CBS Radio’s Pre-IPO Surprise

  • The thing CBS could do to shock the industry just before they begin their radio IPO.
  • You have no idea – and neither do their loyal managers, programmers or sellers.       Blindsided.
  • How far will CBS go to make it appear that their new radio IPO shares are underpriced.
  • Careers interrupted – not necessarily layoffs, worse.
  • Stealth moves under the radar that will shakeup the IPO and some radio competitors all at once.

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iHeart’s Secret Plan To Reduce Cluster Size

You will not believe what iHeart is thinking of doing to reduce debt.

I fell off my chair when I heard.

Because it’s not just about selling a few stations here and there.

It’s worse.

I’ve got the plan they are kicking around and scarier yet – investment bankers appear to be cool with it.

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  1. The “optimum” size of an iHeart cluster in the future.
  2. Some of their big, iconic moneymaking stations are safe under this plan, right? Well, not so fast.
  3. Would this apply to all size markets or just the crappy little markets they don’t care about.
  4. How iHeart is being so careful to let investment bankers think this plan is their idea.
  5. I reveal the rules of engagement – who gets what they’re selling and how they plan to make sure none of the buyers could ever hurt them going forward.
  6. What happens to the newly reorganized regional markets – where do they fit into this plan?

If you would like to see iHeart’s secret plan to reduce cluster size, how they will proceed and strict rules for who they will sell to, touch “read more” below.

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Apple & Twitter

All Tim Cook needed to do when he announced disappointing quarterly results this past week was to channel none other than our own media creepy clown Bob Pittman.

Talk about the many Apple platforms. 

The dominance.

Lie about the future.

And there you go.

Or for poor Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who presides over one of the most beloved Internet innovations ever who had to actually suck up more losses, promise 9% layoffs and focus those layoffs on sellers (good grief!).

But a little touch of SpongeBob Bossy Pants and you would think that Twitter was out of the woods and ready to make money.

Even Mary Berner is not willing to do the Pittman shuffle when she will have to announce another losing quarter this November 8th.  And God knows Cumulus is taking it on the chin with its stock – down 0.5 to $1.55 yesterday – in anticipation of no good news.

So let’s see if we can cut through the optics and get down to the true future of Apple and Twitter because if we are to believe that 18-34 year old Millennials don’t want to listen to radio, then why are they starting to kill Apple and Twitter.

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  • So is Apple dead and is Twitter hopeless?
  • How Twitter could turn it all around with one decision.
  • How do you appeal to consumers and audiences who hate rules?
  • The big takeaway for radio about the changing landscape of social media.
  • The most important mission we in radio, records and video can undertake is to create lasting relationships. 
  • Read this if advertising is 90% or more of your profit.

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The Cumulus Decision on Year End Layoffs

The final decision has been made by management about whether to continue laying off employees ahead of the New Year.

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Pandora

The streaming service that started it all missed its revenue projections and closed down 4.8% yesterday and continued the free fall in after hours trading.

There was a lot to like in their third quarter results but shareholders were apparently having none of it.

Losses narrowed.

Listener hours grew by 5% (wouldn’t radio love that).  But active listeners fell slightly (still Bob Pittman would love to be Pandora).

Advertising without having to do Jingle Ball events and concerts was up 7.5%.

But paid subscriptions were down 1.4% at a time when Spotify is claiming 40 million paid subscribers worldwide and Apple just has to sneeze and comes up with 17 million subscribers to a just-okay Apple Music.

As of September Pandora had an estimated four million subscribers.

Pandora, therefore, is an ad based medium.

So Pandora is junk now, right?

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

  • Pandora stock tanked yesterday, they have more competitors than ever – is this the end of Pandora?
  • Why their competition is not radio, satellite radio, Spotify, another streaming service or Apple – see what Pandora is missing.
  • Then why does Bob Pittman want iHeart to be Pandora?
  • What could make Pandora (or any streaming service) a hot company with this one listener approved idea.
  • The surprising thing that will happen if Pandora’s number one competitor, Spotify, eventually goes public.
  • Will Pandora’s recent Spotify-like enhancements cut into Spotify?

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AT&T/Time Warner

Don’t believe the hype.

The AT&T purchase of Time Warner for $85.4 billion is a fantasy.

A fantasy of old white men who don’t understand the Millennial world and think delivery systems solve their future problems.

So, outside of Game of Thrones, how many Millennials use a paid subscription to access the show?

Or how many share a friend or parent’s HBO subscription?

Is it that Millennials will want to see the 60-year old HBO star Bill Maher on new delivery systems or that somehow CNN’s Clinton News Network would appeal to a socialist generation that wants everyone to get a fair shake, something they won’t get on CNN.

The last innovation at CNN was created by Ted Turner when he invented 24-hour cable news and think about it, that’s true.

Watching AT&T spend their shareholders’ money can be very instructive to radio, an industry that stopped innovating over 20 years ago.

Remember?

Consolidation was going to give listeners more choices.

WRONG.

Consolidation was going to make radio a more attractive advertising vehicle.

WRONG.

I’m sounding like Donald Trump with that “wrong” comment, but you get the idea.

Consolidation, which is now officially underway in the television, media and phone business, has already proven what it can do to radio and records.

Choose “READ MORE” (below) for …

  • Look at the AT&T/Time Warner merger – any way this thing works?
  • If so, shouldn’t radio be watching very closely?
  • How Amazon is killing what’s left of the record business.
  • What is likely to happen to HBO now.
  • How about CNN under AT&T.
  • Why independent radio broadcasters have all the advantages over their consolidators and don’t even know it – what they should be doing.
  • How do you raise rates when your industry consolidates and is dominated by huge companies like iHeart – here you go.
  • The secret to attracting 18-34 Millennials and it is not coming up with new delivery systems like AT&T thinks it can do in TV.

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How Radio is Cooking the Books

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  • The latest crooked tactic to make it appear their financials are up to expectations when they’re falling short – and it’s all legal, kind of.
  • How they come up with money at the end of each quarter even when they don’t have it.
  • How radio groups are creating “phantom billing” – billing that is not really there and it’s happening increasingly.
  • Sleazy consolidators’ dishonest solutions to declining spot revenue.
  • How groups like iHeart, Entercom and Clownsquare are pivoting from declining ad revenue to event marketing.
  • How they’re lying about digital revenue.
  • A list of 7 ways radio groups are cooking the books and it’s not pretty.

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