Voltair/CBET PPM Enhancements Backfire

Voltair and then CBET were designed to improve radio listenership.

Their technology essentially presents a “louder” encoded signal that more accurately records radio listening on Nielsen portable people meter devices eliminating drop outs that can occur with certain formats like spoken word or some music formats.

After a period of denial, Nielsen introduced CBET and the radio industry has been rolling along getting credit for the listening it earned.

Or is it?

Why a new analysis indicates further problems with both Voltair and CBET technology.

How these problems could upend the ratings stations and radio groups thought they had.

What the evidence is – and it’s dramatic.

And where that leaves over 1,000 stations that until now thought they were doing themselves a favor by applying Voltair and CBET.

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Bye-Bye CBS All-News All the Time

You give David Field 22 minutes and he’ll give you a world of things that are wrong with CBS Radio.

Field has apparent resentment for CBS people and the very stations he bought.

He’s already fired lots of CBS managers, employees, talent – even people critical to his future success.

Now, Entercom is turning its attention to undoing what CBS Radio has succeeded in doing on the air.

How Entercom has begun tinkering with iconic CBS stations.

On-air changes that lay an egg and defy reason.

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Nationwide iHeart Downsizing Begins

Rumors started flying last week.

Now, it has been confirmed.

Wide-ranging iHeart downsizing of on-air talent that promises to further degrade the on-air product has begun.

Which format is being targeted?

What’s reportedly in the lengthy corporate emails describing these firings.

Why it is likely to be the first step not the last to cut costs.

And why even the survivors are going to fear that a sharp knife is coming.

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New Breeze Soft AC Format Intel

Nothing is hotter than soft oldies. 

And nothing is worrying program directors more than the crosswinds that are developing.

The soft AC format aka “The Breeze” has been adopted in numerous markets looking to flank a hot AC competitor and erode their ratings.

New intel shows for the first time how “The Breeze” is rearranging station ratings.

Consistent proof from several PPM markets where soft AC has been in place for at least six months.

Is soft AC the right move going forward based on evidence?

Do we know the weaknesses so they can be addressed?

Who is winning in markets where “The Breeze” and soft ACs are doing battle.

Some observations from 3 PPM markets …

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The iHeart IPO

With iHeart, it’s all about changing the subject.

Bob Pittman’s much-touted multimedia platform that collapsed into bankruptcy was designed to take your eyes off of their $20 billion in debt.

Podcasting is promised as the future moneymaker to make up for slipping spot revenue  but it has never produced cash positive results for anyone.

“All Podcasting All the Time” stations were supposed to show iHeart putting their stations where their mouth is except they put it on only 1 out of 848 stations – in iHeart’s Allentown market on an AM station guaranteed not to attract the money demo, but still – it changes the subject from the poor job iHeart has done of managing lenders and shareholders money.

Now, they’re back selling radio like this -- “Consumers listen to the radio because the voice on the other side sounds like a friend” – their actual words in its filing from the company that brought you layoffs, voice tracking and less live and local. 

All this begs the question what kind of investor would support an IPO for a sinking ship in stormy waters?

No radio group has been able to do an IPO for years, why does iHeart think they can?

What happened to Apple and Liberty – often mentioned as wishing to takeover a terrestrial radio company.

How will iHeart stations be managed and operated if this IPO is successful.

And what if it’s not?

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