CBS Bombshell Coming

Is the CBS bombshell the sale of 1/3 of all their stations?

That, too!

I believe CBS is not long for the radio business not based on what Les Moonves is saying publicly but what CBS employees are revealing privately.

Here is the latest I am hearing from the ground about secret things from sources within CBS causing real concern for their future.

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

  1. Draconian cuts coming to CBS stations not being shopped – rolling firings, they’re not even layoffs. Worse.
  2. Thousands of sellers are about to have their pockets picked again by corporate.       You’re the first to know. Here’s how it will work.
  3. Why even Cumulus sellers are refusing to cross the street and work for CBS Radio now.
  4. The CBS plan to deal with the program director’s job from now on.
  5. The way CBS Radio is taking down their competitors as they slice and dice their way out of the radio business.

The answers start here.

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What’s That Dodgers, KLAC-AM Deal All About

I have to hand it to Bob Pittman.

He does better than sell ice to the Eskimos.

He sells AM Radio to Major League Baseball.

Exactly what they DON’T need.

The Snake Oil Salesman-in-Chief of iHeartMedia has somehow wangled a way to get the LA Dodgers to take an undisclosed equity position in a shitty AM property that only exists because of baseball.

Of course, the Dodgers need an FM station but let’s not quibble about such minutia.

Then, SpongeBob Bossy Pants does another one of his patented meaningless partnerships and comes up with a deal where the Dodgers can contribute content for this shitty little station that no one listens to and save him even more money.

A ZERO point nine or as I like to write it 0.9 in the latest Nielsen’s rating for KLAC-AM just a few days ago.

KLAC is a conglomeration of cheap shows from Fox Sports that can’t seem to attract a local listener and Pittman still gets this deal done.

Question.

And be honest.

If the Dodgers had insisted on an FM signal, does this deal get done?

Come on.

You know the answer.

Pittman sold another bottle of Dr. Good to frickin’ Major League baseball and judging from their joint news release they are both excited and soiling their pants.

Even the attraction of Vin Scully calling the games on KLAC – and that is a legitimate attraction – can’t get this station a 1 share.

When KABC had the Dodgers in what seems to be ages ago, they both owned the town.

But that was before 95 million Millennials started coming of age.

So what Pittman really did for the Dodgers was no great favor.

Because no one under 65 listens to AM radio. Bad enough listeners are turning to their own digital devices rather than stick with FM.

The other day while on the treadmill I saw a CNBC interview with Jessica Alba.

She was on with the CEO of her company The Honest Company.

They spoke of being authentic and how important it is to Millennials, as my readers already know.

But being authentic is not what Bob Pittman does and he runs the largest radio company in the world.

I mean, media company.

No, corny bighearted media company like in iHeart.

Jessica Alba has already mastered the subscription pay model (thank you very much) and Pittman is out waxing eloquent about taking the Dodgers for bums.

Weren’t they bums in Brooklyn?

That’s a cheap shot from a disappointed Phillies fan.

Still, The Honest Company principals talk about getting it right and doing right because they know how important that will be – not just the optics, but the deeds – to attract Millennials.

The Dishonest Company – iHeartMedia – can’t be trusted to do anything for the public good.

So thanks for nothing SpongeBob.

You pawned off a shitty AM station you couldn’t run on “partners” who deserve better and when they figure out that they will never attract a listener under 65, you lose.

Radio loses.

And you’re on your yacht drinking Casa Dragones tequila which he has a position in.

AM is dead.

Consolidators like Pittman are still killing it off. Notice how they are putting their best Premiere talk talent on AM stations that guarantee that those shows will not be in the money demo?

In baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out.

In consolidated radio, it’s three strikes and you hit it out of the park for the greedy bastards who own the stations.

Let me take this opportunity to thank the many thousands of media executives who pay for a subscription to get honest and insightful commentary. Every time I reveal another one of their scams, the folks at iHeartMedia like to say I’m just angry and well, they are right.

Angry that they ruined a perfectly good business with foolish, selfish moves like sticking The Dodgers with an old folks home instead of an even chance to attract the money demos they so badly need.

I guess that makes me madder than hell and not going to take it sitting down.

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11 Surprises That Will Shock the Radio Industry

It takes a lot to shock radio people these days, but I’m going to do it.

Things I’m hearing.

Intelligence from sources close to radio companies.

If these predictions come true – and you know our track record – 2015 will be full of surprises from out of left field.

If you’ve been thinking about subscribing and would like to access this story, here is a preview of some of the surprises that will surprise you.

  1. News about a company that has been acquiring stations like crazy.
  2. About Lew Dickey’s shelf life left in radio in terms of years.
  3. Why you will be calling Alpha Broadcasting “The Leftovers”.
  4. If you think you know what’s going to eventually happen to AM radio, read this prediction first.
  5. A shocker about automated radio ad selling.
  6. What you don’t see coming now that almost every owner is trying to cut spot loads.
  7. A big CBS Radio syndication announcement.
  8. A prediction about Howard Stern.
  9. A surprise from Hubbard.
  10. One of the most eligible radio execs could stun the radio industry by taking over another group.

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The New Bad Ass CBS Radio

What’s going so-so wrong at CBS Radio?

Their CEO runs his mouth about potentially selling one-third of their radio stations while behind the scenes money people know the entire division could be for sale.

Notice that Les Moonves never denies that he might sell ALL the radio division because he runs a public company and could get slammed with a massive shareholder action if he lies.

Lately there are too many signs that say the once Tiffany radio group is acting more like Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show or as I like to call them -- Cumulus and Clear Channel.

Brutal employee treatment.

Hurtful employment polices.

Downright misleading messages to CBS Radio employees who are increasingly nervous about their future and the future of a once great radio company.

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  1. Latest graphic proof that CBS Radio is adopting Cumulus “FU” policies with employees.
  2. One CBS format better lookout – the bean cutters are coming after you big time in the next few months.
  3. Evidence that CBS is losing job candidates to other smaller companies because of corporate clusterf@#ks dragging their feet. I have a story to tell you.
  4. How Wall Street really interprets Les Moonves’ code language about selling off a significant part of radio.
  5. The CBS markets in for the biggest shock of all thinking they are safe from likely buyer Cumulus.
  6. How Cumulus could legally swallow up CBS stations when they already own too many in competing markets – there is a plan in place.
  7. Plus – a huge syndicated talent thought to be headed to CBS to replace local personalities after the first of the year.

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Startling New Thinking on Free Giveaways

Apple tried to give away a new U2 album to everyone on its iTunes platform and got hell for it.

It turned out to be a PR disaster.

Younger people called it “dad rock” and didn’t appreciate Apple’s “generosity” in pushing U2s latest album to them without asking first.

As Millennials grow deeper into advertisers’ money demo, media companies will eventually be forced to rethink all aspects of content delivery, advertising and promotion.

I heard a CBS all-news station trying to give away $1,000.

Of course everyone wants $1,000 even if they don’t give you permission to give it to them!

But local listeners don’t appreciate having their name announced as a winner only to have it put into a hat with other CBS stations in many other cities for an infinitesimal chance to win.

Is it possible that the self-absorbed Millennial generation also wants your free gifts their way?

A sea change in attitude will have a significant impact on content providers.

I’d like to share with you new evidence that big changes have been happening on free giveaways, the promotional building block of most radio stations.

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  1. How to find the “new” perfect prize for your station’s format target – and afford it.
  2. What’s now better than giving away trips, concert tickets or even money – that’s right, money? Confirmed.
  3. Reverse contesting – a first look at the next craze in audience giveaways.
  4. Why the nth caller should never, ever win anything.
  5. How to double down on a new age giveaway and blow the promotion through the roof.

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7 Things You Don’t Know About 2015 iHeartMedia Plans

Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler have been making a lot of major moves as they are haunted by nearly $21 billion in consolidated debt.

But a lot of stuff has been leaking out lately about what they have planned next and since I really couldn't care less if I get invited to the next iHeartRadio Las Vegas conference with a hooker and a line of coke, I’m ready to tell all.

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

  1. A massive staff reduction that was unthinkable even only one year ago.
  2. A consolidation of local physical studios and offices so radical that it will no longer feel like a radio station.
  3. Bob Pittman unplugged -- A major decision to look for that will radically change the future outlook for several hundred of their stations.
  4. The two things they deny are for sale are – one of which could be wiped off the books as early as 2015.
  5. This scary change in plans for Premiere and for their talk radio product.

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How iHeartMedia Gets Away With $20 Billion Debt

The question I always get is how can Clear Channel – reborn as iHeartMedia – get to run up so much debt and still remain in business?

That’s more debt than the debt-ridden city of Detroit.

$20 billion is more money than the radio industry makes all together in a year.

And it’s billions higher than Lee & Bain paid for Clear Channel.

How do they stay in business?

Why would anyone keep lending them money?

Isn’t anyone watching their extravagant spending?

Why are layoffs the only cost cutting that keeps lenders happy?

Why does iHeartMedia want to do just about anything but local radio, which would solve a lot of their money problems?

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