The Exit Plans For 4 Major Radio Groups

Time to exit stage left.

Wall Street money never sleeps for much longer than 5 years.  So you were thinking, they would just keep losing money the way they are doing now?

These groups have their eyes on the exit no matter how they talk in public.

What would astound you is how they actually think they are going to cash out.

It’s all laid out here.

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

  1. Clear Channel’s real exit plan is the most thought out – how they will get their money off the table.
  2. Why Cumulus radio ownership is temporary.
  3. How Entercom has backed themselves into only one way to go forward – and it’s risky.
  4. The game of poker CBS is playing.
  5. When these exiting companies start heading for the door.

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

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

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Changes Younger Demos Want Your Station To Make

I heard a report on NPR last week that young children who have become used to playing with mobile devices and getting instant gratification are throwing fits when their parents “force” them to watch commercial television.

In fact, these young kids can’t stand the commercials and want them to stop.  Can you imagine?

I can.

Because our radio audiences are a lot older and they are wondering why we think they would want to listen to what passes for radio these days.

For the past ten years I have made it my business to study the patterns of generational media thanks to the time I spent as a professor at The University of Southern California.

I can tell you that the 95 million Millennials coming of age – some as old as 30 and in our money demo – are lost to radio unless we adapt and change.

Baby boomers cannot make radio a growth business again and Gen X, they are a much smaller generation in terms of numbers and, well -- they coined the phrase “radio sucks” – remember that gem?

Younger demos want us to change if we expect them to add radio to their many digital options for entertainment and information.

Bear with me here.

Say you had this idea before radio was ever invented and pitched it to investors of that era.

“We have this technology that can put audio programs into people’s homes and offer music, entertainment, news and local information.  And we can monetize it by running two 9 minute clusters crammed with unlistenable advertisements every hour”.

No one would buy that business model.

And take away the music, entertainment, news and local information as the big consolidators have and what are we offering again?

But I am more than confident that I know the way to reengage this critical audience.

  • A way to offer commercials in a more listenable form.
  • The one way younger demos would actually like to hear commercials (from my student labs at USC).  That’s right, they would listen and not tune out.  I can promise you, we’re not doing this – yet.
  • They want music discovery and we want to prune the playlist to the same repetitive songs over and over.  Bland, no discovery.  But I am going to tell those of you who are in Philly March 26th for my meeting how to do both from the mouths of this essential audience.  And they will love it.   If you’re in a disrupting mood, this is worth the price alone.
  • A contest so compelling to younger demos that they will actually carry your station around and listen live if you’ll give them this one thing that is an answer to their dreams.  Forget the other garbage that means nothing to them.  I’m going to ask you to do just this one thing really well – and I’ll answer all your questions on how to carry it off.

Our conference is only one month away.

It’s about solutions.

My mission is to be in the room with radio people and digital entrepreneurs who are of the mind to innovate.

In addition to the above, there are 7 key areas that I will offer solutions for that will reignite our ability to not just compete but to lead.

  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.

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

If you’d like to stay on-site at The Rittenhouse Hotel, mention you’ve registered for the “Media Solutions Conference”.

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Clear Channel Orders 2014 Bonuses Slashed

What kind of a screwed up company brags about 4th quarter profits and does emergency cutbacks at the same time?

Now this.

SpongeBob Pittman is drastically cutting bonuses to the salespeople he claims have put Clear Channel in the black.

Are these guys just playing with numbers or playing with something else?

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

  1. How much pay Clear Channel sellers will have to give up in 2014 compared to last year. 
  2. The new rules on who decides if you get a bonus at all even if you make your numbers.
  3. What they don’t want anyone to know!  The new approach to laying people off.
  4. What percentage increase in sales is now going to be mandated to all but ensure that their sellers won’t make any bonuses at all.
  5. Clear Channel’s new policy if you decide to up and leave the company now.
  6. Plus!  What just happened to those draconian new travel rules issued last month.

Access this story now and try a monthly subscription here.

Become an annual member and also access 2,618 previous stories, here.  Search Stories.

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

Or, talk to me privately here.

See what is in the pipeline for radio at my Philly Conference one month from now here. 

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5 Weeks Until My Philly Conference

My upcoming fifth annual Media Solutions seminar is March 26th.

I want to thank all those who have already registered and those of you who are also sending groups of attendees including the delegation from Hubbard and Radio One that just signed up.

This 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 many additional skills sets to acquire to be at your best.

I’m planning to start by laying out the most critical areas we need to work on.

For example, the move to on-demand content consumption when radio does real time broadcasting.

Then, with your permission, I would like to walk you through the future we can choose if we are willing to adapt.

I will share how to program a music station so differently that no one currently does it this way but younger listeners would put down their digital devices and get hooked.

The contest that would make them come back that picked up 700,000 cume over three months on one station that did it.

How Millennials would like you to deal with those unlistenable stop sets – and amazingly how you can do it.

Item by item.

Objection by objection.

We will recraft the radio station that we are capable of doing.

And, yes – the morning show you must have or you will perish. 

I’ll share the 4 values that Millennials audiences adhere to that we can use to make our stations attractive to them and even older listeners.

Jerry Lee will talk with us about how he has increased revenue to be the market leader year after year at More FM in Philly by helping advertisers write and test emotionally packed copy.  And he has promised to share his secret with you.

Sean Hannity is the only talk show host who is attracting the money demo.  The rest are and pulling on unsellable numbers.  Sean will share live and in Philly.

Michael Harrison who is the one industry exec that the consumer press and media turn to when they want to understand today’s radio will help us get out ahead of the next trend.

This conference is worth it.

And you’ll leave with the answers to these 7 critical things we need to be working on now:

  1. Specific ways to disrupt radio and put an end to digital competitors interrupting your station’s revenue stream.
  2. Methods to master digital as a second stream of revenue alongside broadcasting.  Things like replacing your website with something better, eliminating podcasts for a product that will actually attract big money advertisers and a cost-effective, easy way to put your brand on every smartphone in your market without having to stream your station.  Just to mention three.
  3. The nuts and bolts of starting your own station’s social media network independent from Facebook, Twitter or some other flash in the pan alternative.  From there, how to grow your fan base.
  4. A well-defined strategy to change the sound and on-air approach of your radio station at one coordinated time.  You won’t want this to get in the hands of a competitor, for sure.
  5. What you need to know about starting your own radio station video business – one that will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen, 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 show video examples and reveal the winning game plans.
  6. From my work as a USC professor in the area of generational media:  the critical Millennial checklist.  This is what I use as my new business bible. You’ll get it.  Four things that the next generation of listeners must have in order to listen to radio in the digital age.  What they want from you.  On-air content you are not giving them that they would love.  A never before aired “contest” that would enthrall them. 
  7. Exactly how you can time shift radio and how not to.  Time shifting is the new broadcasting in an increasingly on-demand world.  Failure to embrace time shifting could prematurely make your stations extinct.  But you will have innovative key strategies to get started with.

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

If you’d like to stay on-site at The Rittenhouse Hotel, mention you’ve registered for the “Media Solutions Conference”.

Read More  FREE SAMPLES

What Lew Dickey Is Hiding

Another masterful job by Lew Dickey putting lipstick on a pig.

I guess he doesn’t know that even some analysts are privately laughing at him when he spins the latest quarterly underachievements.

But Lew is actually telegraphing his next moves if you read between the lines.

And they aren’t pretty.

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

  1. Which formats will be branded, removed from local control and local employees dismissed.
  2. Which formats will not make the cut.
  3. The future of the Cumulus partnership with the low rated CBS Sports Radio Network.
  4. The fate of the Right Now Traffic revenue Dickey failed to provide figures for in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  5. No padding!  The real performance numbers for Cumulus when comparing apples to apples courtesy of a Wall Street analyst.
  6. That Cumulus debt!  How it compares to Clear Channel’s $21 billion and in relation to the best run radio groups (also named).

Access this story now and try a monthly subscription here.

Become an annual member and also access 2,616 previous stories, here.  Search Stories.

If you have news, memos or emails, report information in confidence and anonymously here.  There is a $100 award available for best tip of the month.

Or, talk to me privately here.

See what is in the pipeline for radio at my Philly Conference one month from now here.

Read More  FREE SAMPLES

Radio’s Answer To On-Demand

Radio broadcasters are used to building content in a hot clock – an hour of programming with certain elements built into it.

But now, an hour is a long time.

And those elements – music, traffic, comedy, news, contests, commercials – don’t seem to fit in.

Anyone with a DVR knows that all of us want what we want when we want it.

But the 95 million Millennials who make up the next generation – some who are already old enough to be in the money demo – will never respond to the way radio presents its content.

To make matters worse, we aren’t doing the best radio we’ve ever done as an industry and any honest radio person knows that.

It’s about cutting expenses and standardizing programming today.

Who mentions audience?  It’s best practices or right sizing.  No wonder we’re losing our edge.

We want to sell commercials for whatever we can get and dump them into two stop sets an hour.

Listeners want no part of it.

To show you how dumb advertisers have become, they should want no part of it.

We don’t care what the commercials sound like.

Advertisers should care and both of us should care if they work because that is the best way to get renewals.

We do weather.

Listeners have an iPhone.

Ditto for traffic and transit and news in the unlikely case that we do that anymore.

We play only the hits.

But listeners want music discovery and they have the digital tools to get it on-demand.

Name something we’ve innovated in the past 20 years.

Look, Chevy is coming out with an onboard audio DVR that will allow drivers to record 30 minutes of programming.

Record what?

I’m thinking.

Maybe parts of NPR programming.

Not Kiss, not Power, not Amp, no music format. Why would we do that?

So as that misunderstood digital dashboard comes of age, radio is stuck with nothing noteworthy to record.

So one of the things I will challenge those attending my March Philly conference is tell me what you offer that a listener would value enough to record and play back on-demand for 30 minutes.

Not to worry.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m going to share lots of ideas you’re going to like and hopefully we will get out ahead of perhaps the biggest story of the year – the compelling popularity of on-demand content.

Even real time broadcasting will have to adapt to on-demand.

The groups and independent stations doing great local content and starting a separate digital revenue stream are already in. 

I’ve got the content divided into 7 critical things we need to be working on:

  1. Specific ways to disrupt radio and put an end to digital competitors interrupting your station’s revenue stream.
  2. Methods to master digital as a second stream of revenue alongside broadcasting.  Things like replacing your website with something better, eliminating podcasts for a product that will actually attract big money advertisers and a cost-effective, easy way to put your brand on every smartphone in your market without having to stream your station.  Just to mention three.
  3. The nuts and bolts of starting your own station’s social media network independent from Facebook, Twitter or some other flash in the pan alternative.  From there, how to grow your fan base.
  4. A well-defined strategy to change the sound and on-air approach of your radio station at one coordinated time.  You won’t want this to get in the hands of a competitor, for sure.
  5. What you need to know about starting your own radio station video business – one that will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen, 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 show video examples and reveal the winning game plans.
  6. From my work as a USC professor in the area of generational media:  the critical Millennial checklist.  This is what I use as my new business bible. You’ll get it.  Four things that the next generation of listeners must have in order to listen to radio in the digital age.  What they want from you.  On-air content you are not giving them that they would love.  A never before aired “contest” that would enthrall them. 
  7. Exactly how you can time shift radio and how not to.  Time shifting is the new broadcasting in an increasingly on-demand world.  Failure to embrace time shifting could prematurely make your stations extinct.  But you will have innovative key strategies to get started with.

Jerry Lee will be there to give you the edge in helping advertisers do better so they spend more with you like they do with him in Philly.  He’s even bringing valuable handouts that only you will receive. 

Sean Hannity will join us live not to talk politics but the opportunities ahead for radio with Millennial listeners.  He is doing some impressive work in this area you probably don’t know about. 

Michael Harrison is the most quoted radio person by the consumer press because he sees future trends before most.  Let’s ask him about the future of radio, digital, talk, news and music. 

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

If you’d like to stay on-site at The Rittenhouse Hotel, mention you’ve registered for the “Media Solutions Conference”.

Breakfast, lunch and all breaks included.  Starting time: 8am.  Ends 4pm.

Read More  FREE SAMPLES

Firing Personalities Backfiring on Clear Channel

Pittman down!

Bob “Eye in the Sky” Pittman is involved in a corporate pissing match over who is responsible for their morning shows falling apart.

The company that thought they could live without personalities is getting a Nielsen wakeup call.

But unfortunately the fix is just more screw-ups on the way.

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

  1. Revealed!  Clear Channel’s plan to stop the ratings decline.
  2. What becomes of the current Clear Channel fatwah on talent now?
  3. The Clear Channel honcho on the hot seat for firing personalities and tanking ratings.  Well, it sure as hell isn’t Bob Pittman.
  4. Why Pittman is now being watched by his venture capital owners and who it is.  Pittman now has a nanny.
  5. How much of firing personalities will stick to Tom Schurr.
  6. Truth or dare – is WOR going to get Scott Shannon after all now that their morning show took gas? 
  7. If not, which New York station will sign Scott Shannon.  The call letters.

Access this story now and try a monthly subscription here.

Become an annual member and also access 2,614 previous stories, here.  Search Stories.

If you have news, memos or emails, report information in confidence and anonymously here.  I’ve always got your back.  There is a $100 award available for best tip of the month.

Or, talk to me privately here.

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

Read More  FREE SAMPLES