5 Moves Clear Channel Will Make Next

Clear Channel as we know it will not exist in a few short years.

The dismantling is already being planned.

This will help explain some of their questionable decisions lately that have little to do with running a successful radio station group.

If you’ve been thinking about subscribing and would like to access this story, let me tell you what you will get.

  1. Surprise!  Which big chunk of Clear Channel will be sold off to pay down debt.
  2. Why their recent sale of Australian stations is the template for how they intend to run the stations they keep in the U.S.  This will be you.
  3. The percentage of workforce that must go by the end of this year just to help pay the interest on their $20.5 billion in debt.
  4. The two exit plans on the table that would hurt a lot of employees – you won’t like either one.
  5. If Clear Channel can’t fire you, here’s their next best opportunity to “right size” you.

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Less than 1 month to my Philly Conference here.  See what is in the pipeline for radio.

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The Tonight Show Starring YouTube

What a mess the NBC Universal changeover has been from Jay Leno first to Conan O’Brien and now finally to Jimmy Fallon.

Fallon’s ratings after two weeks are good enough for older skewing television.  He’s attracting 5.6 million viewers a night, which is higher than traditional late night numbers.

But the money demo 18-49 rating is a paltry 1.9 share and not likely to get better.

Media people are great at packaging shows, making stars bigger than life and promoting the hell out of them.

What we all need to learn to do better is discover how audiences actually consume our content.

Take The Tonight Show.

Is it a digital play or a network television show?

Are they thinking the popular YouTube video clips they do are going to attract younger audiences to traditional television screens?

If they are, they are wasting their time.

In the first week of Fallon’s new show, his YouTube videos attracted 37 million viewers – a lot more than his TV show commands.

Oh, no.

NBC Universal sees it as a branding effort.

Let’s try to all at once forget that dirty word branding and deal with the real issues.

Jimmy Fallon is funny.

His YouTube videos are more popular than the show.

What self-respecting young fan would watch Tonight when they could be binging on Netflix?

The young audience isn’t wired the way media executives are wired.

Same is true for radio.

Radio stations have zero digital products.

Zero.

They have on-air brands (uh oh) and extend them online so that all those people who won’t listen on-air can participate online.

Bad strategy.

Step back for a second.

If someone walked into your office and said, I want your content so I can put it on the web so audiences don’t have to listen to a radio, you’d throw them out.

That’s what we’re all doing to ourselves.

So it’s time to rethink what we do on the air and what we are offering as digital.

On-air should be so compelling, unique and addicting that audiences should want to listen.  They should want to find a radio or demand a radio in their hands.

Online digital content should be so in the sweet spot of how younger audiences live that they are equally inclined to consume it.

I have to laugh when I see studies like the Borrell study that claims an average radio station did $166,000 in digital revenue last year?

If so, that number stinks.

And in the radio industry stations decide what is digital so there is no industry standard.

I have a video strategy that makes millions of dollars for Gen X entrepreneurs and I’m going to share it at my Philly conference in March. 

Now that’s a game plan we ought to learn about.

Here are some other critical things we should get ahead of:

  1. Disrupting radio – Pandora is doing it.  Apple is doing it.  Netflix has done it by feeding the binge-watching monster.  Social media is in disarray right now but it has become a radio competitor.  No format change is going to be enough to take them back.  Time to disrupt radio before someone else does it.
  2. Master digital -- Target solutions to transform both your radio and digital power into something that will attract big money advertisers.  Radio has only limited resources to devote to digital, we’ll drill down on the ones that can make them count.
  3. Starting your own social media – Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media sites are becoming unstable.  Learn about how to build a social media platform around you and your fans.  I’ll share the evidence.
  4. Reinvent radio for the digital age – I’ll be going over a list of things money demo listeners object to about radio and offer ways to address each and every one.  And together we will brainstorm ideas that can fix or replace the old reliable things that are not working for audiences any more.
  5. Getting into video -- The best route to starting your own radio station video business – one that will not need salespeople to unlock the revenue potential and that will more than make up for any on-air advertising shortfalls you may run into this year.  I’ll play video examples and reveal the winning game plans.
  6. Attracting younger audiences -- From my work as a USC professor in the area of generational media:  the four critical things Millennials expect of media.  Build the future around this checklist.
  7. Solving time shifted radio – Ways radio stations can get beyond real time broadcasting into the hottest media consumer trend of the last two decades – on-demand consumption of content. 

Less than a month until the Philly conference on March 26th and I’m getting excited to be with you and lead this seminar to transform the industry for the future.

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

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

Check availability for staying on-site at The Rittenhouse Hotel where this conference is being held -- please mention that you’ve registered for the “Media Solutions Conference”.

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Clear Channel Spying on Employees

J. Edgar Hoover would be proud -- the FBI has now confirmed Clear Channel employee spying.

The eye in the sky (Bob Pittman) is now officially the spy in the sky.

But there are other privacy abuses that his employees are not aware of.

Revealed today.

If you’ve been thinking about subscribing and would like to access this story, let me tell you what you will get.

  1. The complex and ugly program they wrote to read your email.
  2. How even “safe” ordinary emails can be tracked and read if employees make this one mistake in the email text. 
  3. How the Clear Channel spy network lets corporate automatically know each time you type certain things.
  4. How to protect yourself against this new level of corporate spying – 3 “safety first” precautions.
  5. Why the FBI confirmed Clear Channel spying as recently as Monday.

Access this story now and try a monthly subscription here.

Become an annual member and also access 2,625 previous stories, here.  Search Stories.

If you have news, memos or emails, report information in confidence and anonymously here.  I’ve got your back.

Or, talk to me privately here.

See what is in the pipeline for radio at my Philly Conference here.

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Cumulus Encourages Employee Birth Control

I thought that would get your attention.

Lew Dickey says it is “the right thing to do” to extend six weeks of maternity leave to new mothers.

The problem is when it comes to issues like maternity leave it turns out the only “mothers” are the Dickeys and I won’t share the suffix that some of their employees tack on to that word.

Guess what else they are secretly going to take away under the cover of “the right thing to do”.

If you’ve been thinking about subscribing and would like to access this story, let me tell you what you will get.

  1. What the Cumulus definition of mother is for the purpose of qualifying for maternity leave.
  2. Why this new “benefit” that Dickey is bragging about precedes a corporate war on women.
  3. What other company benefits are likely to go bye-bye next for men and women employees.
  4. How Cumulus is targeting women employees who work in this one area.
  5. Revealed!  Second round of personality contract cuts and more stringent non-competes ahead.

Access this story now and try a monthly subscription here.

Become an annual member and also access 2,623 previous stories, here.  Search Stories.

If you have news, memos or emails, report information in confidence and anonymously here.  I’ve got your back.

Or, talk to me privately here.

See what is in the pipeline for radio at my Philly Conference here.

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Even Publishers Are Getting Into Binge Content

Netflix has done more to wreck traditional network television than anything.

House of Cards being released on Valentine’s Day reshaped the lover’s holiday for the first time ever as people stayed on their sofas and binged throughout the weekend to see all 13 of the much-awaited season two.

And that’s the world we live in.

The one that asks, “I’m only up to episode 5 so don’t tell me what happens”.

A world of spoilers lurking everywhere.

Binging is the new broadcasting and for broadcasters that could mean a lot of problems.

Broadcasting is in real time, but audiences want on-demand.

Time shifting is no longer a philosophical option.  It’s a necessity.

In radio, we love the bubble we live in that makes us feel like we can ignore something this earthshattering. 

Even book publishers are getting with it.

Did you see how they are directing their best selling authors to write their novels on a quicker schedule so the publishers can release the books in rapid fire order – for print that would be, say, every few months.

Radio is going to have to deal with this market game changer.

And that’s why it is one of the 7 critical issues we must deal with to remain viable at my March 26th Philly conference. 

  • Why it is possible to both broadcast in real time and offer binge content for audiences.  And it cannot be the same thing.
  • How you can even make money from developing binge content for your radio brand.
  • The worst thing you can do is to confuse your potential binge content as recycled programming that has already aired.  Do that and it’s game over.
  • One absolute major change radio stations will have to make to their online content if they decide to get into producing binge content.

We’re going to brainstorm together – develop ideas that you can use if you like and get started before it is too late.

Here are the 7 critical issues that will drive this conference  …

  1. Disrupting radio -- Specific ways to disrupt radio and put an end to digital competitors interrupting your station’s revenue stream.  Pandora radio is already killing Clear Channel’s sales in the first quarter of the year in major markets that are off 5% -- ignoring digital competitors will not make this stop.  Disrupt them.
  2. Master digital -- as a second stream of free cash flow alongside a reinvigorated air product.  Even Facebook is changing its bet from mass social networking to smaller, more personalized group connection as witnessed by its recent $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp.  Master solutions to transform both your radio and digital power into something that will attract big money advertisers.
  3. Starting your own social media -- The first step to starting your stations own social media network independent from Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat or whatever else comes next.  A more sure footed way to grow your fan base.
  4. Adapting radio to the digital age -- Solutions to giving younger money demo listeners the radio that they want – a morning show that will take their breath away because no one is currently doing it.  Finally, an answer to how to fill their need for music discovery and your station’s need to gain ratings through repetition of the hits at the same time.  The only contest that will make their dreams come true and it’s not a trip or tickets to a concert.  I’m going to reveal it so you can do it.
  5. Getting into video -- The best route to starting your own radio station video business – one that will not need salespeople to unlock the revenue potential and that will more than make up for any on-air advertising shortfalls you may run into this year.  I’ll play video examples and reveal the winning game plans.
  6. Attracting younger audiences -- From my work as a USC professor in the area of generational media:  the four critical things Millennials expect of media.  This checklist is so valuable, I am using it right here, right now – can you tell?
  7. Solving time shifted radio -- Time shifting is the new broadcasting in an increasingly on-demand world.  It’s not just repurposing your morning show.  It’s grade A content that is irresistible and most in-demand by advertisers.

The Philly conference is just 1 month to the day.

I sure hope you will join us because 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 Philly March 26th

Join the radio executives and digital entrepreneurs who have already reserved their seats.

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

The Rittenhouse Hotel where this conference is being held is almost sold out the night before the Philly conference so please mention that you’ve registered for the “Media Solutions Conference”.

Read More  FREE SAMPLES

Scott Shannon Backstabbing Details Revealed

WCBS-FM, New York announces Scott Shannon today.

And another ex-employee that Cumulus didn’t value comes back to haunt them.

But what isn’t commonly known is that Shannon got knifed in the back.

It’s a dirty story that serves as a warning for anyone working for Cumulus.

If you’ve been thinking about subscribing and would like to access this story, let me tell you what you will get.

  1. Who stabbed Shannon in the back to oust him from his WPLJ morning show.  We name him.
  2. What were they thinking – the station other than WPLJ that Cumulus wanted to put Shannon on – a hilarious attempt to keep him from competing against them.
  3. If you’re ever negotiating with Cumulus, look what Shannon got them to do before he left.  Take notes.
  4. How the human wrecking ball himself John Dickey plans to beat Elvis Duran on Z100.
  5. What about those rumors that Shannon was going to WOR as a talk show host?

Access this story now and try a monthly subscription here.

Become an annual member and also access 2,621 previous stories, here.  Search Stories.

If you have news, memos or emails, report information in confidence and anonymously here.  I’ve never revealed a source – ever.

Or, talk to me privately here.

See what is in the pipeline for radio at my Philly Conference here.

Read More  FREE SAMPLES

Netflix Comcast Deal

I love Netflix.

It’s a great service and has reinvented the way we all consume video and TV content.

I love it for another reason.

I bought Netflix stock at $218 and it closed over $447 dollars a share yesterday.

But it’s a love/hate relationship.

I never cared for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings who tried to ram Internet service down the throats of snail mail customers a few years back.  It spoke volumes about Hastings.  He almost derailed a good thing.

Netflix arguably invented binge watching and getting into content creation has been a good decision.

Some 30% of all Internet traffic on both TV and computers comes from Netflix and Netflix with Google represent 50% of all U.S. Internet traffic.

Hastings has done what a lot of other greedy capitalists are doing lately – covering his ass at the expense of the industry that made him what he is.

Netflix did a deal with an empire more evil than even Clear Channel, Comcast, to guarantee no slow or pixilated streaming problems over Comcast and soon the monopoly it is acquiring, Time Warner Cable.

Netflix will apparently pay millions a year to Comcast for a multi-year agreement to become the poster child for doing in net neutrality.

That means Netflix will also have to pay Verizon and AT&T the same protection money.

Somehow this all sounds like the mafia to me.

Favoritism at a cost by sacrificing the very medium Netflix has pioneered.

I have heard stories that Netflix movies were getting pixilated on FiOS, the fast Verizon alternative to Comcast.

It’s like having your restaurant storefront window broken by the mob to get you use to their waste management “service”.

These guys play dirty.

My New Jersey home is in Moorestown, a South Jersey suburb of Philadelphia.  Verizon’s superior fiber optic FiOS is service is already in surrounding communities but not in Moorestown nor is it going to be in the near future because Comcast execs happen to live in Moorestown.  Wait until I give them an earful when I run into one of them at the Moorestown hardware store.

It’s always about gaining unfair advantage.

That’s why we can’t get beyond regulators because left to themselves you have Netflix and Comcast, Clear Channel and the other consolidators being given a free pass to monopoly by Congress and the FCC.

The FCC is going to take another bite of the apple called net neutrality by rewriting the regulations now that the courts struck the previous iteration down.

And so the greedy bastards are at it.

There will be another Netflix that comes along that will better and Hastings is quite capable of screwing up again.

If consumers think, good for Netflix – now I won’t have any streaming problems with my House of Cards binge watching session, think again.

Consumers are the ones who are going to pay for it.

Watch Netflix raise their monthly rate.

Watch Comcast increase their cable bill.  What?  You thought that was going down?

All of this to remind radio owners and executives how lucky they are to be broadcasting on free airwaves.  It doesn’t always sound like a good deal in the digital age, but that could change once these media barons ruin the digital landscape, as they will do.

Some day, if we put much better programming on the air, free radio may reengage an audience it lost to digital competitors.

Audiences want radio to innovate again.

Admit it, what passes for radio on most stations is not as good as radio used to be.  It’s a dumbed down, cheaper version across the board.

Last weekend while working on the content for my March 26th Philly conference, it struck me that we are capable of making important adjustments to what we do in broadcasting, digital, video businesses we should start and social media.

We’re going to brainstorm in person to generate ideas to take advantage of a media industry hell bent on shutting out competition, shutting down innovation and leaving audiences to their own devices.

We’ll focus on these critical issues …

  1. Disrupting radio -- Specific ways to disrupt radio and put an end to digital competitors interrupting your station’s revenue stream.  Pandora radio is already killing Clear Channel’s sales in the first quarter of the year in major markets that are off 5% -- ignoring digital competitors will not make this stop.  Disrupt them.
  2. Master digital -- as a second stream of free cash flow alongside a reinvigorated air product.  Even Facebook is changing its bet from mass social networking to smaller, more personalized group connection as witnessed by its recent $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp.  Master solutions to transform both your radio and digital power into something that will attract big money advertisers.
  3. Starting your own social media -- The first step to starting your stations own social media network independent from Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat or whatever else comes next.  A more sure footed way to grow your fan base.
  4. Adapting radio to the digital age -- Solutions to giving younger money demo listeners the radio that they want – a morning show that will take their breath away because no one is currently doing it.  Finally, an answer to how to fill their need for music discovery and your station’s need to gain ratings through repetition of the hits at the same time.  The only contest that will make their dreams come true and it’s not a trip, contest or tickets to a concert.  I’m going to reveal it so you can do it.
  5. Getting into video -- The best route to starting your own radio station video business – one that will not need salespeople to unlock the revenue potential and that will more than make up for any on-air advertising shortfalls you may run into this year.  I’ll play video examples and reveal the winning game plans.
  6. Attracting younger audiences -- From my work as a USC professor in the area of generational media:  the four critical things Millennials expect of media.  This checklist is so valuable, I am using it right here, right now – can you tell?
  7. Solving time shifted radio -- Time shifting is the new broadcasting in an increasingly on-demand world.  It’s not just repurposing your morning show.  It’s grade A content that is irresistible and most in-demand by advertisers.

I sure hope you will join us because 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 Philly March 26th

Join the radio executives and digital entrepreneurs who have already reserved their seats.

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

The Rittenhouse Hotel where this conference is being held is almost sold out the night before the Philly conference so please mention that you’ve registered for the “Media Solutions Conference”.

Read More  FREE SAMPLES