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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.

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August 2011

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« Bruce Juice | Main | Power To The People »

Comments

Steve Poley, CELLit

AM/FM radio with a robust website can be a powerful local community connection. The reach of a broadcast signal and a local sales force are together powerful tools only you have. MySpace/Facebook operates small personal circles. Galactic Google search marketing only delivers a few clicks each day to each local merchant. AM/FM radio+website can connect the community and build a robust business between the internet giants. The one-way radio broadcast signal by itself fails to establish a connected community. Build out your website with video, texting, IM, Twittering, comments, sharing, links, and connect your community and yourself to success. Or, follow CC.

Bob Bellin

The Mays family apparently decided that while the chess game known as radio still had some moves left, the game was over. They took the money and ran - pure and simple.

There is no way that they (probably the private equity buyers either) could think that what they are doing could stabilize radio and leave the business that has already lost over 30% of its revenue and listenership in a position to survive.

In fact, what CC just implemented on a large scale has been beta tested in a piecemeal fashion for years - and the results (previous paragraph) are there for the examining. When competition gets stronger and you get weaker, well, do the math.

Fred is dead on - the CC model has not only not worked, it has been the single biggest contributor to radio's fall - but it would be unfair to lay the blame solely on them.

Much of radio's top management has been more than happy to collect large salaries and bonuses while simultaneously slashing their companies to pieces. Had they been willing to get by on say, a million or two a year, many, perhaps most of the cuts could have been directly avoided. The bonuses collected in late 2008 by The Mays brothers, Lew Dickey and Alfred Liggins seem particularly egregious, transparent and fatuous (3 for 1 sale on adjectives today...sorry!), but there are many others buried in proxy statements from the past few years.

Hey - the Investment Banks all did it, the Mortgage companies did it, the security ratings companies did it, the appraisal companies did it. The "it" is top management strip mining their businesses into oblivion while collecting enough compensation to ensure personal family wealth for generations.

There is no reason to assume that the heads of radio companies would behave any differently. But there is also no reason to conclude that these are beneficial pieces of "re-engineering" that will leave radio as a sustainable medium, much less one that can grow.

Brian Beddow

Clear Channel is now a "sleeping giant" that just rolled over - probably for good. This is an excellent opportunity for all other operators in all Clear Channel markets. Lets see which ones are truly radio operators and which one are Wall Street Monkeys

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