No one radio consolidator gets more dimes dropped on them than Lew Dickey’s Cumulus Media.
The company was voted the worst in a poll of thousands of media executives conducted in Inside Music Media a year ago. And I sense things have not gotten any better as Dickey has become Dr. Death to so many promising radio careers.
Don’t get me wrong. For the past four years I’ve been getting tons of email from current and former employees of almost all radio companies giving a revealing look at how they’re operated behind the scenes.
Almost always, what these consolidators say and what they do are in sharp contrast.
What’s always amazed me is from the first day I called Lew Dickey “Tricky”, Farid Suleman “Fagreed” and John Hogan “Slogan” these companies had Inside Music Media blocked from their corporate mail.
That’s fair. Why let your employees read someone who isn’t ever going to put you on a cover or invite you to keynote a convention? They have a right to control what their employees read about them and their companies – at work.
There are others who went down that road as well – usually the ones criticized the most for helping to tank the radio industry.
In spite of it all, these control freaks forgot that almost everyone has a personal email address and wouldn’t you know they simply signed up there to continue reading what I am saying here away from work.
But now, in the spirit of WikiLeaks I got some disturbing news from inside Cumulus that will never be read in the happy talk press. You know, the place where everything is beautiful in radio as long as you don’t talk about what is going on behind the scenes.
Seems like Dr. Dickey has come up with a public option of his own that deleteriously affects the health care plans of his long-suffering employees.
So I am going to out him right here and even do a little document dump – the first of many I am sure -- as Dickey’s employees fight back by shedding light on a company that is far from employee-friendly and for that matter not all that friendly to shareholders.
But where shall I begin?