The Unsafest Job in All of Radio

I know, I know – they’re ALL unsafe except for the greedy bastards at corporate doing all the firing.

But some jobs are safer than others as you’re about to see and some, well – the handwriting is on the wall.

But one position is being targeted for elimination this year and when one group discovers a new way to cut costs, they all usually follow.

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  1. It’s a new category – people radio groups stayed away from for the past ten years.
  2. Clusterf@#ks: 30 people fired in one market alone, only 5 left standing and these savings are without eliminating this job that they are jonsing to get rid of.
  3. What about multiple market program directors?  Safe now that so many have been fired or unsafe?
  4. iHeart has automated selling, but there are still some sellers who they can’t fire -- or can they?
  5. The job you don’t want to have in radio because – and I’m saying it publicly – because owners are coming to take you away.

The answers begin here.

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Hiding Pay For Play

Things are so bad in radio these days that even the “good” radio groups are getting desperate.

Nine broadcasters including the usual suspects like iHeart and Cumulus have petitioned the FCC to reverse its payola rules and allow record labels to pay for radio airplay without having to reveal it on-air – the current rule.

These “lyin’ nine” say the rule should be changed with a straight face “because it would result in listeners’ having access to more information in a more user-friendly and satisfying way.”

How is that for bullshit?

But all of this is going to backfire on them just you wait and see.

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  1. Let’s get this out of the way – will the FCC abandon the payola ban or not?
  2. Will recording artists save the day by opposing its removal?
  3. From day one, how will the greedy record labels embrace their new-found ability to buy a song on the air if pay for play is allowed. You know they will screw it up like a wet dream.
  4. How the law of unintended consequences kicks in and screws just about every radio station.
  5. What’s a quicker more effective way for radio owners to increase revenue without trying to reverse the decades old payola ban.
  6. The radio competitor who is praying on hands and knees that radio gets what it wishes for – legalized payola – but for all the wrong reasons.

The answers begin here.

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John Dickey Invents “Reverse” Country

What is “Reverse” country?

It happens to be what all the Cumulus country stations have coming their way soon.

Taylor Swift once per hour – no kidding – even though she left the country format years ago.

Johnny D is trying “Reverse” Country (his term, by the way) in some little, innocuous markets like New York and Dallas and then look out.   I can hear the sweepers now “Nash FM, We Play What John Wants” or “Nash FM -- Worse in Reverse”.

Seriously, I’ve talked to some real country experts and they have 5 observations I’m liking a lot so I’m going to share them.

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  1. What John Dickey missed when he decided to hedge his bet on country – there was a better way to get more listeners to sample Nash FM but he missed it.
  2. Better believe the record labels have something to do with this – here’s how.
  3. Two things that could have gotten Cumulus country on track (three if you count the non-authentic branding called Nash).
  4. History proves what happens when radio stations do hybrid music formats – here is the biggest disaster of all time and the Dickeys either don’t know about it or don’t care.
  5. James Brown – the Godfather of Soul (by the way is he buried yet?) – his advice on how to successfully program a country station and he’s 100% correct.

The answers begin here.

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When you see or hear news, report it here. $100 for the best tip of the month. $1,000 for the best tip of the year. You’re anonymous in my Witness Protection Program.

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Next Year’s Philly Conference Date -- April 6, 2016. Our attendees call it a “life changing” event. Explore.

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Pittman and Bressler Pad Their Golden Parachutes

Quick: what do you do when your company is $20.4 billion in debt and you’re not going to make your numbers in the first quarter?

If you’re iHeart Media, the top guys give themselves a nice raise and get their golden parachutes ready.

I can promise you that a lot of iHeart employees who have to suffer under Bob Pittman (Frick) and Richard Bressler (Frack) are going to be angry when they see this.

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  1. How much are they appropriating for themselves – it’s huge.
  2. Why are they trying to sneak this through, don’t they have to deal with the SEC?
  3. The magic end date (they come right out with it) – is this the day they leave?
  4. Whoa! Is this a trial run to see if anyone notices? In other words, is there more compensation getting ready to be added to Rich and Bob’s deals.
  5. What Rich and Bob are doing is considered highly unusual – here’s what most companies do when building a golden parachute for key execs.

The answers begin here.

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iHeart Tower Sales Runs Into Trouble

What’s a poor, bankrupt company have to do to get out of the tower business anyway?

Looks like the critical $400 million sale of iHeart radio towers and real estate has hit the wall – and this time it’s going to cost them even more money.

The deal is still on but something fishy has happened.

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  1. Why is iHeart missing its closing date?
  2. Remember the two-part closing they talked about originally? What’s up with that now?
  3. What are the implications for iHeart markets that will have to give up in some cases millions of dollars in rental fees, make it up in sales and yet have no idea when push comes to shove.
  4. Why this land grab is so important to iHeart’s future bankruptcy options.
  5. The reward that Pittman and Bressler get if they deliver $400 million into the pockets of owners Lee & Bain.

The answers begin here.

If you would like to read this story, see an option to gain access to my entire archive of 2,992 pieces and get daily email delivery, see your choices here

When you see or hear news, report it here. $100 for the best tip of the month. $1,000 for the best tip of the year. You’re anonymous in my Witness Protection Program.

Talk to Jerry privately here.

Next Year’s Philly Conference Date -- April 6, 2016. If you haven’t experienced one of these interactive learning sessions, plan ahead to be there.  See a preview.

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About Inside Music Media: Read by more people than any other media newsletter of its kind. Contains no advertising. Is insightful, deadly honest, entertaining and informative. Accepts no corporate money. And is beholden only to subscribers.

Read More  FREE SAMPLES