Radio Groups That Won’t Be Here Anymore

I know!

iHeart will probably file for bankruptcy once it drains the remaining assets in the company.

And Cumulus is in serious financial trouble – Lew is shrewd, John is the slacker who has ruined their programming.

But there are some radio groups that I don’t think are going to be here anymore.

Why do I say this?

Because they are acting like the groups that we know are headed for the exits.

Which big name group – one that no one would ever guess – is acting like a loser. Firing people days before Christmas and they aren’t even iHeartMedia. I think their end game is to get out of radio.

Or the company that buys shitty stations and unloads good ones – that can’t be a company that survives.

Then there’s the rather new group that is slashing costs. Do you smell a sale coming? Some of their employees do.

The smartest radio group of all has the best exit plan – I think you will agree.

The group that is busting at the seams to find a buyer – any buyer.

And still, there is one more group that may try to go public while everyone else is getting out.

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My 2015 Philly media conference – Last chance to register at 2014 prices.

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Eliminating Radio’s 3 Biggest Weaknesses

If we can make a dent in just these three areas, it will make the most difference.

  1. Repetitious Music – This is not a new complaint but in a world of Pandora, Spotify and streaming digital devices playing the same songs over and over again has become a bigger negative for radio. First, break away from playing songs all the way through – young music listeners never play a song all the way through.  Time to adapt. Add in more music discovery. More new with shorter versions of hit songs.
  2. Too Many Lousy Commercials – Make them better and don’t run as many.       But stations are not getting their rates so they are accepting lots of cheaper 10, 15 and 20 second spots that make commercial sets unlistenable. And news and talk stations think this doesn’t apply to them.  It does. Many times the local station can make commercials sound better and be more effective. You’ll want the latest on what works because it doesn’t cost a penny to do things that are proven to work. For example, using two or more voices.
  3. Fixing Outdated Morning Shows – Traffic, weather, news – that’s so 90’s.  Any self-respecting smartphone owner knows everything that she or he needs to know in what was once radio’s main morning mission. When we keep doing what listeners don’t need, it makes us less valuable.  Brainstorm with me on how to replace traffic, weather and news with something listeners can’t get on a cellphone. And if you’re afraid to mess with traffic, weather and news because it is associated with revenue, wait until you see what you can get for offering three new services that even digital users can’t get on their mobile devices.

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iHeart Bankruptcy Predictions

Think about it this way.

If iHeart fired everyone but Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, they would barely make a dent in their $20.4 billion debt obligation.

I don’t care how good Los Angeles performs in the future or how much advertising improves, they are just too far in a black hole.

But one thing has to happen first before iHeart execs will enter a bankruptcy court – this is how you’ll know if and when bankruptcy is coming. Watch for it.

And once it does, what happens to contracts and negotiated union agreements already in place?

Not that you may care – but bankruptcy affects everything – even what happens to the schlubs who are holding that $20.4 billion in debt.

Then there is a plan to liquidate programming as we know it – the first pieces are already in place. They have their man in place ready to do this.

And as incredible as it may seem, iHeart may try to actually run up more debt before they file for bankruptcy. Here’s why.

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The Topics At My Next Seminar

These are the most pressing issues radio broadcasters are going to be dealing with over the next 12 months.

Both challenges and opportunities.

If you consider yourself a broadcaster who strives for excellence and wants to master the generational changes that are uprooting the media business, you’ll likely be interested in the topics below.

For entrepreneurs who create content or market it, this meeting is a treasure of sound business opportunities that create audience and revenue streams.

Remarkably, many amateur YouTube video “stars” make more digital revenue than the average radio station. We’re going to get to their secret – and learn how they do it on a dime.

I hope you’re enjoying the holidays and if you get a moment to check out the curriculum below, perhaps you can reserve the date and register now at the lowest rate that will be available.

Save the date and Reserve a Seat

Contact me about group rates anytime over the holiday and I will do my best to make it possible for you to bring your most important people to the one-day learning seminar. Send me an email to inquire about group rates here.

Here are the solutions that will be offered …

  • Better radio, stronger digital
  • How much radio, how much digital
  • Storytelling – Millennials’ hot new obsession
  • How to get audiences to listen to songs all the way through – face it, they don’t and yet we’re building our entire station on the concept of music sweeps.
  • What Millennials want the most -- Authenticity, no hype, consensus not confrontation, respect, trust & fairness, dreams (all the way from changing the world to building a better life), fun to be with and openness and diversity in programming & advertising. Now … here’s how to deliver them.
  • Eliminating radio’s 3 biggest weaknesses – repetitious music, too many lousy commercials, outdated morning shows.
  • Addressing radio’s biggest objections – too many commercials, repetitive playlists and not enough music discovery, morning shows that suck, stupid contests and promotions, too much hype. Damage control.
  • Radio’s 75 million baby boomers, 95 million Millennials – what to do?
  • Both music discovery AND ratings – how to add 2/3 more new music and not lose listeners
  • Beware of the digital dashboard – It turned out to be a Pandora’s box, sorry about that – but you know what I mean. A better Plan B.
  • Forget other stations, YouTube is your competitor. Change your focus.
  • Creating Binge Radio Content – yes, just like Netflix.
  • Radio’s answer to on-demand – not doing the service elements of a morning show that stations love but listeners now get on their phones. On to exclusive new content that can’t compete with a phone.
  • Millennial mistakes you don’t want to make – change the way you do commercials, talk to listeners differently, taking audience bingeing seriously, kill the 8 minute stop set before it kills you, don’t use social media to promote, ditch voice tracking and syndication, play games – hey, this is the gaming generation -- don’t brand or promote make personalities your “brand”.
  • Start a video revenue stream – I’m doing it, let me show you how you can too for the same pennies I’m committing.
  • What’s in the pipeline for radio – Is it really throwback hip-hop or something we’re missing.
  • Taking back market share from below average digital competitors.
  • Instagram is killing Facebook, but here’s what’s the next big thing in social media.
  • 2 things today’s radio audiences cannot resist – service and humility. Discuss.
  • If you’re thinking of leaving radio – make millions creating short form video like this.
  • Not ready for major changes, at least do this -- refresh your radio station using a can’t fail checklist.
  • Protect your station against competitors who drop their rates – it’s the biggest danger to independent stations and groups in 2015.
  • Expanded group questions & answers – The teacher and the taught together do the teaching!

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iHeart’s $100,000 Sales Incentive

iHeart is doing a strange $100,000 Challenge sales promotion that is so deadly, the winning sales rep could get laid off immediately.

I’m not kidding … this is a sucker’s contest if I ever saw one.

The way sellers must qualify.

Rules that change as fast as iHeart’s debt.

How the contest is modeled like their national audience contests in which listeners don’t have a chance in hell to win.

Motivated by a big money radio contest Bob Pittman did when he was actually in radio 40 years ago – scary similar, let me tell you that story.

Why account execs are doing everything they can NOT to win Pittman’s $100,000.

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Report news tips in strict confidence here.

If you’re planning on attending my March 18th seminar in Philly, reserve a seat today and beat the price increase here

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The Sony Pictures Mess

I know, you think Sony Pictures giving in to North Korean cyber terrorists over the movie The Interview is a First Amendment issue.

That, too.

But it’s really a testimony to the crap media companies pass off as content these days.

The Interview was a stiff according to numerous early reviews – a sure loser even if it included the assassination of the North Korean leader for life.

If you’ve been on another planet, Sony pulled the picture after threats from apparent North Korean hackers that they would blow up theaters that screened the movie if Sony didn’t pull it.

Well, guess what – they did.

President Obama called them out for it.

And I’m wondering, did anyone in this country of ours consider that we don’t stand for anything anymore.

What if the movie was an Angelina Jolie smash?

Would Sony have backed down?

Why do newspapers avoid doing investigative journalism when they need a reason to exist?

Of course, expensive lawsuits.

Why does the radio industry consistently fire the most important show on the air – the morning show – to save money?

It’s all about the money, that’s why.

This is unfortunate for the remaining independent companies that really want to do good content.

Companies that will standup for their talent and their audiences.

It’s getting tougher for these good people to operate in a world where money rules and creative art takes a backseat.

Imagine Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel today.

Lee and Bain would own it.

They would make him use the cheapest paint and Bob Pittman would oversee the project.

Michelangelo would likely have to follow venture capital “best practices” which is corporate horseshit for no help and no support and he’d probably have to paint Coke bottles all over the ceiling in between angels.

Alright, my point is that for those of us who want to do good content, it’s tougher – a lot tougher – but by riding the wave of generational preferences not fighting it – we can innovate and succeed.

That’s the goal every year for my Media Solutions Conference.

If you’re focused on audiences and doing right by advertisers, I hope you take a look at the list of things we’re going to get into on March 18th in Philly.

Save the date and -- Reserve a Seat

Let’s sink our teeth into these topics …

  • Better radio, stronger digital
  • How much radio, how much digital
  • Storytelling – Millennials’ hot new obsession
  • How to get audiences to listen to songs all the way through – face it, they don’t and yet we’re building our entire station on the concept of music sweeps.
  • What Millennials want the most -- Authenticity, no hype, consensus not confrontation, respect, trust & fairness, dreams (all the way from changing the world to building a better life), fun to be with and openness and diversity in programming & advertising. Now … here’s how to deliver them.
  • Eliminating radio’s 3 biggest weaknesses – repetitious music, too many lousy commercials, outdated morning shows.
  • Addressing radio’s biggest objections – too many commercials, repetitive playlists and not enough music discovery, morning shows that suck, stupid contests and promotions, too much hype. Damage control.
  • Radio’s 75 million baby boomers, 95 million Millennials – what to do?
  • Both music discovery AND ratings – how to add 2/3 more new music and not lose listeners.
  • Beware of the digital dashboard – It turned out to be a Pandora’s box, sorry about that – but you know what I mean. A better Plan B.
  • Forget other stations, YouTube is your competitor. Change your focus.
  • Creating Binge Radio Content – yes, just like Netflix.
  • Radio’s answer to on-demand – not doing the service elements of a morning show that stations love but listeners now get on their phones. On to exclusive new content that can’t compete with a phone.
  • Millennial mistakes you don’t want to make – change the way you do commercials, talk to listeners differently, taking audience bingeing seriously, kill the 8 minute stop set before it kills you, don’t use social media to promote, ditch voice tracking and syndication, play games – hey, this is the gaming generation -- don’t brand or promote make personalities your “brand”.
  • Start a video revenue stream – I’m doing it, let me show you how you can too for the same pennies I’m committing.
  • What’s in the pipeline for radio – Is it really throwback hip-hop or something we’re missing.
  • Taking back market share from below average digital competitors.
  • Instagram is killing Facebook, but here’s what’s the next big thing in social media.
  • 2 things today’s radio audiences cannot resist – service and humility. Discuss.
  • If you’re thinking of leaving radio – make millions creating short form video like this.
  • Not ready for major changes, at least do this -- refresh your radio station using a can’t fail checklist.
  • Protect your station against competitors who drop their rates – it’s the biggest danger to independent stations and groups in 2015.
  • Expanded group questions & answers – You fire the questions that matter most -- we load you up with solutions.

Reserve a Seat

Inquire About Group Rates

Order Audio Only

Read More  FREE SAMPLES

Pittman Plans First Quarter iHeart Attack For Market Managers

It’s not about more cutbacks – that, too.

This time regional market managers and some majors are going to get it.

Bob Pittman will not admit bankruptcy to them at this meeting but it is really the only choice he has left.

The critical reason why Pittman is trying to buy more time for any bankruptcy filing – it’s not really in his control, though.

When the regional market managers meeting will take place and what the obvious topic will be.

But what’s the not so obvious topic – the real reason for this pow-wow because Pittman will be working regional managers to pull off one more heist of the company’s assets.

The slight of hand trick Pittman has planned for that meeting – now you see it, now you don’t kind of thing.

Here’s why managers will think they are being asked to dig down deep again and cut costs when Pittman is really using them to set up the scariest move of his tenure running iHeart.

How market managers are becoming Pittman’s pawns in the move toward bankruptcy.

It would take a miracle for Pittman to avoid bankruptcy in 2015 but I believe he already has a buyer in mind after their lenders are screwed and they emerge almost debt free.

Access this story now

Report news tips in strict confidence here.

Check out the topics for my upcoming Media Solutions Conference here

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