Alpha’s Growing Desperation

So, when last we visited Alpha Paul Stone had made a modest investment in the cash starved Alpha Media and wrestled control from founder and then CEO Larry Wilson.

Today, Stone is calling the shots.

But things are growing more desperate.

What is Stone’s plan to turnaround Alpha now?

Big decisions coming soon.

The “Cumulus” option.

What brokers are peddling now.

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Cumulus Board Split Over Berner

Coming up on one year out of bankruptcy and CEO Mary Berner is presiding over a Cumulus board unsure of what to do next, her own future in doubt.

The company’s bankruptcy court valued Cumulus at $1.3 billion for the purpose of giving haircuts to lenders and other aggrieved parties.

That $1.3 billion is about even with the company’s revenues on a good day.

That means, Cumulus is presently worth nothing.

There is an explanation for the sale of great FM stations in New York, LA and DC along with a strategy to trade stations at this late date.

But there is a shocking strategy going forward if some board members get their way.

What will Cumulus sell next?

What’s the plan for making the company work and revenue grow without the major stations that they recently sold?

The real problems inside Westwood One, the only part of Cumulus that posts a modest profit and there are many.

And how critical is the split over Berner’s game plan?

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Outrageous New Nielsen Rates Coming

Nielsen is getting ready to reveal substantial rate increases to its radio clients even as they fight their own financial problems and feed rumors of a sale.

Radio stations would be devasted by these increases which have leaked to our sources as Nielsen ratings is one of the major expenses radio groups can’t easily get out from under.

But it may be even worse than that.

Just how substantial are the planned rate increases – still not revealed to clients.

Are they retroactive under existing contracts or will they be for future deals?

What about diary markets where continuous measurement is the plan?

And what are the 3 likely take it or leave it options for owners who can’t afford the rate hike?

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Streaming Crisis Ahead

The record industry is booming right now and radio isn’t.

Network television is on the decline and what audience is left is out of demo.

Everything is about to be disrupted again.

Trouble ahead for the music industry and they can’t see it coming.

And even as TV is being redefined, the streaming pay model is showing signs of stress.

What corporate takeover could shipwreck the record industry?

What are the concerns about streaming music services?

Can radio survive performance rights fees?

The replacement for network TV coming soon.

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Why Radio No Longer Breaks the Hits

Increasingly, new artists are rising to prominence and new songs and albums are climbing the charts with little to no radio airplay.

Deniers in the radio industry have a lot of excuses but little understanding of the dangerous dynamic that threatens music radio more than anything else.

In the past few weeks and in recent months radio has flubbed opportunities to drive hit music to the top of the charts – after all, that’s what radio used to do, right?

What has changed now?

Why aren’t radio groups learning from their mistakes?  Just in the past two weeks, another artist lit up the music charts without radio airplay.

Is this a fixable problem or another unfortunate circumstance?

One thing more than any other is forcing program directors to cede breaking new hits to streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music.

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