The Ice Bucket Challenge

The biggest social media stunt of the day warns radio stations to wise up.

Social media starts everything.

Broadcast media covers it.

It used to be that broadcast media started every new trend.

So, what should you do – sign off the air and just give up.

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  1. The best way to find out what Millennials want and crave – done.
  2. The only last option to reach Millennials – here is the one format that wins them over.
  3. Surprise!  DON’T do what NPR is doing.
  4. How to effectively use social media on a radio station – it’s not what Townsquare is doing – it’s this.
  5. Two must-solve problems a radio station must fix now to even have a chance winning a Millennial listener over to radio – and there are 95 million of them!

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8 Ways Westwood One Is Becoming a Joke

Wait a minute!

Is Westwood One STILL in business?

You’re not falling for that, are you?

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  1. Seasoned pros running for the doors – the evidence.
  2. How they fire people.
  3. That new deal with Clear Channel’s Katz to form a “separate” rep firm – what’s up with that?
  4. Why that 24-hour programming center is a laughing stock.
  5. What happens to sales?

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This is Without a Doubt the Best Way To Bulletproof Your Station Against Digital

I’ve got some new research that shows what happens when the media industry ignores the will of Millennials.

Cable television is becoming a thing of the past for money demos because of it.

But the radio industry can still do some things that will help it avoid the same fate.

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  1. How to brainstorm with your staff to create a new reason for young people to listen to radio.
  2. What will soon be more important than creating great 24/7 broadcasting – this is the ticket to relevancy in the digital age.
  3. One insurance policy every radio station can take out right now that will guarantee that it will be relevant and profitable in the years ahead.
  4. Just-released research that dramatically shows how the cable industry is dead in the water and how radio can avoid the same fate.
  5. The single most important thing a station owner or operator can do to attract younger money demos in droves – yes, even in the age of digital competition.

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Don’t Fall For this Radio Career Trick

Maynard, the operations manager of Hubbard Seattle, has lost his mind.

He left arguably the best radio group for one of the worst.

Maynard was lured away by none other than The Evil Empire.

What’s up with that?

Plenty it turns out.

Clear Channel really, really, really needed Maynard in their company of national radio formats.

But not for the reason you think.

What happened to Maynard is about to happen to you, too.

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  1. How desperate radio groups with plenty of investment bank money to waste have a new option trying to beat a pesky competitor.
  2. Why you should have eyes wide open before they Maynard you.
  3. The Hubbard insurance policy – another reason Clear Channel is wasting its money.
  4. Hubbard’s pre-emptive strike – you may want to follow Hubbard’s lead, not Clear Channels as I explain.
  5. The “Mystery Man” Hubbard has to stick it to Clear Channel.

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Don Cannon

Don Cannon died late last week after a prolonged illness.

He was 74 years old and retired 10 years ago from a great job doing mornings at CBS-owned WOGL, Philadelphia.

I worked with Don and can tell you he is a unique talent.

Don worked on so many major Philly radio stations and hosted many morning shows.  That in and of itself is remarkable.

It shows how talented he was and shows how miserable the radio industry has become in the ten years since he exited radio.

Used to be that if you left a station, you could go across the street to another station.

Your family stayed put and your kids didn’t have to be pulled out of school.

But for the audience it meant that they could keep their favorite personalities as close as the radio in spite of whatever personality or business conflicts might arise on the business side.

Cannon’s voice was used in a scene in the original Rocky movie.  As Sylvester Stallone readied for his run through the City of Brotherly Love it was Don Cannon’s voice (then on WIBG) that was heard as Rocky drank his signature raw egg drink.

By being able to work the majority of your radio career in one market, you get to be loved and become an icon.

That was Don Cannon.

When radio loses a unique personality to death it is bad enough.

When the industry squanders such talent as the big consolidators are doing right now to save money, you’ve got to know that they are carpetbaggers who have invaded an industry that used to know better.

These big radio stars are a thing of the past.

Consolidators cut their salary and terminate them often leaving the cheap salaried sidekick to try to fill their shoes.

Don worked in many different formats.

It was his personality that transcended the music genre – a sign of a real talent.

Audiences flocked to him because they liked him and often adopted the new station when he moved.

Personalities in radio are remarkable.

Young people say the only thing they like about radio is the morning show.  In fact they often can’t even identify the station but they know the personality they are listening to.

Unfortunately, broadcasters are replacing these shows with out of market syndication or a cheap imitation.

Mourning the loss of Don Cannon, another radio icon, is bad enough.

Contrasted to what is passing for radio today it is sad in another way but shows how remarkable his career really was.

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Nothing Is Killing Radio Audiences Like This

What’s killing radio audiences?

It’s not unbearable 8-minute commercial clusters twice an hour – although that, too.

Not the repetitive music that young listeners dislike.

Not even the lack of popular personalities although audiences still relate to radio more by personality than station brand.

This radio audience killer is right under the noses of station owners and they can’t even see it.

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  1. The number one way stations are losing audience and it has nothing to do with digital competition.
  2. Entire program formats could be wiped out – we name three endangered species.
  3. What’s worse – owners are inadvertently paying to destroy their own stations by not recognizing this danger.
  4. How to stop unknowingly killing off your own audience using these steps.
  5. How unintended audience loss like this will escalate within the next two years.

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Caught: Clear Channel Payola Email Exposed

Clear Channel has been pretty blatant accepting and giving favors for and from record labels.

Up until now it has been left only to the imagination.

You know it’s going on, but how can you prove it.

Today, you can prove it.

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  1. The Clear Channel email from corporate honcho Clay Hunnicutt to his country PDs – startling, brash and in his own words.
  2. The memo meant never to become public for reasons that are obvious.
  3. The tactics to whip his PDs into shape.
  4. The bullying – all right there for all to see.
  5. See Hunnicutt in the role of record promoter with his PDs.
  6. Evidence of apparent and blatant pay for play.

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What Does It Mean When Dan Mason’s Son Leaves CBS Radio

What kind of crazy s@#t is this?

Young Dan Mason had as much job security at CBS as his father.

So, why did he just go to work for Cox?

And in a market that’s a step down from Boston in size.

It’s complicated.

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  1. This is how CBS handled young Dan Mason’s departure -- like Clear Channel or Cumulus.
  2. Evidence that CBS is no longer protecting its flank in some markets.
  3. The troubling signs that CBS Radio is blowing some major moves they used to get right.
  4. Who the new “go-to” guy is.
  5. This strange behavior that makes CBS Radio look like it is acting like a seller lately.

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Don Pardo

I don’t know if I ever told you this but my first break in television was as a booth announcer at the ABC affiliate Channel 6 in Philadelphia.

The program director, Tom Jones, gave me my break.  Unfortunately he died a few weeks later at a very young age.

My first two times in the booth were meant to be a one and done situation but I stayed on at the station and also worked in radio.

So when Don Pardo died the other day, I mourned.

I loved him.

Forget the “Saturday Night LIIIIVE” introduction.

0818-don-pardon-getty-03Forget that he did quiz shows and other shows during his long career.

Pardo died as we all wish we could in his sleep at the tender age of 96.

And except for missing a few weeks in March due to a fall, he was and will always be the voice of SNL.

Imagine being 96 and still being able talk let alone pronounce the names of the newfangled music groups that took him far from the 1920s and 1930s. 

And he was good – very good even until the end.

Lorne Michaels isn’t the genius he is just because he discovers a few hundred talented “not ready for prime time players”.  He could also pick announcers.

Imagine being 96 and still working.

Not at Cumulus or Clear Channel where being 25 can get you fired if one of the Dickeys needs a rush.

Imagine being 96 and not using Depends – we could only dream.

I always wanted to be an announcer more than anything else.

I have a good voice but you need a great one, which is why I used to hire Charlie Van Dyke to do my radio station breaks.

But the death of Don Pardo is sad in other ways.

He had a lifetime contract with NBC – only Bob Hope had the same thing.

A lifetime contract in radio will cause a hernia because just the words alone make radio people laugh themselves silly and hurt themselves.

I’m sad for the day when we actually cared about talent.

Today, the talent still cares.

The audience still cares.

It’s the owners – those greedy bastards who front venture capital money to treat entertainment like it is a department store looking to cut the workforce.

Part-time workers so you don’t have to pay health care.

And then the cowards blame the Kenyan President for forcing it on them, which is disingenuous to say the least.

I miss when talent could actually grow and mature.

When young and old worked together for the sole purpose of making audiences happy.

That’s the job we signed up for.

That’s the job Don Pardo did with dignity to the very end.

And if his death juxtapositions what has happened to today’s media business with the way it used to be, then so be it.

Broadcasting people are better than the institutions they work for.

TV is now failing.

Prime demographics are fleeing from primetime network television to Netflix, Hulu Plus and their tablets.

Radio is over for 95 million Millennials which means its curtains for the radio industry no matter how Erica Farber’s RAB and The Southern California Broadcasting Association spins it.

Newspapers were dead when they were used for cat litter.

I am loathed to over simplify things but it’s all about talent.

The one thing Millennials like about radio is morning show personalities.  In fact, they can’t even tell you which station their favorites are on but they can tell you their names.

Branding problem?

Better call Lew.

Don Pardo was one of my idols and I am sorry to see him go but he worked at a better time when the focus was on you not Wall Street.

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Now THIS Is Digital Revenue

Radio’s down 3%, but digital is up double digits.

Radio is doing the wrong digital.

If you have limited resources and have to do only ONE thing to hit that critical double digit figure at your station, this is it.

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  1. It’s Nash t-shirts!  I kid – it’s a compact digital content project that can be done on a shoestring budget.
  2. How to monetize these projects to make the big money – it’s very different but you can do it.
  3. The one mistake you don’t want to make – this is worth its price in gold.
  4. How to put your radio experience to better use in digital.
  5. By the way, the startling revenue figure Cumulus country sensation Nash FM is reportedly making in New York City – if this doesn’t get you to follow this 6-point blueprint, nothing will.

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