9 Best Radio Groups of 2013

Lew Dickey and Bob Pittman didn’t make the list, but who don’t know that?

I’ve got 9 radio companies for you that I would work for and that’s saying a lot.  Look, I’m going to be frank about it, but you’ll want to know these groups and why they made the cut for your own personal reasons.

This list is surprising.  I surprised myself over the holidays in fleshing out the winners.

And as a program director, I will take the advice of one of my mentors, Paul Drew, who said, “always count down the hits in order” and that’s what I’ve done.

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  1. The best group in all of radio has a significant amount of debt – and it hasn’t stopped them from being “the best”. 
  2. Which of the best radio groups is the most unlikely group to be included and what significant reason got them in anyway.
  3. If you think you’ll be looking for a new job in the year ahead, start at the top of this list and get going.  This list is for serious radio lifers.
  4. Which “shoe-ins” blew it and why you should use caution if you’re considering work at these companies.
  5. What is the best digital company in radio?  In all but one case, digital has nothing to do with the excellence these companies achieved, but guess which one was the exception.  Good to know if your future is in digital.
  6. How many of these 9 can you name – focus on the best.

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My upcoming Media Solutions Conference in Philly focuses on doing better radio at a time when consolidators are dumbing down and identifying the best opportunities for a digital revenue stream.  See the curriculum here.

Hannity To Teach At My Philly Conference

Sean Hannity will be in person to join me for the learning event that focuses on great radio and future revenue streams.

Jerry Lee, the successful entrepreneur who owns B-101 (now More FM) in Philadelphia is also on the faculty of my upcoming fifth annual Media Solutions seminar March 26th.

The coming year is critical because large radio groups are cutting to the bone, damaging their brands and by extension the radio brand.  There are steps that can and should be taken to prevent this.

And it will not be possible to remain viable without betting on the right digital media projects going forward and in my view very few have it right – yet.

So much is changing almost by the month and there are so many skills sets to acquire to be at your best.

This conference is especially important because it focuses on the two most important issues our industry faces:

  • How to do great radio when competitors are cheapening the brand
  • Unlocking better digital solutions that create an additional revenue stream

I’ve created 7 modules of curriculum for the one-day teaching event.

  1. Disrupting radio before a digital competitor does (they’re already stealing local radio buys and are the largest ad growth sector).
  2. Master digital.  It’s not brain surgery but believe it or not, no one in radio is doing digital the right way.
  3. Becoming accomplished at social media.  Let Facebook and Twitter go, that’s not social media now.
  4. Reinvent radio.  On-demand is in, broadcasting is fighting the new trend, where does that leave radio?  Strategies, ideas and inspirations.
  5. Launch short-form video.  Just because you’re in the audio business doesn’t mean you can’t be an expert at profitable short-form video.  I will reveal how some are earning millions from a 5-minute weekly video.
  6. Attract Millennials.  No getting around this fact – without 80 million Millennials, the oldest of whom are already 30 and well into the money demo, radio is just spinning its wheels.  I’ve devoted the last ten years to generational media.  You’ll know what I know.
  7. Adapt to time-shifting radio.  Miss this opportunity and radio is mired in the past.  How to time-shift on-air programming (there are new rules to this game) as well as digital.

I’m making lots of time for questions, answers and plenty of interaction.

This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person. 

I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you in person.

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

Inquire about sponsorships

Book soon for on-site rooms at The Rittenhouse Hotel at special conference rates.  Breakfast, lunch and all breaks included.  

Clear Channel Fraud: “Actors” Calling Talk Stations

How bad IS this?

One employee accused Clear Channel of turning talk radio into “nothing more than WWE wrestling”. 

And, “As we left the office we felt like we had just sat down with a drug dealer”.

A blatant attempt to phony up the ratings, fool listeners and hoodwink unsuspecting advertisers.

Talk talent pressured to use fake callers or as they call them “actors” to go all ballistic on-the-air.

Finally, The Evil Empire has been snagged so bad!

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  1. The actual dialogue used to pressure air talent into pretending that “actors” were real callers – it’s surreal.
  2. How the fraud worked – all the details.  Fake telephone numbers and trumped up topics plus this even more over the top demand.
  3. Be there!  First person accounts of the tense meeting that played out as it turned ugly and disgusting. 
  4. How widespread was the push to use fake “actors” to hype PPM ratings for Clear Channel talk stations.
  5. Plus, a chilling reenactment!  Clear Channel’s actual pitch, the response from talent in a tense meeting brought back alive by people who were there.

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Last call for the best deal if you plan on attending my upcoming Media Solutions Conference in Philly here.

Early Discount Ending For Philly Conference

Early discounting is ending for my upcoming fifth annual Media Solutions seminar March 26th.

I want to thank all the early-birds who have already registered and those of you who are also sending groups of attendees. 

Next year can be a great one for you if you plan to work in radio and digital media.

So much is changing almost by the month and there are so many skills sets to acquire to be at your best.

This conference is especially important because it focuses on the two most important issues our industry faces:

  • How to do great radio when competitors are cheapening the brand
  • Unlocking better digital solutions that create an additional revenue stream

That’s why I’ve created 7 modules of curriculum for the one-day teaching event.

  1. Disrupting radio before a digital competitor does (they’re already stealing local radio buys and are the largest ad growth sector).
  2. Master digital.  It’s not brain surgery but believe it or not, no one in radio is doing digital the right way.
  3. Becoming accomplished at social media.  Let Facebook and Twitter go, that’s not social media now.
  4. Reinvent radio.  On-demand is in; broadcasting is fighting the new trend, where does that leave radio?  Strategies, ideas and inspirations.
  5. Launch short-form video.  Just because you’re in the audio business doesn’t mean you can’t be an expert at profitable short-form video.  I will reveal how some are earning millions from a 5-minute weekly video.
  6. Attract Millennials.  No getting around this fact – without 80 million Millennials, the oldest of whom are already 30 and well into the money demo, radio is just spinning its wheels.  I’ve devoted the last ten years to generational media.  You’ll know what I know.
  7. Adapt to time-shifting radio.  Miss this opportunity and radio is mired in the past.  How to time-shift on-air programming (there are new rules to this game) as well as digital.

I’m making lots of time for questions, answers and plenty of interaction.

This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person. 

I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you in person.

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

Inquire about sponsorships

Last call for on-site rooms at The Rittenhouse Hotel at special conference rates.  Breakfast, lunch and all breaks included. 

Early Discount Ending For Philly Conference

I want to thank all you early birds who have already reserved a seat for my upcoming fifth annual Media Solutions seminar March 26th.

And thanks to those of you who are also sending groups of attendees. 

Just one last shout out that the early incentives are about to end so if you’ve been thinking about attending, you’ll want to act now.

This conference is especially important because it focuses on the two most important issues our industry faces:

  • How to do great radio when competitors are cheapening the brand
  • Unlocking better digital solutions that create an additional revenue stream

That’s why I’ve created 7 modules of curriculum for the one-day teaching event.

  1. Disrupting radio before a digital competitor does (they’re already stealing local radio buys and are the largest ad growth sector).
  2. Master digital.  It’s not brain surgery but believe it or not, no one in radio is doing digital the right way.
  3. Becoming accomplished at social media.  Let Facebook and Twitter go, that’s not social media now.
  4. Reinvent radio.  On-demand is in; broadcasting is fighting the new trend, where does that leave radio?   Strategies, ideas and inspirations.
  5. Launch short-form video.  Just because you’re in the audio business doesn’t mean you can’t be an expert at profitable short-form video.  I will reveal how some are earning millions from a 5-minute weekly video.
  6. Attract Millennials.  No getting around this fact – without 80 million Millennials, the oldest of whom are already 30 and well into the money demo, radio is just spinning its wheels.  I’ve devoted the last ten years to generational media.  You’ll know what I know.
  7. Adapt to time-shifting radio.  Miss this opportunity and radio is mired in the past.  How to time-shift on-air programming (there are new rules to this game) as well as digital.

I’m making lots of time for questions, answers and plenty of interaction.

This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person. 

You’re the best!   Thank you!

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

Inquire about sponsorships

Last call for on-site rooms at The Rittenhouse Hotel at special conference rates.  Breakfast, lunch and all breaks included. 

Clear Channel Fakes Facebook

Nabbed again!

Caught in the act of lying to the audience by a person close to the situation.

Depends Alert!

You’re going to pee yourself when you see what these clowns tried to get away with.

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  1. The third recent example of Clear Channel lying to their audience.
  2. Hooray!  Some feisty dude turned them in and caught them being someone they were not – a Facebook no-no and a colossal audience embarrassment.
  3. Even the Facebook picture was a fake – I’ll take you to Getty Images where they borrowed it.  To quote Wolfman Jack, “If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin”.
  4. The fake name was “CeeCee Tribeca” – wait until you hear how these arrogant bastards came up with it.
  5. Plus – 2 more examples of misleading or outright lying to the audience revealed.  Where’s the FCC when you need them?

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Become an annual member and also access 2,541 previous stories, here.  Search Stories.

Join our Witness Protection Program 100% anonymity guaranteed – report news here.

Talk to me privately here.

Last call for the best deal if you plan on attending my upcoming Media Solutions Conference in Philly here.

Career Crisis For Radio Execs

I’m depressed over the surprisingly widespread layoffs now under way at CBS Radio.

This is chilling.

You expect Lew Dickey to knife people because he is truly an executive born of investment bank radio.

He would never be chosen from a lineup by Disney or for that matter CBS in years gone by.

Now CBS is mimicking Cumulus. 

They are firing salespeople – makes no sense because if there is one thing CBS needs is increased sales.

You can also see the programming talent being led to the door.

It begs the question, what kind of industry is radio going to be when its leaders are operating a strip and sell strategy?

I believe smaller, audience-focused local radio groups can still make money.  I have one of their leaders, Jerry Lee, teaching at my upcoming seminar. 

But you can’t do even great radio today without a second stream of simultaneous smart digital revenue.

So when we get together face-to-face in Philly I am going to show you the best ways to do great radio and stay profitable in a industry that is fighting to break even.

But don’t stop there.

These stations may want to use their considerable content creating and marketing skills to start dominating digital media.  Or, you may be an entrepreneur skilled in radio and interested in new frontiers.

Let me just say it – get into video as soon as you can.

  • Growth opportunities in the hottest area of media content (forget that you’re a radio station and want to amp up your efforts).
  • How the entrepreneur I’m going to tell you about makes $3 million a year from short-form video without commercials, banner ads, product placement fees or paid subscriptions – Learn this plan!
  • Why you never want to create a video longer than this – the sweet spot for video length this year – yes, it just changed again.
  • What is the hottest topic for making money in short-form video – you’ll never guess but the evidence is growing.
  • How to monetize, market and distribute video mobile content

This is the fifth year we are doing our Media Solutions Conference for people who love this business and want to acquire more of the skill sets to be ready for what is next.

Will you consider it?

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

Ask about your company underwriting scholarships

Act to book an on-site room at The Rittenhouse Hotel while still available at special conference rates.  Breakfast, lunch and all breaks included.  This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person. 

Next Blockbuster Move For CBS Radio

What’s a company with NO debt doing acting like a company with almost $21 billion in red ink?

Slashing jobs across their group just two weeks before Christmas like, well … like, The Evil Empire itself.

There is no putting lipstick on this pig.

Bigger changes are on the way.

Here’s why CBS employees are so nervous.

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  1. What happens next – and it’s going to be ugly.
  2. What’s up at corporate leading to this major turnaround in operational strategy – a longtime exec breaks it down.
  3. Why CBS feels so confident that it can dare to tamper with its sales efforts in a flat industry by firing many account execs this week.
  4. What about Dan Mason and his team.
  5. All the details on CBS’ Plan B – an unprecedented strategy that to my knowledge has never been tried before by a major radio group.
  6. At least, are the iconic CBS on-air brands safe?

If you would like to see what will happen next after CBS finishes its Christmas layoffs, click “read more” below.

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Oh No! Not CBS, Too

Being a Jersey boy I am fond of saying that if you build a $10 million estate in rundown Camden, New Jersey, you are still constructing a very expensive mansion in a blighted location.

That’s getting to be true of radio as well.

Radio carpetbaggers are making our industry a blighted area.

With CBS Radio looking more like Clear Channel firing lots of great people before the holidays, what big group will be left to battle “cuts comes first” companies like Clear Channel and Cumulus and put a positive face on this industry?

I mean, CBS is firing salespeople, too!  And they have great ones. 

Hello, Pandora!

When you get in the wholesale business of voluntarily giving away your best assets, it eventually hurts the good operators that remain.

And that’s YOU!

But there’s reason to be positive if we’re willing to be shrewd.

The big boys (and they have very few women or else they’d be better off) are stuck in the radio rut.

You can still do good radio but you’ll also need a new strategy because as John Edwards used to say about two Americas, there are now two radio industries.  (I can’t believe I used John Edwards).  You get the point.  Sean, don’t hold it against me!

And a simultaneous second track of revenue from digital media and no, I don’t mean streaming your on-air content.

I’m working to pull it all together for my Philly seminar that will feature arguably one of the best radio operators in the nation.  Jerry Lee beats the pants off his large competitors with one station and you’ll go one on one with him as he joins the faculty.  He’s not lecturing or speaking, he’ll be teaching.

Jerry Lee is doing what good radio operators are going to have to do more of – let the big boys hang themselves and clean up on all the money they are leaving on the table with their ill-conceived savings.

Boosting revenue on existing advertisers – programs to help them super achieve.

And I’m supposed to be an expert on generational media so I’m going to step up and show you some new avenues that will appeal to Millennials – video that makes millions of dollars and costs next to nothing to produce.  No banner ads, no product placement fees, no commercials and no paid subscriptions.  

It’s even better than that!  

I’ll play a video for you and share the secret and you’ll want to run home and start your own, but you’ll have to be there because this conference is never streamed or made available for viewing later.

We’re going to drill down on 7 key areas.

This is for companies that plan to do excellent radio and develop cash flow from new media even if their cost-cutting competitors are stinking up the industry.

Here’s just one learning module.

Key Strategies To Protect Your Radio Station

  • How to earn 50% of your station’s total billing in just 4 hours
  • Why in most cases weather and traffic are a waste of time (there are major exceptions) but … what to offer routinely as exclusive content in its place
  • How to do more live and local programming on the same budget as voice tracking
  • The 2 things radio must do right now to make it a growth industry again
  • Take a first peek at the radio station of the future in the digital age (if you like it, you can have it right now – or your competitor can).
  • Cheaper and better alternatives to voice tracking
  • How to put a “lock” on your 25 biggest advertisers
  • What to do to protect against audience erosion
  • How to get advertisers to pay more and actually increase their budgets before ever looking at your ratings (and, yes, and they won’t even insist on digital add-ons, either) – MoreFM (formerly B-101 owner Jerry Lee in person to tell you how.
  • Best thinking on translators/FM sub channels – worth it or not?
  • Challenges and opportunities ahead in direct media buying that major groups are set to impose on radio

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

Ask about your company underwriting scholarships

Act to book an on-site room at The Rittenhouse Hotel while still available at special conference rates.  Breakfast, lunch and all breaks included.  This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person. 

CBS, Cumulus, Clear Channel, Bonneville

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes ahead for major radio and media companies.  Lots of pre-Christmas activity going on.

If you appreciate honest and insightful reporting, let me tell you what you will get this morning:

  1. How massive will the CBS layoffs actually be – trimming or like Clear Channel.  Who will take the brunt.  Will it affect every market?
  2. How Cumulus will level entire stations including in larger markets starting soon.  Their plan revealed and it won’t disappoint.  It’s cruel.
  3. Why Clear Channel broke the cardinal rule of social media – don’t lie to your audience.  Caught on tape for you to hear.
  4. Will Bonneville’s new boss prep the 4-market group for sale?  Employees of a great radio group look to the future.
  5. A book company takes on Amazon with binge reading – radio needs to do this because broadcasting is out, binge content is in.

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