iHeart To Layoff Up to 1/3 Of Workforce

In the next 30 days iHeartMedia will begin a layoff so massive it is unprecedented in the media industry.

Up to 33% of their workforce laid off, potentially even higher.

What positions.

The handful of people deciding the fate of so many employees.

Who is not exempt for the first time ever.

The so-called “fat cats” that iHeart is targeting because they make too much money for what they do.

Severance – who gets it, who doesn’t and will seniority matter.

Here’s your complete heads up.

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My 2015 Media Conference Announced

It’s time to reimagine the radio industry.

To learn how to talk differently to changing audiences.

Offer new solutions to advertisers enamored of digital alternatives.

To separate digital from broadcasting and excel at both of them.

Registration for my sixth annual Media Solutions Conference March 18, 2015 held this year in Philadelphia is underway now.

This is the solutions based approach that has served so many media executives well over the years because they find it honest, straightforward and above all – helpful.

Take a look at the relevant topics we will be tackling.

• What You Need To Know About Reimagining Radio
• Mastering Digital – What Works, What’s in the Pipeline.
• Protect Your Station Against Competitors Who Drop Their Rates
• Latest Breakthroughs For Attracting Money Demos
• Changing the Way We Talk To Audiences
• Key Strategies To Protect Your Radio Station
• New Content Businesses Ripe For Radio
• Salvation for AM Stations
• FM Protection Against Streaming Music Services
• The Trick To Real and Lasting Success For News/Talk/Spoken Word
• Dire Warning About Podcasting
• The Best New Radio Format No One Is Doing
• Expanded Group Questions & Answers

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Reserve a Seat – Attend in Person

Inquire About Group Rates

And because space is limited this year and for the first time, if you cannot attend in person, you can get access to a complete recording of the conference Order Audio Only

Presented at The Hub Commerce Square, 2001 Market Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia – walking distance from Amtrak’s 30th Street Station, 20 minutes from Philadelphia International Airport. Registration/breakfast at 8am. Conference starts at 9am, ends at 4pm.

Breakfast, lunch and breaks by acclaimed James Beard Award-winning Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix, former executive chef at The Four Seasons, included.
The 2015 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia March 18, 2015 – the one conference focused on thriving in the future.

Kaufman Thrown Under iHeart’s Bus

Happy Thanksgiving to iHeart’s John Kaufman, one of the few qualified managers in the company – thrown under the bus on the eve of a four day holiday weekend so no one notices.

Well, I noticed.

Pittman and Bressler are now circling the wagons to protect themselves and anyone more qualified than themselves has to go.

This is just the beginning of a last ditch effort to save their necks.

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

  1. Yikes! Another iHeart reorganization this time with a vengeance.
  2. Let’s see – why would Pitman fire perhaps the most qualified executive in the company with all that business background.
  3. The new Fab Four – the executioners of lives and careers have been designated.       I name them. Know the enemy.
  4. How revenue managers created to stop sellers from cutting rates will now be operating without Kaufman, their leader and founder.
  5. The big bang! Reorganization first, then thermonuclear disruption of local iHeart radio clusters that will unnerve just about every employee.

This is a great story to join our group and take a test drive.

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Changes at CBS Radio

If you compete with CBS Radio, keep your eye on these changes.

Music, commercials breaks – they’re at it again.

Here’s the latest intelligence.

If you are a subscriber, thank you for joining our group. Just click through and unlock the content.

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

  1. Epic playlist makeover that works – sometimes.
  2. Cramming a record number of commercial units in a stopset and getting away with it. Copy or defend.
  3. CBS “commercial sweeps” that actually win more quarter hours than music.
  4. Signs of rising tension between stations and corporate.
  5. Muzzled CBS programmers deal with “interference”.

If you would like to read this story, have access to my entire archive (2,849 pieces) and get daily email delivery, click “Read More” for your choices

Newstip Hotline

Rumor: Cumulus Cancelling Employment Contracts

They should cancel Lew and John Dickey’s since they are screwing up the company so badly, but no ---

Word is that under pressure Cumulus has to be more nimble in the year ahead.

Secret strategizing now going on.

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

You’ll discover …

  1. The big changes that are planned for Cumulus – the biggest ones ever.
  2. The reported detonation date that can make an already nervous workforce more skittish.
  3. If you have an employment contract or non-compete with Cumulus this may directly affect you.
  4. How Cumulus seems to be preparing for either an asset sale or purchase – my best thinking on which one.
  5. Why you should not hold your breath waiting for that new non-Dickey operations exec to be hired.
  6. Layoffs – of course, but different.

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Serial

Imagine a podcast that attracts 1.26 million listeners every Thursday morning on iTunes.

That’s more than most of Lew Dickey and Bob Pittman’s major market stations.

But don’t go out and start a podcast.

That’s a road to failure.

There is something even bigger based on Serial’s success that radio can harness.

This article goes on to reveal:

  1. … Why you want to avoid podcasting, don’t fall for the hype.
  2. … Why Millennials love storytelling and that’s different.
  3. … How to do storytelling without sounding like the radio they dislike.
  4. … Which generations don’t like podcasts.
  5. And, why you never want to do this online only on the air.

Access this story now here.

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Beasley Done, But What About the Rest of the CBS Selloff

What happened to the one-third of CBS Radio its CEO said it would sell?

So far, only one small trade with Beasley involving Miami and Philly.

Here is the latest from the ground.

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  1. The one thing that is making CEO Les Moonves drag his feet on selling the rest of his non-essential markets.
  2. Scary stuff for CBS employees -- who may be sniffing around the available smaller market CBS stations.
  3. One option that would blow the roof off the media business involves his possible plans for both radio and TV together.
  4. Les Moonves’ surprising end game.
  5. Plus, the big question – when?

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Music Industry Suicide Bombers

Music people have the crazies again.

The latest nut case is Irving Azoff who had been threatening to remove 42 of his very heavyweight clients’ music representing some 20,000 works from YouTube.

Now Azoff has gone and done it – or at least he’s trying to do it.

YouTube is apparently defying him saying that they have a deal in place.

This is all about greed as it has always been for the record business.

It’s about histrionics such as saying streaming services like YouTube are exploiting musicians.

It is the music industry that wanted Spotify and made it damn difficult for them to launch on schedule here in the U.S. because of brass knuckle negotiations and even that was not enough to please them because their take is not enough.

They hate Pandora but Pandora is the largest supplier of digital revenue to the music industry and that money represents fully over 50% of everything Pandora earns.

These haters have even turned on the pathetic radio industry, which has become an imitation of its former self with computerized music, no personalities and repetition that drives listeners away.

The music industry is against anything that works for their partners that doesn’t work better for them.

They got handed their lunch by a bunch of kids at Napster.

Then they let Steve Jobs bamboozle them into a deal to let his iPod users cherry pick music all because they were paranoid about Napster.

Who knew? Cherry picking was the undoing of the album.

All as CD sales plummeted.

When Pandora started the labels demanded huge royalties that were insane for any business startup.

Flo & Eddie should have stuck to “Happy Together” when they “won” legal battles for music royalties for their old work.

The labels did a stick up on satellite radio, which passes its fees along to its subscribers.

They tried to sue the pants off kids who pirated music and the kids won.

Now, no one even wants to steal music because while these selfish bastards were out screwing up the digital business model consumers started using their music like ketchup instead of a main course.

Taylor Swift pulls her new album “1989” from Spotify because her label wanted to make a statement but that statement is – we don’t want to be where listeners are going unless you want to overpay.

And if you think I am hard on the music industry, maybe.

Maybe not.

Music ain’t what it used to be.

And people don’t value it the way baby boomers worshiped their vinyl albums.

The radio industry helped commoditize music by making it vanilla.

So here’s the verdict.

Azoff will lose.

The kids will win again.

But Irving will stuff his pockets with more money while his clients will be affected by his lack of good judgment. He’s acting like – well, a baby boomer who doesn’t understand the new digital world.

Buying music is over – iTunes the biggest online retailer has proven that the decline is real. If they can’t sell music, no one can.

No one buys CDs.

They listen to streaming services largely for free and that’s about it, folks.

Have they not learned anything from the path of destruction the music industry has been on for the past 15 years?

95 million Millennials are their bosses.

Music will eventually be free and the labels blew their business model.

I’m betting that the Millennials will win this one again.

Cooperate with the inevitable.

Come up with a new business model or Millennials will.

Radio, are you listening? 

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Apple Pay Can Teach the Media Industry New Ways To Innovate

Name 2 things the radio industry innovated in the last ten years.

Okay, name one.

Same for TV and the music industry.

They wonder why they are reporting losing revenue numbers, getting clobbered by amateurs in digital media and the answer is right in front of their faces.

Steal a page from Apple Pay to get your creative juices flowing.

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

  1. The two most essential mediums that young audiences like so much they will actually pay for it – that’s right, pay.
  2. YouTube is the new Top 40 radio to teens so how about the new YouTube paid subscription service – will it fly?
  3. Cable will die but here are two TV networks that will thrive in spite of it – take notes.
  4. Taylor Swift vs. Spotify will backfire and here’s why.
  5. Here is the litmus test to see if your station will have any chance gaining a substantial young audience. Take it and find out if you have a future with 95 million on-demand listeners.
  6. But most importantly – why you should teach your employees all about Apple Pay to inspire innovation.

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The Future of Television

Television is about to be walloped so badly at the intersection of technology and generational change.

The unthinkable is beginning to happen.

This changes everything in every other medium as well.

  1. What is the new TV?
  2. What will start to replace existing TV networks as we now know them?
  3. Shocking figures on TV set sales.
  4. An exodus from cable and satellite so great, changes are ahead for consumers – the latest figures are in.
  5. How cable TV’s worst nightmare is coming true and their knee jerk reaction to it.
  6. What about satellite radio – any path of growth in a price sensitive world?
  7. Or free radio? Can that be an advantage as Millennials refuse to pay fees?
  8. For the answer – follow what CBS CEO Les Moonves is going to do.

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