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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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« KISS Off | Main | A Record Performance »


Jeff Schmidt


Thanks for giving big-time props to two of the best programmers in radio.

I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work as Creative Director with BOTH Benson & Larry for 9 years on the sound of KFOG and The Bone.

Everything you said about them is true - World Class talent. Talk about being at the top of the game!

The highlight for me was working with 2 really strong, but different radio world views on a daily basis.

These guys ARE their brands. Benson IS a "Foghead". Sharp IS a "Bonehead".

They're both passionate and skillful about their kind of radio. Working with them taught me a lot and pushed me to grow in ways that weren't immediately obvious.

On a purely selfish and personal level, I can't help but feel cheated by their dismissal. It's not just me. Their absence leaves an energy and vision vacuum.

But even beyond soft and fuzzy personal niceties, when you net it out - they produced results.

Thanks to these guys - we have 2 rock radio stations in San Francisco that are strong Top 5 25-54 players.

When Cumulus bought these fine stations in 2006 - CEO Lew Dicky came to town and championed Cumulus Corporate Culture as a "Meritocracy".

He also championed Cumulus as a Consolidator.

The meme we're all learning now - it appears he really couldn't afford to be both.

Jay Deacon

When Cumulus took over the Susquehanna properties, Larry and I had a chance to become co-workers, and friends. We hit it off instantly. I used him for guidance. He used me to find a way to adapt to "the Cumulus way."

I feel like I failed him and some of the others from that company (Leslie Frahm, Dave Benson, and all the other great people that that company got, who aren't there anymore) on what would happen if times got tough: that the company would crumble...cuz that's what they do.

I'm sorry Dave. Sorry Larry. Better times are ahead of you...I know first hand.

Jay Deacon
Grand Rapids, MI

casual observer

Don't mean to dismiss the diss issued to Dave and Larry but this crap is hardly news. It's been going on throughout our industry for several years now. The list of successful programmers who got the job done but still ended up felling the backhand of management is long and growing every day. And let's not forget the still employed who've had their workload increased and their salary reduced.

Larry Sharp

While I appreciate all the kind words from Fred, and am grateful to Schmidt for calling me a "Bonehead" (a hat I'm proud to wear), I have to agree with "casual observer". This has happened to way too many good PD's and talent in this country. The short-sightedness of these operators is astonishing. Their greed and arrogance will be their undoing.

I'll see you all in the wine business!


There needs to be a cure for Cumulitus.


thanks for writing such a nice blurb about dave....
have known benson since my music biz days of the late 70's
so guess it was no coincidence
i was in sanfrancisco working with a client this week
and was lucky enough to go out to dinner with him
the day after they cashed in his chips
he's in good spirits
despite the overleveraged, bad org chart, pursuing other opportunities move by cumulus
we ate burmese food, drank chimay ale, laughed and mindstormed about what was next for him
he's such a wonderful man
with a wonderful mind
i love the guy
and hope/can't wait to help him
when he decides where to share is benson'esque energy elsewhere


Cumulus is the worst company I have ever worked for. I agree with Larry, greed will bite them. Dicky came for a visit in 2008 and said that the Cumulus name in San Francisco is branded already and that soon, when you look for a car, home, or job, you'll be going to cumulus.com as THE portal. Hey, good luck with that!

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