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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The Truth About Disney’s Radio Exit

They’re lying bastards who have deserted the ship!

No, they’re geniuses who are once again getting out while the getting is good.

Which one is Disney?

Is the avalanche of radio station sales about to begin?

What’s really going on and what does it mean for radio.

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  1. Is Disney going to sell their ESPN sports stations next.
  2. The brutal reason Disney is abandoning radio for its children’s format – its NOT that only 18% of their listeners hear it on a radio.
  3. What Disney knows about the future of radio.
  4. If Radio Disney is relying 100% on mobile, does that make Jeff Smulyan’s NextRadio a winner in the wings – this is very important to get right.
  5. What 90% of radio owners are likely to consider doing now as the market softens.

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Ratting Out Nielsen Ratings

If you only knew what is going on behind the scenes at Nielsen Audio Ratings at a time when radio is losing 3% of its revenue (Source RAB, 2nd Q 2014).

Wait!

You do.

Here it is from ad agency and radio execs and Nielsen’s own employees.

What Nielsen doesn’t want anyone to know.

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  1. Finally!  How many ratings months it takes for a stable Nielsen ratings number – from the mouth of a Nielsen executive.  This is insane.  You won’t believe it.
  2. How Nielsen is reportedly targeting only high usage radio households for placing meters – and the rating numbers still suck. 
  3. Why TV owners are putting the brakes on LPMs outside the top 20 markets – but radio is headed for the full treatment.
  4. Every other medium gets one important break that radio does not – here it is.
  5. Ever wonder what the real response rate is for meters – don’t guess anymore.
  6. And this low level standard that constitutes a response.

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This Confirms Talk Radio’s Death

You’re going to be angry.

Talk radio can’t seem to do anything right.

More damage was done in the past week than in the years prior.

And these kind of moves guarantee the death of the talk genre – ahead of schedule.

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  1. How talk radio is giving guys like Lew Dickey who want to kill it off actual legitimacy.
  2. What are the four commandments of getting an infusion of younger people to listen to talk radio – change the way you talk to audiences is one of them.  Now the other three.  Also applies to music stations.
  3. The only good news – and it’s great news – for talk radio stations if they could only get out of their own way and do it.
  4. The talk station that young people will embrace will not be about politics, it will be all about this.
  5. What format has even more of an uncertain future than talk if that is possible.

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5 New Radio Owner Promises You Don’t Want To Fall For

The greedy bastards running most of the large radio groups are at it again.

5 new unbelievable cons to get employees to work for next to nothing.

I want to see the happy talk trade press put a smiley emoji on this!

Look at what they are trying that could come to a station near you.

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  1. New work rules that are so laughable except for the fact that they are true.
  2. Be on guard for this offer that seemingly will allow you to make more money – it’s rigged, as you’ll see.
  3. The motivation speech you never want to hear but Clear Channel employees got this earful last week. 
  4. The new Cumulus health care teaser.
  5. Guess what Clear Channel is making married couples do – no, not go to counseling – even more insulting.  
  6. With the largest layoff ever coming to Clear Channel within a few short months, here’s a scheme they are reportedly testing to get employees to work for less. 

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