Longer Shifts, Stretching On-Air Talent

You could almost see this coming.

iHeart and other radio groups are already setting up another major salary dump by quoting Edison research. 

Entercom has a plan that is even more reckless because it raises the ire of unions, over works their on-air talent and provides even more cover for another reduction in work force.

Speaking of that, the 2nd quarter radio revenue reports are due within the next few weeks and that is the accelerant that will set off more firings.

Even top name talent is now in the crosshairs.

Radio doesn’t need the coronavirus as an excuse for firing, the worse RIF in iHeart’s history occurred before the lockdown this past winter and as usual programming will take the biggest hit.

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Radio’s Next Act: Subscriptions, Alexa & Video

It’s not podcasting or reselling Facebook and Google ads that is the future of radio.

It’s money from paid subscriptions, Alexa and short-form video.

That doesn’t mean that desperate radio CEOs are going to do anything different, but we know one who is and he’s already dispatched his teams to develop income streams in these three key areas.

What this looks like is completely crazy to Bob Pittman and David Field who seem to be hanging on to podcasting as if it was a life.

But let’s take a look at crazy so as not to be the last to see the future.

Radio’s significant free cash flow is the engine that will fund a hurting radio industry that is now looking to a new model to make up for low rates and advertiser interest in digital media – the next act explained.

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No Townsquare Layoffs Through Year End

Entercom, iHeart and Cumulus have been conducting massive layoffs and furloughs this year – Townsquare did one in April.

All radio groups have been reducing work force due to unmanageable debt although they blame it on the coronavirus.

Townsquare is drawing up a unique contingency plan that provides the possibility of future job security.

Most radio groups are getting ready to do another round of cutbacks within weeks of quarterly revenue reports.

Some big Townsquare cuts are in the pipeline but they are not going the Entercom route.

There is only one radio group that has an actual plan to save jobs in spite of debt, COVID and the economy – their long-term plan revealed.

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No Ad Rescue in Radio’s Political Revenue

This is the worst-case scenario come true.

The political advertising windfall that radio usually receives is not happening as the first metrics start coming in.

And this is no time for that with the lockdown economy causing 25-57% declines in revenue compared to last year.

No radio group can withstand these losses which can now be documented.

The real question is – is there still time to make up for the early losses and if not, what options are on the table.

It’s not just a battleground state problem – we can now document that political advertising is booming for competing media, so why is radio getting so severely snubbed?

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Radio Seeking Non-Radio Merger Partners

Liberty’s takeover of iHeart changes everything.

Soon one company with a satellite radio monopoly, one of the top three streaming music services, a live events platform and iHeart’s 850+ terrestrial stations and an array of side businesses will redefine radio’s place in the media business.

Standalone radio companies will be left with their debt and not much else including digital with which to compete.

Radio groups other than iHeart will now have to be thinking of how they could bring their free cash flow and bury their debt in to a larger growth platform.

Let’s start with Entercom, the most vulnerable radio group once Liberty merges with iHeart -- what would Spotify and Entercom look like together?

And what non-radio media company buys Beasley or Townsquare?

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