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.

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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.  

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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.

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Cox Radio Buyers Revealed

You will not believe who is turning out to be a major bidder for the six Cox Radio spinoff markets. 

I fell off my chair when I heard.

And it’s not Lew Dickey!

I’ve got names, info and a prediction of who will emerge the winner.

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  1. The bidder from hell with what looks to be a very substantial offer.
     
  2. Five others bidders – and I’m going to identify all of them – and what they are after.
     
  3. What’s really telling is which companies did not even try to bid – and I’ve got their names for you as well.
     
  4. The unusual litmus test that Cox is said to be using to determine which buyer will emerge with their six spinoff markets.
     
  5. I’ll handicap each bidder and arrive at who I think will win the six Cox spinoff markets by year’s end.

If you would like to see who is bidding on the Cox spinoffs, what we know about their offers and what the likely outcome will be, click “read more” below. 

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Panic in Talk Radio

Things are not going well for one of radio’s most important formats.

The numbers are old – too old to be attractive much longer and advertisers are spooked.

And there are no reinforcements in sight.

But that’s not all.

For the first time the radio groups that have been propping up talk radio are beginning to show signs that their attitudes are changing now as well.

Some problems are self-inflicted.  

The good news is that they can be fixed.  The bad news is venture capital radio companies are not in the mood to fix them.

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  1. Rush Limbaugh has new problems bigger than the Sandra Fluke controversy.  That’s bad for talk radio.
     
  2. How Cumulus signing Michael Savage is a predictor of things to come for talk radio and it’s not very pretty.
     
  3. How PPM is killing talk ratings and what can be done about it.
     
  4. Why Glenn Beck has the same problems but he’s in a better place.
     
  5. And why Sean Hannity is immune from the decline of talk radio. 
     
  6. The 5 biggest talk radio problems and how to attack them now.

If you would like to see specifically what’s panicking group owners about talk radio and learn what it takes to fix the problems, click “read more” below. 

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Startling CBS/Cumulus Partnerships

Cumulus is ready to go on a tear acquiring more big radio stations.

Lew Dickey started yesterday with New York – buying an FM.

But that’s only the beginning.

Wait until you hear what he’s going to do with that FM station and where he’s looking to expand the company that can’t make a profit.

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  1. Why Dickey bought WFME-FM, New York and what he’s likely to program on the station.
     
  2. Mind-blowing options between Dickey and CBS potentially involving more than carrying CBS sports network. 
     
  3. While Clear Channel is selling snake oil in the form of a simple-minded app, Dickey and CBS CEO Les Moonves are busy making bigger plans together.  What we know.
     
  4. CBS has one more move to make in New York City and it could be a whopper.
     
  5. Next likely large acquisition for Cumulus.
     
  6. A serious Cumulus shake-up could come in the former Citadel markets as soon as the next two months.

If you would like to see what Cumulus and CBS are up to together – and what it means for both companies, click “read more” below. 

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Bob Pittman’s Secret Plan

The Wall Street Journal just slobbered all over itself yesterday when it did a puff piece about Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman and failed to mention the firings, Bain and the real $16 billion debt problem that threatens to throw the company into bankruptcy.

They left out Pittman’s end game for Clear Channel and what he’s planning to do between now and then to get what he wants.

Here’s Bob Pittman’s secret plan that is never discussed publicly.

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  1. The Journal says Pittman wants to reinvent radio.  He has no intention of doing that.  He’s going to do this instead.
     
  2. Pittman is not just taking every speaking gig he can because he needs time off from the arduous task of reinventing – here’s what he wants from Clear Channel personally.
     
  3. How Pittman is trying to make radio “cool again” – for his buddies, not listeners. 
     
  4. The genius plan – you know what CBS and Cumulus are going to do but Pittman has thus far been secretive.  Picture Clear Channel local clusters running like this because it’s on its way.  Specifics.
     
  5. Pittman’s plan is so off the wall, look how he intends to actually ask listeners to tune out.  That’s right – so cool – he’s asking them to tune out.
     
  6. Evidence that the transformation of Clear Channel due to start after the election is already under way.  Look at this station for starters.

If you would like to see Bob Pittman’s secret plan that is immune from $16 billion in debt and fits into the Clear Channel end game, click on “read more” below.

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