Radio up to fail.  Their demands.  And Apple is going to give in.
     
  2. How Apple Radio will be out of sync with the next generation and what to do about it.
     
  3. What is the meaning of “cool” today and why Apple Radio won’t have it, but Pandora still will.
     
  4. The music service that will kick all their butts – Apple included.  If you take nothing else away from this article, learn from this.
     
  5. The one thing a radio station could do right now – months in advance of the Apple Radio launch – to stop the new service dead in its tracks.

If you would like to see the previously secret plans that Apple and the major labels are making to disrupt radio and how to shut them down, click “read more” below.

Where is the one place you get to work across the table with impressive radio and digital media thinkers rather than be lectured by them?  The Media Solutions Lab “Strategy Session” January 31 at the Phoenician in Scottsdale.  The full program is outlined here.   Won’t you join us this year?

Talk to me privately here.

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Cumulus Dodging Bankruptcy

Clear Channel is not the only major consolidator with debt so high it faces bankruptcy.

Cumulus is also in big trouble and the company is starting to panic.

CEO Lew Dickey shrewdly stole Citadel a year ago, which had just screwed its investors and banks by entering bankruptcy to emerge with very little debt.   Dickey needed Citadel’s balance sheet to keep Cumulus afloat.

History may repeat itself.

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  1. Why even the Cumulus whip and verbal abuse in the form of sales beatings is not apparently reversing the losses at their critical major market stations.
     
  2. Yet, Cumulus keeps buying major market stations with more likely on the way.  What’s up with that?
     
  3. The ingenious failsafe plan that actually allows Cumulus to keep expanding its holdings in major markets while not having to be responsible for programming.
     
  4. Remember the “partnership” they enter into with CBS to turn over 67 of its affiliate stations to the CBS Sports Radio Network?  What if they did another deal like that?  Read on.
     
  5. Something’s fishy with that WFME-FM purchase from Family Radio in New York City.
     
  6. Why it’s beginning to look like the Dickey’s are going to run their radio properties like the hotel industry -- Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton.

If you would like to see how close to bankruptcy Cumulus is and the radical plans they are considering to survive, click “read more” below. 

Only 1 radio/digital media conference got a grade of 100% in meeting or exceeding expectations last year as rated by attendees.  See the full program for next 2013 Media Solutions Lab January 30-31 in Scottsdale, AZ here.

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Mel, Malone & the Death of SiriusXM

Mel Karmazin is leaving.

John Malone is taking over SiriusXM.

And satellite radio as we have come to know it is over.

In the world of mergers and acquisitions, SiriusXM’s role has less to do with how successful it is and more to do with what benefits it can bring to the new owners.

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  1. The death knell for satellite radio.  Big changes ahead in 2013 for them and for those who compete with them.  I’ll detail it.
     
  2. Why John Malone bought enough stock on the open market to push Mel out.  The answer may surprise you.
     
  3. What’s next for Mel Karmazin after running Infinity, CBS and SiriusXM.  I think he’s got a job in his sights and we’ll talk about it.
     
  4. Is Mel about to become a CEO at another radio company?  Imagine if he and not Bob Pittman had been hired by Bain to run Clear Channel.  We’re not the only ones asking that question.
     
  5. What happens to the 25 million SiriusXM subscribers who were used to a radio guy running the company. 

If you want to see how Liberty Media’s takeover of SiriusXM will impact the company and what Mel Karmazin may have in mind as a next act, click “read more” below.

For 4 years running, the radio/digital media conference that has changed lives – The 2013 Media Solutions Lab January 30-31 in Scottsdale, AZ.  See the full program here.

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Clear Channel Out of Control

Clear Channel is feeling the pressure of competitors who are breathing down their necks.

CBS.

Cumulus.

That’s why they are apparently sinking to tactics that not only screw minorities, advertisers and even successful employees but also are spitting in the face of what some perceive to be the law.

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  1. How Clear Channel is blatantly screwing advertisers in some markets.  This is unthinkable for any buyer or advertiser who is spending money with them – that is, if they are aware of it.  They will be now.
     
  2. At last, the real answer what’s in it for Clear Channel when they give favored artists unprecedented airplay every hour on the hour.  And it’s not just limited to their iHeartRadio fest.
     
  3. How the company got caught playing dirty politics in several crucial swing states where they apparently were looking to suppress the vote for their Bain founder Mitt Romney.  Here’s where and their eventual mea culpa.
     
  4. How success apparently doesn’t matter at Clear Chanel anymore.  Some people say the company is undermining market managers – good and successful ones.  Here is a scary case in point.
     
  5. Funny business with the Jingle Bell Ball Christmas concerts. 

If you would like to see the dirty tricks Clear Channel is trying to get away with on and off the air, click “read more” below. 

A conference for industry people who want to be more skilled at radio in the digital age – attend my 2013 media conference January 30-31 at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale.  Here are the initial Learning Modules: 

  1. 10 Emerging Trends to Watch for 2013
  2. How to Maximize Radio Formats for the Digital Age
  3. Digital Ideas Buyers are Clamoring For
  4. Building a Revenue Stream Around Content Pods
  5. The Most Effective New Social Media Strategies
  6. The Growing Importance of Video
  7. How to Game the People Meter
  8. Music Radio’s Best Options Against Pandora
  9. Brands Instead of Radio Formats
  10. The Class of 2016
  11. The Best New Digital Cash Streams
  12. Technology Advances To Watch Like a Hawk
  13. Career Insurance:  Skills You Need To Succeed in Digital Media

A full day interactive learning session and next day Big Ideas Working Strategy Session with me to help you develop an effective blueprint for your priorities.  

View details of the Learning Modules and registration information here.  Today you can also reserve a $200 per person discount. 

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Clear Channel Shakeup

Clear Channel appears to be chomping at the bit to begin what could be their most drastic downsizing yet of the company.

There is increasing evidence that Clear Channel is ready to again cut deep into the bone of its management structure.

Some significant changes occurred as recently as last week and more are planned for after Election Day so as not to be a distraction to Bain founder and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

What’s going to emerge from this shakeup – and let’s call it that because it is going to be very disruptive – is a skeleton of a company on the brink of financial disaster.

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  1. Where high profile major executives are being targeted as a run up to the firings that are coming.  Some happened as recently as last week.  Where and how.
     
  2. Sources within Clear Channel say another Hogan shrink down is in the wings for after the election.
     
  3. You’ll now know which position is being targeted most but you’ll also find out which job is about to get expanded – without additional compensation.
     
  4. What’s really driving another expense dump at Clear Channel even as the company struggles with disappointing revenue.
     
  5. The big push ahead in programming which will save huge sums of money – Here are the economies of scale, you do the math. 
     
  6. What it takes to be bulletproof from this coming drastic cutback.  If you have this going for you, you are as good as gold. 

If you would like to take a look at what promises to be the biggest and most painful shrink down of Clear Channel – who gets fired, who gets more work with no additional pay and who is safe, click “read more” below.

Just added to my Radio & The Digital Future Conference in January: 

“How to Maximize Radio Formats for the Digital Age”
Reliable new information on how mobile and digital devices are changing the way audiences use traditional media.  Things that turn today’s audiences on and off.  Elements listeners could become addicted to if they were added.  What to do about personalities.  Commercials that digital audiences would love (no station does them, so you can be first).  Programming music in the age of Pandora.  Operating cost effectively in tough times.  What changing audiences want from your website, mobile devices and social media.

See conference registration information here.

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