Cumulus Sues Ex-GM for $1 Million

Here’s an inside story you won’t find in the happy talk press.

The Dickey family is channeling its mean genes in what appears to me to be a retaliatory strike against a manager who had the audacity to – well, quit and get a better job with Cox.

Kristin Okesson left the Dickey Dynasty as manager of the Danbury, CT and Westchester, NY clusters. Let’s do what they do before you see the next episode of an HBO original series – recap.

Previously on Entourage (Lew, John, Gary Pizatti) …

The Dickeys took Okesson to U.S. District Court in Bridgeport and in a court opinion handed down on April 22 of this year, the judge interpreted the employment contract at issue largely in Okesson’s favor. She wasn’t ordered to stay away from previous Cumulus customers in Danbury.

The judge did prohibit Okesson from helping a fellow employee to spring from his imprisonment and was told not to solicit Cumulus employees directly. She also had to return some items in dispute that were alleged to be confidential.

And that was it.

Until now.


Music Without Radio and Radio Without Music

In the past week, there have been two examples of what happens when an artist decides to market without radio airplay while another tries to get airplay she believes she deserves based on Billboard progress.

Both are fascinating and revealing and I thought you would enjoy hearing about them.

The Bed Intruder Song.

The story of a crime that happened in "singer" Antoine Dodson’s family.

Dodson did an interview with a Huntsville, AL TV station after an intruder broke into his family’s house and attempted to rape his sister.

The video interview became popular because of Dodson’s dramatic delivery style in which he talked to the audience as well as the person who attempted the rape. Dodson used colorful language and raised the ire of TV viewers who complained to the station. The station defended Dodson and said that censoring him would be worse than his graphic style.

The video went viral in the form of the Bed Intruder Song some have called the one awesome use of Auto-Tune ever. Auto-Tune is software that can make speech sound like singing. The Gregory Brothers turned an angry rant into a pop song that has sold about 100,000 copies on iTunes and is 94 with a bullet on Billboard for the week of September 18.

The YouTube video has been seen over 20 million times before some genius took it off -- I am scratching my head here.

All of this with little to no radio airplay. The subject matter is a deterrent to over-the-air radio but still – this is an example of a song taking off without a record label, promotion teams and radio station airplay. It’s all viral.

Then, there’s the dilemma of singer Arika Kane.


Howard Stern, Digital Pioneer

Adam Carolla may be able to attract 400,000 podcast downloads and not make money, but Howard Stern can.

Sirius Satellite Radio listeners who have to lumber through the negotiating period running up to every Stern contract expiration are used to the game.

Talk that Stern will not be back.

That he’ll return to terrestrial radio (not likely).

Just do three days a week at Sirius for the same money and on and on.

Howard Stern is one figure who could make it in digital app-dom if he wanted to do it.

But stop!

I have not lost my mind. I’m betting he will be back with Sirius and a deal will be cut and all will be fine. However…

What makes Howard Stern an ideal candidate to marshal his audience and direct them to the digital space is his ability to create unique, compelling and addictive programming unlike other talkers of his ilk.

Stern is too smart to do a radio show online. At least I hope he is.

Stern understands that the best way for him to make the switch is to offer his bits in separate units that can be accessed as needed or wanted on mobile devices. He was born to be on iPads and there will be over 20 million more of them sold by the end of 2011.

Wise enough to smell money from event marketing, merchandising and other non-traditional ways.

Don’t rule out subscriptions. As you know I’m betting that pay is an alternative to free going forward for compelling content. Stern could get paid subscribers for a reasonable rate. If the NFL can get over $400 for its online football package – and it does – Stern can get a dollar or two a month from his loyal fans.

Self-promotion? Who is better?


4 Bold Media Predictions

Predictions are just teasing unless they turn out to come true.

The Clear Channel demise


The Prognosis on Talk Radio

Would you believe that to a young person