Clear Channel Advertiser Spyware

Bob Pittman’s office “mist tunnel” – now that’s funny.

After all, pompous asses need to be exposed.

But installing secret software to spy on your advertisers?

That’s NOT funny.

Nor is the Clear Channel corporate memo just sent to test markets explaining how this devious invasion of privacy is going to proceed.

If you work for Clear Channel, you can see what is being beta tested in some markets because it’s coming to you next.

If you’re a competing radio company, as I’m about to explain, this is going to ruin things for you, too.

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

  1. How far the secret Clear Channel software goes in snooping on their station advertisers, prospects and sales proposals.  This can’t be legal.
  2. How the Clear Channel sales spy software invades the privacy of market competitors.
  3. The main screen Bob Pittman’s henchmen can now view and what they can click on to tracks sales activity.
  4. Why Clear Channel competitors had better stop this latest Pittman brain fart in its tracks and how it will ruin things for them, too.  In fact, that may be one of the reasons Clear Channel is doing this.
  5. Even creepier – how the spy software even allows sellers to snoop on each other.
  6. The stern warning that Clear Channel gave its employees in the secret memo.

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$100 is awarded for the Best News Tip of the Month.  And my anonymous Witness Protection Program has never revealed a source.  Report news or share emails and memos in confidence here.

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Clear Channel’s Bailout Plan

Prepare for Bob Pittman’s plan to reduce debt and get owners Lee & Bain’s money off the table.

You’re thinking, wait a minute Jerry, their revenue is declining and they are deep in debt.

No problem.

Pittman is beginning to signal to the investment community his big move.

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

  1. The plan to turn the declining revenue of his radio group into a positive.
  2. How the Pittman exit plan for Clear Channel will affect those still employed.
  3. What Clear Channel is tantalizing Wall Street with.
  4. The giveaway – here’s how Pittman will rescue Clear Channel from $21.5 billion in debt.
  5. What’s up with Pittman talking so much about Pandora lately. 
  6. What Clear Channel radio will look like by the end of 2015.
  7. And the biggest revelation of all?  How the bailout plan impacts employees in the radio division.

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Cover Up: Spot Radio Down a Disastrous 22.4%

Numbers don’t lie, but the RAB well, changes the rules.

For the best glimpse at the year that killed the radio industry, look what they are covering up.

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

  1. How the RAB has skillfully but erroneously misled the industry total revenue.
  2. The three random categories that did not get counted in 2008 but are propping up in first quarter figures for 2014.
  3. Why the radio industry is tanking when it should be on fire.
  4. The most deceitful number that cannibalizes spot radio to create a new category of revenue.
  5. The startling amount radio groups are spending on the one source of revenue that is skyrocketing.

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7 Absurd New Clear Channel Firing Tactics

Quarterly firings are here.

Employees on the ground at Clear Channel stations are reporting some of the most bizarre behavior in screwing employees.

Documented and worth keeping an eye out for.

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  1. What Clear Channel corporate started doing just weeks before the sales RIF that they hadn’t done in over 20 years.
  2. The sneaky tactic that was used to get individuals who have been targeted for the RIF that played right into the Evil Empire’s hands.
  3. How Clear Channel took out a virtual insurance policy on RIFed employees before they fired them.
  4. What’s worse than being escorted to the door minutes after you’ve been fired – here is how Clear Channel did it in the words of a fired seller.
  5. New impediments from Clear Channel for fired employees looking for new jobs.
  6. How Clear Channel is in effect broadening its definition of “competitor” in mandatory non-compete agreements – one fired employee’s bad experience with HR.
  7. The one type of employee you never thought even Clear Channel would fire – now they are targeting them.

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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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$4 Million Playing Games on YouTube

This is bizarre.

I was prepared to stick my nose up at this and you might be, too.  But nothing speaks to the generational change because media executives refuse to learn.

So this Swedish fellow, Felix Kjellberg, has 27 million subscribers by doing nothing more than playing games on YouTube.

He plays.

We watch.

He entertains.

And is very very influential in the gaming business.

Even when he knocks a new video game, the failed game gets huge numbers from the negative publicity.

Old schoolers would call what Kjellberg does a review.

But in every way he embodies the values and preferences of the 95 million Millennials who are turning their back on traditional media.

I’m taking notes.

No, I’m not saying sign your station off the air and go review something in a frantic way, the way Kjellberg does.

I am saying, tap into his formula to begin to unlock audiences that are flat out bored with radio.

Admit it, you’re flat out bored with radio.

And I am, too.

There’s nothing new.

Nothing as good as it was 5 or 10 years ago.

It’s just vanilla.

Let’s walk through what this 24-year old entrepreneur has discovered.

  1. Authentic is the hit that plays over and over again with this generation.  Kjellberg will say anything, knock anything, praise anything.  He comes off as the real deal.  They love that.
  2. The YouTube subscriber (in our case, the listeners) looks in on him playing games the way listeners used to listen in on radio djs as they played music.  In fact, in the early days of music radio, the djs picked their own music and listeners were riveted to their stations.  Maybe we should take this as a lesson. 
  3. YouTube is everything to this generation.  Forget cable.  It’s a joke.  And satellite radio isn’t even on the radar.  Netflix is and maybe Hulu.  And college loans.  That’s about it.  Keep in mind Beats which recently sold to Apple for $3 billion only has a few hundred thousand paid subscribers and a bunch of headsets in a warehouse somewhere.
  4. Kjellberg is having fun – cursing, being himself.  Generational research shows that people from this generation – especially boys – want to be seen as fun loving.  It’s important to them.  As a baby boomer or Xer you may not have that on your list of ways you’d like to be seen, but it is on their list for sure.  Take note.

And how does this young man make $4 million a year playing games?

At the end of 2012, his company PewDiePie, signed a deal with Maker Studios that produces online content. 

By the way, Disney bought Maker Studios, no fools they are.

It’s a deal that could be worth around $1 billion when all incentives are reached sending Felix Kjellberg laughing out loud all the way to the bank.

A few things.

  • Be authentic if it kills you.  Radio has become the most unauthentic medium but it wasn’t always that way.
  • Have fun.  Sounds simple but how do you have fun lost in voice tracking or how does a local personality have fun when their hours have been cut and they are worried how to feed their families. 
  • Innovate something – anything.  Invent new news.  Come up with a civic pursuit.  Discover new music, artists and local bands.  Put aside Sunday night from 10 pm to 1 am to do something experimental.  You may just find this little lab generates saleable ideas and attracts audiences that will never listen to your “same old” station.
  • Get on YouTube.  Focus on it.  I keep saying that YouTube is the new hit music station to teenagers.  Are you going to know that and sit back while YouTube takes your listeners?

A great article in Wall Street Journal article on Felix Kjellberg here.

You’ll get a kick (maybe even a much-needed kick in the pants) from watching him on YouTube.

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The Ideal Digital Strategy For Radio

Hardly any station makes money from digital even in a world where advertisers have upped their digital budgets.

For radio, digital – whatever it is for their station – is an excuse to cut their radio rates.  Not a revenue growth strategy.

Not this plan.

Here you do one thing really well and make more money than you’ve made in years.

Here’s the ideal digital strategy for radio.

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

  1. What to do about your on-air digital stream.
  2. How to reimagine the station website making it less expensive but more focused on what will work best.
  3. The ad model vs. the subscription model – or a safe step in between.
  4. What’s the realistic minimal annual digital budget you should shoot for – less than this and you might as well not go there.
  5. If you can do only one thing, make it this digital content and don’t spend precious funds on anything else.
  6. The three things that if you truly do them well will guarantee financial success.
  7. What kind of content young eyeballs crave.
  8. Revolutionary way to cut digital expenses in the right places – this one suggestion will save you thousands of dollars or more.
  9. Have you thought about doing a digital curated music discovery countdown show?  Here it is.
  10. The new thinking about radio station podcasts.

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Clear Channel Hires Private Eyes To Spy on Employees

TEASER

To paraphrase the theme from Shaft: “Who's the private dick / That's a sex machine to all the chicks?”

Not Shaft! 

Bob Pittman.

Forget the sex machine part.

SpongeBob Bossy Pants who is still paying for his $21 million “mist tunnel” office renovation and is racking up $21.5 billion in corporate debt is apparently not too broke to spend money on two more private eyes to spy on the spouse of current high visibility employee.

Bobby’s mad.

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

  1. How Cincinnati police confirmed the Clear Channel stake out.
  2. Pittman’s M.O. – how the Eye in the Sky has now become The Private Eye in the Sky.
  3. All the details of how Clear Channel’s private eyes were caught in the act in broad daylight.
  4. The other dirty tricks were confirmed by reputable sources in law enforcement.
  5. If you have family members you are concerned about in the company, you’ll want to see how low Clear Channel will go to spy on families of current employees.
  6. The big Clear Channel exec who has been caught spying on LinkedIn not once – 47 times!  I’ll out him.

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