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.

Access this story now, here.

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Instagram Killing Facebook

If you’re relying on Facebook to reach audiences and build lists, you’re using something that is fast becoming passé.

Don’t turn to media experts, just look to your kids.

Instagram not Facebook.

Facebook is fast becoming just a digital photo album.

Instagram is the next iteration of Facebook, which by comparison looks so primitive.  Fortunately for Facebook that they spent a billion to buy Instagram.  Now watch them ruin it with advertising.

My point is that digital is so volatile – it even rhymes so it should be easy to remember and we’d do well to remember it. 

And social is so trendy, it is in one minute and out the next and yet content providers are getting slammed because they can’t figure it out.

Facebook is only ten years old and now your 25th class reunion has discovered it.  That’s death to social media for all practical purposes.

SnapChat is the next thing driven by teenagers’ propensity for sending nude pictures of themselves on the service that are only visible for up to ten seconds and then, theoretically, destroy themselves.

We’re losing focus on what is important which is content.

It doesn’t matter how many social sites come along, we need to be on the right ones.

It doesn’t matter how many digital delivery systems come into favor, we need to be available through the most popular sites.

What is not negotiable is creating excellent content but radio is dropping the ball on this, which is not only not helpful but potentially fatal.

The change of focus should be strengthening the content and being an expert at new delivery systems and changing social media preferences.

I’m delving into this at my upcoming media conference in Philadelphia.  You’ll be dangerous when you leave.

Understanding Social Media

  • Replace Facebook as your go-to social network with this hot media site (in fact, why you should never even mention “Facebook” on the air from now on).
  • Disturbing new research on Twitter (beware if you are banking on it)
  • The 2 hottest new social networks you want to be part of
  • Easy ways to utilize texting more effectively
  • Latest intelligence on social networking to build audiences (we’re actually getting it wrong)
  • The killer social network every station should start if they want influence and monetization
  • More on how email and Internet search is selling far more product than social media – and how to take advantage of this trend.

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

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.


Major CBS Radio Slashes Start January 1

I’m not liking this at all.

CBS Radio is in my opinion arguably the best-run large radio company.  They have managed to do some excellent local radio while balancing off the usual corporate edicts that tend to prostitute the brand.

But lately, they are starting to give me the creeps. 

And now, starting in the New Year, CBS Radio is going to implement a policy that only Cumulus and Clear Channel would do.

This will affect the careers of a lot of CBS Radio employees and, just like Cumulus and Clear Channel; they either take it or go elsewhere.

What’s more, there are some sketchy revenue policies that some employees think are less than above board being routinely conducted across the radio platform.

All the changes I’m going to tell you about affect every CBS Radio station and their employees.

Access this story now, here.

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Cannibalizing Content, Nash FM, CC Cutbacks, Limbaugh

  • Why traditional media needs to disrupt the way it competes with digital.
  • Employ new strategies that actually will work with existing older audiences and – for the first time – emerging audiences under 35 years old.   
  • What are the newest and least used options for traditional media that would work better and faster than trying to fight digital competitors.

Also, this morning:

The Next Nash FM Type Format

  • Which format is next for the branded Nash FM treatment
  • Why Cumulus is taking on top-rated CBS country in Detroit with a country format that has flamed out in major markets.
  • How many existing Cumulus formats will be replaced by branded national services like Nash.

Clear Channel’s Next Layoff Target

  • What percentage of the current workforce is being fired under the radar since the last batch of layoffs in July.
  • Why some of the biggest personnel cuts ever are ahead for Clear Channel with this job being most at risk.
  • Which new initiative due to hit in 2014 will open the door for other employees once considered safe to lose their jobs.

Who Will Be WABC’s Replacement for Rush Limbaugh?

  • Shocking rumors of Limbaugh’s replacement – not ready for prime time or off the wall.
  • Why Cumulus is going down to the wire to name Limbaugh’s replacement
  • Why the Limbaugh replacement announcement will predict the future of talk radio 

Access these stories now – two different choices here.

Honest and insightful reporting not available anywhere else at a fair price and no advertising. Thousands of members are all in.  Unlock these stories and see for yourself.

The new updated agenda for my upcoming Philly seminar is out -- here

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Master Digital – What Works, What’s in the Pipeline

  • Put a stop/loss on your current digital plan and focus on just ONE of these sure-thing strategies instead
  • Alternative plans for streams that aren’t currently making money
  • Stop podcasting, do this instead (and watch the revenue build)
  • What’s more saleable than “clicks” and “likes” – here’s your new marketing tool
  • How to follow the wildly popular Netflix model and package on-demand content --- not for television, but for radio
  • Blow up the station website and reimagine it like this cash cow
  • Secrets of paid content and how to profit from it
  • How to unlock the revenue potential of iPhone, iPad and Android
  • How to hire local talent your competitors discard and start a digital project with them – without doing a traditional radio show or even paying their salaries. 

One of 7 key topic areas that will be covered at my upcoming Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.

See the other 6 here.