Cumulus Is Ready To Make a Big Move

This affects thousands of radio employees.

And it will redraw the radio dial.

All the pieces are now in place.

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  1. Why Lew Dickey personally recruited a key figure Cumulus needs to disrupt the radio industry as we presently know it.
  2. How Dickey plans to get around ownership limits when Cumulus buys CBS Radio – sorry CBS employees, Uncle Lew wants you.
  3. The unorthodox way Cumulus will handle the “necessary” spinoffs of CBS stations.
  4. Two ominous signs – one from Cumulus, one from CBS that is undeniable proof that a wedding is in their future.
  5. Why some say Cumulus is no longer going to be a radio company.

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This article was made possible by information from several sources close to the situation. When you report news, you are automatically in my Witness Protection Program, which has never revealed a source. 

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Trade Scams Run Rampant At Clear Channel

Clear Channel has seen the enemy and it is itself.

Revenue is down.

Bonusing, price cutting and rampant trading is up.

You’d think CEO Bob Pittman would appoint a czar to cut it out.

So why did he just do the exact opposite?

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  1. How Clear Channel appointed the biggest trade scammer to oversee rate integrity.
  2. The number one reason Pittman is soft on trades.
  3. Details on how former President John Hogan was sacrificed for doing what it turns out Clear Channel’s top executives routinely do.
  4. Clear Channel’s fail elaborate system for guaranteeing rate protection that executives knowingly bypassed.
  5. A Clear Channel employee’s own sobering account of how trade deals work under the radar – in their own words.

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This article was made possible by information from sources close to the situation. When you report news, you are automatically in my Witness Protection Program, which has never revealed a source. 

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Massive Cuts Coming To Cumulus March 31st

The quarter ends the same day.

Revenue is down.

And Lew Dickey is after huge cost savings.

Here’s an early warning on how it is going to play out.

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  1. Who will be targeted.
  2. Why this major firing is different from previous ones.
  3. What’s the urgency, Cumulus usually tries to fire people under the radar.
  4. Where will the next round of cutbacks come after March 31st.
  5. Which side will take the hit Westwood One/Dial Global or Cumulus Media. It will likely be one – not both.

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This article was made possible by information from several sources close to the situation. When you report news, you are automatically in my Witness Protection Program, which has never revealed a source. 

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Miller Kaplan, Nielsen Fudging Numbers

Wolfman Jack always said, “If I’m lyin’, I’m dying”.

The radio industry is lying so it must be dying.

Now it appears two of the benchmarks for credibility are coming into question.

Miller Kaplan appears complicit in letting Clear Channel get away with murder.

And even Nielsen is now customizing formerly credible audience reports to mislead advertisers.

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

  1. When RADAR ratings showing a decline in total weekly listening went down for the first time, Nielsen made it all turn out good anyway.  Here’s their secret.
  2. How Nielsen PPM subscribers check out the fuzzy math for themselves where PPM listener and RADAR numbers don’t jive.  You’ll be livid.
  3. How Clear Channel showed a whopping (and bogus) +8% increase in one of its markets by getting Miller Kaplan to do this one sketchy thing angering competitors who rely on credible, non-partisan financial reporting.
  4. How radio is starting to dictate its own ratings and its own revenue numbers – you may want to get in on this.
  5. Clear Channel’s chilling cutthroat strategy to use “do it yourself” metrics from a credible industry reporting service.

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This article was made possible by information from several sources close to the situation. When you report news, you are automatically in my Witness Protection Program, which has never revealed a source. 

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Clear Channel Looking To Dump Total Traffic

The company that is spending $21 million to renovate Bob Pittman’s New York offices mist tunnel and all is now itchy to scrap its national traffic service and save the salaries and expenses involved.

There are priorities and there are priorities.

Another acquisition gone bad when Clear Channel thought it could turn Metro Traffic into a powerhouse spot carrier.

Turns out they were so wrong.

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  1. The 3 things that have just about clinched a bust up of Total Traffic.
  2. Why some contract clients are already ahead of them.  The secret CBS study.
  3. How one of the most revenue rich radio stations in the country hired 20 new employees and now makes more money than they did when strapped into a Total Traffic contract.  This may be your template.
  4. Once traffic goes, the two next divisions that will be shaking in their boots.
  5. The likely timetable for shuttering Clear Channel’s traffic service.

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This article was made possible by information from sources close to the situation. When you report news, you are automatically in my Witness Protection Program, which has never revealed a source. 

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1 day until my Philly conference here.

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Sex Scandal Percolates At Clear Channel

Now it’s Animal House antics at Clear Channel.

It doesn’t take an army general who avoids jail time for sexual assault convictions to know that this kind of stuff is so not cool.

But at Clear Channel, the Evil Empire, women have long been and still are being subjected to sexual improprieties that range from making them feeling uncomfortable to the sex act itself.

Sex.

Drugs.

What ever happened to rock and roll?  I know, it’s being voice tracked.

This is a wakeup call to Clear Channel executives that they are now being watched.

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  1. The Clear Channel market known for the biggest sex and drug use.
  2. A female employee who had a reported reputation for having sex with her associates and superiors that ended in pregnancy and a big promotion.
  3. How Clear Channel failed to take action after a female employee reported unwanted and inappropriate attention from a fellow employee.
  4. Examples of how Bob Pittman’s party atmosphere is taking over the culture of Clear Channel.
  5. What happened to a female employee who was coerced into hanging out with the boys in fear of losing her job.

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This article was made possible by information from sources close to the situation. When you report news, you are automatically in my Witness Protection Program, which has never revealed a source. 

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Radio’s 75 Million Baby Boomers, 95 Million Millennials

What to do?

Is it worth a radio station betting the future on 75 million remaining baby boomers or do you just discard them for younger demos?

Do you get younger and blow off the things boomers loved about radio?  (This may be a moot point because most of the large consolidators and their smaller followers have already cutback on these things).

That hasn’t worked out so well.

That’s radio’s dilemma and a solution is now becoming evident.

There is a way to engage younger audiences – Millennials who number 95 million and also serve older audiences who have been the staple of radio.

Ironically radio’s big mistake is to program to baby boomers at the expense of Millennials.

When creating content in the digital age, it is always preferable to create content for the change makers who are in fact the younger Millennials.

I’ve isolated 7 specific strategies that can easily be implemented by any radio station, any format in any market and I’m going to get into this at my Philly conference this Wednesday.

The problem well-meaning radio stations have been having with maintaining their money demos and acquiring new listeners is that they are afraid to alienate older listeners.

As you will see these concepts – the ones Millennials value most – will never alienate baby boomers although oddly enough some of the things baby boomers still want from radio will drive Millennials away.

One of the seven requirements to meet the needs of the next generation is to be authentic.  Almost nothing about a radio station is authentic.  It’s full of hype, commercials, promos, and noise.

That can be fixed.

The other 6 things that younger demos now require are just as important and we’ll go through them one by one.  This is so vital that I use all 6 in the work that I do.

This is going to be a fruitful dialog because without spending a single dime, smart radio stations can fine tune their strategy for not only satisfying their loyal core older listeners but for the first time have a chance to win the hearts of younger ones.

Here are the other 7 critical issues at Wednesday’s meeting:

  1. Disrupting what consolidators have turned our radio industry into.  We can’t do this by just changing formats.  It’s going to take a nuclear option and I’ve got one for you that is so big it will push your consolidated competitors back with no option to compete with you.
  2. Master digital.  Digital isn’t a product.  It’s a technology.  Every radio broadcaster needs to start a second stream of revenue separate and apart from radio.  Let’s create some content.  There are some dazzling possibilities out there.  I will share.
  3. Create your own social media.  If you tie yourself to Facebook, Twitter or even the current rage, Instagram, you’re going down with them.  There’s a better way.  Make your own social network and drive it with content and revenue possibilities.  It’s being done under the radar by some smart people right now.
  4. Reinvent radio.  Stop thinking of it as hourly hot clocks and redesign it to be compelling to the very audience we can’t seem to attract – 95 million Millennials.  They dislike radio but they like some things we’re not currently doing.  Interested in providing this content for younger money demos?  It takes an open mind and some creativity.
  5. Video. Video. Video.  We’re wasting valuable time.  You must be in this business but it is not what you think it is.  Let me show you real success stories including one entrepreneur who makes $3 million a year by doing a free 5-minute weekly video.  No commercials, banner ads, product placement or subscription fees.  I’m going to play it, talk about it and answer your questions.  This is ingenious.
  6. The key to attracting Millennials.  There is basically nothing radio has to offer right now that Millennials can’t get somewhere else.  The secret to attracting Millennials is to build your station for them.  I know, that sounds awful, but Steve Jobs didn’t design Apple products for later adopters.  He mastered the early adopters by finding out the “radical” things they couldn’t resist.  We can do this and here’s the plan.
  7. Time shift radio.  Look, if you get nothing else out of this learning session you must become skilled at time shifting content.  Binge watching is the rage.  Broadcasting is out.  It doesn’t mean the end if we know how to time shift our content.  I’ll tell you everything I know about this.

A day of information and inspiration where we work together.  I’m putting more time aside this year for questions.

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

If you’d like to stay on-site at The Rittenhouse Hotel, mention you’ve registered for the “Media Solutions Conference”.  Call 800-635-1042 and ask for Alyson Lurie. 

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