Talk Out, This Is In At Cumulus

You heard about DJLew entering the urban business with half a New York radio station booming into Harlem from lilywhite Westchester County.

I’ll bet Emmis is really shaking in their boots in the New York market.

Dickey does urban.

Dickey does country.

Dickey does whatever he wants to but he isn’t going to be doing talk.

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  1. Before calling the undertaker, Cumulus has one more radical idea for its suffering talk stations.  Sit down for this one.
  2. The model that will replace Cumulus talk – it’s ready for roll out now.
  3. How Cumulus will out cut the cutbacks at Clear Channel by taking a radically different approach to reducing staff. 
  4. When talk will be a goner at Cumulus.
  5. The surprising candidate to replace talk on the current stations.

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Bye-Bye Benefits At Clear Channel

We’re now beginning to see why Clear Channel has changed from paying bi-monthly to 26 paychecks a year.

When Metro Networks did this, it was the beginning of the end for employees.

Now Clear Channel workers are growing increasingly concerned as they get wind of what The Evil Empire has up its sleeves.

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  1. Their new thinking on salaried and part-time employees.
  2. What’s behind coming changes in how they compensate workers.
  3. The sneaky move employees fear will rob them of health care benefits.
  4. When employees are most vulnerable to have to fend for themselves on health care.
  5. A major employee-tracking program that is said to be changing by year’s end.

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Baby Clear Channels

Like Dean Goodman’s Digity.

People close to the situation – i.e., in the direct line of fire – will tell you that these small groups want what Clear Channel is having.

Profit by not necessarily earning it.

Just by buying assets.

Cutting costs.

Firing people.

Managing from the top down.

This sends a chill up your spine when you realize that the buyers we’re all rooting for many are no better than the buyer’s we know and despise.

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  1. How smaller groups are now implementing the same barbaric management tactics of the big boys.
  2. The new way local managers are expected to meet goals without being able to track their progress.
  3. The GM’s are being paid on performance, which is virtually impossible to make their promised compensation.
  4. How some small acquirers are planning regular Clear Channel-style RIFs of their own.
  5. Why investment groups are buying up small market radio stations that will die when their local staffs are let go – what’s that all about?

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Cumulus Talk Shakeup Coming

Cumulus talk ratings are tanking as each new Nielsen market is issued this week.

Lew Dickey is taking “other” brother John to the woodshed.

Heads are going to roll.

But they won’t be John Dickey’s.

Or Benedict Arnold McVay.

This is getting embarrassing now and Lew has had enough.

But wait.

The cure may be worse than the disease as you’re about to find out.

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  1. The surprising “savior” Lew has identified to turn his failing talk stations around on a dime – his identity is revealed here.
  2. The high profile hiring of Congressman Mike Rogers is ready to take a radical turn.
  3. A big Cumulus talk firing is coming soon – big.
  4. How bad blood between the Dickeys and some of their talk talent is killing the format.
  5. Where the next batch of Cumulus talkers will come from.
  6. How the demise of WABC could take down the entire talk format.

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Nielsen Nonsense

You’ve gotta hand it to those greedy bastards who run radio.

You know -- the consolidators, the one rep firm and the one ratings company.

They don’t give a shit.

Take Nielsen.

They screw up the Los Angeles ratings for the past 12 months to the point where no one really can have any confidence in them and then they refuse to reissue the market ratings for that are in question.

No reissue needed.

Trust them.

What?

The ratings don’t have any “significant differences” after a Univision KSCA employee reportedly handed his meter that he should not have had in the first place over to family members while on vacation.

We have a situation.

I’m told that 8 family members were involved in the no “significant differences”.

I didn’t know that Nielsen accepts households with up to 12 members allowed to participate.

That’s just asking for trouble, but let’s save that for another day.

I’ve got the creeps.

Tuesday K-Earth 101 beat the pants off the LA market.

And yes, KRTH is a very good station and I personally love it.

But why am I creeped out as to whether K-Earth really beat KIIS?

Why am I not accepting it without question?

That would require credibility and Nielsen doesn’t have that with me.

With the establishment, yes, of course they love Nielsen.  They look across the table and see the same greedy bastards that they are.

Remember, these are only audience estimates.

Nielsen goes through great legal disclaimer pain to tell paying clients that the ratings are not accurate.

And now they are adding another public farce – I mean, face – to it.

Now why wouldn’t Nielsen just reissue the questionable ratings in the name of credibility and if not that, accuracy?

After all, they claim to know that there are no “significant differences” so I assume that they actually ran the numbers.

If they didn’t, why didn’t they?

And if they did to the point where they know there were no “significant differences” then why not just for accuracy’s sake and maybe for their reputation –just do it right the second time.

Maybe because Bain owns part of Nielsen and half of Clear Channel, Nielsen feels bulletproof.

If its number one $100 million a year client isn’t going to make a fuss, screw everyone else.

And that’s the problem with radio.

Too few have integrity.

Just Ed Christian who is refusing to roll over and play dead to fight the Nielsen lawsuit that accuses non-subscriber Saga of illegally using ratings – the same thing Nielsen reportedly looks the other way on for some companies.

I’ll be very disappointed if Eddy settles his suit with Nielsen quietly and makes everything go away.

He ought to make Nielsen go away.

Radio is in bad enough shape and it has Katz as its one rep firm owned by Clear Channel and their investment bank blah blah bah.

No balls.

No integrity.

This industry deserves what it gets when it can stand by and allow so many destructive things to happen to radio because they have no guts.

And don’t get me started on the music royalty scam being proffered by ASCAP and others.

Crying to Congress that radio is the bad guy and too few radio people are standing up and shouting this message – that without radio you would never have had a music industry in the first place.

And the sanctimonious Congressmen who pretend to stand up for starving artists when record labels have done more to cause artists to starve than anyone else.

We in radio want to play their music – a lot, even too much.

And the labels get to keep all the profit from record sales and we’ve never complained about the arrangement because it was a win-win then and a win-win now.

Get me before Congress.  I’ll tell them.

But never mind.

The Nielsen thing lit my fire because the industry that is losing its ground to digital is the very reason why radio will die.

Speak up.

Stand up.

Get fed up.

To quote the old r&b song “is you is or is you ain’t” going to fight for what is right.

Nielsen, print the correct LA ratings.

You screwed up.

It’s the right thing to do.

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